Thank you to Sarah (Cerra). She had submitted her interview a few weeks ago (life has been busy and I have been a little slow blogging). We have chatted through email and Etsy and Sarah is as friendly and nice as you would expect from a toy artisan! I especially love the the magnetic fishing game.
“When my son started to get to an age where could play with toys, my disenchantment with the available toy selection was really what made my creativity, and Etsy shop, become what it is today.”
1. Where are you located, and where can your work be found?
I'm in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I spent a lot of my early adult life moving around and found my way back here in 2007.
I'm on Etsy actively (http://cerra.etsy.com), Artfire inactively (http://cerra.artfire.com)and people can shop directly through me via my Facebook Page (http://facebook.cerra.ca) or email(firstname.lastname@example.org).
I am not currently selling at any brick and mortar shops but do hope to make it to the 2011 Christmas Craft Festival in Dartmouth this Autumn.
2. How would you describe your creations? What makes you unique?
My felt creations can be described as child-friendly, bright and FUN;my postcards and original art fall into what I'd call monochrome with a splash of colour. I create a lot of my product with a sleeping toddler either on or beside me, which seems pretty unique to me! I started doing crafts at a very young age - I come from a background of very crafty people. The photography bug bit me at the beginning of junior high, along with fine art.
The decision to sell came after many years of designing things for gifts and being encouraged by others to take it a step further. When my son started to get to an age where he could play with toys, my disenchantment with the available toy selection was really what made my creativity, and Etsy shop, become what it is today.
3. Could you describe your artistic process? Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my ideas come in the form of custom orders. Somebody will give me a general request and I will turn it into something that I love and believe in. For toys, my son usually gets the first edition of anything new that's made. If it passes his test it makes the shop.My son is actually a huge source of my inspiration. His imagination is really starting to go wild and often, without knowing it, he will spark an idea for something.
4. What advice would you give to a beginner artisan?
Don't get discouraged! I think that if you do what you love and you love what you do, other people will too. If sales are slow, try not to take it to heart - it isn't a reflection on your product and
especially not on you.
5. How do you market your business?
I run ads online from time to time via Google and Facebook. In the past, I'd tried things like the Etsy Showcases without any luck. My husband is a salesman by trade, so he's very good at handing out business cards to people that he speaks to in the run of his day. I've started to do that, as well, but I'm "too humble for my own good" and it's not really in my comfort zone.
6. What goals do you have this year?
I'd love to make it to 700 sales on Etsy and hope to secure a place at he show in Dartmouth. I also want to keep designing toys for my son that I feel good about.
7. What is your favourite creation?
I'm pretty much in love with the puppets that I released a few weeks ago.
8. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview! Creating can be a pretty isolating experience and it's been nice to sit back and think about my business in a different way - of course with a sleeping toddler beside me.
Thank you Cerra!
I love your work! I’m sure that you will reach your sales goal this year.
Would you like to participate?
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know one of my firm beliefs is in supporting artisans in creating their craft business. Sure, I also promote The Silver Hook (I’m an artisan, too :). I believe that many economic and environmental problems would be helped with a shift to supporting small businesses rather than large corporations. In this spirit, I accept applications for blog interviews (if you are an small business artisan, send me a description of your work or website link to info@TheSilverHook.ca). I have recently discovered that Windows Live Writer will let me “post-date” my blog entries so that write a few and have them automatically publish to The Silver Hook on specific dates. Fingers crossed!