Friday, April 22, 2011

Featured Crafter: Michelle Dempsey of Talia Custom Designs

Please welcome Michelle Dempsey of Talia Custom Designs to our legion of Featured Crafters. I am IN LOVE WITH her bowl covers. My grandma had these, only hers were made of plastic and elastic, and they were a bitch to clean. Of course, grandma didn't have an automatic dishwasher--all of those horrible plastic bowl covers had to be hand-washed. These covers are bright! And groovy! And machine washable! Does it get better? I think not.

Onward with the interview!

How do you find out about craft fairs in your area? Do you belong to a crafter's alliance? Do you do all your own research? Do you sell online exclusively?

I have a few local crafty friends that I can have "craft" talk but I'm currently not in a crafter's alliance and haven't been in craft fairs. yet. I just started my business, again, after taking a hiatus to focus on family life. I want to establish my work and store before I venture into craft fairs. I hope to do it sometime in the very near future. In the meantime, I'm working on selling wholesale in addition to online.

What was the impulse to start your business?

The joy and passion of creating things started my hobby. Having such satisfaction after finishing each product, I decided to share my finished product with other people. I was in the corporate world for 10 years before getting married and having kids. Even with my successful career, I didn't feel complete. I always admire other people who follow their dreams and do things they truly enjoy with the talent given to them, whether it be playing sports, performing on stage, or creating an amazing recipe. I, now, feel like one of the people I would admire.

What is your niche? What sets you apart?

Finding a niche was the most challenging part of starting my business. I had doubts on whether my items would sell or who would buy them so rather than having that as my main focus, I decided to make products that are fun and bring me joy. When sales are down, my passion is what keeps me motivated. I feel multiple niches can enjoy my products.

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

With Spring around the corner, I've been inspired to make things with bright colorful fabric as well as items that are appropriate for the warmer weather.

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

Have fun! Enjoying what you are doing is a strong motivator. Another advice is to not get overworked and take time to do other things that I enjoy. When it gets to be too much work, it's not so much fun anymore.

What question would you like to ask our readers?

What do you enjoy the most about handmade products? What attracts you to handmade sellers?

Thanks for joining us today, Michelle! Readers, what answers do you have?

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