Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: somavenus

Feb 8, 2011

by Mary Andrews

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us about your previous working situation and how you discovered Etsy.
After graduating from art school, I dove right into the working world. Convinced that I couldn’t make a living as an artist, I started working random office jobs through temp agencies. Fast forward ten years to 2010, and I was still stuck in an uncreative corporate job. I was stressed all the time and it was really starting to take its toll. I would come home from work, totally drained, and I wouldn’t feel like creating anything. My muse was suffering big time!

I discovered Etsy through Craftster.org when it first launched in 2005.  I immediately signed up. It wasn’t for another few years that I really started getting serious about selling my craft; that’s when things really started to take off.

What does “somavenus” mean?
Soma Venus
was a pen name I created back in art school when I needed to start a blog. I chose the name on a whim! I wish it had more of a story behind it. Soma was derived from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Venus is a reference to love and beauty. I later found out through a pen pal from Finland that soma means cute! (I love pen pals. Convo me if you’d like to be pen pals!)

How did you transition into full-time Etsy selling?
I’ve never really been one to prepare and plan for things. I tend to follow my gut. I did have a good system of filling orders on nights and weekends after my day job, but eventually I had to choose one or the other.



What are your best marketing tips?

I started by having a huge assortment of items in my shop: sketchbooks, zines, prints, jewelry, buttons, clocks and so on. Then I decided to solely focus on books. I wanted to home in on what I loved most and wow, did it really help my shop take off! This was one of many tips and pieces of advice I gleaned from becoming a regular in the Virtual Labs. If you’re a new seller looking for help, I highly recommend attending one of the shop critiques that happen weekly. Maybe I will see you there!

Listing items frequently also helps with increased traffic and sales. This will put you at the top of the searches in your category and it always gives a boost in views, hearts and sales! When I was working a day job, I didn’t have a lot of time to make new products so I would renew what was already made and listed in the shop. Also if you have lots of new items to list, spread them throughout the day or week, versus listing them all at once. Otherwise all of your rad items will be buried by the end of the day.

What’s been your most popular item or line to date?
My vintage Bingo sketchbooks have by far been the most popular in my shop. They were an instant hit as soon as I started listing them. They frequent the homepage and treasuries, and even made it all the way to being featured on Martha Stewart! My favorite is seeing the way people of all ages react to them at craft shows. Huge beaming smiles and an “I remember these!”, usually followed by giving the book a big hug. I love watching how people connect with them!

Any memorable custom requests?
I’ve done many guestbooks for weddings which is always such an honor. My most memorable custom request was for a customer’s daughter’s birthday. She was turning 7, and he requested I make a blank sketchbook that would feature a drawing she created as the cover. It was so sweet and touching to think she would have that sketchbook and cherish it for ages. I absolutely love doing custom orders like that.

What have you found to be unsuccessful promotion?
I’ve never had luck with social networking promotion. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook, but rarely see sales from it. As far as business mistakes, I have purchased many items before at junk sales and antique stores that I just know will make the perfect new crafty item, only to have them sit around collecting dust. I’m a pack rat too, so I have lots of odds and ends. Anyone need a big bag of vintage dime store monster finger puppets?


Where do you score such great vintage materials; any recommendations for those passing through Portland?
Portland is a mecca for all things vintage — some of my favorite haunts would be House of Vintage (it even has a working black and white photobooth inside!) on Hawthorne Blvd, Stars Antique Mall in the Sellwood neighborhood and if I’m in the right mood for it, The Bins. I love junk stores that I find off the beaten path — there are so many gems outside of Portland as well! I also love going to rummage and estate sales to find unique items to use in my work. Even if I walk away empty handed, all of these places fill me with so much inspiration and new project ideas.

What is the biggest challenge you face during your daily schedule?
So far the biggest challenge has been not having a daily schedule. Going from being scheduled all the way down to when I take break/lunch to living a creative non-scheduled life has been such a different world. Sometimes I get carried away with making art and the day is over before I know it. I’m working on being better about making a daily schedule so I can make sure I get everything accomplished.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job?
I know lots of people mention they love being home with their children. For me, it’s getting to hang out with my cats all day! They remind me not to take life too seriously and have been a constant source of humor and inspiration for me. They don’t make the greatest bookbinders, however. If I want inspiration, I can drive out to the Oregon coast on a Tuesday afternoon, one of my favorite places to make books, or I can stay up till 4 a.m. working on art if I want to. I don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic and I don’t have to answer to anyone else but me. So far, there’s not much I miss.



What’s the hardest part about running your own business?

Not having a steady paycheck that I can rely on. On the other hand, that really motivates me to work hard and keep pushing myself.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
I would have jumped sooner! I was spending overtime at the day job and then working on orders until 3 in the morning — it was crazy! I let my fear and the what ifs keep me in a job that I just wasn’t made for. The moment I finally jumped and left my job, doors started opening left and right for me. My advice to anyone considering this is to take that leap and believe that anything is possible! Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate, especially if it stifles your creativity when the day is done. Finally being able to spend my entire day feeding my creative soul means more than anything else.

Have any favorite Etsy shops we should know about?

  • Littleputbooks has always been my crafty cheerleader! She makes amazing banners out of her original photographs.
  • CeolaDesign makes gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, modern organic jewelry.
  • TalkingSquid stylishly recycles T-shirts into rugs and pillows.
  • MicheleMaule offers unique adorable illustrations — many of Portland, Oregon where I live!
  • thegoodreverend photo credit for the rad studio images.

Thanks to Melanie for sharing her story. You can see some of her work in the Seller’s Items below.

Previous Quit Your Day Job posts

BINGO Wedding Guestbook Journal Sketchbook turquoise - made to order
BINGO Wedding Guestbook Journal Sketchbook turquoise - made to order
somavenus
$40.00 USD
8x10 Fine Art Print - R&R Market Arrow Sign Portland Oregon - made to order
8x10 Fine Art Print - R&R Market Arrow Sign Portland Oregon - made to order
somavenus
$18.00 USD
8x8 Fine Art Print - Orcas Island Love
8x8 Fine Art Print - Orcas Island Love
somavenus
$18.00 USD
Vintage Wedding Book, Vintage BINGO, Sketchbook, Back to School, Journal - made to order
Vintage Wedding Book, Vintage BINGO, Sketchbook, Back to School, Journal - made to order
somavenus
$40.00 USD
Vintage BINGO, Sketchbook, Journal, Wedding Guestbook, Scrapbook, Unique Gift, Blank Book
Vintage BINGO, Sketchbook, Journal, Wedding Guestbook, Scrapbook, Unique Gift, Blank Book
somavenus
$40.00 USD
8x8 Fine Art Print - Mossy Moran State Park Mount Constitution Orcas Island - Pacific Northwest
8x8 Fine Art Print - Mossy Moran State Park Mount Constitution Orcas Island - Pacific Northwest
somavenus
$18.00 USD
8x10 Fine Art Print - Cascade Lake Mount Constitution Orcas Island - Pacific Northwest
8x10 Fine Art Print - Cascade Lake Mount Constitution Orcas Island - Pacific Northwest
somavenus
$18.00 USD
8x10 Fine Art Print - San Juan Island Ferry - Pacific Northwest
8x10 Fine Art Print - San Juan Island Ferry - Pacific Northwest
somavenus
$18.00 USD
8x10 Fine Art Print - Beartooth Highway Prairie Cody Wyoming Road Trip - made to order
8x10 Fine Art Print - Beartooth Highway Prairie Cody Wyoming Road Trip - made to order
somavenus
$18.00 USD

358 comments

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 6 years ago

    I love the bright colors and how happy you look making your craft! :)

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 6 years ago

    i love your advice about making the jump sooner! i really need to give that a try.

  • TrilliumArtisans

    TrilliumArtisans said 6 years ago

    Yay, congratulations! So happy you've joined Trillium Artisans.

  • buttonsbyrobin

    buttonsbyrobin said 6 years ago

    Love this. How original! Robin

  • verdigreen

    verdigreen said 6 years ago

    Congrats Soma! ;) Love your positivity and simply adore your books. Eyeing the Valentine Queen of Hearts as I type this.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Congrats !

  • thelittlemarket

    thelittlemarket said 6 years ago

    Great story!! Congratulations!!

  • NewEndStudio

    NewEndStudio said 6 years ago

    "Trust Your Gut"= Great Advice! Your story is inspirational, your products are cool. Cute cats, too.

  • SacredandProfane

    SacredandProfane said 6 years ago

    A wonderful story!!! Really motivating! And the books are absolutely beautiful!

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 6 years ago

    I love your focus, dedication, positive outlook, determination And Your Products!!!

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 6 years ago

    Congrats and very inspiring!

  • TheMarulaTreeSoapCo

    TheMarulaTreeSoapCo said 6 years ago

    Congratulations! Love the cats, I wish I could see mine all day! :)

  • futurowoman

    futurowoman said 6 years ago

    Yay!!! I love Soma! We've been online friends for years, and I'm so excited for her! Here's to many more years of growing success!!!

  • Plushable

    Plushable said 6 years ago

    Amazing! Such a unique and original idea!

  • Popetiquette

    Popetiquette said 6 years ago

    Great advice for new sellers. Congrats to you and yay for knowing someone else who is as excited to stay at home with her cats as I am!

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 6 years ago

    awesome work! xox

  • LabyrinthLeather

    LabyrinthLeather said 6 years ago

    I love these stories! Congrats!

  • hattieshouse

    hattieshouse said 6 years ago

    Congrats to my fellow Oregonian!!! Love your enthusiasm and your books...I will have to check out those Portland thrift stores!!!

  • paperbugg

    paperbugg said 6 years ago

    Wow your work is great. Congrats! I want to be pen pals. I love sending and receiving cards.

  • hybridhandmade

    hybridhandmade said 6 years ago

    inspiring and honest story! I feel the same way about facebook and twitter...I feel like I'm missing a trick but can't figure it out.

  • rakshniyavintage

    rakshniyavintage said 6 years ago

    this is always been a favorite shop of mine! Great article and congrats on the feature :)

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 6 years ago

    love your work! so creative!!! congrats!

  • CheltenhamRoad

    CheltenhamRoad said 6 years ago

    I think I want to hug those bingo books too! Really, really terrific work! And thanks for the advice about trusting ones gut - great to hear stories like that!

  • dualchocolate

    dualchocolate said 6 years ago

    bravo Somavenus!!

  • michelemaule

    michelemaule said 6 years ago

    you are amazing! :D Congratulations to you, lovely!

  • beautifulflower1

    beautifulflower1 said 6 years ago

    Great story. love what you are doing

  • OlenaBacasArt

    OlenaBacasArt said 6 years ago

    Congratulations! Thank you for advice.

  • TubeHeaven

    TubeHeaven said 6 years ago

    i love the glimpse into your life. portland sounds very inspiring! i love the image of you crafting on the coast, like a craft picnic. and i loooove the bingo notebooks.

  • CountrySquirrelsRUS

    CountrySquirrelsRUS said 6 years ago

    Great story! I see your warm furry stole wrapped around your shoulders! I also have one that keeps my shoulders warm while in my studio. :) Absolutely, trust your gut, it won't mislead you. I finally gave in to mine after exhaustion hit me hard while trying to work full-time and sculpt full-time. Thanks to Etsy, I am now following my dreams!

  • SkateDogStudios

    SkateDogStudios said 6 years ago

    Great advice! Fantastic work:)

  • Floreal

    Floreal said 6 years ago

    So cool.. congratulations!

  • happyowl

    happyowl said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing! Best wishes to you.

  • pottersong

    pottersong said 6 years ago

    Very interesting! Thank You1

  • SwankyHostess

    SwankyHostess said 6 years ago

    Thank you for your tips and advice. Sometimes you just need to JUMP! Congrats and love your shop!

  • dailyportrait

    dailyportrait said 6 years ago

    So cool! Love the article, congratulations on it and on being your own boss! Such a good feeling :D

  • lopecreative

    lopecreative said 6 years ago

    Love the outdoor office. My kitty named Remnant does the neck wrap thing too.

  • TheWellingtonBoot

    TheWellingtonBoot said 6 years ago

    I love the bingo sketchbooks, congrats on making it full-time :-)

  • QueenofCuffs

    QueenofCuffs said 6 years ago

    What a lovely subject to have chosen to specialize in. When you describe the 3am work . . . that's me. I love your work and envy your bravery to leap and quit day job. Great article and inspirational.

  • stoopidgerl

    stoopidgerl said 6 years ago

    I have been a big fan of her work for years now! LOVE HER!!!

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 6 years ago

    Congratulations!!

  • ohbuckets

    ohbuckets said 6 years ago

    I *love* your cloud watching fields sketchbook!

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG said 6 years ago

    My lovely Lady, You seem like to nicest person - what a joy to meet you! I've noticed from the article that we have some key things in common - love to write to pen pals, the color red, books and cats! Wishing you a magnificent week! joyfully Yours Thea x x x

  • MaggiePainting

    MaggiePainting said 6 years ago

    Love your books, wishing you continued success!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story and work! Congrats!

  • MKDesignsCo

    MKDesignsCo said 6 years ago

    Great inspiration. Love your store and what a wonderful story!

  • pinkbijou

    pinkbijou said 6 years ago

    Love all this!

  • StudioConestoga

    StudioConestoga said 6 years ago

    You're so creative! You also sound very passionate about wht you're doing, and the result are those great, unique books! Well done!

  • StudioConestoga

    StudioConestoga said 6 years ago

    You're so creative! You also sound very passionate about wht you're doing, and the result are those great, unique books! Well done!

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 6 years ago

    COOOOOL!

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    ThePolkadotMagpie said 6 years ago

    Lead photo best one to date I've seen. The "cat stole" is too much. xo

  • WillowandQuinn

    WillowandQuinn said 6 years ago

    I just love your profile, your studio, your craft, oh and yeah, your cats! I thought mine was the only one who laid over my shoulders like a shawl!! I am so happy for you ~ isn't living your dream just the best thing in the world?

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 6 years ago

    Great information!

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 6 years ago

    Congratulations on being featured! I have seen your items in Portland myself. :)

  • chocolatecreative

    chocolatecreative said 6 years ago

    Great story!! and nice to read today as I have been loosing confidence in my business as sales are not happening at all, and bills has to be paid, so hard to give u on my business to go to work for some else, anyway thanks for sharing and regards from London Marga

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 6 years ago

    thank you everyone!!! it really is a dream come true :) as for that top photograph, it took half a day to get right, lots of patience and tons of kitty treats :) the kitties all say thanks too :D

  • dreamyvintage

    dreamyvintage said 6 years ago

    congrats! absolutely adorable :)

  • LillyEllaCollections

    LillyEllaCollections said 6 years ago

    Congrats on being featured! Great inspirational advice! :)

  • fluxglass

    fluxglass said 6 years ago

    Congratulations!

  • TheZestyDesk

    TheZestyDesk said 6 years ago

    Super cool shop! I love the idea of a child's sketchbook with their drawing for the cover....might have to keep that in mind for my daughter's next bday. Congrats on leaving your corporate job in the dust to pursue your creative calling! BTW...I LOVE your hair!

  • PaperArtists

    PaperArtists said 6 years ago

    You're story makes me feel so good! Thanks for sharing and Best wishes for your continued success!

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 6 years ago

    love your bingo sketchbooks! so happy to see another pdx peeps feature! congrats on your fantastic shop!

  • BreezyDesigns

    BreezyDesigns said 6 years ago

    Love your items. Congratulations on being able to quit your day job. It's always good to hear when someone is able to take that step and make it work. Much success to you!!!!!

  • sarahknightdesign

    sarahknightdesign said 6 years ago

    very cool! such creative stuff-- congrats on your success:)

  • GoodTimeJunkin

    GoodTimeJunkin said 6 years ago

    As I sit here at my day job (with the hour-each-way-commute), I am inspired by your statement... If I want inspiration, I can drive out to the Oregon coast on a Tuesday afternoon, one of my favorite places to make books, or I can stay up till 4 a.m. working on art if I want to. I don't have to deal with rush hour traffic and I don't have to answer to anyone else but me. So far, there's not much I miss. I love reading these stories.

  • comeagainclothing

    comeagainclothing said 6 years ago

    Truly an inspiration! Great work & congrats to you!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    'Off the beaten path', totally agree! Great work!

  • wayfaringmagnolia

    wayfaringmagnolia said 6 years ago

    Love your photography!

  • theclassicfarmhouse

    theclassicfarmhouse said 6 years ago

    Congrats somavenus! it was cool to see one of the bingo cards you got from me in the pics :0) You have such great talent and it's nice to see you were honored with this feature! Blessings, Katy PS Love the pic of you and your cats hee hee too cute.

  • ScarlettandMaria

    ScarlettandMaria said 6 years ago

    Congratulations, inspirational!

  • ElfiePins

    ElfiePins said 6 years ago

    Soma!!! yay! I saw the article and freaked out!

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 6 years ago

    Great books! What a fantastic coastal view...great outdoor studio! Congratulations.

  • pulpsushi

    pulpsushi said 6 years ago

    This might just be my favorite Quit Your Day Job post yet. I can totally relate to the struggle of juggling an office job that takes a good chunck of your day out of your creative time. Congratulations for getting out that! :)

  • itsmolly

    itsmolly said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story and inspirational links. You have confirmed my thoughts of Twitter and FB not making sales (but I still spend too much time on both). I love your products!!!

  • minnebites

    minnebites said 6 years ago

    This is fantastic! I've just started an Etsy shop and it's been so fun to be creative in ways I never had a chance before, I can understand where you're coming from. I love what you said about making your own hours and not taking life too seriously. Congrats!!

  • vintagenelly

    vintagenelly said 6 years ago

    Loved your story and I can identify with the loss of your "muse." I now have a "day job" I enjoy, but working always seems to get in the way of "my life!!!" Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • Pinkpjs

    Pinkpjs said 6 years ago

    The Oregon coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth, how lucky you can draw inspiration from there!

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 6 years ago

    This is such neat work! Very cool!

  • Poiriers

    Poiriers said 6 years ago

    Great story!! I love the books!

  • sampsonite

    sampsonite said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring!

  • OsoVictoria

    OsoVictoria said 6 years ago

    What fun things to make and make a living doing it too! It is always a wonderful thing to be with the kids. Congratulations on making this far and good luck into the future.

  • organicallysewn

    organicallysewn said 6 years ago

    Great books, great story, great advice. Love it!

  • ekra

    ekra said 6 years ago

    Congratulations on your success! Your work is great and I love that you love hanging out with your cats all day! That is one of my favorite things about working from home too!

  • ROSEMARYsHOME

    ROSEMARYsHOME said 6 years ago

    Oh these CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 6 years ago

    Congrats! Doing what you love is so rewarding.

  • MelissaBeeArtDenver

    MelissaBeeArtDenver said 6 years ago

    Great advice :)

  • MysticHillsNgaroma

    MysticHillsNgaroma said 6 years ago

    Great encouragement....thank you for the boost...

  • nattyvintagevt

    nattyvintagevt said 6 years ago

    Lovely shop! Congrats to you and your kitties!

  • bohemianrag

    bohemianrag said 6 years ago

    Love your pic with your fur babies! Cool product~ Jr. Mint says purrrr!!

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 6 years ago

    Great story and congrats on your full-time status! I'm in the same back-breaking schedule of working the day job all day and working the Etsy job at night. Someday I'll get to do the creative thing all day! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • ThimbleNest

    ThimbleNest said 6 years ago

    Love the bright, happy look of your space! Congrats!

  • thepixelprince

    thepixelprince said 6 years ago

    Nice story

  • piecesofelises

    piecesofelises said 6 years ago

    Congrats! Love the pic of your cat around your shoulders. Must be fun to stay at home with those guys :D

  • TheImmortalKey

    TheImmortalKey said 6 years ago

    Love the idea of creating seaside. You're story is inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

  • Jferne

    Jferne said 6 years ago

    I am inspired. Thanks

  • peonylovespink

    peonylovespink said 6 years ago

    Lovely! I love handbound books!

  • rarevinyl

    rarevinyl said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring! Congratulations, I can totally relate! Love your books, kitties and hair! ; ) I also love seeing a fellow local make good! Happy sales!

  • Reiverknits

    Reiverknits said 6 years ago

    Well done, you are an inspiration,

  • fattidame

    fattidame said 6 years ago

    Your History is very inspiring!! An example for not giving up! (Lovely your cats)

  • fattidame

    fattidame said 6 years ago

    Your History is very inspiring!! An example for not giving up! (Lovely your cats)

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 6 years ago

    the timing of this article couldn't be more perfect - tomorrow would be my mom's 56th birthday - i know that she would be so so so proud of this :)

  • agnisflugen

    agnisflugen said 6 years ago

    this story really resonated with me!

  • ThoseThreeWords

    ThoseThreeWords said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring story! Love your bright, cheerful workspace (and your bright, cheerful hair!) :)

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 6 years ago

    Love that you're bring back the color!

  • LisaRoseDesigns

    LisaRoseDesigns said 6 years ago

    Congradulations! It's nice to hear about someone taking a chance on their own. You've inspired me -thanks!

  • SweetLittleChickadee

    SweetLittleChickadee said 6 years ago

    You are so inspiring! I just finished art school too and wanted to have some fun and try out etsy. Congratulations on being a featured seller! Love your brightly colored workspace! :-)

  • jhalbleib

    jhalbleib said 6 years ago

    I love the picture of you with your kitties. I have a cat named Kanyon and he is not very good at binding books either.

  • benjaminballerina

    benjaminballerina said 6 years ago

    Really great and specific feedback about listing frequently and to spread the listing out over the week. Cheers to your continued success!!

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods said 6 years ago

    love your shop... and the mobile studio. those wild beasts of yours are adorable!

  • eustacia42

    eustacia42 said 6 years ago

    eeeeee! *jumps up and down* yay for soma!! :D

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    Inspiring! Now, I have to visit Portland.

  • isheshop

    isheshop said 6 years ago

    i love her words about random office job my job is quite interesting but i it makes me angry and nervous...(

  • ItTakesAMiracle

    ItTakesAMiracle said 6 years ago

    Just getting my shop set up, so thanks for the inspiration!

  • PrairiePeasant

    PrairiePeasant said 6 years ago

    Congratulations! Great to hear your story!

  • ArtigianoJewelBox

    ArtigianoJewelBox said 6 years ago

    Congratulations on this interview! Your fabulous bingo book made a great gift for my sis-in-law this past Christmas - looked like she might have to fight my brother for it, though. High praise for this shop from a very happy customer!!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Great to read your story, looks like your having a blast. I love your bingo books!

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 6 years ago

    Well done for following your dream- what an amazing story. Did you know that in Greek 'soma' means 'body'- that works too!

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 6 years ago

    wonderful interview! congrats and much continued success~ :)

  • TheVintaquarian

    TheVintaquarian said 6 years ago

    I really appreciate the layers of community you've developed... etsy (at large) plus your smaller circle of fellow Portland etsy sellers. Helpful to have like minded people close by. And the tip about Virtual Labs and attending the shop critiques, very cool!

  • iroirocrafts

    iroirocrafts said 6 years ago

    LOVE your notebooks! The cassette tape books are brilliant :)

  • ElizabethMD

    ElizabethMD said 6 years ago

    I love reading how people are able to make it on there own! Especially when nothing was planned out ahead of time, and they don't have daily schedules. I'm that way too, and I love knowing I'm not the only one.

  • lynntodddesigns

    lynntodddesigns said 6 years ago

    I love your story and your books!! What an inspiration :-)

  • LeslieGallery

    LeslieGallery said 6 years ago

    oh you're speaking my language! i went to art school and have a totally boring stressful office job. you're a real inspiration to me.

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 6 years ago

    Photo credit for photos of studio: http://www.thegoodreverend.etsy.com !!!

  • cooljane

    cooljane said 6 years ago

    awesome!! congrats!

  • lulusnest

    lulusnest said 6 years ago

    I'm soooo jealous! I'll get there one day. Such a wonderful creative personality showing through her work. The world is a better place for sure. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • MaryKateMcDevitt

    MaryKateMcDevitt said 6 years ago

    Great interview and I love your work! Congrats!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 6 years ago

    nice story .

  • JChia

    JChia said 6 years ago

    exciting!!

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 6 years ago

    One of my things on my bucket list is to learn binery.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 6 years ago

    Love your kitty's and your shop as well....congrats on being able to stay home and make a living doing what you love. Your time is your own. Congrats to you and wish you continued success and happiness always. Nice story, enjoyed the read.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips in your article.

  • VintageDecorPickers

    VintageDecorPickers said 6 years ago

    Great story!! Day job sapping your energy and creativity.......understood! Here's wishing you continued success and the freedom it brings!

  • teospe08s

    teospe08s said 6 years ago

    Nice books..nice to read your article..

  • miznovember

    miznovember said 6 years ago

    I just quit my day job this week. I needed this story. Your advice about believing in yourself and doors opening is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.

  • HomemadeZen

    HomemadeZen said 6 years ago

    Love your story. Congrets on the feature and best wishes on your shop!

  • galstudio

    galstudio said 6 years ago

    All the best!

  • mehndiart09

    mehndiart09 said 6 years ago

    I love the bingo sketchbooks --- awesome idea! Congrats on being featured. I too juggle a 60+ hr job and I stay up late so that I can create. Hopefully I have as much courage as you to one day jump in and see what happens!!

  • fashionL

    fashionL said 6 years ago

    so creative!!

  • MillieFern

    MillieFern said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the honesty and your story- I've seen your items before- lovely!!

  • FruitsOFtheBLooM

    FruitsOFtheBLooM said 6 years ago

    Really inspiring, and your kitties are obviously your babies! My toy poodle is one of my kids too. What a wonderful life to be able to make your art with that gorgeous ocean in view whenever you wish! xoxo

  • herGhostSTORE

    herGhostSTORE said 6 years ago

    this is great and seriously inspiring for a newcomer like myself.

  • enjoyorigano

    enjoyorigano said 6 years ago

    I love your Cassette Tape Book. Chic in great design ++

  • GnomeLady

    GnomeLady said 6 years ago

    I myself am a sophomore art major at PSU. I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life once I graduate. I am looking to focus in painting but I don't know how to make a living out of it. I would like some advice about supporting yourself through your art because it looks like a future of office jobs await me...

  • SmileMolecules

    SmileMolecules said 6 years ago

    It's always great to hear about people who actually live the dream!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 6 years ago

    Quitting considered!

  • imakecutestuff

    imakecutestuff said 6 years ago

    Yaaaay! Congratulations on your success and thank you for sharing your story...you are amazing! :)

  • vantiani

    vantiani said 6 years ago

    Yay soma! So cool to see you here! You rock! Hugs!

  • SistersOfTheDesert

    SistersOfTheDesert said 6 years ago

    Beautiful quality pics of your stuff. It is obvious you are loving what you do. Very inspiring. And Happy Birthday to your mom. BTW- "Soma" also means body

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 6 years ago

    Great work..and congrats!!

  • CindyEllison

    CindyEllison said 6 years ago

    Melanie, I love your story! It's great to read about someone making their dream come true and inspiring others to do the same! May you have continued success!

  • thepapermoonstudio

    thepapermoonstudio said 6 years ago

    Congrats! Btw..love your pic with your kitty's!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 6 years ago

    Stumbled upon your shop a couple of months ago and fell in love with your work...and yes, my first thought was...I had one of those! Lol!

  • bmused

    bmused said 6 years ago

    Congratulations on your interview! Very inspiring! :)

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    Congratulations to you! Your books are lovely as is your inspiration to others! I also took that leap and never once looked back. Staying at home during these 40 below zero days helps me keep my sanity! :) I love working with brides but couldn't afford to rent a storefront (and who shops when it's sub-zero temperatures outside anyay?)Etsy makes our lives sooo much better in every way! Thanks for sharing your inspiring article! kathy

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    P.s. I really like the cassette book and the king of hearts!! neat idea!

  • KittyCityCreations

    KittyCityCreations said 6 years ago

    I love your kitties! They are the best inspiration after a tough day. Congrats on being able to stay home with them!

  • ilanaMade

    ilanaMade said 6 years ago

    Bookbinding while gazing out onto the Oregon coast, how idyllic! Thank you for your inspiring interview! Your mention of Aldous Huxley reminded me of a story about him: Huxley was going to end his own life when he realized that instead of doing that he could live exactly as he wished and free his heart. Thanks again for your own wonderful story and hi to your kitties!

  • KeepEvolving

    KeepEvolving said 6 years ago

    Fabulous!

  • FerntreeStudio

    FerntreeStudio said 6 years ago

    Fantastic! When its time for a new sketchbook, I'll look you up. :) angie www.ferntreestudio.com

  • AlisaBrides

    AlisaBrides said 6 years ago

    So inspiring! I will use the advice here for my wedding veil business!

  • sleepyking

    sleepyking said 6 years ago

    Soma was one of the first sellers on Etsy I met in the chat rooms. She was always so nice to greet me when I came in, very friendly and sweet.. Congrats Soma! So proud of you & your work!! XO

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 6 years ago

    Yep I like these....and those cats

  • AmandaKLockrowJewels

    AmandaKLockrowJewels said 6 years ago

    What a great interview, thanks for sharing your story and experiences with us. Trusting your gut is so worth it. Wishing you loads of success in the future!

  • evertonterrace

    evertonterrace said 6 years ago

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has a few bags of things I was certain I could use and now are gathering dust:) Inspiring interview.

  • blacksheepgifts

    blacksheepgifts said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story. One day I will take that leap! Just getting started with selling my items. As you should have started sooner.

  • HeyMichelle

    HeyMichelle said 6 years ago

    Congrats on your success! We are so proud of you!

  • gizmofiberarts

    gizmofiberarts said 6 years ago

    I love your King of Hearts Book! Great marketing advice, too.

  • fullcircleimages

    fullcircleimages said 6 years ago

    So inspirational! You look absolutely content at work. Thank you for sharing!

  • BRHDesigns

    BRHDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great article, so happy for you! Love the Valentine book.

  • ThisnThatSupplies

    ThisnThatSupplies said 6 years ago

    The sketch books look great! How does anyone stay organized? I am having a hard time doing that, and getting postings done! That doesn't take up all my time doing! ?? Any advice? Ive been reading these Quit your day jobs, to get ideas on how. Thanks

  • kelmartfindings

    kelmartfindings said 6 years ago

    Great article and truly inspiring. Your art is definitely awesome. Your listing of other sellers and their specialties are great leads. Also, thanks for the tips on how to survive being a newbie seller.

  • Caseysadoption

    Caseysadoption said 6 years ago

    Love your stuff. Very fun!

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 6 years ago

    The cassette tape books are fabulous!

  • cakeordeath5

    cakeordeath5 said 6 years ago

    congrats on ding what you love full time! one day i hope to be doing that :D thanks very inspiring :)

  • RoseyFinch

    RoseyFinch said 6 years ago

    Great story :-) I love the cassette tape book and the bright colors! Congratulations!

  • BellaPuzzles

    BellaPuzzles said 6 years ago

    Wonderful interview, Melanie! I look forward to bumping into you again at another PDX craft event.

  • BellaPuzzles

    BellaPuzzles said 6 years ago

    Wonderful interview, Melanie! I look forward to bumping into you again at another PDX craft event.

  • JdeSignSbyJay

    JdeSignSbyJay said 6 years ago

    Great interview! Your shop has some really wonderful items. Keep up the good work. :)

  • theori

    theori said 6 years ago

    I seriously thought your cat was a fuzzy scarf when i first saw the photo - but then looked closer and realised it was a cat! Very cute!

  • InspiraMetroJewelry

    InspiraMetroJewelry said 6 years ago

    Great feature! Congrats on your amazing books! My fav is the tape cassette one!

  • SassyFrassShop

    SassyFrassShop said 6 years ago

    Someone should definitely make us all scarves that look like your kitty! I have three kitties also and I don't know what I'd do without them! It just wouldn't be the same! They really give me spirit. Congrats on your success, what else can you expect when you are true to yourself? :) xxoo Sara

  • TashinaFalene

    TashinaFalene said 6 years ago

    Truly inspiring story! Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on the feature. :)

  • AmazingMiniatures

    AmazingMiniatures said 6 years ago

    Great story.. and I love your journals!

  • Beadit1

    Beadit1 said 6 years ago

    Melanie,I too have a hard time keeping to a schedule,can't stop creating!Loved your stuff!

  • Beadit1

    Beadit1 said 6 years ago

    Awesome cats!

  • TheGinghamOwl

    TheGinghamOwl said 6 years ago

    Some Really Great Advice! Thanks:) Love your Kitty Cats Too!

  • ranasalame

    ranasalame said 6 years ago

    Great article, great cats! Congrats girl! Love the coast pictures and moving your shop outside for some outdoorsy inspiration.

  • souveniraffectueux

    souveniraffectueux said 6 years ago

    Well done, girl! You have really managed to create your own little world of wonderous, nostalgic items. They feel almost comforting in a way. I hope many more happy visitors will find their way to SomaVenus Land!

  • RubySkeleton

    RubySkeleton said 6 years ago

    You are co cute, as well as your cats! {I love animals, crazy cat lady in training here!} Best of all, I love your unique creations! ;-)

  • jennamlokey

    jennamlokey said 6 years ago

    I just started feeling "your jist" when I hit an antiques shop and bought up little things that made my heart sing. They were inexpensive,some I plan on keeping some I plan un upcycling, some I plan on sharing to give my shop more a feel of what is "me". Your story is great, one of life's path and where it takes you. It's all about the journey, right?

  • vanyasArts

    vanyasArts said 6 years ago

    I admire brave people like you.I wish I had the guts to do it.Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • vanyasArts

    vanyasArts said 6 years ago

    I admire brave people like you.I wish I had the guts to do it.Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • SimpleBlue

    SimpleBlue said 6 years ago

    Hooray for you!

  • ghettovinyl

    ghettovinyl said 6 years ago

    Very cool books! Good luck to you!

  • jbidesigns

    jbidesigns said 6 years ago

    Super creative, love what you have done with them! Glad to hear your story, it's inspiring!

  • gemagenta

    gemagenta said 6 years ago

    It's great to see you here!! CONGRATULATIONS in your big success!! I wish you the best! Your Bingo Sketchbooks are dreamy!

  • contempojewels

    contempojewels said 6 years ago

    Congrats! Lovely work!

  • GlassElephant

    GlassElephant said 6 years ago

    Thanks for taking the time to share a great story! Lots of useful advice.

  • Dollymama2

    Dollymama2 said 6 years ago

    Wow, what a nice story! She seems very happy what she is doing, good for her. I love her kitties! I do live in Portland myself,so I have to look up all the stores she is pointing out. I wish you all the best and success! Hanni

  • JKistlerStudios

    JKistlerStudios said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story! (waving "Hi" to a fellow Oregonian!) Great upcycled/recycled books. Just hearted your shop. :-)

  • leslieworks

    leslieworks said 6 years ago

    I've always loved your work. I bought one of your little ANYSIX zine collage books back in June 09. You've come a long way baby! Congratulations on your success. And from someone who also does book arts, boy you sure must like binding books!!!

  • HillCountrySilver

    HillCountrySilver said 6 years ago

    I love your items and your story..."just take the leap" actually brought tears to my eyes =). And how did my giant grey kitty get in your photos? I quit my day job about a month ago and can relate to It all-especially not having a set schedule. Scary, but exciting. Best wishes on your continued success and thanks for such an inspiring blog!

  • IRONSIDE

    IRONSIDE said 6 years ago

    amazing!!! you rock somavenus! I've loved your work since I found your collages on deviant art many years ago!

  • FiligreeCreations

    FiligreeCreations said 6 years ago

    This is amazing...and those cats..so cute!!!!! :D Good luck! :)

  • hingedjewelry

    hingedjewelry said 6 years ago

    You're the coolest! Wow, I'd love to be able to do my craft by the sea side. I'm glad you take advantage of ALL your inspirations and appreciate them so! I'll pay more homage to my window, thanks to you! Best wishes and thanks for sharing!

  • BasahanAlit

    BasahanAlit said 6 years ago

    Love love love the story! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful one. I know most of us here are dreaming to take off our daily job and start to get crafty business, but we're just too afraid too start. So I thank you for the tips. Great job!

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 6 years ago

    very very cool! and what a great story! thanks for sharing and congrats on the feature :)

  • CrowesNest

    CrowesNest said 6 years ago

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing!

  • nikhajewelry

    nikhajewelry said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story! The cats are the best!

  • whimsy52

    whimsy52 said 6 years ago

    Good for you! Congratulations and I sure enjoyed your story! You love your work! That's a blessing!

  • LPHBNY

    LPHBNY said 6 years ago

    Really enjoyed reading your story, so inspiring. I just opened shop here in January this year, and just like you, I wish I did it sooner! Congrats on being featured :)

  • RicochetShop

    RicochetShop said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I love reading the "Quit your Day Job" features. They always make me smile :) It's just so inspiring! One thing that you've said is that you suggest to take that leap (both financially & faithfully) to dive into the world of creativity which is something that resonates all too well with me. I'm currently working a day job & playing with the idea of getting into this creative world full time too but scared that without a steady paycheck or it not working out... well where will that leave me? I'm sure there are a lot of people who have felt or are feeling the same way you have so it's very encouraging to hear you say that you wish you would have started sooner. Very good advice! All the best with your shop! Thanks again! - Karyn (Ricochet Shop)

  • BooBooArtLLC

    BooBooArtLLC said 6 years ago

    Truly inspiring! I'm still afraid to leave my day job but find your story very inspiring!

  • cohensgramma

    cohensgramma said 6 years ago

    Way to go! I'm very happy to hear of your success!

  • metalicious

    metalicious said 6 years ago

    Awesome work, so glad you are doing so well! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

  • ThePerennialPast

    ThePerennialPast said 6 years ago

    Truly terrific! Lovely.

  • thelivelylady

    thelivelylady said 6 years ago

    Great story and inspiration! I have recently taken "the leap" and am also finding those open doors. You know your in the right place when all the doors start flying open. And anyone who uses a Nestles' Quick container for storage has my vote! lol Keep up the beautiful work! Tracy Lively The Lively Lady

  • bridalhairwear

    bridalhairwear said 6 years ago

    This is inspiring and love your cats!!

  • DaisiesandDamsels

    DaisiesandDamsels said 6 years ago

    Very encouraging article. I haven't been on here long, but it's nice to see someone continue to succeed!

  • BlkSheepProductions

    BlkSheepProductions said 6 years ago

    beautiful work! Vintage/crafy item hunts in Portland are the best, too.

  • ThreefoldDesigns

    ThreefoldDesigns said 6 years ago

    I LOVE the cassette tape book!! :D

  • twosisterscottage

    twosisterscottage said 6 years ago

    What an original idea! I love the idea of streamlining what a shop offers... Plan on doing that with mine now. Good Luck to all. Debbie

  • halfpintsalvage

    halfpintsalvage said 6 years ago

    Somavenus is awesome--and I absolutely love the book I ordered from her! Can't think of a more deserving seller to be in the spotlight!

  • CatLeafCreations

    CatLeafCreations said 6 years ago

    I went to art school too....and then to pay off my loans I went right into insurance. The money was good and I wasn't that good a salesperson. In fact when I left I was terrible. So glad to hear you could quit your day job. The same thought occurred to me (about having many different items in the shop). Maybe I should specialize in just one thing. I can't pick a favorite yet. I'm leaning towards jewelry. Your advise was right on target. Have fun making your books!

  • KimsCraftyApple

    KimsCraftyApple said 6 years ago

    Love your story! Thanks for sharing it with everyone - and I LOVE your work!

  • ad87

    ad87 said 6 years ago

    Cool stories.

  • PlanetCalamari

    PlanetCalamari said 6 years ago

    So inspirational! Thank you.

  • DiannasDivineDesigns

    DiannasDivineDesigns said 6 years ago

    It's wonderful that you are able to live your dream.

  • SweetiePieCaketopper

    SweetiePieCaketopper said 6 years ago

    This took you a really long time to create and put together this helpful info for us. I really appreciate you. Thanks so much.

  • PetrinaCaseStudio

    PetrinaCaseStudio said 6 years ago

    Inspiring article. Thank you for sharing so many neat tips, also. Happy thoughts, Petrina

  • JustOffNormal

    JustOffNormal said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring! Thank you for the story- I love the vintage aspect.

  • LANCERIKA

    LANCERIKA said 6 years ago

    Your creative,awesome story is helping me to keep the *Dream* alive, is possible to make it somehow in this crazy world! and I adore your kitties:)

  • SweetiePieCaketopper

    SweetiePieCaketopper said 6 years ago

    I forgot to mention how beautiful your hair looks.

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 6 years ago

    thank you so much everyone! I am so happy to have inspired so many with my story! I am trying to quickly respond to all of your beautiful emails convos and comments... thank you!! p.s. YES I really do want pen pals - please get in touch with me if you'd like to exchange awesome through the mail. it's a dying art form! xoxo!

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 6 years ago

    and the kitties all say meow meow! :) that top photograph took a long time to create, lots of patience and a ton of kitty treats :)

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 6 years ago

    and the kitties all say meow meow! :) that top photograph took a long time to create, lots of patience and a ton of kitty treats :)

  • SkyLineJewelry

    SkyLineJewelry said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the inspirational story and those kitties look like the "purrfect" friends to replace the coworkers from your old day job! Love your work! Keep that creative spirit!

  • AlissaBcustomjewelry

    AlissaBcustomjewelry said 6 years ago

    Wow, Thankyou! Reading your story really inspires me to stick with my gut and continue on this creative path!

  • One2Stitch

    One2Stitch said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, I am going to school fulltime and am also starting my own business on Etsy, you gave me the inspiration I needed. :)

  • deltamoonsoap

    deltamoonsoap said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, I am sure that you have inspired a lot of people to think more about taking the leap. TO those of us that do "follow our bliss" and do this full time, we are so blessed, it's a great way to live your life. Congratulations to you! Wishing you all the best!

  • kalavart

    kalavart said 6 years ago

    I love your books and find your story very inspiring, congratulations!

  • HipCats

    HipCats said 6 years ago

    Love a girl who loves cats!! [And my cat does, too!!]

  • RAWelding

    RAWelding said 6 years ago

    Congrats on all your success, your work is fantastic!

  • thecareerscrapper

    thecareerscrapper said 6 years ago

    congrats on your feature!

  • LesasPlunderPlace

    LesasPlunderPlace said 6 years ago

    Congrats on your feature and thanks for sharing your knowledge! That's always very much appreciated by a newbie like me.

  • karmahjean

    karmahjean said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the pep talk. It's so great to hear such a fun success story.

  • eagamsky

    eagamsky said 6 years ago

    Love the books! Another simple idea made great that leaves you asking, "Why didn't I think of that?" As for taking a leap, it's a lot harder to do once you have kids, a mortgage, car payments, the need for health insurance, etc. And, working from home with young children isn't really possible unless you can afford childcare (or have great friends and family around.) Sure, it can be done, but it's going to take a lot more effort. There really need to be 2 different "Quit Your Day Job" series - one for those without kids, elderly parents, etc., and one for those who do have the added caregiver responsibility to consider.

  • aileenrae

    aileenrae said 6 years ago

    You've found some very creative ways to create books. Very Cool!!! You have definitely got a good thing going :)

  • WhirlGirlGlass

    WhirlGirlGlass said 6 years ago

    Love the cassete tape book, neat!

  • rollingheadstudio

    rollingheadstudio said 6 years ago

    Beautiful ideas - congratulations on attaining total creative freedom!

  • fiveorsixgirls

    fiveorsixgirls said 6 years ago

    hi soma! great to see you make a feature!!! so excited that you are doing your books full time and doing well! very inspiring=) i miss portland and all the shops! can't wait to get back! let's have coffee then! deb

  • mdayjewels

    mdayjewels said 6 years ago

    Yay! Congratulations to you! I couldn't help but be slightly jelouse of your cats....especially the one who is draped around your neck. I had to show the picture to my cat (Wasabi-aka Titty, Monster, Demon...), and ask him to study the picture closely and to surprise me with that kind of affection! ;p Your creations are awesome! Best of luck to you and your business! :)

  • rabbitdance

    rabbitdance said 6 years ago

    I love taking my work outside. ^_^

  • sundryblossoms

    sundryblossoms said 6 years ago

    Smiles to you! Thanks for sending out your positive energies. I'd definitely consider a pen-palship... We're talking snail mail, right? Truly, I dig your style:) Renee

  • FreshRetroGallery

    FreshRetroGallery said 6 years ago

    Dear somavenus, Fun story. We used the same font in our header! Liz

  • LisasLittleCreations

    LisasLittleCreations said 6 years ago

    Awesome inspiration somavenus. Makes me what to plan away to take a leap too. BTW I love your cats :)

  • coconutcase

    coconutcase said 6 years ago

    great article, you have strengthened my conviction to stay with this etsy effort and enjoy what i'm doing!!! it is great to be creative every day, and to be home with my cats. so glad i'm not the only one who wants to be home with the felines all the time!!! good luck to you!!!

  • littlesandy7

    littlesandy7 said 6 years ago

    Somavenus:: Thanks for the info...a lot of what you said about your day job sounded like me. I'm not working presently and just opened my store last month AND I'm home with my kitties too! Wishing you continued success. Sandy

  • BadChameleon

    BadChameleon said 6 years ago

    Man, those bingo cards bring back memories :-) Great books!

  • HBixbyArtworks

    HBixbyArtworks said 6 years ago

    Love your shop and your tidy workspace! I was encouraged by your comments that you should go for it, I am timid about that...I definitely will go to the virtual labs for help. Thanks, love your books!!

  • Pailanita

    Pailanita said 6 years ago

    wow ....colorful things alway make your life have more color, colorful life ...nice :)

  • VassiSlavova

    VassiSlavova said 6 years ago

    This is a great interview. Thanks for all the share and advices. I am trying it right now and love the time I have for my art! WIsh you all the best!

  • ragandbonedesign

    ragandbonedesign said 6 years ago

    You are an inspiration :) Thanks for all the great advice.

  • TeardropHankys

    TeardropHankys said 6 years ago

    What a great interview and advice & love your colorful workspace (especially that very vintage work table) ! Its great to create around all those cheerful colors. The flip side to not getting a steady paycheck...you now don't have a ceiling on how much you can make ...I love that part. Thank you for sharing !

  • MagneticMementos

    MagneticMementos said 6 years ago

    I love the cassette tape book! Totally bringing back memories...lol

  • giseleleblancturner

    giseleleblancturner said 6 years ago

    I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for the great advice! Great photos :)

  • MiaMontgomery

    MiaMontgomery said 6 years ago

    Melanie, that last bit of advise sent a shiver up my spine ♥. Surely that applies to a great many of us, so thanks for the encouragement, via your very real experience in taking leaps.

  • SwitchDesignsNYC

    SwitchDesignsNYC said 6 years ago

    So inspiring!! .. and I love your hair :)

  • cherrytime

    cherrytime said 6 years ago

    Very creattive!really beautiful

  • emmacarpendale

    emmacarpendale said 6 years ago

    Really inspirational story. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • solshyn14

    solshyn14 said 6 years ago

    Love your creativity and fun bold colors! Also very inspiring story - being a new seller all your advice is helpful and helps encourage me to keep plugging away no matter how many hours I can put in. :)

  • Squier

    Squier said 6 years ago

    Your world is so colorful and fun, I love it! I wish only the best for you. Love the article, so inspiring.

  • KnitterBag

    KnitterBag said 6 years ago

    I love your story :)

  • SupremilyJewellery

    SupremilyJewellery said 6 years ago

    This is wonderful - and so close to my own story. I worked in a job for two years that stifled my creativity and got me down. People always say to me 'wow you're so brave' or 'how do you survive?' and i say - anyone can do it!! follow your heart and don't give in to what you think society wants of you. I never have much money - compared to my last job which was a good salary. Money cannot buy happiness. I love my life, love my job and get to always be creative. Somavenus is totally right - doors open up for you - people talk. It's wonderful! Thanks for the story :D

  • KataliticLab

    KataliticLab said 6 years ago

    really great job , congrats! Your story helps me a lot!

  • KataliticLab

    KataliticLab said 6 years ago

    really great job , congrats! Your story helps me a lot!

  • mystrawart

    mystrawart said 6 years ago

    I love your story. Thank you for advice

  • Mylana

    Mylana said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring, thanks! And the bingo books are awesome :)

  • RiverwoodDesigns

    RiverwoodDesigns said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article & shop! Thank you for taking your time to share with us. Your books are so fun!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work! Very inspiring. Great advice.

  • parksideharmony

    parksideharmony said 6 years ago

    I love it! I wish I could drive to the Oregon Coast on a Tuesday afternoon to make books~ (I suppose I could, I'd just have to leave on Sunday morning LOL). Great work. Your books are always so inspiring.

  • nonesuchgarden

    nonesuchgarden said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your inspirational story! I hope I can be brave and make the leap like you someday.

  • TheKnittyBiddy

    TheKnittyBiddy said 6 years ago

    Great great great story! I'm going to hang some of your words in my cubicle to inspire me to take the great leap!!! As you said: "Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate, especially if it stifles your creativity when the day is done." THANK YOU!!

  • HiddenTreasures101

    HiddenTreasures101 said 6 years ago

    Great story and I appreciate all your advice. I just started my store so I need all the tips I can get. Congradulations and keep up the good work.

  • PandorasJewelry

    PandorasJewelry said 6 years ago

    You are an inspiration! Thank you so much for your story, hopefully I can be on the same path soon!

  • jpstyle

    jpstyle said 6 years ago

    Great story! Congratulations :)))

  • PocketTheSaurus

    PocketTheSaurus said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring! I'm less than a year out of college (I also went to school for art and got a non-art job) and am already getting tired of the corporate world...you've inspired me to work harder to break out of it. Also: I'm a fan of Brave New World, it's very thought-provoking. And I'm a terrible correspondent, but I love the idea of pen pals...getting mail is so fun!

  • VintageExpedition

    VintageExpedition said 6 years ago

    Thank you for your candidness! I am in the early stages of making my way creatively. I feel like I need people on the outside to talk to...I had to let go of an aweful job and now I am trying to have courage to work my vintage shop and add my upcycling ideas I have. It is nice to read your story and reflect! Thanks!

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 6 years ago

    Wonderful interview!!! Love the cats, your hair and (of course) your shop!

  • wisetails

    wisetails said 6 years ago

    I LOVE your matchbook sketchbooks! Very creative!

  • tlchandmadetreasures

    tlchandmadetreasures said 6 years ago

    I love your work and photos and you are so inspiring! I'm sitting at my day job right now and have been contemplating leaving for months now b/c I am so unhappy. I want so badly to be creating and painting on a full time basis! I love the advice to just jump and do it. My gut tells me to do that but it's so scary b/c I have nothing to fall back on if it doesn't work out. Thanks again for your inspiring story and advice!

  • NSpottery

    NSpottery said 6 years ago

    Martha Stewart?! Woohoo, that's amazing! Working on a regular schedule myself. Takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation. Thanks for sharing your story! Best wishes :)

  • jenniferfinnart

    jenniferfinnart said 6 years ago

    Hello from a fellow Portlander- and Congratulations!! I loved reading this and found it so inspiring. And,p.s., you have the best hair ever!

  • littlekittenvintage

    littlekittenvintage said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful and inspiring story! Really great tips, thank you so much for sharing and giving others the courage they need to take the plunge! I love staying home with my 3 cats too! :)

  • CoutureService

    CoutureService said 6 years ago

    Very inspirational!

  • OceanPatch

    OceanPatch said 6 years ago

    Congrats to you! I really love the bingo card books and the way you took a nostalgic item and made it useful for everyday. So creative!

  • shellsherree

    shellsherree said 6 years ago

    I love being home with my kitty cat, too. Your photo put a huge smile on my dial! I love your story and I'm so happy you get to spend plenty of quality time with your furry ones. My best to you.

  • glamazon08

    glamazon08 said 6 years ago

    Congratulations fellow chatter somavenus! :D Awesome work!

  • robertacummings

    robertacummings said 6 years ago

    I'll be your pen pal!! Your interview really struck a chord with me, congratulations on the feature and good luck! :)

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist said 6 years ago

    congrats on quitting a bad job and making it for yourself! so exciting + your shop is cool :)

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist said 6 years ago

    congrats on quitting a bad job and making it for yourself! so exciting + your shop is cool :)

  • InspirationsbyMelani

    InspirationsbyMelani said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much very inspiring!

  • angelsandcrafts

    angelsandcrafts said 6 years ago

    Thank You for the inspiring story. It is really wonderful to be able to amke a living from your talent and what you enjoy doing.

  • angelsandcrafts

    angelsandcrafts said 6 years ago

    Thank You for the inspiring story. It is really wonderful to be able to amke a living from your talent and what you enjoy doing.

  • FavorFancyAndFun

    FavorFancyAndFun said 6 years ago

    Your energy and inspiration are so uplifting! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story and advice!

  • PaperPhine

    PaperPhine said 6 years ago

    Inspiring - and the fact that concentrating on one product line really works is great, too! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • TuttiFruittiDesigns

    TuttiFruittiDesigns said 6 years ago

    Loved your story.....cute cats :)

  • oaties

    oaties said 6 years ago

    awesome feature soma! i recognize your name from the chat rooms. really good story - you've got your head on straight

  • TracyBible

    TracyBible said 6 years ago

    I LOVE your books! I'm so proud of you for being yourself and letting your own happy soul scream out through your work instead of copying what others do. Keep it up! and God bless. =]

  • UmiDesign

    UmiDesign said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story!!

  • PratorhurstStudios

    PratorhurstStudios said 6 years ago

    thanks so much for your inspiring story! I'm currently "transitioning" and it's so great to hear advice, and that it really is possible! Great work! congrats to you! nancy

  • terraverdegoods

    terraverdegoods said 6 years ago

    Great advice! Congrats on your amazing store!

  • fourwindsgallery

    fourwindsgallery said 6 years ago

    Thank you for your inspiring story. I, too, quit a day job to run my gallery full time. No action yet on etsy! Linda Frances

  • blackdaisyblue

    blackdaisyblue said 6 years ago

    Such an inspiration....thanks:)

  • MissVioletLace

    MissVioletLace said 6 years ago

    Congrats!! Awesome creative products. It is so much fun to look at your creations when finished. One-of-kind creations from your soul. Thanks so much for sharing. Sandy

  • 4squarepegs

    4squarepegs said 6 years ago

    Awesome!! What a wonderful part of the country to have free time. Looking forward to reading more about your success! Kai

  • GalleriaDiGiani

    GalleriaDiGiani said 6 years ago

    YAY FOR SOMA!!! Hi-5 Baby!!!!

  • canondee

    canondee said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • muchadoabout

    muchadoabout said 6 years ago

    love her store!! She is a very nice lady to chat with also in the chats:) Very cute kitties, hehe

  • SuePsales

    SuePsales said 6 years ago

    Like your idea of taking your work out to a scenic location. Must make it feel like something totally new. Everyone should take their work outside and allow it to breathe in a new light. Thanks for the inspiration, loved reading your story. Best Wishes, I hope your sales are endless.

  • artistiquejewelry

    artistiquejewelry said 6 years ago

    Love, love your books. I would so love to make some. Keep up the good work!

  • kmy2728

    kmy2728 said 6 years ago

    Great story...very inspiring...thanks for sharing....and those cats are too cute!

  • CoutureLife

    CoutureLife said 6 years ago

    This was truly an inspirational story - thank you!

  • LushDeluxe

    LushDeluxe said 6 years ago

    Your books are way cool! I love the Cassette tape one!:)

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your advice and work with us. Much continued success to you.

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your advice and work with us. Much continued success to you.

  • yourvintagesole

    yourvintagesole said 6 years ago

    thank you THANK YOU for the words of inspiration.. i really needed that. Congrats to you!!

  • cod123

    cod123 said 6 years ago

    This is an inspiration, and I love your books!

  • ChatterboxBeach

    ChatterboxBeach said 6 years ago

    Great advice. The Bingo sketchbooks bring to mind bingo nights at my grandfather's club with my sisters when we were young girls. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  • CarlasFunkyArt

    CarlasFunkyArt said 6 years ago

    Good for you!!!! Way to take the leap! Lovin' those Bingo sketchbooks! I grew up with my crazy Bingo parents! I love those old cards! :)

  • ItsGlitz

    ItsGlitz said 6 years ago

    Good ideas. Thank you!

  • diiptadezigns

    diiptadezigns said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring and I like the happy look on your face, Shows you really love what you do!

  • crib

    crib said 6 years ago

    Gosh, you are such an inspiration ... my sister and I have the same story ... creatives that allowed fear to keep them in corporateness. Enjoy every joyess minute in your creative wonderland, your designs and presentation are beautiful.

  • hanscreations

    hanscreations said 6 years ago

    Your blog inspired me! I work at a job I do not like and creating things is the one true thing that makes me Happy.I just discoverd Etsy last year when my teen daughter asked for my credit card to make a purchase :)I am a new seller and hope to be able to make my shop successful.

  • Witchey

    Witchey said 6 years ago

    omg! i would love to be ur pen pal! as a twelve year old girl, who wants nothing more than to write for a living, u are a total inspiration to me. i've heard a lot of people say that there's no money in writing, that i should be like my dad and get a desk job working for the government. one: i hate the government! and two: writing is what i was born for. thats what i want to do and you've inspired me even more to do it!

  • Witchey

    Witchey said 6 years ago

    omg! i would love to be ur pen pal! as a twelve year old girl, who wants nothing more than to write for a living, u are a total inspiration to me. i've heard a lot of people say that there's no money in writing, that i should be like my dad and get a desk job working for the government. one: i hate the government! and two: writing is what i was born for. thats what i want to do and you've inspired me even more to do it!

  • JulyDesignsJewelry

    JulyDesignsJewelry said 6 years ago

    Fabulous!

  • avintagebride

    avintagebride said 6 years ago

    I loved brave New World..never thought I would see it though.. very talented.

  • congcongdesign

    congcongdesign said 6 years ago

    how did you find inspiration?very cute.

  • AshenDrift

    AshenDrift said 6 years ago

    Wonderful work!

  • TreacherCreatures

    TreacherCreatures said 6 years ago

    What beautiful books. I found your story so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thought.

  • shopcuriosities

    shopcuriosities said 6 years ago

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I hope one day I'll be able to take the leap too! Your books are fantastic!!

  • sleepingvirginia

    sleepingvirginia said 6 years ago

    What funky and fanciful gifts you create! Even though I love my job as a server/barista in the cafe where I work, My dream is to spend my time in my studio with my little old man, Marley! (one of the dearest cats in the world). I'll bet your three kittens adore having you around!

  • Plinkjewelry

    Plinkjewelry said 6 years ago

    excellent post

  • pamkuplen56

    pamkuplen56 said 6 years ago

    Being Creative is God's Gift to Us. When stress takes our joy away .. it can take our Creativity away too... You sound like you've got it all going on and know who you are... Congrats ! Keep the Dream a Reality , Your well own your way... Amen !

  • arrynvogan

    arrynvogan said 6 years ago

    This was such an encouragement to read! thank you for sharing your story. I am in that very place of deciding when to quite my day job and continue in my pottery full-time. Like you I got my degree in ceramics in 2009, so I am definitely working towards my goal. I just need to make the leap now. I am excited to make the jump, but a little nervous too, but that is good right?!

  • EmmaDear

    EmmaDear said 6 years ago

    You are talented! I love what you do.

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry said 6 years ago

    What an inspiring interview. Enjoyed reading! thx

  • Jackthemanabouttown

    Jackthemanabouttown said 6 years ago

    It is great to learn even more about an artist who's work I use as an inspiration for my art and who's quality of work I admire. Congrats.

  • ClarasClosetBags

    ClarasClosetBags said 6 years ago

    I really love your things. You're very talented. And I agree...so many pieces of perfect junk that I thought I was going to use and never do!

  • TracyEmmaCupitt

    TracyEmmaCupitt said 6 years ago

    Love your work and love the photo of you with your cats:D x

  • MysticalRaindrops

    MysticalRaindrops said 6 years ago

    What unique ideas for recycling! I'd never have thought of that little cassette book.

  • erikaart

    erikaart said 6 years ago

    Congrats, great items

  • FashGal

    FashGal said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring, unique and wishing you continued success!

  • FashGal

    FashGal said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring, unique and wishing you continued success!

  • treeandsap

    treeandsap said 6 years ago

    Great encouraging story!

  • twopearlsinapod

    twopearlsinapod said 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing not only your story with us but your passion!!! :) All the best to you :)

  • fiveorsixgirls

    deborah jacobs from dreamfed said 4 years ago

    i met soma in a coptic binding workshop at the Portland Zine Symposium some years back. her books got awesomer and awesomer, while mine....well, my daughter calls them "sloptic" =)

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