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Friday, February 29, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Macaroni and Glue

The Independent Designer of the Week is Macaroni and Glue - a fabulous handmade card shop at Etsy specializing in sweet sentiments and vintage images.

Here is my favorite product from Macaroni and Glue - Customized Sweet Little Girlie Just Thinking Notecards -- Set of 6 - what an absolutely adorable little girl to greet your special recipient!

I asked Kelly of Macaroni and Glue a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

Macaroni and Glue is filled with simple, pretty ways to send a handwritten note to someone special. I offer a wide variety of notecards and stationery, including custom announcements and invitations (and I’m adding more every day!), many with a vintage feel. All are printed and/or assembled on high quality, heavyweight cardstock that just feels good in your hands. True paper-lovers know what I mean!

How did you get started?

I’ve always made my own cards for holidays, birthdays, etc. – for me, there’s just something about the personal touch. I want my friends and family to know that they’re important to me, so I invest the extra time in making something unique for their special day.

How long have you been crafting?

At my house, I’m in charge of making sure we stay on budget every month. When I quit my corporate job to stay home with my daughter a couple of years ago, I realized we had to make some drastic cuts. One of the first spending categories to be slashed was store-bought gifts. Although I had very little experience creating anything with my hands, I was determined that I would learn to make handcrafted gifts. I have always loved to receive something handmade, and I knew that with a little practice I could put together some lovely things. And I have! After making several personalized stationery sets as gifts for friends and family, I realized I absolutely LOVED working with paper. When friends and family began re-ordering custom cards, invitations and thank yous, I started thinking, “Hmmm… If they want to pay for my cards, maybe others would too?” My sister discovered Etsy shortly thereafter and passed on the link – so here I am!

What is your inspiration?

My 2-year-old definitely influences the way I see the world. My designs often invoke a sense child-like innocence and sense of wonder. Beautiful vintage images also form the basis for many of my designs. I love the process of searching for and discovering great artwork in public domain and copyright-free images (vintage ephemera, postcards, library of congress archives, old U.S. patent office archives, historical photos, etc.). When I stumble upon something that speaks to me, I can’t wait to begin making it uniquely mine. I’ll spend hours working with a single image – smiling all the while. If, at the end of the process, it doesn’t make me want to kiss my laptop, I’ll scrap it and begin all over with something else. All day every day I’m thinking about the gorgeous graphics I have waiting for me at home. If only there were more hours in the day!

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?

I’ve got a bit of spring fever, so my favorite is probably the textured butterfly cards:

The runner-up would have to be the pinup cards – I just love her:

How do you market/advertise your wares?

I’m still working on that. I’ve only had the shop up for a few weeks, but I’ve already joined several networking sites and regularly participate in discussions and promotions. My street teams have been incredibly helpful so far too. I’ve started a blog and am really trying to keep it up. I have grand plans for designing my own web site to house a blog and a showcase, but I think that’s a ways off. I’m trying to establish realistic goals for my business, one week/month at a time. My top priority is still my family, so I have to make sure I’m balancing my time.

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?

That “naked” feeling you get when you list one of your creations and begin waiting for the view counter to go up is an indication that you are creating from a deeply personal place. And that is the best thing you can do for your business. If you’re “phoning it in,” it will be obvious. If you truly love what you do and can say that each of your pieces are manifestations of who you are as an artist, your shop will reflect that.

Thanks Kelly - for your information and fresh bit of nostalgia! :>

1 comment:

CozyMoments said...

That was a lovely write-up. :) I absolutely love Kelly's creations!! The little girlie is just precious!! :)