Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interview with Jennifer of GizmoFiberArts.

Jennifer shares some things about herself and her totally charming shop, GizmoFiberArts. Thanks Jennifer!

Enjoy some treasuries featuring GizmoFiberArts! Read her interview and check out her new banner!

First off so everyone can get to know each other better what is your 'real' name? And where do you live? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer and I live in Colville, WA. I am single and I have an orange tabby named Chips. I have a Masters degree in Philosophy but after teaching some at the college level I realized that's not the life for me. Now I sell on eBay as my "day job" and write and design as much as can.

How did you learn about Etsy? How long has your shop been open?

My sister-in-law told me about Etsy and I opened my shop in November last year. I thought it might be a better way to sell my patterns as it takes so long to submit them to publishers and there aren't very many publishers left these days.

How did you come up with you shop name?

Well, I really love gadgets and inventions. I wanted a name that reflected that aspect of my personality because a lot of my creativity has to do with figuring out how to make things. It's more about how to achieve a certain effect, such as how to make a hat "floppy" than having a specific look in mind. I searched all kinds of word combinations to come up with one that was available on all the social media I could think of. Gizmo isn't used much so I chose that to represent my personality. I chose fiber arts because I was writing both knit and crochet patterns (though there are only crochet ones in my shop), and I also have some ideas for embroidery. I didn't want to limit it to crochet though it's mostly crochet.

What do you like most about your shop appearance? What would you like to improve?

Well, I recently won a makeover for my shop! I received new graphics; they are my favorite part of my shop's appearance. LOL On the negative side, a lot of my pictures are really dark. I live in a dark house with little windows and lots of rain outside. It has been hard to get enough light to make my products look their best.

What is your creative style? Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster? What inspires you?

My work area is a mess usually. I don't have a lot of space to have it be the total disaster zone that I would probably prefer. All kinds of things inspire me. I'm constantly having to edit because there are so many things I want to make. I'm mostly inspired by trying to figure out "how" to make something. At the moment I'm working on a crocheted Chinese dragon. I like the look of Chinese dragons and I was just wondering, could it be crocheted? The challenge is on, and I'm trying.

You state you’ve been crocheting for thirty years in your profile, what draws you to this art form?

Well, my mom taught me to crochet when I was 5. I wanted to be like her and my grandma, who is legendary in my family. I like crochet, and knitting also, because they are structural and mathematical, yet so feminine at the same time. Even as a little kid, I loved figuring out the math involved in making crocheted stuff.

Has it been challenging to go from producing items to creating patterns? What made you decide to go in that direction? Have you found that aspect of your shop to be more successful as far as sales go?

I really like writing, and I used to write gaming guides, which were step by step instructions for beating online games. That skill plus my love of crochet led me to want to try writing some patterns. I would like to start adding things like helpful tips and ideas of how to adapt the patterns.
As far as my store, I opened it to sell patterns, and then realized I could add the finished items too since I don't have anywhere else to sell them. The patterns are the best sellers in my store, and definitely my main focus.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share?

Yeah, as far as sales, definitely renew or list every single day. When I started renewing 3 items/day I saw a huge jump in sales. I didn't see any increased sales for the first 10 days or so and started to think it was a waste of money, but I had committed to doing it for a month. Then, all of the sudden, the sales started coming in.


Tracey said...

really great to learn more about a woman who creates great objects in a fun way!
cool that you used to write solutions to online games! I don't game but my husband does and I've seen those games cheats. It's such an anonymous thing, it's interesting to learn that you're real! :D

Jennifer said...

Thanks Tracey, and thanks Monti for the interview!

Anonymous said...

Love how you came up with your name. Found this interview on Twitter - Now I'll have to check out your shop and see your patterns. :)

Heather said...

I love the way you explain knitting and crocheting as feminine AND mathematical. It takes a high attention to skill and detail to create your designs and your patterns, as well as an innate talent. I love your coffee cozies! They are both utilitarian and beautifully artistic.

StudioCherie said...

Monti - fabulous interview! You are hired. LOL. Jennifer, wonderful answers. Thanks for letting us get to know you