Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Featured Artisan: Toteally Bags on Etsy
I enjoy getting to know crafters and artisans and love to learn more about those who create something I really like. I spotted this bag on Etsy about a year ago and it has been in my list of favorites ever since. So I wanted to get to know the woman behind the bag. Here is my Q and A with Donna of Toteally Bags...
Q: Tell me about what you make and how you got started.
A: I have loved to sew since I was a little girl when I would make doll clothes and little gifts for people by hand. Then my mom got me a little "Sew Easy" toy sewing machine that sewed real stitches! I thought that was the best gift ever. I have since graduated to a real sewing machine, and I still love to make gifts for people. I started designing tote bags and diaper bags to give as gifts, and people kept asking me if I had any for sale, so now I do! I make mostly purses and totes, along with some fun things like sock monkeys and vintage-style aprons.
Q: I know you sell on Etsy at your shop Toteally Bags. Do you sell anywhere else?
A: My bags can also be found in a shop called "Postcards From Delaware" in the Delaware Welcome Center on Highway 95 just outside of Wilmington, DE, where I am a featured "local artisan".
Q: Of everything you make, what is your favorite?
A: I think mother/daughter tote bag sets are my favorite thing to make. As a mom of two daughters, these sets are very close to my heart. I can just picture the moms and their little girls carrying their matching bags, and that makes me happy :)
Q: What hobbies do you have? What else do you enjoy making?
A: I am always working on some kind of project, whether it's sewing, home decorating, baking, scrapbooking, or anything else crafty. There are many, many projects in the back of my head just waiting for their turn to be created. So many projects, so little time! I love taking good ideas and making them even better, and I can often be heard saying, "I could totally make that!" (a comment that usually gets an eyeroll from my teenaged daughters).
Q: What do you find most challenging about selling online?
A: The most challenging thing I have found about selling online is time management. I usually don't find the amount of time in the day that I want to dedicate to my Etsy shop.
Q: Any tips or ideas to help others who enjoy crafting?
A: Another challenge I have is keeping my fabric organized. I work better if I can see what I have to work with, and I needed some way to store my many pieces of fabric in a way that was organized but visible. So, here's what I did: I took an old hutch that was in the attic from a previous homeowner and painted it white. I stacked it on top of a white dresser, and voila! A fabric storage unit, where I can fold and stack my fabrics, and organize them by color or type. This was the perfect solution for me, and could be done with any old bookcase or similar piece of furniture.
Visit Donna's shop at Toteally Bags or
like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToteallyBags
and learn more about her on her blog at toteallyreal.blogspot.com