Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi i’m Karen,
I design & make my own textile homeware products, Mostly cushion’s a the moment(squeeze) but want to do more different things.
I live in London & have done for almost fourteen years. I love it. There’s so much going on & so much to see. I love the mix of different people you find here. It’s like walking in a human goldfish bowl.
I live with my partner & my cat, who is always trying to play with my cotton reels which can be very annoying if they’re on the sewing machine!
My studio is my kitchen table & a huge cupboard,we don’t have a spare room. But hey.
First started my own business about two years ago.
Wanted to be my own boss & follow my own ideas. Never was very good with authority!!
Started by doing markets. Had a stall in camden lock market for a year & a half which was great fun & I met lots of fabulous people. Good customer research too.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Not much time for anything else, so many idea’s in my head still waiting to come out.
But I love to meet up with my friends any chance I get. Working from home mean’s I start climbing those walls if I don’t.
As well as my friends I love to films & music. I would like the time to read more & to paint if I had the room!
What first made you want to become an artist?
I’ve always been creative. At school I would hide myself away in the art room so I guess I never really thought about wanting to ‘become’ I just was.
Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc).
Ideas pop into my head all the time.
I love to use photo’s that i’ve taken & play around with the images & change the colours. Next up a purple & yellow giraffe, how fab?. Just got to do that one!
Felt was a fabric that allowed me to do that.
I would like to look at print & leather next. Just mixing up different materials, styles & patterns is very inspirational to me.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I love my giraffe wood carving from my 1st trip to Kenya. Giraffes are just the most amazing animals.
Also there’s a card that I got from my niece that she did herself from bright pastels. I framed it, it looks great, gifts are always more personal if someone makes it themself.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and websites (besides Etsy).
Oh so many!!!
I have a stack of books waiting to be read on my bedside table. Currently reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I liked reading the hannibal lecter books by Tomas Harris & the tales of the otori by Lian Hearn.
So many movies to choose from, I like dark films, fargo coen brothers, Tarantino, japanese horrors anything with a good twist in the tale.
Love all kinds of music. The last cd’s I bought were: The scissor sisters, Amy Macdonald & Paolo Nutini.
Web sites: facebook, e-bay, myspace, allthingsoriginal.com
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Always be true to yourself & your ideas, trust your instincts, never give up.
keep it fresh & use the power of the internet. My business has taken off in leaps & bounds since I started to really look to see what the internet could do for me.
And very important have fun otherwise what you doing it for?
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I like the ‘look’ of the site with all the visuals. It’s very easy to use. The people are very friendly & helpful. Featured seller bit is a great idea.
Maybe you could do ten best sellers of the month feature?
How do you promote your work?
Business cards/postcards. Friends. Myspace (although I do need to re-visit mine!)word of mouth, friends.
In ten years I’d like to be…
Still happy with what i’m doing. I Would like to design a small fashion range.
Oh & to have my very own studio!! I would love that!