Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Allison Sattinger and I am a twenty-nine year old artist living in Los Angeles with my fiance and our two cats, Jones and Jane. Aside from being a leather-worker, I am also a singer-songwriter and I do voiceovers for national commercials, which is fun! I grew up on the east coast and lived in New York for the first three years out of college, so I am a California transplant. I think this state is amazing and love taking day trips to watch the earth shift into completely different pictures.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I remember making IBM paper candy canes with my sister Julie for our family christmas tree. We rolled them up and taped them, forcing them into cane shapes which we then be-striped with crayons. It was very serious, complex work.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I am so inspired by nature. Most (if not all) of my designs are based on plant life or small birds or fish…when I first started learning how to tool leather I was astounded at the sheer amount of manly patterns available, so eventually I just decided I would find my own: I don’t want to tool a picture of a steer being roped, ya know? Most of my ideas come from the moment right before sleep or on walks. I love that feeling of having a picture in your mind you want to actualize.
What are your favorite materials?
Leather. I love it. I also love solid brass and silver and I go out and buy lots of pretty stones without knowing where they’ll go or what they’ll be a part of. They normally find a home on necklaces.
What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?
Gosh, there are so many: photo quality, good packaging, keeping your creativity well-fueled, listing often…I can spend hours and hours just looking at the most amazing art here and feeling such gratitude that I am a part of such a community. It’s really exciting!!!
Why should people buy handmade?
When something is handmade, it is made with love and more than likely created in humane conditions. The difference between a mass produced article and a wonderful handknit sweater can be huge: one is completely disposable, the other is an heirloom. Besides, that feeling you get when someone made something JUST for you: cookies, gloves, jewelry…your heart gets warm and you receive love. You smile. We should all smile more.
What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?
I would personally love to be able to track how many people are coming to my page daily. I think it would help me see the results of my promotion and which kinds work best.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love to cook and make homemade pies from scratch, even the crust! I also love to drive, which is good since I live in L.A. I love checking my hearts on Etsy. There, I came clean.
Read any good books lately?
Yes, actually: I am reading A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber. I chew on it piece by piece: it’s a pretty dense read.
In ten years I’d like to be…
Living somewhere in New Mexico with my husband (he will be that by then!) with a larger studio and a regular touring schedule for my music. I would also like to have a belt worn by Drew Barrymore in some great magazine like Lula. I would also like to create a charitable organization that provides instruments and tools to kids who couldn’t normally afford them so that they can have lives filled with sound and beauty, too