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!


Happy Hound Creative said...

Great article!! Love Kaytea Originals etsy shop!!

The Tote Trove said...

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tracey