Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
I’m Mandy Wu, the designer cum crafter behind EVOD. I was born in the United States and raised in Singapore. I have a miniature schnauzer. She eats almost everything (including toothpaste =.=). I’m more of a ‘science’ person in school. I’m currently pursuing my bachelor degree in Chemistry. But outside class, I seek to do something more expressive. I like to reflect my unique definition of style through the originality of my designs.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
Ironically, I was better at sketching than making crafts when I was a child. I would spend the afternoons sketching cartoon characters from my favorite Disney movies
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Hmm. This is a tough one. I don’t really have a particular source of inspiration. It’s all very random and spontaneous. I can be doing anything or nothing when an idea hits me. I can be walking my dog in the park when a new theme will just pop out of nowhere. All these randomness and spontaneity make it exceptionally difficult to come up with a collection but it’s also what makes the process so exciting!
What are your favorite materials?
I simply LOVE using pearls! I try to use them whenever possible because they have this natural ability to inject elegance and confidence to a design. Apart from pearls, I also like using fabrics, oxidized metal and blackened metal.
What is your favorite color?
I like warm pink and cool blue.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
‘The Pianist’ is one of my favorite films. I personally don’t like war movies because they tend to be too focused on the gruesome effects but ‘The Pianist’ is something different. It shed light on the hardship and cruelty of war without neglecting the humane side of it such as hope, friendships and human kindness.
A least favorite films will be the Hollywood’s version of ‘The Ring’. The film lacks the ambience that makes a good horror film. The original Japanese version of the film may not have the impressive make-up effects but it sure did scare the hell out of me with its eerie suspense and the brilliant play up of psychological fears.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading ‘Because We Are Americans– What We Discovered on September 11, 2001′. I started reading this book a few years ago but stopped when I was halfway through ’cause the articles were making me too emotional. Recently, I decide to continue the book and the impact is still as powerful. I thought it serves as a good reminder to not take anything for granted.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
I’m still pretty new to selling so I’m constantly learning but I’ve gathered some really good advice from books and fellow Etsy crafters. Building a good reputation is utmost important because whether an artist’s handmade items can sell well depends very much on the loyalty from customers. You will want these customers to come back to your shop regularly to check out the new designs and also to spread the words for you. To allow that to happen, you must first pledge loyalty to your customers. Always give them the best you have, be it craftsmanship, service or attitude.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I run a non-profit online store called Crafted With Love to sell handcrafts donated by crafters from all over the world to raise funds for local animal organization/shelter. Other than that, I spend my free time reading, taking my dog out for walks, chilling out with friends and spending quality time with my family.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
Revive the Alchemy!! As for feature requests, I have come across many talented crafters here at Etsy’s! To name a few, trixiedelicious, trystbykerry, ElisabethSpace, thedreamygiraffe, and gorjuss.