Sunday, July 11, 2010

Winnah Winnah Chicken Dinnah

And the winnah is:


I will hook her up with Angela, so she can claim her prize. Whee! Thanks to all for partiicpating!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Featured Crafter: Angela at The Pink Dillo

It's featured crafter time! Remember how I said this blog is going to be all about crafters and entrepreneurs? Here we go again--with a great giveaway, too! Our featured crafter this week is Angela of The Pink Dillo. She lives in Austin, Texas, and her handmade tags are just too precious.

What is your favorite kind of paper to use for your crafts?

I have quite an obsession with paper, I have more cardstock and paper pads than I can count, or have room for! But that doesn’t stop me from buying more. I love using scrapbooking papers and good quality cardstock in my projects. I use a lot of DCWV (Die Cuts with a View) cardstock and paper, and really love the quality and texture of Bazzill cardstocks too. I also recently discovered many of the wonderful digital paper packs and collage sheets offered by sellers on Etsy, where you can print out the designs on your own paper or cardstock as many times as needed – genius! Even though I have enough paper already to last a lifetime, there’s several of these I have my eye on and plan on giving a try here soon – I just can’t help myself!

What do you look for in a supplier?

I use a mixture of suppliers – I probably spend more time at the local craft stores here in Austin than anywhere else, outside of work and home. I also spend a lot of time shopping from a few sites online, and get all of my shipping supplies in bulk from a variety of online companies, which helps keep my per unit costs down. I also enjoy using Etsy suppliers, and just recently bought a bunch of materials from a variety of shops, which I’m currently using to create a new line of bottle cap, wood, and glass magnets. I definitely look for quality items, but also try to keep my costs down too and usually wait to buy things at the local craft stores when on sale or I have a coupon - I’m a sucker for a good sale.

How long have you had a craft business?

This is still a relatively new venture for me. I have a full-time day job, where I work in the corporate office of a property management company. While I enjoy my job for the most part, I absolutely love the outlet that I now have in Etsy, where I get to create things that hopefully others will enjoy. I’ve always loved being crafty – my mom had plenty of arts and crafts projects to keep my sisters and I busy when we were young, and I still enjoyed being creative whenever I had the chance as I got older.

My shop officially opened on November 22, 2009, but I first discovered Etsy last summer. I had actually wanted to start some sort of craft business on the side, but had no idea how to begin and never knew a site like Etsy existed until a couple of co-workers told me about it. Once I checked it out, I knew immediately that I wanted to open a shop. Paper crafts seemed like the natural direction for me to take as I had gotten into scrapbooking while in college, although I hadn’t kept up with it in recent years. I pretty much jumped head first into it all and quickly began adding to the supplies I already had and started making gift tags and cards. I’m sure others can relate as well, but I soon learned there was much, much more to having a craft business than actually creating! I spent several months preparing before actually opening shop, and while it’s been a time-consuming adventure, I’ve really enjoyed learning the business aspects of it as well – makes me feel like I’m actually putting my Marketing and Business degree to good use!

What's the next craft you want to learn?

I have so many ideas running through my head – too many ideas and not enough time in the days, unfortunately. There are plenty of other crafts I would LOVE to learn how to do – jewelry making, handmade soaps (I have a huge obsession with those now too), hand-sewn products, and plenty of other things I see on Etsy everyday. Maybe one of these days I’ll try my hand at something completely new and different for me, but for now I’m more than happy to concentrate on paper crafts and support other Etsy sellers.

I am planning on expanding my line of products soon, however. In addition to the cards, gift/favor tags, confetti, and embellishments currently available, I’ve started a new line of magnets as I mentioned, and will soon be listing sets of bottle cap and decoupaged wooden magnets, with glass magnets to follow. Other new products that will be debuting soon also include decorated party favor tins, cupcake picks, and journaling tags. I also have a couple of cool new tools I have yet to try out - a heat embossing gun and a sticker machine – can’t wait to see what other creative goodies I can come up with using those.

Get honest with us—what drives you crazy in business? Is there any part of it that causes you great anxiety?

I was definitely anxious to make that first sale, wondering whether anyone would like my items enough to buy them, or if I would be gifting my friends and family with a lot of handmade cards and tags. Once I did, of course, then I had that moment of panic, stressing over what I was supposed to do next, and worrying whether I would ship everything out okay (which thankfully I did).

All in all though, I haven’t done this that long, so I don’t think I’ve experienced too much anxiety related to the business yet. Listing items can be a hassle sometimes, as it can take me awhile to figure out what to write. The need for more organization also frustrates me at times, mostly because we currently live in an apartment and our dining area, which we never used, is my make-shift craft room – what I wouldn’t do for some more (easily accessible) storage space! But this is more a hobby for me right now, something I truly enjoy doing, and I’m able to take a step back here and there when I need a break. My day job is stressful enough at times – this is my way of relaxing and letting my creative side out! I’m still learning as I go along though, so check back with me in a year or so, and I may have more to say about this then.

What is your favorite technology (software or hardware) to use for crafting?

None of my crafting techniques are all that high-tech at the moment – the most advanced piece of equipment I occasionally use is the laser printer at my work. I would love to invest in one of those fancy cutting machines, like the Cricut or Silhouette at some point, but for now, I keep things pretty simple. I definitely couldn’t live without my trusty little manual paper cutter, not to mention the multitude of paper punches I’ve collected over the last several months. I also definitely couldn’t do without some sort of photo editing software – a must-have for this business!


Thanks so much for joining the fun here, Angela. Readers: Angela is offering one of her new sets of magnets she mentioned in her interview, as a giveaway prize! Click the link to see the choices--they are adorable! The winner will get to choose the magnet set prize. Yay!

How to enter, you ask? There are several ways:

1. Tweet this blog post (just click one of the Tweetmeme buttons) = 1 entry

2. Share this post on Facebook = 1 entry

3. Leave a comment on this post, answering one of the interview questions = 3 entries

4. Subscribe to this blog (up above, on the right. See it?) = 1 entry

5. Heart The Pink Dillo = 1 entry

6. Leave a comment on this post, sharing your favorite Pink Dillo shop item = 1 entry

But wait! There's more! If you enter the giveaway but aren't the winner, Angela is still offering you something--a 10% discount coupon for use in her shop. Awesome! Share this blog entry and enter to win--go forth and share it! You've got one week--the giveaway ends Friday, July 9, at 7pm mountain time.

The Fine Print:

1. At 7pm mountain time on Friday, July 9, all entries will be tallied and assigned numbers.
2. A random number generator will be employed to choose the winner.
3. The winner and Angela will be put in touch via email, at which point they will deal with the transaction independently.
4. No promises are made, implied, or otherwise told to you about the outcome. If you don't win, you still can get the 10% discount. Email me for details.


I loved this post at Entrepreneur. Probably because it validates my opinion.