Thursday, March 22, 2012

Come Meet Our Team Member ~LooneyJoonTees ~

What fun to interview Caroline from  Caroline is as full energy and dynamic as her shop on Etsy.

Tells a little about yourself and how you started in this field?
-Hi! I'm Caroline, and I'm from upstate NY.  As a teacher, I've always looked to my students for inspiration. They aid my creativity in every way.  I started making products for teachers and kids based on my own teaching experience, and what I wanted to introduce to my classroom.  I also love to look at the things I have around the house; you can recycle/upcycle and make so much from what you already have!

When did you first discover your creative talents?
-I've always been crafty, and have been making art my whole life. I never really looked at what I did as having "talent" until other people started coming up to me saying, "You made that? That's really good!"

Could you tell us about some of your work?
-Years ago I received a book with over 100 projects on how to reuse your old t-shirts, and this really inspired me to start sewing & creating with cotton tees. From there, I started looking around the house for other things to "recycle" and incorporate into t-shirt creations. As I came across more stuff I'd been hoarding, more sections opened up in my shop. Like they say, one woman's garbage.. ;)

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
The people around me always keep me going... my students, family, and friends... not to mention my 8-month-old kitten whom I named the shop after, Joon. Even on a bad day I try to stay motivated by telling myself positive things. When I'm stuck for ideas all I have to do is look at the world around me, and something always pops into my head.

How will you describe your style?
-I don't think I have one set style; I love to do a lot of things and explore other things I've never worked with before! Most of the time I refer to my work as 'funky' and 'fun' and I love throwing lots of colors into the mix. I've also been called 'hippie' & 'boho.' I'm just really a huge kid at heart!

 What is your approach to design?
-I create all ideas in my head, and then transfer them over to a sketchbook or notepad. When I'm ready to create, I lay out all of my materials and start working. As a project moves along, I'll often make changes or let it "evolve" into whatever it becomes!

Describe your workshop/studio for us: I imagine is really fun since your Avatar is so fun
-I have a small studio apartment perfect for Joon & I. One section we have is referred to as our "laboratory." It's basically set up the way a mad scientist would have it, except instead of beakers and chemicals we have sewing machines & art supplies. It's a very fun, organized mess!

How do you bridge the gap of the business side of designing?
-When you have a business, there really is no "off" button. It's a lot like my day job; I teach all day, but when I come home my work is never done. Everything I do during the day affects my business, because I am my business. You do have to know when to censor your emotions and not let them interfere with work though. I don't think I'd be as successful if i voiced my disdain for certain life events!

Describe yourself in 5 words:
Fun.. passionate.. a bit different.. ;)

How has your experience been selling online?
-It's been a blast! Every person you meet and get to know through Etsy is an incredible experience! A simple convo from a customer (or even a team member) can completely make my day. When I opened my shop I never thought I'd be able to say "I have almost 50 sales!" or "People want me to custom make them something!" It's very uplifting to see how far you've come.

What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
-Being able to share creations with people, and have them be inspired by something *I* made is an incredible feeling! I love when something I do or make can make others happy and influence their life in a positive way.

Do you have any advice for new artists?
-When starting out on Etsy, or any journey in life, you are always going to come across those people who try to discourage you, or talk you out of something you love. My advice: don't listen to any of them. Do what makes you happy, and prove them all wrong!

Written by Vanessa from WhisperingOaks

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