I live just outside of the wonderful city of St. Louis, Missouri, in the U.S. of A.
How long has your Etsy shop been open?
Since July 15, 2009.
How did you get into crafting?
Well, my family is not a particularly "crafty" one, but my grandpa liked to draw and has passed those genes on to my siblings and I. We have all liked to draw and be creative, in general, for as long as I can remember. So, I guess it was in the genes. I am still a regular artist (painting, drawing, etc.) as well, and try to sell some of that work too.
How did Etsy come into your life?
I found Etsy by accident when I was searching the internet for an interesting picture of a circuit board, which I was going to use as inspiration for my art class homework. I found the shop of a seller who makes jewelry from circuit boards, which I thought was interesting, but did not look around at the rest of the site at all. I forgot about it until a few weeks later when someone was talking about good medieval furniture and someone suggested a man who sells his work on Etsy. This intruiged me, and I actually explored the site that time.
What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
Other than making a few clumsy things to give or sell to friends, entering things in the County Fair through 4-H, and attending several craft fairs a year, I was not involved in the crafting community before I found Etsy.
Do you have a day job?
Nope. I'm a student.
Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
Since I am so new to the world of crafting and selling "professionally," I am on my own with it. I wouldn't know what to do with a helper at this point. I don't even have a real workshop. I just have a crowded corner of a room with a desk and some baskets and boxes piled with supplies, which has to be spread out for me to use it. But it works just fine for me.
What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
(I still consider myself a newbie.) Offer lots of sales! I offered free shipping for my first month, and recieved more sales during that time than I had expected for the first several months. Also, don't be afraid of shipping internationally!
What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
The most challenging part is definately measuring the leather for journal covers. I need to find a more precise method, because I keep mis-measuring and having to make my pages smaller, trim the leather, and re-measure to make it work.
Do you show your work locally?
I don't yet. I really don't have anywhere near enough inventory to do so now, but my goal is to show at least once in 2010.
Famous last words?
How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I was actually inspired by a few of the bookbinders here on Etsy. I saw their leather-bound journals and thought, "I bet I could do that." So I looked up some tutorials online and learned, by trying it, what worked for me and what didn't.
How long have you been crafting?
Bookmaking? Crafting, as long as I can remember. Bookmaking, about five months.
What is your favorite stitch/technique?
My favorite stitch is the Medieval long stitch, but I recently figured out an x stitch that I really like (and I thought was my original) to find that a few other binders use it, or something strikingly similar, as well.
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
I really don't have any tools made for bookbinding, but the antique ice-pick that I use in leu of an awl would probably be the tool I would miss most. As for supplies, I don't think I would enjoy making books without leather. It's such a wonderful material and a paper covered journal just isn't as cool to me. (Sorry guys!)
Materials you use for your books?
I use leather (kidskin, deerskin, cowhide, ect.), and whenever possible, I use recycled or scrap leather. I use a drawing paper to fill my journals, and since I am an artist, I know which kinds are versatile for many different sorts of work (writing, drawing, ect.). One of my few rules is that I never use glue.
What inspires you?
Almost anything designed or written in, or inspired by the Middle Ages inspires me. God's Word and creation inspires me. My family and friends inspire me.
Who is your crafting hero?
Sadly, I don't have one.
Popcorn! If it wouldn't kill me, I would eat it every day!