1. Biographical info:
Hi my name is Carla, I'm a single mom of 2 teens that I home school. We live in north east Ohio 1/2 way between Akron and Youngstown in the little town of Ravenna . I have been making glow in the dark ornaments since 2001, a few years before that we started making glitter ornaments to give family and friends as gifts.
2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember. About 8 years ago I quit my "day job" to stay home and do this full time. Thanks to ALL of my wholesale and retail customers I've been able to continue. God has a way of always providing and makes sure the money is there when we need it.
3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life? I'm not sure I can do this, lol. On average I make 120-150 ornaments every week in order to keep up with the demand. There are days when I will make stock items and there are days when I want to do "something different" and come up with a new idea and make a new design .. I would love to have more items listed but because they're glass it makes getting GOOD pictures difficult. There are days when I've had to take 100 pictures to get 5 good ones to use. I find new ideas when I go fabric shopping or when someone gives me left over pieces that they can't use.
4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?
It's a blessing to be being able to pay the bills and support my family with my cre8ivity! I love making my ornaments and seeing ALL the joy it brings to others. I also like to spread the word of God when I talk to people because this is my gift from God, He put the idea in my head and provided me with the knowledge to figure out how to make them because there wasn't anything like it in the craft world at that time.
5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?
I'm a full time artist now.
6. What other creative outlets do you employ?
I also make bath & body products a few times a year (it used to be my full time job and ornaments were part time) and have a whole room filled with odds & ends of stuff that I have tried over the years.
7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you I love the ArtFire community! It's different than the "other places" on the web. I love making my ornaments and am trying to get them into as many homes as I can. This giveaway is a way for me to give a little of myself in hopes that it will brighten someone's day.
8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.
I have no idea what this would be, sorry, lol.
9. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others andor society?
Oh I could almost write a book about being a struggling artist and what I have learned from others. I guess the most important thing is to be yourself! Don't copy what someone else is doing just because they are successful at it, use YOUR cre8ivity to come up with your own idea and put your heart into it. I have seen so many people copy what someone else is doing so they can get "in on the cash cow" and get let down because they aren't making the amount of money to make them happy. Then when that item is no longer "hot" they're out of business or have to go copy someone else because they don't have an original idea in their head. Too much stress and wasted money, they would be better off getting a 9-5 job. My ex-mother-in- law once told me that if she could have 12 the money back from ALL of her crafting ventures over the years that she would be a millionaire.
10. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others andor society?
When you hire help make them sign a no-compete agreement and make sure you don't tell them ALL of your tricks and secrets.
11. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?
Only God can answer that one, lol.
12. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue? Give it at least a year to decide if it's working for you. Just because you make something and put it "out there" to sell doesn't mean it's going to sell. My items sell more in person than online because you can pick them up and look at them. Selling online has to be one of the hardest things to do. It's not a "get rich quick" way to go, you really have to work at it.
13. What flavor of ice cream are you and why? I'm not sure how to answer this. My favorite flavor is Buckeye Blitz, it's chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls and mini buckeye candies mixed in. Although some days I feel like Rocky Road because I have so many things to do and only so much time in a day, lol. Besides that, ya gotta deal with the and nuts that come along trying to slow you down.
Carla, thanks for an awesome interview!! Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns, CobWebPalace, MeaCulpaBodyandBath, Green Hill Soap Co, Ninja Jenn.
Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March
See you tomorrow with another awesome interview!!! ~Lori