Monday, November 8, 2010

Answering the age old question: How did you first get started in your craft/art?

Well...there I was naked, cold, and hungry...okay maybe not naked...or cold...or hungry.  It made for a great intro though!  How did I get started in my craft/art...hhhmmm...I will focus mainly on my dog collars and leashes. 

About five years ago I stepped foot into my first dog show, but a bit before that I met this girl named Christie Miller.  She is and will always be my worst influence and I LURVE HER for it.  Christie breeds and shows Chow-Chows and if you have ever seen one with all that hair, fur, or blow-out (which ever floats your boat) you will have to wonder who in their right mind would bother to put any fancy collar on a Chow-Chow?  Well, you can stop wondering because Christie would (and proud to would I!).  I like most folks had never seen a collar that was wider than 1 in (25mm for my folks outside of the US) let alone one that was lavished with imported ribbons and lined with a rich and luxurious makes the collar sound like a good night out.

The collars that were in the well kept secret of the dog show realm were stunning and they came with the price tag to match.  Now, I am not one to complain about pricing in my current state, but when you are a non-crafter I just about swallowed my tongue when I picked a collar and noticed a $60.00 price tag on a 1"(25mm) collar.  I was just getting out of my baking phase and I was contemplating taking some formal sewing lessons but opted to borrow Jody's sewing machine for some "self lessons" (oh did I mention that Jody was Christie's baby sister?!).  I managed to figure out how to make a bandana without sewing my hands to the fabric in addition to learning some of the basics to sewing.  So while at the dog show that I mentioned earlier, Christie, who is always looking out for herself (she is my idol!) suggested that I learn to make dog collars and sell them.  Hell why can't be that damn hard....right?! WRONG!

In the beginning I was using my home machine with a zigzag stitch (and just assaulting my machine), buying the hardware from off the internet using mainly e-bay to get the hardware that was the cheapest (I am so embarassed to say that), and I found a great set of direction on how to make a collar.  My collars were okay, I priced them okay, and my sales were...okay.  Time taught me some valuable lessons and presentation, product construction, and supplier lists, but that is for another post.

I have long since abandoned that economy hardware for research, a great hardware supplier here in the US, a better sewing machine, new techniques, and just better construction.  So, I charge a bit-o-money for my collars, but they are worth it.

But to answer the question directly as to how I got started in my all started with a dog show, a evil buddy, and two fluffy pooches named George and Chester.

See how my other CREST teammates started in their crafts:
raine studios
Birch Tree Jewelry
CT2 Designs
Sandi Volpe
Sew Artsy Amy
Plant Geek Chronicles
Turquoise Angels