16 May 2008

Artist of the Week- Holly of Winklepots

I interviewed Holly, from Winklepots.etsy.com, and found out a little more about the lady behind all the delightful creations. While working as a stay at home mom, that very underpaid position that I, for one, have come to love, she somehow finds time to create and run her growing etsy shop! Holly makes children’s clothing, all hand painted and original, and adorable little accessories to complete the outfit. She shows an apparent loathing of stencils in her very justified pride in her painted creations. My favorite is her tattoo inspired kids’ shirts. So grab a cup of coffee and sit in our little chat about her art, kids, and more:
Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Holly: From everywhere. The store, zoo, nature, etc. There's always something beautiful to paint. My girls inspire me too. Sometimes their favorites, at the time, make it onto a tee.

Corinne: What sets you apart from your competition?
Holly: I don't tend to paint anything "juvenile." I like my creations to look real, not overly cartoonish or childish, even though it's for children. Honestly, I try to paint what you won't find in stores and I strive for a really unique look.

Corinne: What medium do you work in the most?
Holly: Paint! (big smiles about this one) followed by grosgrain ribbon. I love making those korker bows!

Corinne: What are korker bows?
Holly: Super cute hair accessories made from grosgrain ribbons. They're shaped into corkscrews, then strewn together and attached to metal french hair clips. They're a lot of fun to make.

Corinne: And fun to give!! I bet they would really sell at craft shows! Do you do alot of craft shows? Which do you do better at, etsy or craft shows?
Holly: I did a few craft shows in the beginning when I made things on a custom basis. I think I only sold a couple of things and mostly used the venues to advertise. Custom orders is NOT the way to go. People want to see/touch a product before they'll buy it, not just take your word that it will be fabulous in the end. I'm currently doing better at Etsy, but as I build up stock, I will try the market booths again. I think the korker bows will do really well and it will give me an opportunity to promote locally again.

Corinne: I love your tattoo inspired kids clothes! What product in your shop is your favorite right now?

Holly: I really love the Evening Orange Blossom outfit. Turquoise and orange go so great together.

Corinne: Your work looks like you must be an art lover. Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Holly: I love van Gogh. While my work doesn't emulate his, my favorite piece is the Cafe Terrace at Night. My dining room is decorated after that painting, in golds, deep blues and oranges.

Corinne: I bet that’s beautiful. Speaking of home, where is home base for you?
Holly: The Pacific Northwest, and more specifically, Oregon. Land of the mountains, beach and no sales tax. Lovely!

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Holly: It's so hard to get and stay motivated when I'm chasing after two little kids all day. I have to keep reminding myself that it will get easier as they get older and then I'll look back and miss these times. I paint when I can, usually in the evenings after the girls have gone to bed, and I make korker bows during the day. When I need inspiration, I refer to my "to do" list of painting ideas. Every once in a while, I get on a creative kick where the ideas are coming faster than the time to do them, so I write them down to refer to later.

Corinne: I know I have my hands full with one daughter! How old are your girls?
Holly: My eldest is 3 and my baby just turned 1 in April (sigh, not a baby anymore).

Corinne: Are they into your art too? I bet they paint already so they can be like mom!
Holly: Well, if eating my paint brushes and dumping out my korker bows constitutes being into my art, then yes! (she laughs) My eldest does like to draw, but she usually hands the crayon to me and dictates what she wants drawn.

Corinne: So seriously, pirates vs. ninjas? Who would win the battle to end all battles?
Holly: (very thoughtful) Hm, I think I'll root for the pirates. There seem to be a lot of cute pirates (Johnny Depp, anyone?) and I haven't really seen any hottie ninjas. So the pretty pirates win based on looks. Besides, swords versus fists would likely win anyway.

Corinne: Do you have a website or blog in addition to your etsy shop?
Holly: I have a website, that currently, redirects to my etsy site www.winklepots.com and my blog at http://www.winklepots.blogspot.com

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be?
Holly: Promote! While there are some sellers who get lucky and are "discovered," that's not the norm. In the beginning, it's important to really get your name and product out there, but beware of joining too many groups. You'll have a hard time keeping up with all of them. It won't be easy, and you'll be putting in a lot of hours just promoting, but remember that you have to work really hard to hardly ever work. All of the promotional time you put in will pay off when word of mouth spreads and the orders start pouring in.

You can see all Holly’s delightful children’s clothing in her etsy shop, winklepots.etsy.com or drop by her blog and get a little entertainment for your day and say hi!

1 comment:

Pam Renovato said...

I have been looking at Etsy to see if it is a worthwhile place for artists to really create an avenue for sales. I would like to thank you for this post. It swayed my opinion in Etsy's favor. Thanks- that was helpful.
Pam Renovato