So, I know it isnt Friday... but Friday will be the start of my weekend Vaca. Going to Denver and roadtripping it back home with my brother and dad. I will be sure to take the camera along. I will have lots to show you guys. Consequently, today becomes Feature Thursday!
The story of Ellaphante:
The name EllaPhante came from my obsession with elephants. An inside joke among friends lead to me collecting elephants and becoming known as " The elephant", " Huffilah', 'Heddaphant" and so on....so I created my elephant logo and named her Ms. Ella Phante!
How long have you been making the craft/art that you sell? What started your interest in it? How did you learn?
_ I've been making things my whole life, really. My mom is pretty crafty, and I was always watching her make things with her hands.I think I started sewing by hand around...age five I think. Monkey see monkey do, you know? I really got into it! I kept practicing, and Mom started letting me use her sewing machine when I was about ten.That's when the magic really happened. I was an awkward size and shape,clothes never fit me right,and I really didn't like a lot of what I had to wear. So I altered what I had or made something new from scratch...and just learned by trial and error.As for everything else I make, I pretty much learned all of that by trial and error as well...a girl can't have too many hobbies!
What made you decide to turn your art/craft into a business? What support or inspiration have you had along the way?
_Last year I decided to make my living from my art/craft skills.I have some health issues that were making it difficult to hold down a normal job, and I needed something I could be motivated to do and that would make me happy anyway.So I just dove in!I come form a long line of entrepeneurs and self-employers,so I had lots of help and experience with all the ins and outs of having a business.
As far as support and inspiration goes, my husband has been my biggest supporter and motivator.I couldn't do this without him. He supports us financially(so far my income is just paying the groceries,but I have high hopes!) as well as gives me honest critiques on my designs, lets me bounce ideas off of him,and generally is just inspiring in his own way. I've also gotten a lot of support from my parents and my in-laws, they buy me great fabric and supplies if they see something they know I'll like, they find me customers, and they even helped buy a lot of my equipment!And most importantly,they believe in me. They pretty much rock.
Do you have any other hobbies / interests?
OH yes. I play drums (not as much as I'd like),go to concerts , I read a LOT, I'm a gym rat...I love lifting weights! Weird, I know. I like being outside and active, running,hiking,swimming...all that jazz.Oh , and movie watching.That's a big one.Especially going to see them in the theater!And my Etsy shops pretty much show off all my other hobbies.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I've sold things here and there for a few years now, but I've only been seriously selling for a less than a year, and on Etsy since September '08 I believe.
Do you sell outside of Etsy? If so where?
Not right now..a few of my items had a short stint in a gift boutique/sewing repair shop downtown, where I also worked doing repairs in exchange for fabric and well, experience. She taught me a lot, but it was just time to move on.
What is your favorite way to promote your Etsy store?
_Doing blog interviews , of course! And the usual, flyers, business cards...that's about it.
Do you have a blog? If so what is your blog address, and what do you feature / write about?
I have a myspace...http://www.myspace.com/smurdypants
but I don't blog on it really. I plan to start a business blog or website eventually though!
Where do you hope to see your business / Etsy store in the future?
Where it is, only better. This is my life...I just hope it stays that way!
What is something that you want to make SURE you do in 2009?
I want to make sure I make time for the things that matter most.I'm going to be making a 700 mile move very soon, and I want to really stay in touch with the people here who matter to me!
What is the thing that you are most proud of?
Thing I have made? Probably this one bag/stuffed animal I made...it was custom ordered, and I was very sad to let him go...I named him Reginald. Check him out :http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=12370355
What do you wish you had more time for?
All of my many many hobbies...I wish I didn't have to eat or sleep so that I could devote a fair amount of time to all of them! Oh, and playing with my dog. I think he gets tired of watching me sew all the time.
What is your favorite part of the day?
I'm a night owl. Early evening is when I spend the most time with my hubby, and then after he is asleep I do most of my creating. It's such a peaceful time..I can really get a lot done...and for some reason my brain just goes into creative overdrive at night!
Be sure to check out EllaPhantePhashion.etsy.com
Tell Her Renegades sent you!