BIG sorry! I have been incredibly busy here lately and slacked off in my bloging! Here is the newest shop of the week! Make sure to visit their shop!!!!
I was born and raised on the West Coast of Canada, dropped out of preschool and decided to learn piano instead. Went back to formal education for K-12, then even went to university in Toronto, Ontario, for a degree in psychology. Didn't do me much good on the crafting circuit, but it did land me a job working with autistic adults, which was fantastic. And then I met a boy, and followed him across the country, winding up in Dundas, Ontario, where I am now. We got married last year, after he proposed at the top of Blackcomb Mountain (that's part of Whistler Resort) and I said something along the lines of "Of course you idiot!". I miss my family, the ocean, and REAL mountains, but this works fine too. I've lived in Japan and Europe, have visited 15 or so countries, and am planning a trip to New Zealand within the next couple years. When I'm not working or crafting, I'm snowboarding or mountain biking, or dreaming about snowboarding and mountain biking. People get sick of hearing me talk about snowboarding and mountain biking. I think I have a problem.
I've always been creative, and I'm pretty sure I never had a choice in that creativity... Something about that nature/nurture debate.
1. Where do you get your inspiration from? My deranged mind?? Really, it all stems from boredom. I'll be working on one thing and thinking "I wonder if I could do this with it..." and give it a shot, and usually it works out! Lately I've been crocheting a lot of flowers, because it's spring and I love colour. I do occasionally browse around through Etsy to see what the other crocheters are up to, and sometimes I'll see something I really like, and try it out for myself. I don't work off patterns though, so sometimes conceptualizing something and having it actually work in real life are two very different things!
2. What is your age: 26
3. What is your shop(S) name: Hatt Street (www.HattStreet.etsy.com)
4. Do you only sell on etsy or do you go to craft shows as well? So far, only on Etsy, but I plan to try out the craft circuit this fall.
5. Is there an item you have made that has significant meaning to you and why? Not super significant, but since April is cancer awareness month in Canada, I've been making a lot of daffodils. The Canadian Cancer Society sells daffodils throughout April to raise funds and awareness, and the daffodil is their logo. I am donating $1 from every sale through the month of April to cancer research, and any daffodil items sold double the donation. I don't know anyone that hasn't been affected by cancer in some way, so I feel like it's something we can all relate to. So, my daffodil pieces are the most significant things in my shop.
6. How did you first get the idea to make what you are now? I think it had something to do with snowboarding... It was a long time ago! I needed some toques to keep my head warm in the snow, and since I already knew how to crochet, I figured I'd save myself some money and make my own (plus the ones in the stores way back when were boring!). My dad taught me the basics, and I took it from there. My mum knits, so she had lots of wool to supply me with. One thing led to another, and here I am.
7. Do you ever change your “craft style”? Example jewelry to ceramics? I went from toques to jewelry, cloths, oven mitts, and cases, but I've stuck with crocheting for my Etsy shop. In my non-Etsy time though, I decorate cakes for fun, and occasionally sew. I've done a lot of beadwork in the past, and pottery, and even did a bit of basketry way back when. My whole family is pretty crafty, so I've grown up with the DIY mentality. I've tried visual art, but I'm pathetic with pen and paper, so photography is the end of the road in that medium for me! When I was living in Japan, I tried ikebana, which is their traditional flower arranging. It was a lot of fun, but I was nowhere near as good as the rest of the class!
8. How do you feel about buying and selling handmade items? Love it. I get such a sense of accomplishment when I create something that other people like too... I know how much work goes into handmade stuff, and I'll buy handmade whenever I can. I could go on about mass produced cookie cutter big box chains, but it's nothing new. Handmade gets you originality and quality, and that's always a good thing!
9. What is your favorite material to work with? Acrylic wool. It comes in such beautiful colours and it's really easy to work with.
10. How long have you been in your craft? Oh geez, at least ten years... Though I know my mum taught me to knit as soon as I could hold a needle in each hand! Unfortunately for her, knitting just never clicked with me, and I think she's had to teach me about 20 times. It still hasn't stuck! My dad and gramma taught me how to crochet, and I never looked back. Sorry mum!
11. What is one message you would like to get out to the world about what you do? Have fun with your accessories, and don't be afraid of colour! Handmade to me means everything is completely unique and made with care. I enjoy what I do, and want to share that with everyone.
12. Do you have a “day job” and if you do… what is it? Yep, I'm a personaly support worker for adults with physical disabilities. It's an extremely rewarding career path, and I've met some amazing individuals.
13. How has your work developed throughout the years? My work has gotten more diverse, and I'm not afraid to take risks with colour, texture, or form.
14. Did you ever feel like giving up before you got to where you are today? Heh I think I did give up a bit after Christmas! I had a tonne of custom orders and I was just exhausted. Etsy fell by the wayside, and I flat out refused to crochet for almost a month! But no, didn't want to give up, just take a break. I think as long as I can keep challenging myself by attempting new items, I'll be just fine.
15. How do you feel when people interpret your work differently than you? I'm not sure how differently people can interpret a toque, but I do sometimes get concerned when people insist on wearing my toques backwards! Then again, I'm probably the only one who knows it's backwards... I started attaching tags at the back both to show that they're Hatt Street toques, and to show the back of the toque!
16. What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Do what you love, love what you do. Realize that not everyone sees the world the same way you do, so not everyone will love your work as much as you do. If it makes you happy, that's all that matters. Of course, it helps when people love your work so much they'll pay for it, but it's not the end of the world if they don't!
17. Who first inspired you to begin crafting? Really, my whole family has played a part in my crafting... My parents are both fibre crafters: my mum knits and my dad crochets. My sister is an amazing artist, and I've always been a bit (ok, a lot) jealous of her talent... The things she can do with a couple acrylics and some canvas... I have a whole wall of my place dedicated to her art! Two of my mum's sisters are artists too, and the other sisters don't get off the hook either, everyone in the family crafts in some shape or form! My grandma's a writer, and my grandpa can make anything out of scraps of wood. I still remember when my aunt would come visit, she would bring a new craft for all of us to try. I'm pretty sure I had no choice in becoming a crafter...
18. Do you have a space for your work area or do you craft anywhere? I have wool everywhere... It probably really annoys my husband, but he's good enough not to say anything! I mostly create in the living room while I'm watching TV... At that point it's basically just background noise and it makes commercials so much more bearable! Plus, it's the biggest room in the place, so I have lots of area to spread out in. I also take my wool bag to work so that I can get some stuff made if I have any down time.
19. What are your favorite childhood memory involving arts? Whoops, I guess I kind of answered this already! My aunt coming to visit with a new craft every time! I also remember her teaching me how to make zippered pillow shams.
20. Do you feel accomplished when you finish creating? Absolutely. When I can sit back and look at the finished product, I always feel like I've gotten something done. I have a tough time sitting still, so if I can get something done I'm happy.
21. Does your personal style (living space clothing ect…) reflect anything you make?Definitely. I love snowboarding, and I couldn't be happier that snowboard style is all about bright colours these days! I love wearing hats, and I love colour, so put two and two together, and you get my toques.
22. Do you use your own products for things? Of course. I was trying out a new style of toque last month, and liked the end product so much that I kept it for myself to use!
23. Do you like custom orders? Love them. I love taking someone else's ideas, and putting them together into something that expresses their style in my own medium. I'd say probably 80% of my business is custom orders, and I'm completely happy with that!
24. Do you have any sales coming up? I have one going on right now, actually. I'm offering $10 off all my winter stock, which works out to about 40% off! Plus, I'm donating $1 from every sale through the month of April (including winter sale merchandise) to cancer research.
25. What are your favorite shops on Etsy?
and so many more! Etsy is such a fantastic community, and full of so many talented artists.