The Etsy Blog

Featured Seller: zerkahloostrah

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

 

Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).

My name is Daphne, and I live in Holyoke/Holyjoke/Holysmoke Massachusetts (the lovely Happy Valley!) with someone who habitually calls me zerkahloostrah, zerkus, and other endearments. People often mistake his name for Steve. I went to a buffet of art schools before being kicked out with a BFA in textile design. I learned to make shoes from two amazing shoemakers in another country that may be north of us.

 

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

I made some simple things before I made a stunning pair of turquoise sweatshirt fleece yoke-front pants in the sixth grade. They had a back zipper. I made them because my mother was teaching me to sew instead of throttling me for being mouthy.

 

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

At the moment, I am inspired by the work of performance artists such as the Billionaires for Bush (or Gore), and Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping and the First Amendment Choir. I am also inspired by any people who make things with their hands. My ideas come from looking at old shoes new shoes red shoes blue shoes.

 

What are your favorite materials?

Leather’s pretty high up there

 

What is your favorite color?

chaos!

 

What are your most and least two favorite films?

I don’t like musicals, but I did love Dancer in the Dark. I like artsy-fartsy films, but the Matthew Barney thing is beyond me. Good visuals, but I didn’t really want to read a book about his intentions before watching the movie. And so, I didn’t get

 

What are you reading right now?

Real American Food by Jane and Michael Stern. It makes me hungry. And long for the open road.

 

Any tips on selling handmade stuff?

Nope. I think it works differently for different people. If it isn’t working for you online, try locally. Vice versa.

 

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Travel, help fix old houses, rest, sleep. I am also an amateur microbrew quality control analyst.

 

How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?

Shipping calculator, Google (or other) checkout systems. The shipping thing is probably more important to me. Also, perhaps Etsy needs to have a lobbyist or two in Washington, so that we can have our arts be subsidized by the federal government, just like big corporations are, and just like the good ol’ days of FDR.

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