Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kelly, I’m 24 and currently live in Woodbridge, Connecticut- a small town outside of New Haven. I grew up here and also spent part of high school in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates where my dad has lived and worked for the past 12 years. I live with my wonderful Mom, our neurotic dog Okemo and sometimes my sister, brother and dad. My grandparents live right next store so I see them often and my Grandma is my biggest supporter, as well as material hunter, soon to be packaging helper and listing editor! I studied fashion design at the Rhode Island School of Design and started this line about 6 months after I graduated.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
My life really revolves around I’m Your Present so when I’m not actually creating things I am usually thinking about what’s next or shopping for supplies. Occasionally I find time to eat, sleep or shower. I love spending time with my family and we travel together a lot. I used to do things like get dressed up, have parties and go out dancing. I was once in an internationally acclaimed rap sensation called Neon Vomit. I’ve been more of a hermit since moving back home but I imagine I will resume my former glamorous lifestyle sometime.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I think it was more about I finding out I *could* be an artist. My parents both went to Brown and so occasionally we would stop in Providence on the way to the Cape. I remember a time when my mom pointed out RISD and said, “you can go there Kelly!” I was thrilled and amazed that there was a school where I could just do art! I’m sure they were equally thrilled that there was a place that would take me.
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I usually have different themes and ideas every week and make a small collection of worked based around them. I love finding interesting materials and using thrifted fabrics. I usually work on a ton of different things at once and just try to pump out as much as possible. On weekdays I usually work from about 10 am until midnight and then list or pack orders until about 3am when I retire and roam the streets in search of food.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I’ve made a lot of amazing friends on etsy and cherish everything I’ve bought or traded with them. Two of my real life best friends also have etsy shops- Weheartheartbreaker and Carrotcake, and my room is covered with their amazing stuff! Since I’ve found etsy I have become so dissatisfied and bored with everything in traditional stores, I only ever shop online anymore!
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
Books- everything by Poppy Z Brite, Francesca Lia Block, Jacqueline Susann and David & Amy Sedaris
Movies- Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Wayne’s World, Mean Girls, Crybaby
Music- Stars, Mates of State, The Magnetic Fields, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Xiu Xiu
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
I think it’s as important to make friends, network and support other artists, as well as trying to sell because those connections will lead to sales and be ultimately more rewarding. Having a clear style and coming up with unique ideas is also important. I love it when I can look at an item on etsy and recognize the shop it came from at first glance.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I love the ability to heart and favorite items. The batch feedback tool and the new ‘last button’ are also great. I’d love to see this button in normal listing mode so I can bop around. Maybe someday it will all even be one page…
How do you promote your work?
I usually wear things I made with the intention of giving out postcards, although most of the time I am too shy and awkward to actually do this! Having a myspace page that is personal as well as having images of my products has worked great for me; it is fun to buy from someone when you can see the whole package. This summer I entered a contest called the Next Big Thing on Fredflare.com and winning it was also great exposure.
In ten years I’d like to be…
I have some ideas but I usually don’t tell people about things until after that happen, to avoid seeming like a failure. This has been working out ok except when you reach a big milestone your family and friends don’t realize the significance since you’ve only been secretly plotting and working towards it! So lets just say ‘you’ll see’… and whatever happens just pretend to be really excited for me- it was my plan all along!