Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Featured Artist - Karen of Kaytea Originals




This week’s featured artist is fellow Etsy NJ member Karen of Kaytea Originals, www.kayteaoriginals.etsy.com. A seamstress with style, Karen offers hand-sewn goodies ranging from bags to embellished towels with journals and baby accessories mixed in to accommodate everyone on your gift-giving list this holiday season (see above for some teaser shots). So read on to find about the woman behind the needle; then hightail it to her shop for some one-of-a-kind finds!

1. The Tote Trove (TTT): In your Etsy shop profile, you say, “As a teen, I became interested in sewing, and all my friends thought I was crazy. They went to the malls to purchase whatever they wanted; I stayed at home trying to sew the newest designs.” I thought that was so cool. How did designing your own clothes influence your personal style?

Karen (K): I wanted to duplicate the things I saw in the magazines but add my own personal flair.

2. TTT: Where do you find inspiration for your projects?

K: Almost everywhere!

3. TTT: How did you learn to sew? Did you have a mentor or are you self-taught?

K: My mother originally taught me, and then I experimented on my own.

4. TTT: How did you decide to turn your passion for making things into a business?

K: I was trying to break out of the 9-5 system, trying to make it doing something I really enjoy.

5. TTT: What is your favorite item in your shop?

K: My black and white pillows and trash basket.

6. TTT: What items, if any, would you like to add to your shop?

K: I’d like to add wedding items and, eventually, men and women’s clothing.

7. TTT: Describe your creative process. Do you follow a routine, create when inspiration strikes, or a little bit of both?

K: A little bit of both.

8. TTT: What is the best thing about running your own business? The worst?

K: The best is that I’m the boss. The worst is being on my own and trying to market my products in a very competitive world.

9. TTT: How did you discover Etsy?

K: I was watching “Good Morning America” about two years ago.

10. TTT: Do you sell your work in venues outside of Etsy (i.e., other sites, craft shows, etc.)? If yes, then how does selling online differ from selling in person?

K: I used to do craft shows, but I work in addition to my Etsy business, so I find it difficult to keep my stock up.

11. TTT: Who is most (emotionally) supportive of your business?

K: My family, because in my spare time I’m usually sewing.

12. TTT: Are there any new artistic/creative skills you’d like to learn?

K: Yes; hat making.

13. TTT: Tell us about life outside of Kaytea Originals. Do you have a job in addition to your business? Hobbies? Family? Pets?

K: I work as a full-time school nurse, have a hubby and family, and love Jesus and want to reflect his characteristics in my life.

14. TTT: What are your hopes for Kaytea Originals in the future?

K: Growth, recognition, sales, and perhaps collaborating with other businesses.

15. TTT: BONUS QUESTION. Just for fun, if you were stranded on a deserted island and had to eat the same thing every day, what would it be? You can pick a drink and a dessert, too. (I find that dreaming up a whole meal makes this game more entertaining!)

K: Shrimp and coconut milk shakes.

Thanks for dropping in to meet Karen! Be sure to take a peek at her Etsy shop, www.kayteaoriginals.etsy.com. Until next week, keep crafting!

3 comments:

Happy Hound Creative said...

Great article!! Love Kaytea Originals etsy shop!!

The Tote Trove said...

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tracey
Karen