Friday, August 13, 2010

Feature Friday 8/13

Today's Feature Friday brings to you a mother/daughter team on Etsy who calls themselves From Our Home to Yours. I recently chatted with Amanda, the daughter of the team:

waterwaif: First off, tell me a little bit about yourself. (Just a brief biography)
FromOurHometoYours- My name is Amanda- I am the daughter of the mother/daughter team that started Our Home To Yours on Etsy (we have recently included our friend Alison in our adventure). I am a stay at home mother of a 21 month old boy and I currently reside in the Wichita area of Kansas. I am in the last two months of my Master of Fine Arts program in Media Design- I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, and I cannot wait until this Masters program is done! Going to school and taking care of house and child is very time consuming. My family is originally from Western New York and my husband's family is originally from Kansas and we met in North Carolina. I will have been married for four years this September and since being married we have been Therapeutic Foster Parents and we are getting ready to adopt an 11 year old boy who is being fostered by my mother and stepfather. I don't consider my life as particularly amazing, I just try to make the most of every day and help out wherever I can.

ww: How and when did you start your craft?
fohtu: - I have always been an artist, coloring and drawing since I was a child (I get that from my maternal grandmother- she was a fine artist), my mother has always been a great crafter and I often wanted to learn to crochet and knit and sew but never had the patience to. As an adult I started out in a Fine Arts program in college and was directed towards the path of Graphic Design by an instructor. I've been in graphic design for seven years now, but since having a child my desire to "craft" increased significantly. My mother had always handmade us Christmas gifts and I loved those gifts more than the toys or clothes I received. So I wanted to learn to leave my children a legacy and heritage- something they can keep and look back on and cherish. Since I have lived so far away from my mother when the crafting bug hit me a year ago I learned to crochet on my own with the help of online tutorials. Now I'm starting to sew again (I tried years ago but was never committed) and I rely on online tutorials for troubleshooting. I like to make anything and everything- I will try anything once just to gain more experience. But I have been partial to making crochet Amigurumi animals- I just think they are the cutest thing.

ww: How did you originally find Etsy? Have you or do you sell anywhere else?
fohtu: - I believe I heard about Etsy through the Martha Stewart show while watching a woman make a really cool beaded flower necklace. I browsed the site and thought that this would be a great way to practice my new craft and make some money at the same time. Being a stay at home mother sometimes I feel guilty for not contributing monetarily to our budget, but I know I am contributing a lot investing quality time with my son! So I thought Etsy would ease those guilts if I sold something every once in a while! I did not say anything about Etsy to my mother until one day we were on the phone talking about making money and we both pretty much brought up Etsy at the same time. I have not sold anything anywhere else, nor do I now sell my crafts anywhere else. Right now I personally do not have the money or time to sell at craft shows or on other web sites. Etsy makes it very easy for those who just have enough time to make their crafts and don't have the time to contribute a lot through advertising and blogging and what-not. Plus, my mother has been the driving force behind our success at building our brand: Our Home To Yours. She has invested a lot of time lifting our little shop off the ground!

ww: What inspires you the most?
fohtu: - Other Etsy crafters inspire me the most and are pretty much the driving force behind my motivation to keep crafting. I also find inspiration through design magazines and browsing portfolios at Creative Hot List (by Communication Arts) and reading articles through the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists). I receive weekly e-mail newsletters from Lion Brand Yarn and they always include new patterns which always pique my interests.

ww: Do you have a personal hero and if yes, who is it and why?
fohtu: - Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and can change daily. Everyone has the capacity to be a hero, and a hero does not have to be recognized by the general public in order to qualify as a "hero". In general, my personal hero is Jesus Christ, my faith sustains me. Other heroes in my life include my maternal grandmother, my own mother, and my husband.

ww: What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
fohtu: - Hmm, I'm not sure I have a favorite. Every piece I create holds its own personality. As of right now I have not created the same thing twice- I may have made the same amigurumi animal- but it has always been different in its own right. I could say I'm in love with the amigurumi bunnies I have made, but making crochet animals can be hard- making the arms and legs are tough on your hands- anyone who has had to crochet 4 stitches in a round for 10 rounds will understand! Those funky bunnies are cute and unique, I'm always on the prowl for unique things and how I can make something that already exists unique in its category.

ww: Do you have any new creations or debuting designs in the works? What can my readers expect to see from you soon?
fohtu: - I have just made some crochet teacup pincushions, I will be posting them on Etsy before the day is through! Since I started sewing I have been in need of someplace to put my pins and I love tea, I saw this pattern and thought it was perfect for my personality. I have also made some coffee cup pincushions for coffee lovers- I don't discriminate! And if I don't list where I got a certain pattern, it is to be assumed I got it from the Lion Brand free patterns.

ww: What's your personal motto?
fohtu: - Above all: "Love your neighbor as yourself"... its from the Bible, I can't remember the verse but I'm sure there are people out there who do! There are lots of little quotes and proverbs that I like to apply to my life, but if we fulfill the needs of others before ourself we will find our own needs are being met. Our society has become too selfish and self-centered. If everyone is worried about their own needs being met we become too busy to fulfill the needs of others and then nobody's needs are being met and we are all miserable in our relationships. I hope that makes sense. I will step off my soapbox now!

ww: Where else can my readers find you? i.e. blog, twitter, facebook fan page?

ww: Are you offering any exclusive discounts or specials for readers of this interview?
fohtu: - My mother Debbi is offering her flip flops at 50% off! With the summer months winding down it is time for those summer sales!

All readers of my blog are able to get these adorable flip flops on sale from now until Sunday. Just make sure you mention "waterwaif" to take advantage of the discount!


our home to yours said...

awwwwww, my little girl. I am so proud of her! *sniff and tear*.
Especially since she did most of her college work deathly sick with Chrones disease. I love you baby!

our home to yours said...

And thank you Waterwaif!