Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Rachael Sudlow, I live in Lawrence, Kansas, a great little artsy college town in the Northeastern part of the state. Artists have surrounded me all my life, with a landscape painter grandpa and an art teacher mother. Art school was inevitable, so I went to the Rhode Island School of Design. I graduated in photography but I’m always kicking myself for not majoring in jewelry. Instead I try and take as many classes I can and work on new techniques. At least now I know how to take quality photographs of my work! I still photograph occasionally and work on my ongoing series of ‘Cowscapes’ when I can.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I’m an only child and lived in a rural area, so I always had to come up with ways to entertain myself. I had a great pond in our yard growing up, so it was always fun to dig moats and forts and slides in the mud. I was not a clean child.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I’m a pet freak, I have 4 fishtanks, a dog, cat & horse, so my critters get a lot of ideas flowing. I also worked for several years at an environmental non-profit company and that really prompted an interest in the land and ecology. Kansas has really been a big influence on me as well. I loved the East Coast, but Kansas with its fields, lakes & prairie will always be my home.
What are your favorite materials?
Metals of course! A sheet of silver has so many possibilities. Beads as well, can be transformed into a number of unusual creations. And of course, I’m a sucker for pearls.
What is your favorite color?
Hard to say, but I always love wearing greens and black.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
Favorites would be The Big Lebowski and Office Space. I’m a sucker for goofy comedies. As far as least favorites, alien stuff freaks me out. I still haven’t watched ET & Signs really did a number on me (didn’t help that my house was surrounded by cornfields).
What are you reading right now?
Several books and manuals on screen printing, my newest endeavor
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
Make what you love and do it daily. I have an almost OCD obsession and must create a piece or 10 every single day. I think art school really bred a crazy work ethic into me. If you can, try and wear your products when you go out. I get a lot of great responses when I go out and wear some eye-catching earrings or necklace. In those situations ALWAYS have a business cards ready.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’m quite hooked on aquariums right now and am in the process of setting up a small saltwater aquarium. I like watching all the life and the environment that develops in such a small little space, especially with the saltwater.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
I think It would be nice to have options for shipping, so people can choose First Class or Priority or Overnight depending on their needs and budget.
It would also be cool to soup up the Street Team sites so that we can sell multiple seller’s items together and funnel the money into a group fund or to the creators themselves.