Tell us a bit about yourself.
Orange Fuzz is the brainchild of Jessi Lalk and Amanda Poston. We live and work in a gorgeous historic building in Cincinnati, Ohio’s eclectic Northside neighborhood. We met in the local record store in Oxford, Ohio when we were teenagers. We started collaborating artistically shortly after we met by painting a mural together in a local café. The West Coast was calling so we packed up and moved to Pasadena, California to attend art school. This was a period of rapid growth and development intellectually and artistically for both of us. This was also when we truly fell hard for natural cosmetics and handmade soap.
Unfortunately our lowly student budget didn’t allow us many indulgences, so we had to get creative. We returned to Ohio to finish our BFAs in printmaking at Miami University in 2009. Upon graduating, we were faced with the infinite possibilities of what life had in store for us. That is when Orange Fuzz was born. Our mission is to create affordable quality products while being as eco-conscious as possible.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
You know, it was insanely hard to think of things we do that aren’t creating. We do love to get out when we’re not working on projects. We like hiking and making guerrilla art pretty much everywhere we go. We also love traveling and visiting friends, especially if they live near a beach.
We also love spending time with our two cats and boston terrier. When it’s warm out, we take our dog to the park and play badminton. When it’s cold, we curl up with the furry kids and read.
What first made you want to become an artist?
There was never really a turning point, we were always artists. It was refreshing to realize that we could make a living out of what we love and that people could be so supportive of us.
Please describe your creative process.
We get inspiration from nature, literature, friends, drinks, art — we’re all over the place! Each product is a journey and sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to get to that ultimate destination. We love experimenting with textures, aromas and colors. We like to get out our massive collection of essential oils and tinker around until we find something that we’ve never experienced anywhere else. From there we handcraft each product in small batches to ensure quality. Having top quality ingredients is very important so we’re always on the lookout for that one thing that could make our products even better.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Jessi’s favorite handmade possession is a relief print that our friend Sam Doan made of our iguana that she adopted when we moved to California. For Amanda, it’s a bottle of Maker’s Mark, or perhaps a basket made by her grandma.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Make something you would want to buy for yourself or someone that you love. If there is anything you can do to make your craft better, do it! Take pictures that you could be proud of if they were hanging on the wall of an art gallery. Be sure that you are satisfied with the photos and item descriptions as this is your key to connecting with your buyers. Never ever give up!
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
The Taste Test is totally addictive! We also adore the Activity Feed. We would love to have a postal calculator and some kind of mailing list feature for our store.
How do you promote your work?
We list frequently on Etsy and try to update our Facebook page when we add new items to our store. We also do lots of indie craft shows and work hard to get our products out locally. Consigning at local boutiques is a great way to familiarize the community with your craft. Here in Cincinnati, Fabricate has been awesome about promoting our work. We’re always slipping business cards to people and this has led to a lot of sales. We’ve been very fortunate to have so many bloggers and publications feature our work — thanks to you all! Also, big thanks to all of the Etsians who have featured us in treasuries!
In ten years, where would you like to be?
Still doing Orange Fuzz! Hopefully we’ll have a second Etsy shop for our prints, drawings and paintings. Maybe we’ll take up teaching art somewhere along the way.