Sunday, November 30, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: IllusionFusion

Featured Etsian: IllusionFusion
Shop link:

Give us the basics:

My shop is called IllusionFusion. I work out of my home studio in Hampton, VA making art glass. Items range from housewares and dinnerware, to jewelry and accessories.

What’s your favourite smell?
My favorite smell in the whole world is honeysuckle.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I’ve been working in glass for the last 27 years. My art is self taught.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
Inspiration is easy. Look around and you’ll find it everywhere - outdoors, in the kitchen, color combinations. My kids give me the most inspiration because they think outside of the box more easily than I do. If I get stuck, I just hand my boys the art box and watch them work.

What do you like least about your craft?
It really bothers me when I’m on the last of a series of 5 firings and something happens to ruin the piece. Each firing takes between 9 and 12 hours, plus any of the handworking done between each step. After investing that much time in something, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see it destroyed.

What’s a normal day for you?
I get up about 6:30am, feed the children and get them dressed. The oldest catches the bus to school and I drop the youngest at the sitter. I work 8-9 hours at my day job where I check in with Etsy frequently, answering convos and participating in the forums. After work I pick up the youngest and head home to cook dinner. We eat dinner as a family, then I supervise homework, baths and bedtime stories. House chores take over from about 8-9 pm and then I can spend time packing products, checking on Etsy, and either working in the studio or listing until 11pm or so. Now that it’s cooler, I’ll probably start running again which means getting up about 4:45am. Early, but it’s worth it!

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Learn everything you can about Etsy before you open your shop. Read the TOS, ask questions in the forums and learn the ropes before you ever sign up as a seller. Make sure you have a business plan and a great product. When you open your shop, market yourself on and off Etsy. Tell your friends, pass out business cards and get the word out. Most of all, have fun and don’t expect to be an overnight success!

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I adore the Pounce feature and probably spend almost as much time on there as I do in the forums. I also click on other seller’s shops in the forums and have found tons of wonderful things to buy just by typing in random words in the search box.

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