*Where are you from?I was born in Springfield, Ohio. After graduating I met my husband at work. We married in 1966, and not being able to work together, decided to move to Mt. Vernon, Ohio to better ourselves. Our son was three at the time when my spouse's work took us to Wichita Falls, Tx. Some time later we were transferred to Houston, Tx; and on to Baltimore, MD. In 1989 we were transferred to N.C. and have made our permanent home here.
*Tell us a bit about yourself.Mainly, through the years, I've worked as a clinical medical secretary/hospital transcriptionist/and physician's office secretary. I think of myself, as far as my work is concerned, as a Jill-of-all-trades. While I certainly enjoyed working in the medical field, my best job was being the first woman to be heard live on the radio in Wichita Falls, Tx. It was station KNIN; I did commercials, the weather, and worked as a secretary to the owner. I've been retired for 18 years and was dedicated to volunteer work, participating in Meals on Wheels and with Social Services' at-risk children.
*How did you decide on your shop name?I found Etsy through an ad in Parade Magazine. I wasn't interested in opening a shop at that time, or so I though. I signed up with my user name of parsnips45 - yes, I did. It's when I decided to open a shop, I found out the members could not change their names. (Of course, I didn't read the fine print beforehand!) Through the course of the next year I made up quite a few shops names, hoping Etsy would change their mind. The day I saw my wish come to fruition, I immediately changed my shop to This Art Of mine, and now it's history.
*Why did you start your business?It's the popular story of looking through shops and thinking to yourself...I can do that, I should open a shop!
Two of my best friends and a sister were the instigators and had, for years, suggested I open my own shop. I was the volunteer art director for an out-of-town art museum and the members also encouraged me. I've been sewing and drawing since the age of five. I don't think there's been a day that's gone by since then, where I haven't thought of creating something...anything, for pleasure and giving away. I live and breath art and sewing and can't imagine living without them. It defines my life (to some extent) and is a way of relaxing and shutting out the world when necessary. Though, it also allows me to meet people whom I would have never met and gain new friends. Most of all I enjoy the fact that I'm able to introduce people to unique and one-of-a-kind works that will make them laugh, be in awe, simply enjoy, or wonder...how'd she do that?
*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?(1) When people take their first look at my shop, I wish for them to think it's very unique and realize they'll not find my items anywhere else on the internet, or in brick and mortar shops for that matter.
(2) I'm an interesting and creative artist/person, who enjoys life and derives pleasure from interpreting my original ideas to the world.
(3) I would hope they'd be able to see the humor in some of my pieces and the beauty and originality in all of them. Also, appreciate all the nuances I work into each piece to make it one-of-a-kind.
(4) To believe it was made especially for them.
(5) Realize I offer the best of both worlds in quality, craftsmanship, supplies, and reasonable prices affordable to almost everyone. And, finally, that my customers deserve the best I have to offer and realize I'll do almost anything to make them happy.
*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?Beads and lace, handmade paper, beads and more beads. Found and donated stuff, paint, paint brushes, vintage appliques, ribbon = lordy, lordy, the ribbons = and dried/silk flowers. Ashamed to say...so much fabric that I'm running out of storage room. Color is my middle name! I doubt there's anything I'd pass up, though my husband reminds me there are limits from time-to-time! His famous line is, "What in the heck are you going to do with that thing? You always manage to find the strangest stuff!".
*What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?
I'm a voracious reader and sew for pleasure. I so enjoy going to the mountains and the beach when we're able. Time with friends and visiting my 'spread all over the country' family when I have a chance. Most of all hanging with hubby and our animals for sheer pleasure and enjoyment. *Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why? Hands down my Virgo Art Doll. I swear, she began to come alive in the middle of her creation. I believe it was because I kept messing with her and she was totally fed up. I started finding items on top of my work table that I would have never considered; that's the truth. I'm sure I'd put them there at one time or another and forgot, though I like my story better! Her face was the most difficult for me. I allowed the paint to flow all by itself and decided to be satisfied with the results. That rarely happens. :-))
*What keeps you motivated?Waking up in the morning knowing I'll have the best day of my life because I'm alive. My husband "having my back". Getting the natural high of creating something out of nothing and people actually appreciating it and, most of all, looking at it and then buying! There's nothing better than that except low-fat buttered popcorn!
*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?Don't take yourself too seriously. Join a few teams/groups without over- extending yourself and have fun. Use Twitter and Facebook and network for yourself, and other shops you enjoy promoting as well ~ when/if you have the time. Remind yourself you come first so you're able to take care of your family and your shop; the rest will fall into place. Don't be shy about asking anyone questions and more questions. Believe and Breathe
*Are there other places on the net we can find you?FB: www.facebook.com/pages/ThisArtOfMineetsycom/121027454659567
Blogger: parsnips45-thisartofmine.blogspot.com/ - work in progress