Friday, August 10, 2007
This week's Friday Feature is an interview with Jodi of Happy House Quilts. Enjoy!
Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.
I am an Art Therapist. I received my Master’s of Science degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School. My Master’s Thesis was “Separation Anxiety as Seen in the Drawings of Chronically Ill Latency Age Children”. I loved being a coordinator of the MDDA (Manic Depression and Depressive Association) chapter at the psychiatric hospital whereI used to work. I loved it because members from the community were there for wellness and to focus on daily coping skills both individuals with the diseases and their families. It was powerful stuff each Thursday night!!!
To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong?
NH Street Team NESTY (New England Street Team)
VAST (Visual Artist Street Team)
What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Quilt Inspired Accessories and Craft Kits for Daily Life: Coffee Quilts™ for hot or cold beverages, Hair Quilts™ for women and children, and Ruff Quilts™ for pets, Quilt Clamp Fridge Flowers™ and Threadibilities Craft Kits™ for school age children and pre-teens.
What inspires your creations?
Nature, Children’s Art, Food, Color
Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
I have always loved crafts. Ever since I can remember I preferred to create things over sports or many other activities. I minored in Art in college with a Major in Psychology, and I went to graduate school for Art Therapy.
Part of the curriculum was learning about various media however textiles never entered the equation until I be came a mother and then began watching HGTV and Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson. I studied that show for several years even video taping it to learn and relearn techniques. Much of the time I would try the projects and out of this was born much of my home décor. I have always worked on small projects or samplers as the kids don’t let me work in large chunks of time. But small works for me as I like to make practical items and much of them are small.
Now I am diving into needle felting and it’s so enjoyable and cathartic! After a tough day with the kids I can just stab that needle into the felt and find relief…and ultimately end up with a product that is useful, unlike the frustration that was with me to start out with. The process of creating is as therapeutic as the end product is expressive.
What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?
I would have to say the Threadibilities Craft Kits™.
I love being able to combine my Art Therapy background with my Happy House Quilts (@Etsy) shop! The thought of offering something to a child that enhances their self esteem, teaches them a life long skill of sewing/crafting and encourages family time or socialization with peers is a wonderful thing to me.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
How to describe myself…hmmm…Friendly with a capital F, Passionate about what I am doing at the current time, and Creative (I just have to create or I really start to lose my bearings, it helps me stay centered!
What do you like about Etsy?
I love the community, the inspiration, the ease of having my own shop without the excess work of a full website. When it’s a one woman show with 3 kids in tow, you have to streamline somewhere!
What makes your shop unique?
I think I have a unique vision to adorning hair and home. I prefer expressive work, OOAK pieces over mass production that other shops produce. I think my Art Therapy background is unique too, as it helps me develop the Threadibilities Craft Kits™ to suit the age group and maximize the time spent with your family…because, let’s face it…time is fleeting!
What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Make sections! Get over to the forums and educate yourself. Join a street team and participate in it. You reap what you sow…provide awesome customer service to all not just customers, because the contact you make today could be a customer tomorrow. Also know that you just can’t “build it and they will come”. You really have to market yourself outside of Etsy everywhere you go. I have 2 craft fairs lined up this fall and think this will help drive some of my business.
Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
For more Friday Feature interviews, click here.