Congratulations to the WINNER of the Curly Willow Collections gift card set. I’m so thankful to Vicki for hosting this very special event at my blog and I hope others will visit and purchase her incredible merchandise.
A big CONGRATULATIONS to the winner ……..
Welcome to Small Business Spotlight, a special feature post at Three 31.
A big THANKS to Vicki for sharing her business and sponsoring a giveaway too ….. details below!
Why did you start an online store, blog, and website?
I’ve been doing graphic design for over 25 years. (Yes, I’m much older than most bloggers out there. ha) And I’ve always had to design based on my client’s aesthetic. I never really had the opportunity to design for me. I didn’t even know if I was good at it.
In November of 2010, I convinced my best friend to start a blog with me where we could show and tell about our designs (www.curlywillowdiy.blogspot.com) She is definitely gifted at interior decorating. Her home is always beautiful and I wanted to let people know about it. So, after we blogged together for a year. I felt the need to break off and find my own way, my own following. The Etsy store came about simply because I really needed to make some extra money. The economy was tanking and we were feeling it. I have a part time job where I work from home. But I also wanted to contribute a little more as well.
Describe your style.
Gosh, this is a hard one for me. After designing so much for others, I really had no idea what would come out of me when I had time to design pretty things for me. I think the only way to describe my style right now is girly, but a work in progress.
What type of equipment do you use?
Adobe Photoshop is my main man! It does everything I need it to do. I love working in it and I know I still don’t know everything it can do. It’s some powerful software… it’s got great muscles!
What ONE item could you NOT live without?
Probably being in tune with my emotions. I usually design best based on my mood
Please provide a brief explanation of your business and work flow.
My children are grown for the most part. I have a daughter, 25, who is married and lives on the west coast. My two sons are 19 and 17. So, one is in college and one is in high school. But, they are self sufficient. As long as their dinner is prepared, I can do whatever I want!!!!! Plus, I work and design throughout the day, sometimes to music, sometimes to movies. Just depends on what I feel like that day.
Do you have a creative “oops” that you can share?
I don’t really have a creative oops, but I definitely have many, many designs, or drawings that I do not sell because I’m not completely happy with the way they look.
What do you consider beautiful?
I love all design. I truly believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder. All design, whether interior design, art, patterns, illustrations, or nature, inspires me.
What brings joy to your life?
I love taking care of people. I love cooking for my family, and I love designing and expressing myself.
Are you a self-taught web manager, graphic artist, and business owner or did someone show you the ropes?
I have an Associates design in Commercial art from a technical school. I was not a good student growing up. I learn best by doing and I have ADD, so a classroom setting was brutal. But, I excelled in design school and it was the first time I got straight A’s. I was happy when I found my place in the world. However, when I was in design school, there were no computers to help you design, everything was done on paste-up boards and we had to send out for type. I went back to school to take a refresher course in Adobe software about 15 years ago. Before that, and since then, I taught myself.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. I am most inspired by God’s creation. I think most designers and artists would say the same.
Have you ever found yourself in a “creative funk,” and, if so, how did you get out?
Oh yeah, I get tired and need a break. Sometimes, breaks are a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks. It just depends on what I see that will inspire me next. I don’t do anything specific to try to get me out of my creative funk. I accept that part of the process. In any job, everyone needs some down time to rejuvenate.
You have many creative outlets, which provide you with the most satisfaction?
I like making connections with the people who buy my art and ask them where they will be using it. I love the stories they share with me.
What is one lasting impression you want to leave in your work?
I want my art to have made a difference in someone’s life.
If you did not have a website and Etsy store, what would you be doing?
BE REALLY BORED!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To date, what has been your biggest accomplishment?
Not giving up! I think it’s super easy to try something and when you meet a fork in the road or it doesn’t go as well as you thought, tendencies are to quit. But, as I age (UGH!) I realize greatness comes from patience and perseverance.
Do you have any special plans in 2012 that you can share with us?
My goal for my business in 2012 to just to get my shop out their in the blogging community, to take risks in my designs and try something new each month. I do have a goal to make at least two putz/glitter houses each month and put them in my shop for sale in September for Christmas. I love the building and decorating process of those sweet little houses and I am finding I am good at it too.
In addition to answering these questions, Vicki is hosting a giveaway. One winner will receive an assortment of her custom cards. The set includes two (2) of the five designs featured above.
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To enter the giveaway, simply answer this question in a comment:
Would you rather send or receive a card?
For additional entries,
- Visit Curly Willow Collections on Etsy and select a product you like – name that item in a separate comment.
- Subscribe to Vicki’s blog via email – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Like Curly Willow Collections on Facebook – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Follow Curly Willow Collections on Twitter – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Follow Vicki Shead on Pinterest – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Subscribe to Three 31 via email – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Follow Nicole Hutchison on Pinterest – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Follow nmhutch on Twitter – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
- Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog – and tell me you did so in a separate comment.
Giveaway ends Sunday, March 25 at 9:00pm Central time.
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If you (or someone you know!) would like to sponsor a giveaway, or be featured in the Small Business Spotlight, message me for details!!!