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!