Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meet My Favourite Artists- Brenda of Cards Made With Heart

As you will see if you look back two posts in my blog, I am temporarily taking sabbatical away from constant attention to my shop while I recover. In this time though I want to tell you about some of MY personal favorite artists.

So I would like to introduce you to Brenda, a magnificent card maker that has such a great heart.

Tell us about yourself and your business.

I have been married to my husband for 33 years.  We have 2 grown daughters.  I had heard about Etsy from my oldest daughter and son-in-law and decided to check it out.  I have been encouraged for many years by friends and family to sell my lovely handmade note cards.  I come from a very creative family, so I suppose I inherited the crafty gene from my mother's side.  Because of the response that came from the first cards I gave out as gifts for birthdays, it made me desire to keep doing it.  It gave me great satisfaction to know that I was bringing a little sunshine to their day and putting smiles on their faces. 

What do you learn about yourself through the creative process?

I think I have learned that I am tough on myself and that I need to give myself more credit.  I learn that I truly love what I'm doing.  I learn that it's ok to make mistakes and sometimes they end up being some of my best designs.

School Colors Graduation Card


How do you deal with creative blocks?

Believe it or not, other Etsy sellers.  I like going to shops on Etsy and looking at how they put their designs together.  I generally pay attention to what embellishments they use, the combination's of colors and textures.  Before Etsy, I would page through old card making magazines and sometimes scrapbooking magazines.  Because it's all about the layering of papers that adds dimension and interest to the design.  I can look at a design or layout in a magazine and by the time I'm finished with my new creation, it looks completely different.

What inspires you for your work?

Besides the ongoing nudging and encouragement I get from family and friends, over the last 2 years I have been asked to design some thank you / note cards in sets for a couple friends.  Then last August, our oldest daughter was married and she had asked me if I would make their invitations.  I am now working on my second request for wedding invitations.  So, I would have to say, getting the orders from people that want me to create something for them, keeps me inspired.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I never really considered myself as an artist, just someone that had a special talent to create beautiful note cards.  In high school, I took a couple art classes.  I always did very good, but never left the class wanting to do more.  I definitely have an appreciation for art.  I think my talent is categorized on the crafty side of art.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?

What I enjoy most is in the last 2 years since I've had people ask me to design something for them, is the fact that I would actually get paid to do them.  That's pretty amazing!

What are you trying to express in your work?

I am trying to express the same kind of appeal I look for when shopping for handmade products.  More importantly, I'm trying to express the "Oooo awww" factor so my customers want to come back for more.


Hand Tools Fathers Day Card


What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your business?

The goals I wish to accomplish in the coming year, is to make the time to build my business and develop a customer base that love my handmade note cards while enjoying a rewarding income.


What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business?

I'm just starting out, so with businesses I've had in the passed, by word of mouth and recipients of my handmade note cards.  I have found that since I've been on Etsy, the response hasn't been as generous as I hoped it would be.  But then again, I don't really know what to expect.  This is a new adventure and I'm excited for it to begin.


What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?

What I have found to be an unsuccessful promotion is simple.  I have experienced it in other businesses and that is, NOT promoting your business.  You have to stay in it everyday in order for it to be successful.  I don't have specific's because I'm still pretty new at this.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I started out on Etsy with my handmade jewelry in February of this year.  Even though I've been doing my handmade note cards for a lot longer, I didn't have any cards made up to start listing.  I had quite a hand full of earrings I could start posting with, so that's where it all began. I have had my card shop open for just a little over a month now and I'm anxious for it to really take off.  My number one desire is for my cards, but I have really enjoyed the creating of the jewelry and will
 probably keep it going for the time being.  


I would like to thank Brenda For her warm and caring customer service, and the time she took to complete the interview. Time is Precious, and we appreciate it. 


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