Jun 2, 2011

Creative cushions (and so much more!)

Remember how I mentioned I needed wanted this map? Well today I'd like to introduce the lovely creator of that map, Becky (fun name, right?) who owns the Etsy shop, Shopdirtsa. However, by reading this post you run the risk of wanting everything she sells. (Don't say I didn't give you fair warning!)

In your words, you left your job at Anthropologie to "pursue creativity" on your own terms. What did that mean? Was that a long, planned out process or more of a leap of faith movement?
I worked as a Display Coordinator for Anthropologie, which meant I built and installed the crazy store and window displays for which the company is known. Spending my days working with power tools, shopping at art and hardware stores, working in an art room, and installing out on the sales floor was often very fun, and I learned a lot about creativity and craftsmanship along the way. But I also learned a lot about how the company is run behind the scenes, and I disagreed with a lot of their practices, their treatment of employees, and the handling of various aspects of the business. Because of those things, it wasn't hard for me to make the decision to leave. It was a planned out process in that I knew that I wanted to leave for a long time, but it was a leap of faith to finally break ties before I had a new job lined up!



How did you get started with your Etsy shop? I started my Etsy shop in its current form a few months after quitting Anthro. I was busy looking for a new job and needed a creative break from writing cover letters and formatting resumes. Before then, my mom and I had randomly listed little things here and there in the shop, and we had some success, but we didn't devote a ton of time to it. But once I had more times on my hands, I wiped the shop clean and started adding more and more of my creations. All of a sudden it just took off. It's been so successful I've been able to put aside the resumes and cover letter and work on it full time!

What inspires you?
I love creating things that remind me of childhood but are appropriate for adults. A lot of times that means I'm inspired by school accoutrements and childhood games. I also really love familiar things made with unfamiliar materials - wooden letter tiles made plush, a science class diagram cut out of felt, a table lamp made out of a gumball machine. I like to fill my home with unexpected and fun objects, so that's what I create.

How do you come up with the items in your shop? Do you set aside time each day (or week) to create or is it more of an "as it happens" basis?
I wish I had time each week to devote to new items. New ideas are constantly coming to me, and I usually spend a few weeks thinking about the best way to execute them. But my list of ideas far exceeds the time I have to work on them all, so getting new items into the shop is sometimes a frustratingly slow process. But that's only because the items in my shop are already such good sellers, I'm constantly working to fill orders on those - so it's a good problem to have!



Do you do custom orders? I do custom orders in the sense that most of my products are made-to-order and customers can pick what words/letters/map they want on their specific product. But when someone emails me and asks if I can make something in a completely different size and color with such-and-such detail, I usually have to decline. Changes like that may seem small, but they're actually a lot of work!



What's your favorite item in your shop right now? Does this ever change?
I have a couple. My overall, long-lasting favorite is the frog dissection diagram pillow. The first one I ever made was as a birthday gift for a friend who is a middle school science teacher. She loved it so much I decided it might be something worth trying to sell. I love the aesthetic of it, and that a friend inspired it. But my favorite recent addition is the Composition Notebook in my Classroom Cushion series. I just love the idea of a cushy notebook on your couch!

And just for fun: if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? I'm going to cheat a little and say a whole meal: roast chicken and mashed potatoes, with gravy and green beans. Yum.

What do you think? Are you as in love with her creations as I am? (Besides the map, the ampersand pillow is my favorite!)

Happy almost Friday!

2 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am very impressed with her creations! And I always think it's impressive/inspiring to hear about people who struck out on their own and made their dream their reality!

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Her shop is closed. I WANT TO SEE MORRRREE! Love those frog pillows.

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