Tell us a bit about yourself.
Karen: I am 24 years old and live in Plano Texas. I’ve got two cats, one son, and a husband in Afghanistan. Lisa and I are big dorks, but I think that’s where our appeal comes from. Hopefully, our personalities come through in our work.
Lisa: I’m 20 years old (almost 21 dangit!) and I live in Sachse, Texas. I have two cats, one boyfriend, and uh… a car. I’m a member of the Dallas Artisan’s Alliance
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
Karen: My mom tried to teach me to sew when I was little, but I never got further than cutting out dresses for my cabbage patch dolls. Lucky for me, I tried again and this time I stuck with it. I was an overachiever in school. Any kind of creative competition was a big deal to me. Writing, art, music, science…I was (and still am) a big nerd. But I was only in it for the fame and blue ribbons.
Lisa: I remember taking a painting class before I was in kindergarten. That was a good time. I also made all sorts of crafty Christmas ornaments in kindergarten, like a mini piñata from part of an egg carton and a small wreath made from the bottom of a Solo cup. Play-doh has always been a favorite medium of mine.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Karen: My dorky family inspires me. *coughcoughDADcoughcough*. Before I list something I think, “Will my grandmother like this? Will my dad like this?” If it passes the grandmom/dad test, then I list it. Our mom sews and crochets, so she’s another obvious influence of mine. Lisa and I play off of each other. A lot of good things come from brainstorming with her.
Lisa: I’m more inspired by whatever I have laying around in my room. Usually it’s a material or a picture I’ve taken. But also if you look at the names of the things I make, there is a hint of my inspiration in there.
What are your favorite materials?
Karen: I like weird T-shirts, vintage fabrics, odd books and frogging sweaters for yarn. I enjoy the hunt for good materials almost more than making the object. Anything that used to be something else is fair game.
Lisa: I like plastic… and more plastic, and then maybe some acrylic… and maybe a touch of glass, and cheap chain. I mean… really expensive Italian chain; yes… that’s it… Really… plastic beads + chain = GOLD
Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
Karen: I think we just put out stuff out there that we think is cool and hope others like it, too. Finding the right market, patience, and perfectionism are also really important.
Lisa: Find something you’re good at and that you like doing and keep at it. If you think it’s junk, then it’s probably good. Artists are always their own severest critic. And take good pictures of your stuff!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Karen: I’m a stay at home mom and part time student. I’ve got it pretty good. My son and I are big fans of Star Wars and Godzilla movies.
Lisa: I’m an Art and Technology student at University of Texas at Dallas. I also work as a floor supervisor at a local grocery store… and I play an alarming amount of World of Warcraft… I sleep sometimes.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
Karen: This is probably beating a dead horse, but I’d really like to see categories within shops. I think the awesome guys in charge have it in the works.
Lisa: Really I just want a more in depth user profile-y thing. A mini survey would be nice… yeah I think that’s it.
What is your favorite color?
Karen: My first favorite is green, then probably orange and pink…and brown.
Lisa: I don’t have a favorite color, but I have favorite color combos. It’s a group effort of the coalition of colors. It changes every day.