Personally I find connecting with talented designers who've been there, done that and have some what navigated the road of selling their clothing to be incredible helpful and inspiring. We all have our ups and downs in designing and it's always nice to have someone you can look up to, relate to and connect with on some level. That's what these features will be for. I hope you guys are inspired and find some new designers over the course of time that you fall in love with.
Today I'm starting this series off with a BANG! I'm so excited and honoured to have Anna-Marie (aka Minkie), who has not just one but two Etsy shops, the successful Minxshop and her newest project that just opened this past Friday, Murmuration. Minkie's clothing is incredible beautiful, looks super comfortable and styled with a very wearable, natural flow to them. I just know you guys will love her stuff and will be inspired from this interview.
1) First just tell us about yourself and how you got started sewing?
Well, my name is Anna-Marie, but I go by Minkie on-line and among my friends. I grew up in Arkansas, but live in Oregon now and really consider it my home. I love the small fashion scene in Oregon, and how quirky and artistic the community is here. I started sewing about 10 years ago, and I was (until recently) completely self taught. I started off on Ebay selling vintage clothes that I found. Eventually I started altering vintage clothes to make them cuter, and then I worked my way into the early DIY scene by revamping weird band shirts into something more girly. I realized one day that I was essentially making shirts completely from scratch, so I started buying fabric and going from there.
2) What about your designs differ from other Etsy shops?
Yikes! I’m not sure sometimes what makes me special. I think that I have been very lucky to have done so well. Minxshop is definitely got a vintage theme to it with lots of lace and details that make a lady feel pretty. But they are also comfortable and approachable for day to day wear which I think a lot of my customers appreciate. Murmuration (which I just opened) had a similar approachability, but sticks to more modern looks (which I love too!) and clean lines. Hopefully it will find an audience on Etsy too!
3) Are you full time with your Etsy shop? If so what point in your life where you able to commit this as your day job?
I am full time on Etsy. I was really lucky to be married to a sweet guy who was able to support us for a couple years while I got started. Otherwise I would either have had to a) borrow money or b) had to work full time while I was starting. Now most months, I can pay my rent and buy groceries, but that has been a pretty recent development.
4) When you started your Etsy shop what were some challenges you faced?
I had terrible pictures, always fought with bad lighting, and was definitely a bit verbose with my descriptions. Also, I think that all Etsy sellers ALWAYS face problems. It’s never just during start up. Etsy likes to keep even the established stores on their toes with constant changes and developments.
5) Right now what are your most popular items?
Any of my lace shirts are usually pretty good sellers. I think my customers are trying to tell me something about that.
6) What inspires you to create new items?
Fashion trends, finding an inspiring fabric, or sometimes it’s just something that pops into me brain! There is no predicting it!
If you know of talented Etsy designers that you think you'd like to read an interview from or maybe you're one yourself and would like a bit of exposer to your shop send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org