Sunday, October 11, 2009

Featured Etsy Artisan - Lovely Gifts

Linda from Lovely Gifts was kind enough to grant us an interview. I learned a few new terms browsing around her shop; among them, fascinator, pomander and kissing ball, terms I may have been familiar with had I planned a wedding in the recent past.

Lovely Gifts specializes in bridal accessories, though I can easily picture her gorgeous pillows and baskets as home decor. Someone else's home, that is. Mine has children in it. Children and dogs and cats.

Can you tell us a little about yourself, and how you got started making bridal accessories?

I am married with a wonderful husband and daughter. I started making pillows after I saw a beautiful one at a store that was extremely expensive. I thought to myself, " I can do that", and my first one was so beautiful I kept going. First I made the larger ones for home decor, then the ringbearer pillows. I realized there was a market out there for unique bridal accessories. I started to sell them in boutiques and bridal salons.
I have always been creative, and once you start making things with success, you start to evolve into other areas; hence, the hair accessories.

Can you tell us a little about your creative process, and where you get your inspiration?

My creative process starts with me browsing around craft stores, picking out beautiful flowers, and thinking about what I can do with them. I have to be in that creative mood in order to make something beautiful. My favorite flowers to work with are roses and orchids. I am always trying to find the most beautiful flowers.

Do you try and stay abreast of the latest trends in the bridal world, or do you just go where your creative eye takes you? Do you find yourself browsing through the bridal magazines while in line at the grocery store or anything like that?

I do try and stay abreat of the latest trends in the bridal world. Right now fascinators are the latest rage. So I currently have a large amount of eclectic hair accessories. Whenever I have the luxury to hang out at a Barnes & Noble, I grab a couple of bridal magazines to see what the latest trends are and become inspired. Sometimes just flipping through magazines will give me an idea, coupled with some great finds, and a new item is created.

Do you still sell your items through boutiques and bridal salons, or has Etsy become an exclusive venue for your items?

I don't currently sell to bridal salons and boutiques. Shortly after I had started doing this, I moved from the East Coast to the Midwest. It took me awhile to get back into the swing of things as I was not happy with the move. When things got back to normal, I found that I was too far from any of the bridal salons and boutiques that may have been interested. That's when I discovered Etsy!

How do you promote your work?

It took some time before I realized you had to list items frequently in order to get noticed. I try to participate in the blogs and forums as much as possible and make use of Twitter to help promote my shop. It is not near enough, but it has helped a lot since I have started doing these things. In addition, I am always making new items. I have been dragging my feet regarding other social networks like facebook, and I know having a blogspot seems to help a lot of sellers. Twitter is short and sweet and I find I do seem to drum up a lot of interest there.

Apart from your creative endeavors, what do you enjoy doing?

What I enjoy the most is hanging out with my wonderful husband and daughter. They are very supportive and helpful.

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