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