Thursday, September 18, 2008

Etsy Interview With: jotaysgel!

Sorry all for not keeping up with this. I have been sick for the past couple of days! But I'm back (still sick) to update my blog with my newest interview with Kevin from jotaysgel! What first made me want to interview Kevin was his adorable penguin gel candle that you will see below!

Kittycrossbones: Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kevin I am 54 this year.I also am a single father of one a daughter she is 13 we live in Lanesboro.Ma. I Love to make gel candles for it brings out the kid hidden inside of me. I have been making them for almost 8 years now and every one is so unique for no two ever come out the same .

Kittycrossbones: Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I like to go for long walks ,go for Bike rides ,spend time with my daughter doing crafts. We make funny things out of polymer clay ,We also make things out of beads like necklaces ,and funny pictures by gluing the bead to paper.

Kittycrossbones: What first made you want to become an artist?
Well when my daughter turned 5 years old I started make things out of paper and plastic bottles .Then I wanted to make some candles and we first purchased a kit made it and we gave it away as a gift people love them and satrted asking where we got it .So that is the start of my candle making.

Kittycrossbones: What advice would you give to artists who are new to selling their handmade products?
Read every thing about the craft you are going to be doing .Promote as much as you can and have fun doing what you like .

Kittycrossbones: How do you promote your work?
I do mailings I give out bussniess cards out to every one I see. I advertise on the
radio go to the gift shop in town. I promote on etsy in the forums. I also do as many craft shows as I can.

Kittycrossbones: Anything else you would like to add?
Live life to the fullest for it is to short so have fun and enjoy .
Thank you so much for featuring me.

I don't drink beer, however, that may just be one of the coolest party gifts I've ever seen for people who party!

Go check out jotaysgel right now!

-AmyLynn aka Kittycrossbones

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Etsy Interview: The House Of Mouse

Today I interviewed Anna from The House of Mouse! One of my favorite customers to work with! I love her little mousy creations and she puts great detail on them to make them have their own personality. EEEK!

Kittycrossbones: Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Anna, I am 28 and a full time crafter and housewife. I am from England originally but I have been living in Holland with my husband for 5 years now.

Kittycrossbones: Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I admit I spend most of my time creating or doing something to do with my business; packing, marketing, trawling the forums on etsy etc. It is scary to think that I don't really spend much time on anything else! I do enjoy eating out, any excuse to get away from cooking a meal myself! My husband and I love good food and eating out has always been something we enjoyed doing together. I also perform improvised comedy (think "Who’s Line is it Anyway?") on Friday nights in Amsterdam City Center. I perform with a group called "The Dog Ate My Scenework" on the Easylaughs stage. I love improv because it requires the mind to be fast thinking and open to ideas.

Kittycrossbones: What first made you want to become an artist?
It is hard not to approach this question from a philosophical point of view. I feel I have always been an artist. There was no choice, it is what I am. I have been able to become a full time artist because my husband is able to support us both during the slow times in my own business. Without that support I don't know if I would have been able to have the life I do. I am very grateful he has given me the chance to spread my wings creatively. I hope one day my business will be big enough to support us both.

Kittycrossbones: What advice would you give to artists who are new to selling their handmade products?
Do your research. If you are selling on etsy, take the time to read all the useful articles and resources they have available. If you are selling in any online marketplace make sure you read up on their rules. I know it is boring, but it will save you from making costly mistakes.

Also, don't expect anyone to do the work for you, selling handmade goods successfully is HARD WORK, just like running any home business. You must have the drive and desire to succeed in order to get over the many obstacles in your path. But if you do your research first then a lot of the problems will be easily avoided.

I am actually running a forum thread on Etsy full of advice and resources for new sellers!

Kittycrossbones: How do you promote your work?
I spend a lot of time on MySpace advertising my mice. Mostly because it is a free and readily available business tool. I spend some time in the forums on etsy, and take part in teams there. I am currently having a website built, which when it is finished will be my new focus for advertising. The House of Mouse is still less than a year old, so I am just finding my feet with advertising and marketing, but it is something I am learning a great deal about very quickly.

Kittycrossbones: Anything else you would like to add?
Just thank you for the blog feature, and your promotional items are excellent!

Anna's mice are just the coolest! Go visit The House Of Mouse now!

-AmyLynn from Kittycrossbones

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Today I interviewed Heather of "A Scrappy Design." Her shop drew me in by the great photographs and the bold colors that she uses to create her pieces. Read the interview below!

Kittycrossbones: Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Heather and I love being crafty, especially if it involves paper. I have a dog and a wonderful husband who is also artsy (he's a painter). I work full-time as a project coordinator for a financial company but hope to one day be able to stay home and create paper goodies full time.

Kittycrossbones: Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love to spend time with my family & friends, watch reality shows and college football.

Kittycrossbones: What first made you want to become an artist?
I have always been crafty. I remember as a little girl, making stuff with my sister and my Mom finding craft malls for us to sell our creations. I got into paper crafting years later when my best friend introduced me to scrapbooking. I was instantly hooked. I have been paper crafting and scrapbooking ever since.

Kittycrossbones: What advice would you give to artists who are new to selling their handmade products?
Be patient and do lots of marketing. I think the crafting part is pretty easy, it's the marketing that's the tough part. Don't be afraid to get yourself out there.

Kittycrossbones: How do you promote your work?
I promote my work in many ways. I have a blog,, I post pictures of my work on flickr & myspace and am a member of many web/blog rings. I am also a member of OKEtsy, Etsy Greetings, Etsy Scrap, and Etsy Paper. I also have my cards in a local boutique. Ultimately, word of mouth has been my best advertisement.

Kittycrossbones: Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much for choosing me as one of your featured sellers! Anyone who mentions your blog in the Notes to seller will get 10% off their purchase.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Etsy Interview: AardvArt

Here is my interview with AardvArt, who makes real four leaf clover jewelry, fused glass accessories and creations in resin.

Kittycrossbones: Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Lynda and I am a fuser of glass, mixer of resin and married to an incredible four leaf clover hunter. My educational background is in the science field so the safety precautions needed prior to melting glass at 1475 degrees or mixing resin and surviving the fumes are right up my alley.

Kittycrossbones: Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I have a masters degree in speech language pathology and worked in the field for 13 years. I am now working part time as an office manager and part time as a creator of things that make my heart sing. I have two children, three dogs and a wonderful husband.

Kittycrossbones: What first made you want to become an artist?
When the time came to apply to college, I wanted to learn how to be a glass blower. I ended up a physics major. Not peer pressure, but parent pressure. In the end, although I loved what I majored in, creating has always been a part of my life. As I raise my children, I found that I am able to feed the creative part of my self after so many years.

Kittycrossbones: What advice would you give to artists who are new to selling their handmade products?
Put your heart and soul into what you sell. Stand behind your product. Create what makes your heart sing and the buyer will feel it in the end.

Kittycrossbones: How do you promote your work?
Word of mouth, my blog as well as other online presences. I love to create. I do not like to list things. I do not really like the marketing part much at all! If you are in my area, feel free to stop by my house and take a look through the pile of things waiting to get into my Etsy shop.

Kittycrossbones: Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much for the interview! If anyone is interested in making a purchase from my shop, mention kittycrossbones in the notes to seller and get 20% off your order.

What are you waiting for, go visit AardvArt today!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Etsy Interview: Soap Deli!

I had the chance to interview Soap Deli! I have purchased from her shop awhile ago and have always loved the products I received! You will find some familiar questions if you know about Etsy's featured seller interview questions! Read the interview below!

Kittycrossbones: Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm 33 and a mother of one with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Roanoke College. I greatly enjoy soapmaking and reading. You’ll never find me without a “to be read pile” on hand, or a stockpile of soap taking over my home. I also have agoraphobia, but haven't let it stop me from going out in the world. This is my third year of selling my soaps at my local farmer's market.

As a child I always wanted to be an artist and eventually found myself with a BA in Fine Art from Roanoke College in 2000. Desperate for a job I took the first thing I could find, a sales associate position at Gap. I quickly moved up into a management position with the company. However, I soon realized what that what my professors had told us students time and again was sadly true. Once you find yourself out in the real world, you find you have no time for your art anymore. My passion had been photography, and I'd all but ceased taking photographs.

In 2001 I started up a small business with the help of my husband. Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen was born basically on a whim. However, it was nothing like it is today. It was primarily a hobby on the side that didn't even turn a profit until its third year. I didn't have the time to invest myself fully in my business and so it suffered. In the meantime, I stepped back down to a part time associate position at Gap in order to be able to see my son who had recently entered kindergarten and to fit in the time for soccer practices and rec games.

Around 2005 I started having episodes where I couldn't breathe. At least, that's what it felt like. I hauled myself to the doctor who told me it was all in my head. I refused to believe him and insisted on an asthma test. The tests were negative. Shortly afterward I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. My breathing issues were attributed to multiple panic attacks one after another, literally nonstop, outside my residence. I couldn't hold a conversation without having to pause after every word to catch my breath. I took this as a sign and took a year off from everything. I left Gap and become a stay at home mom. I actually learned how to cook, and was finally able to do what I hadn't been able to before. I was able to slowly begin investing time into my business.

I'm not sure how I really decided to start selling on the Farmer's Market. Maybe it was the desperate need to communicate with someone other than my husband and child. I'd gotten to the point I was striking up conversations about the sales at Target with other customers in the store. Then one day I just happened to be downtown and decided that "this" was what I wanted to do. I called Downtown Roanoke, Inc. the next day and set up an appointment with then Market Manager, Hope Hollingsworth, and things catapulted from there.

It was a scary transition going from the solitude of my home to the population of a bustling downtown. I had panic attacks on the really busy days so I avoided Saturdays for the biggest part of my first year on the Market. Today, however, the Market is my comfort zone. I love going there not only to make a living, but to socialize with the other vendors and downtown's visitors. And, because I was able to take that leap and give Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen 100% of my time, I've been able make a livable wage doing something that I love. While making soap isn't exactly a "fine art," I like that I'm able to create something from scratch and give it my own unique flair. I have also been able to squeeze photography back into my life through the inception of my blog I created for the Roanoke Farmer's Market. A thankless project which features vendors, events, dining, and shopping in the downtown Roanoke area. I've also come to appreciate the historic and cultural aspects of our city and downtown area. Roanoke now holds a much brighter appeal for me, and yes, I'm able to find lots to do.

Kittycrossbones: Apart from creating things, what do you do?
You mean I'm supposed to do something else? I read a lot. A whole lot. Paranormal fiction is my favorite. But as far as a job goes, I'm a full time soapmaker.

Kittycrossbones: What first made you want to become an artist?
I've always loved making things. I used to draw houses with furniture that looked like you could sit on it on the street outside my house. Then I'd draw roads all over the entire cul-de-sac connecting the houses for me and my friends to "drive" our bikes on. I did this on paper as well for my toy cars. I drew a lot growing up as well and everyone always asked if I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I didn't really decide on anything though until my second year of college. My first year I wanted to study psychology.

Kittycrossbones: What advice would you give to artists who are new to selling their handmade products?
You have to get out and talk to people. I've seen posts on the etsy forums with comments that said they were afraid to even give out their business cards. Just selling your stuff online isn't enough. If you can't get out there and talk about your stuff, how are people going to know you even make anything. I have several neighbors who are great customers because I chatted them up. Also, I've found that you cannot expect to get 100% out of your craft if you're not willing to give 100%.

I also blog about my products and sell locally. It makes a big difference when people are able to smell - in my case - and touch your work. You should definitely sell at a real location in addition to online regardless if it's a home show, a craft show, or your local market.

Kittycrossbones: How do you promote your work?
I sell regularly 3-4 days a week downtown on the Roanoke City Market. This brings back a lot of local repeat customers. They in turn recommend my product or bring their friends down to buy their own which further expands my customer base. I hand out business cards with every order which also brings back non-local customers to my website who were just visiting. Additionally I'll hand out free samples downtown to people who have never tried my products and I send other etsy sellers samples to send out with their orders.

Kittycrossbones: Anything else you would like to add?
Not that I can think of.

There you have it folks! Go get clean and head on over to Soap Deli's!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Halloween is right around the corner!

I just listed a Halloween themed listing in my shop, 100 1" buttons and you get to choose up to 25 different graphics (out of 56!)

Perfect for kids in grade school who give out candy and treats on Halloween! You can also hand them out with your Etsy orders. I can even put your URL or any saying you want on the edge/rim of the buttons!

Click the picture to find out more!


Etsy Shop: BlackLilyPie

Tara from Blacklilypie is the Etsy shop of the day! I have purchased from Tara in the past and we have done some collaborating for the Sampler as well!

I fell in love with Blacklilypie when I did a search for 'black cat' one day on Etsy, her shop appeared and Tara's illustrations were just phenomenal, and I then became a fan of Batcat!

This information taken from Blacklilypie's profile!
"Blacklilypie is Tara Fortin.I am an illustrator, working from a pink, purple and black studio, making pink,purple and black things. I have been "blacklilypie" since high school. I am now a 28 year old full time illustrator and designer working from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. I live with a giant grouchy cat (Check him out on YouTube) and my "dude" is a government employee with a blue mohawk. We live in a "flat above a shop" decorated with skulls and bats. Our closet is entirely black clothes, which makes laundry easy."

What are you waiting for?! Go pick up some great products at Blacklilypie today!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Art All Night - Tattoo Inspired Accessories

I recently contacted Emily of Art All Night a.k.a Faster Than You to do three custom tattoo inspired bracelets. She nailed the designs on the head and had them done and shipped to me within the same week! Her customer service is certainly five-star quality and the most important thing is she has the product to back it up!

From Emily's profile:
"Welcome to Faster Than You! All jewelry and accessories are hand painted, drawn and assembled giving you a truly unique piece. my motto is, "life is too short to wear something boring", so why not treat yourself to something that is unique and fun?"

She truly is great to work with and you should totally check out her shop!

Kittycrossbones, signing off (for now!)

A Fresh Start

Hello everyone!

I hope you will enjoy my blog here! I will be posting some of my clients products, my Etsy purchases, and mixing it in with a few of my products. I will try to showcase someone new everyday. I will be picking from 1,000s of sellers on Etsy, but if you'd like a chance for me to post a few of your items in my blog, please leave a comment here or become Blogging friends with me and I will try my best to pick from the list!

Ok, so a little about me!
My name is AmyLynn and I run a few shops! Kittycrossbones - Custom Promotional Products, KXBPhotography - Photography and Foxy Impression - Jewelry!

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the blog posts to come!