Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Customer Interview

Today we have a treat as I am interviewing Andrea, a FabricLovers.com customer, who uses our fabrics to bind books! I just found out about her Etsy store, and I've fallen in love. lol  Stay tuned after the interview, as there is a special for our Blog readers!

Tell us a little about yourself and family
I live in northeast Ohio on a beautifully peaceful 550 acre lake 50 miles east of Cleveland with my husband and 11 year old boxer dog. Between my husband and I we have 4 kids and 6 amazingly beautiful grandkids.

Who in your life influenced your love of making things? How?   
 My mother has definitely been the inspiration in my life in so many ways. She has always created--whether it was painting, sewing, crafting, or picking up a power tool. Thanks to her I never felt there was anything I couldn't do, or at least attempt. I mean, I'm not saving lives here, what could happen if something went wrong?
How did you get interested in binding books?
I was in an international group that swapped art, and we decided to try book binding. I set out to learn about it by watching youtube videos and reading lots of books on the subject. After my first book was finished I was hooked.

What is your favorite part of the design process? 
I get excited over unusual or funky fabric, then choosing the perfect papers and binding methods. I have friends that call fabric my drug, and I suppose there is some truth in that! Sewing or the actual binding is very meditative to me. I always have music playing and really get lost in the process. I believe what gives my books soul is the fact I am a book nerd at heart--I love their feel in my hands and the places they can take me. That love is transferred to my books. 

Spine of book
What advice would you give to someone looking to sell their own items?
Don't be afraid. I have a couple of dear friends that a year ago encouraged me to quit giving my books away--that I should sell them, so I set up shop on Etsy. It was slow going at first (and still is at times!). Get business cards and postcards--I hand them out to anyone even remotely interested! Try vending at art/craft shows. Get yourself out there, set up a Facebook business page and a twitter account; both have helped me a ton. Never get discouraged, and seek out your best cheerleaders for encouragement when you get that give-it-up feeling.

Where can readers go to check out more of your art?
My Etsy shop is at http://www.etsy.com/shop/bluehighways, I do welcome custom orders which probably accounts for a third of my business. My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/bluehighwaysbooks. Lastly my blog http://andrea-attheshores.blogspot.com/ a little bit of all my follies there.

As pretty inside as outside!
And finally, tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I've always wanted to get my pilot's license, and several years ago, I started taking lessons in Georgia but ended up moving to Ohio, so that got put on hold...one day I'll finish and soar with the birds! 

As a special for all of the blog readers, check out Andrea's Etsy shop, place an order, and use code FabricLovers during checkout to get 10% off! Thanks Andrea for this special discount, and for letting us interview you! I know I've got a Christmas present or two that will be taken care of in your Etsy shop. :-)

Another beautiful spine


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