Friday, January 4, 2013

Spotlight on Homespun Hoard

Todays spotlight is on a family of knitters and “hoarders” that have used their obsession with crafting to make people smile! When looking through their shop animals are everywhere; turtles, pigs, octopuses and mice! All handmade (along with some supplies here and there).
Without further ado, I give you The Homespun Hoard:

I LOVE the dunce Octopus so much I couldn’t resist so I bought him!!! He looks so sad you just wanna cuddle him!!

Jenn was kind enough to share with me the story of how H.H. came to be:
Give us a short bio:
Well, my shop consists of my mom, my sister, and I.. Our products are what we make up after a bit of back and forth harassment/motivation. We are just the kind of family that would go to craft fairs and artisan booths and be like "we can make that.." Often we'd have our own ideas on how to improve things. My mom has a part time job, I have a full time one, and my sister is disabled... so coordinating 'craft time' gets difficult sometimes; usually items are co-created, with my mom or sister making the parts of an Item, and me cobbling them together.
The very start of it all was my mother's desire to 'save' old vintage patterns and supplies. The collection grew over the years... to sheer massive-ness, and I figured we might as well use them. Since I'm a thrift store and estate picker for fun, I started looking for craft supplies and the rest is history.

What inspired you to start your business?
There just comes a time when your pile of Crafted items and Art becomes so massive that you sit back and stare at it and think... "Wow, I could TOTALLY have my own shop!" The gears started turning, so I started researching. (Another of my pastimes) I checked out the many auction, and sale sites, comparing them side by side for ease of use and fees (FEES are always important to consider) and decided on Etsy. I was already shopping here and getting inspired so it seemed the perfect fit. Then picture taking started, figuring out SEO's and other oddness of the online retail environment... Then launch :)

What inspires your creative process?
Pretty much everything... I know that's a little cliche', but it's still true. The top inspirations are vintage craft books and Etsy itself. Crafting from the 30's-50's was all about reusing things and making do with what you already had. PERFECT for today's eco-friendly mentality! There is literally TONS of cute ideas and projects that you can't find anywhere, long since forgotten and waiting to be picked up again by adventurous readers. Inspiration from Etsy is really more of finding out what people are looking for and interested in. As I've previously stated, people are very much into the re-use it revolution, and I honestly wouldn't have known how much so without being able to browse around Etsy.

What is your favorite thing you’ve made and why?
Well, because there is more than one person crafting I'll give you more than one answer: I'll start with my mom. The item (or Items) she's most proud of are our line of ODD Pets. Mainly because they were are first made stuffed toys, and my mom had her doubts about them. I had to cheerlead for her to make them, buy all the vintage patterns and NAG until I turned blue in the face. My mom is the Crochet lady of our team, so to get those more complicated items done I need my mommy! :) She does all of the base parts, and I put them together and do the faces and eyes... giving them personality. When our first one sold 'DOOF', my mom sent me the happiest text message. (Oh ye of little faith.<3)

(DOOF himself! =D)

I'm personally most proud of my FUZZ HEADS, with a special spot in my heart for my first completed, Shy Blue baby one. I just kept seeing fur scraps for sale, and I WANTED to do something with them. My first thought was to make bags/purses with them, but when my first bag of scraps came in I just stared at it and started envisioning toys. Then I went to my local GoodWill and found BAGS of potato head parts for sale... :) and the idea took off. My pride comes from the fact that NO ONE understood what I was doing when I first started hand sewing and attaching things (Figuring out how to attach parts was an adventure).. Then when they are finished and sewn up they look like big fuzzy messes. I have to brush them strategically and trim excess hair to give them 'personality'. After all the trial and error and work, getting an adorable outcome made my week.

(Inventive and adorable!!!! One of a kind toys, you’re sure to treasure!)

What advice do you have for other people who want to start or grow their Etsy shop?
Patience.. Patience.. Patience. Like all things worthwhile, it takes work. Unless you've magically stumbled on the 'IT' product of the century things will be slow at first. You'll have to spend money to make it, and promote the heck out of yourself.

Join teams and be ACTIVE... Having other people around the world view and fav your items exposes you to their circles, and so on. It's a ripple in the pond, but it works! (Go teams! I love you!) Also, consider BNR and BNS (Buy and replace and buy and stay) participation. Don't go so crazy you spend more than you make, but it's another great way to get yourself out there to the Etsy masses.

Editors tip: Also, I find that unless you see something you absolutely HAVE to have, if you buy supplies to get into a BNR/S then you come out on top in the end.

Thank you so much Jenn for sharing with us! I think a lot of us Etsians can relate to your story. Many of us are just old crafters whose creation have amassed to the point where we don’t have a storage space big enough to hold them all, lol! And several of us, myself included, are unable to work a “normal” job and Etsy helps pay the bills that don’t care that you are stuck in bed, lol!

Please visit The Homespun Hoard and browse their adorable and unique pieces!

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