Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Eileen and I live in Oakland, California. I work as a high school science teacher. I am married to my wonderful husband Keith (my shipping department) and we have two cats named Diesel and Hayward.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I spend a lot time on my day job as a teacher. I can’t imagine not teaching, I love it. Well, except for when I’m having a bad day and accidentally flush a kid’s cell phone down the toilet, but that‘s a whole other story. When I’m not teaching or crafting I love to cook. On weekends we make sure to get outside and go hiking or biking.
What first made you want to become an artist?
The thing that got me started here at Etsy was buying my own sewing machine. Once I started I had to figure out what to do with all of my creations. Without Etsy our house would be overflowing. My husband thanks you Etsy!
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
Fabrics inspire me, so the whole process all starts with finding the fabric.
I work in the afternoons, after I get home from school and before my husband gets home. While most of my shop is filled with bags made from Japanese fabrics, I’ve recently been having a lot of fun creating things out of old burlap coffee sacks. It’s been great to try out something new. Now I have to figure what I can make from a huge stack of vintage hankies my mom just gave me…
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My gorgeous wedding ring designed by my husband. I love the one I wear, but I also treasure the wax model he gave me when he proposed. I’m getting misty thinking about it.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
This one was is hard, I’m fickle, but here are my current favorites…
1. Watership Down – Richard Adams
2. Uncle Tungsten – Oliver Sacks
3. Into the Wild – Jon Krakaurer
4. Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut
1. Little Miss Sunshine
2. Monty Python – The Holy Grail
3. Pan’s Labyrinth
4. The World’s Fastest Indian
1. Johnny Cash
3. The Pogues
4. Rufus Wainwright
1. dlisted.com (embarrassing but true)
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Make things you love and make them well. I have learned a lot from actually using the products I make. I’ve tweaked my designs so they work better and hold up longer.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I love killing time with Pounce and Shop Local. I’ve had a lot of local buyers (and even delivered a couple things on my bike) and I like supporting other local Etsians.
I’d love to have an easy way to rearrange the items in my store without relisting, and it’d be super cool to have a quick way to shut down my shop when I’m on vacation. Really though, I can’t complain. Etsy rocks!
How do you promote your work?
I hate to admit it, but I don’t promote as much as I should. I always include a couple moo cards in each bag and I’ve been fortunate to get featured in several blogs. I have also had a lot of repeat business, which the best compliment!
In ten years I’d like to be…
happy and healthy and still creating.