Friday, July 08, 2011

Featured Crafter: Melissa Lopez of Whimsypics

Please welcome Melissa Lopez from Whimsypics, today's featured crafter.

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?

I find out about local craft shows and fairs mostly from my local Etsy team – NC Triangle Street Team. I joined when I first started on Etsy and they have been an invaluable source of information. Occasionally, I browse the arts & crafts section on my local Craigslist site to find local shows and consignment/wholesale opportunities.

What was the impulse to start your business?

I fell in love with paper crafting/scrapbooking when my son was born prematurely and I started making little books recording his progress. He stayed in the hospital for about 2 months after I went home and decided I would take pictures every single day and record every little thing because I wasn’t sure how long he would be with us. Fast forward 7 years and this hobby-turned-passion has evolved to include all forms of paper crafts, and my son is my perfect, healthy miracle.

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

My work is mostly one-of-a-kind and custom journals/scrapbooks. I still work on some other paper crafts that I can easily duplicate (gift tags, cards, etc) but scrapbooks and altered art is my passion. I think it’s so important to have a record not just of important events, but the everyday ‘boring’ stuff too. I would give anything to have some sort of journal from my grandmothers or great-grandmothers where I could have a glimpse into what their life was like, what they thought about, what they loved.

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

Well, mostly I use paper :) but I love to incorporate beautiful trims, ribbons and sometimes fabric, too. I also use bulky embellishments because flat is boring!

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

I wish I had realized how much work there is to do outside of creating! The fun stuff is just a tiny part of owning a business. Promoting, branding, networking, paying taxes, learning – that’s not so fun. But it is completely necessary.

Where can we find you online?

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