Monday, April 6, 2015

Shop Evolution: Making Things I Like


In an attempt to make a regular effort at blogging, I'm writing a little something about my latest shop update. I still don't have too much to comment on in terms of my day-to-day, which doesn't really change/differ/get better, so I'm talking about the bright spot in my life- my shop.

I reached a pretty interesting point this year as an artist, and it's taken my shop from something to do into something I truly enjoy. For a few years I was desperate to really make stuff 'to sell' and I feel like a part of me lost what made the shop fun. Of course I want my store to one day be a brick and mortar, to have vintage clothes and furniture and rustic pieces and my own homemade things, of course that is my big huge dream that I want (I want it so bad it hurts) but at the same time, years of focusing on 'a craft to make' really sort of made me feel inadequate as an artist. And then, one day, while I was sitting on my rear feeling sorry for myself, I just had an epiphany.

I'm an artist. Not a factory.

So instead of looking for 'cute marketable dresses' to make and sell (and I did come up with ONE original pattern for a 'cute marketable dress'), I just thought that I would start making what makes me happy. What gives me joy to make. And suddenly, I went from an etsy store with zero items, to an etsy store with more than seventy items. And sure, I don't sell a lot, but I know the people that look and favorite and buy see my vision as an artist and really appreciate the time and thought process that goes into each piece. Because I do consider the things in my store a part of my art.

And I'm much, much happier.

At the same time, I hate not being able to make things for the store. When I get too busy or I'm just plain worn out, or (as was the case this past weekend) my sewing machine gives out on me, I get so frustrated because I feel like I'm 'not working hard enough' on my art. On my passion. Luckily for me, I did manage to finish up a few things, and I got those listed on the store this afternoon.

Orange Sherbet Tunic , Metal Bobbin Military Necklace, Roar Roar Necklace, Wild Beauty Tunic

Yeah, I make weird stuff. But to me, it's beautiful. These tunics are based on the lagenlook bubble-style of clothing where it flares out and then draws in tighter at the bottom. I really love them and they look great with chunky sandals, rustic old boots or even chucks! In fact, I can totally see myself styling them with my black suede chucks and a denim jacket, just like in the pictures.

Recently I made Megan Mae a less tunic more top version of this with her favorite star shirt and some of her mother's clothing. One of my favorite things about selling this style as well as selling tutorials for this style tunic is that you can make your own with clothing that means a lot to you. My Sideshow Dresses are usually made from tees that friends or family have given to me, or concert tees, that I love and never want to part with but would never wear in their natural state. Megan's star shirt was made with things that she didn't want to part with, but also didn't have the storage to keep. I love clothes that mean something to the wearer, that tell some sort of story. It appeals to the writer and the romantic in me.

Heart Applique Vest , Skelly Heart Necklace , Drawer Pull Statement Necklace , Mens Shirt Pinafore

And, like any good artist, I do have some fails sometimes. I was super excited for this men's vest refashion, but it happened to be one of the pieces my sewing machine quit on, so it's double stitched and serged, but it's not pretty on the inside like I usually like my pieces to be. I also didn't realize that the way the buttons are on the opposite side on the bottom would mean that it only buttons on top! Or that the lower pockets wouldn't work. I've priced it low and hope it goes to a nice home. These things happen, and as frustrating as it is, it's just a part of the process.

I do love that drawer pull necklace. I have a second one, and I think I might need that for myself.

Megan Mae was a trooper, too, talking me through listing my stuff tonight with encouraging words. She's a great cheerleader and tolerated me collapsing in a fit of giggles when I decided to tag the lion necklace as a 'roar roar' necklace (I don't know why but I find that hilarious).

This year has been really hard. There've been a lot of highs and lows, but as far as my shop and my art go, I think I've had one of the best years ever. It was work. But it was worth it.

In the mean time, I'm throwing a sale until Saturday (it 'ends' Sunday which usually means the code expires midnight Saturday) using the code APRILSHOWERS2015 because omg it's about to rain for a week straight if you listen to Philly weather.


  1. I applaud your realization that you're an artist, not a factory. And you're human, subject to our human limits. Don't accept false beliefs about commerce and production; they don't apply to you. Do your best and be happy. Being happy is what life is all about.

  2. Yes! You are an artist!! Your work is beautiful and unique and it doesn't matter if not everyone likes it, those who do will truly LOVE it. I am so happy that you are feeling positive about your art xo