My interview with SewTamz on Etsy

Tonight I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite shops on Etsy, if you are a photographer like myself you will absolutely adore her creations!

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How long have you been an artist?
It seems so funny to be called an artist because I have always struggled all my life to create art – I’m not that great at drawing or singing or any traditional art form. But I have always had a deep appreciation for all art. Just since my kids were born have I been able to find a talent creating things for them.

Tell us about your first attempts to be creative.
I learned to sew from a Home Economics class. I really am self-taught – my sewing has evolved over the years – patterns just make me crazy – when I bought a sewing machine after my son was born I made a Cinderella dress for my daughter for Halloween without a pattern – It was really challenging but rewarding.

How many hours a day do you create?

Right now – too many – I average on very little sleep – I have a hard time keeping up with orders and with two kids at home for summer I am always juggling everything. I am hoping it will be easier when school is back and I can have a set routine.

How does creating art make you feel? I love thinking of new ideas and can’t wait to try them out.
How did you pick your creative medium?
I had left my corporate job as a database engineer when my son was born. I bought one of those expensive embroidery sewing machines and thought I could make an income at home embroidering shirts and things. I also made personalized baby blankets for friend’s gifts. Fast forward years later- I opened my Etsy shop with baby blankets and applique shirts – a couple of my friends are photographers so I made a personalized camera strap cover for one and a camera strap for another. I listed them on Etsy and it has been kind of crazy ever since.

What are your inspirations? I love fabric! I love colors! I love blogs! I love Etsy! I love Pinterest! I am constantly looking at things and thinking of ideas – I just can’t find the time to develop them.

How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall? Go to my local quilt shop, read blogs, Etsy, Facebook and Pinterest.

“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I get to use all the wonderfully talented fabric Designer’s patterns to create something that is pretty, functional and comfy all at the same time.

What gives you hope in the world? I love that Etsy is truly a global experience – I am thrilled to discover other artist around the world – I just bought a pin from a shop in Finland for a gift for my daughter’s friend whom just visited Finland this summer.

What are your artistic goals? I have lots of ideas for new products, so I hope to find the time to develop them this fall.

What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
I had the sweetest compliment from a customer from Romania – “Only few of us can say that their job is to make the lives of others more beautiful :)”. It is really great to hear nice compliments.

How have you handled the business side of being an artist? It can be a hard balance – I love offering custom orders but they do tend to take more time and sometimes hinder keeping up with other orders. Sometimes everything is such instant gratification that the handmade equation can be forgotten.

What has your experience as an artist been like on Etsy? It has been really exciting seeing how many visits I get from all around the world – I have had one sale to South Africa so in my Google Analytics it is fun to see that Africa is all blank except for a few little hits right there in South Africa…

What advice can you give new artists on Etsy?
Just keep faith and trying new ways to list or photograph your items – I remember watching my shop for two months before I received my first order.

Where else on the internet can we find your work besides Etsy? Right now I am only on Etsy but I do hope to also have a new website in the future. You can visit me on FaceBook: facebook.com/sewtamz

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