This week's Friday Feature at Mama's Magic Studio (cross posted here for your viewing pleasure!) is Foxy G. Knits, a witty textile artist and Etsyblogger member. I had great fun learning more about her and her craft! As a beginning knitter myself, I truly admire her skill with yarn. (As I have said more than once to my customers when talking about my handmade knitting needles, "I'm a better needle maker than a knitter!" I know enough about knitting to know that they are a good tool, but don't ask me to make a cable stitch or follow a pattern!)
I love all her Goddess Shawls, especially this one -- After the Rain. Aren't the colors amazing?
Enjoy the interview!
1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
Foxy G. Knits features hand-knit, one-of-a-kind shawls, wraps and scarves that are versatile and designed for today's woman. My items encompass comfort and style, and you don't have to give up one for the other.
Knitting is my passion that has its roots in childhood. I learned from my mom, way back when we were carving our needles out of dinosaur bones. And then, sadly, I fell off the wagon and embraced needlepoint and counted cross stitch for countless years (pardon the pun). However, being a woman of true grit and strong character, I saw the light and found my way back.
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong (if any)?
Etsy Bloggers Team
Etsy North Georgia Street Team
3. How did you get involved with Etsy?
For a long time, knitting was an avocation and not a vocation for me. While others expressed their creativity through cooking or gardening or painting, I was clicking away on my needles. In sheer and utter desperation, friends and family finally convinced me to open a store on etsy. I just know that they were getting so tired of receiving scarves, shawls, baby blankets and hats for birthdays and every other special occasion! In September 2008, I took the plunge and opened Foxy G. Knits where everything is knit by hand – from my heart to yours.
4. What inspires your creations?
My inspiration comes from colors and textures in the everyday world around me. My favorite part of the creative process is coordinating and blending various yarn colors and textures. I have the ability to conceptualize and see various colors, textures and designs before they are actual completed items.
5. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
I would have to say that my biggest challenge related to my Etsy shop is finding my niche. What I think will sell does not always. And what I think might never sell sells quickly. While I can get the Etsy demographics, I do not yet have a good handle on the demographics of Foxy G. Knits shoppers.
6. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite item could change with my mood, so I will go with the first one I thought of when I read this question: Hand Knit Lady in Red Scarf
I love how it looks in photos and sounds in the description: You are saucy and sassy, sultry and sexy, stylish, smart and oh, so sophisticated. Just showing up in this elegantly simple, femininely tailored scarf makes words unnecessary. You will mesmerize anyone within eye shot.
7. What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
As a seller, run your business like you are the customer – be that customer. What makes you want to shop in a particular place – service, attention to detail? And do get comfortable with promoting yourself.
I know that many artists and artisans do not like to promote themselves, and I truly understand. However, if you don’t promote yourself, it is like throwing a party and not sending out invitations. I bet no one shows up. But there are ways to promote yourself that are not distasteful. I use a variety of methods to market or promote Foxy G. Knits, and they all involve building relationships and trust. I am a member of three teams and share useful information with them at every opportunity. I have a blog and promote members of my teams, as well as other etsy sellers. I am also on twitter.
8. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
How I chose my shop name: I have a little granddaughter who is 2 ½ years old. When we were selecting our grandparent names, I joked that I would be “Grandma Lo” by day and “Foxy G.” by night. When I was trying to come up with a name for my shop, Foxy G. Knits was a natural!
My magnificent obsession: When I am not knitting, I am collecting weird, old ashtrays. Currently, I have more than 3,000. (They live in my master bedroom, and I inhabit the west wing!) I also have cigarette cases and boxes, lighters, old magazine ads, sheet music and many promotional pieces that were put out by the various cigarette companies. My goal is to one day curate an exhibit of the 20th century as seen through these items. I am in the process of building a blog for my ashtray collection: Reflections on an Ashtray Collection
Marketing idea that really worked: Recently, I wanted to build a Facebook Fan page and get to 100 fans so that I could secure my vanity name. So, I offered to knit a children’s scarf for the local homeless shelter for every new fan I received from July 15 – August 15. And I posted that information on my Facebook page as well as tweeted about it. I thought that it would take me a month to reach 100, but it took only four days. By the time the promotion was over, I owed the shelter more than 200 scarves!
9. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
Blog: Foxy G’s Den of i-KNIT-quity http://foxygknits.com
Facebook biz page: http://www.facebook.com/foxygknits
Posted for the EtsyBloggers team by: Mama's Magic Studio
See EtsyBloggers team membership requirements here: etsybloggers.com
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