This week's Feature Friday Seller is a Full-Time Mom, Part-Time Program and Communication Coordinator with the City's Sport Council, and Etsy shop owner. Meet Julie from 3LittleDragonflies!
1) How did you start creating?
Just over a year ago, I started sewing Bibbles, a stylish dribble-bib for babies. My sister’s son from England always wore one and when I wanted to buy him some for Christmas I had a hard time finding them in Canada … hence the creation of Bibbles. When my sister had a baby girl last year I decided to try sewing a rag quilt for her. I loved the process and the simple old-fashioned look so I started adding rag quilts to my shop. Most recently, this summer, we had a bunch of lumber that we had rescued from a new home being built beside us (it was destined for the dumpster) so I started playing around in the garage with it. I found that I love working with wood and have been adding more and more to my shop (now I can understand the joy my Dad has always had working with wood as well as my two sons who love their shop class at school)!
2) What is your favorite thing about creating?
I like it when an idea comes to me and it almost becomes an obsession (in a good way of course!) – taking the materials and working on it until it becomes a finished product. I also love the happiness I feel when someone likes a product I've made enough to buy it because to me that is such a huge compliment!
3) Where do you find your inspiration?
I love Pinterest and sometimes things I see on there will trigger an idea. Many other times a combination of colours I see will inspire me to replicate those colours in a plank picture frame. Those colours can come from anywhere and everywhere – a magazine ad, a flower garden, a photo or simply my mood (which as all moms know can fluctuate from happy to stormy!)! Sometimes I just look at a piece of wood and start cutting it, not really sure what I want and just letting it lead me as I play around with it.
4) Tell us about what you sell.
I sell rustic shabby-cottage style items such as distressed wood plank frames, wood caddies, barn gate coat hangers, rag quilts and chalkboards. I love the cozy feel of rustic-style products … I imagine my items in cottages and summer beach houses where days are carefree or in cabins where there’s a pot of chili on the stove and snow falling outside. The style is simple and timeless in lives where there’s little fuss and lots of time with family and friends. Of course I don’t have a cottage, cabin or beach house but there’s nothing to say you can’t duplicate the look in your own home!
5) How did your shop get it's name?
I had an online shop where part of the tagline was “where life is a lullaby of fireflies and snickerdoodles” and I wanted to keep some of that when I opened my Etsy shop. Unfortunately there were too many characters in “fireflies and snickerdoodles”. So I tried combinations, adding in the number three to recognize my three children. Three Little Fireflies didn't quite have the sound I wanted, but Dragonflies did! The ‘little’ part is really irrelevant as I am shorter than all three of my kids, who are ages 16, 14 and 13!
6) Do you have any advice for other sellers?
Set aside some time for yourself a couple times a week so that you have time to create or do something that makes you happy. For a number of years being a Mom was so busy that being creative was set on the back burner. Now that I’m back doing it I wish I had taken a few stolen moments here and there just for myself.
Set goals but at the same time don’t put everything into those expectations. As a Mom you never know when the unexpected will happen! Sometimes the best of intentions never happen because you set it all aside to take care of the family … and that is what is most important. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher told me that children are only on loan to us for a short time and then they’re on their own. I try to remember this and not sweat the small stuff (but being a triple Type-A person I generally fail (epic failure) at letting the small stuff go … and end up being a basket-case). So in my ideal world I wish I could live by my own advice … maybe you can do better at it than me!
7) How do you balance your Etsy shop, your children, and your everyday schedule?
As mentioned above I have a triple Type-A personality so things are dictated by schedules. There isn’t much spontaneity in my life! My children are always first, plain and simple. I do have a part-time day job and while my hours are flexible, I find I work the same schedule each week for consistency. And then between everyday life and the Etsy shop it’s a balance. Some days housecleaning goes by the wayside because I’m working in the garage. Other days the Etsy stuff is set aside until I get the house under control. I figure if I spend some time 3-4 days a week on Etsy (plus time everyday on the computer promoting it) then that’s doing pretty good!
8) Where else can we find you?
Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest
That concludes our featured seller for this Friday! Make sure to Follow OwnSomethingAwesome on Facebook or Twitter to stay up-to-date and see when there is a new blog post! And feel free to leave a comment on the shops!