Friday, April 29, 2011

Featured Crafter: Deedra Wilburth from Astoria Lane

Please welcome Deedra Wilburth of Astoria Lane on Etsy, who makes the most delightful magnetic bookmarks.

How do you find out about craft fairs in your area? Do you sell online exclusively?

As of right now I only sell online. I am hoping to be part of a local craft fair in the fall, so I am focusing on creating enough inventory for that. I research events online, as well as researching ideas and products and what is "up & coming." I do this to make sure my shop is still relevant to what potential buyers may want.

What was the impulse to start your business?

Making my own schedule was highly important to me. I am involved as a volunteer in the deaf community teaching the Bible in American Sign Language, so I am constantly traveling everywhere. I have been to other countries and all aross the United States doing this--so that is the main reason. A second reason behind my descision is I love what I make, and try to see what I can create today. I love seeing my friends' reactions to what I make. We are all really creative and we bounce ideas off of one another, and the end results sometimes are so amazing. To be able to do that for income is really awesome.

What is your niche? What sets you apart?Why did you choose that niche?

Right now I guess my niche would be my magnetic bookmarks. They sell like crazy in my shop at the moment. No one seems to be making them the same way. I like clean lines and a modern look in general, so I try to bring that into the shape of the bookmarks and I like to meld that with vintage and fun-looking papers. I chose these bookmarks because I always lose bookmarks. I remembered when I was a little girl, a friend gave me a bookmark that had magnets, so I wanted to make some that were more grownup-looking and something I could show off proudly.

Which materials/colors/techniques interest you the most right now? What is inspiring you, creatively?

I have been changing direction lately on new creations, and have been focusing on vintage window frames from old houses, turning these into something useful like memoboards. I put magnetic chalkboards and fabric covered corkboards on them so that these windows can continue their usefulness, even in this energy-efficient world we live in. I love the idea of turning something that has no more use into something completely different that helps it regain its usefulness again.

What piece of advice do you wish you had, when starting your business?

Be patient with yourself, and do not set impossible deadlines. Whenever I accept a custom order, I have to make sure I give myself enough time to complete it. For the first couple of these, I set deadlines and I ended up so stressed out to keep it. Even though the buyer loved it, I ended up not happy with the end result because I didn't enjoy making the item.

Thanks for participating, Deedra. Where else can we find you online?

Here are my links:

Readers, how cute are these bookmarks? Deedra's items have a low price, are super-cute, and sell easily. What items can you add to your line that meet these criteria?

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