Saturday, March 14, 2009

March Featured Shop: DonnaPool

This month's featured shop is came into existence in December of 2006 and specializes in variety. Donna's shop is an eclectic mix of creativity drawn from her experience as a freelance photographer and her enjoyment of sewing and quilting. You will find everything from soft toys for infants to buttons, prints and notecards featuring some of her best shots from her years a photographer.

Although she can't nail down a single item as a favorite, Donna loves making things with recycled magazines. "Browsing through old magazines like Life, Look, or Better Homes & Gardens is like getting a glimpse of history and I find such a wealth of wonderful images to turn into pocket mirrors and other button products." She also finds solace in gathering "a needle, thread, a pile of cut up blue jeans and, with my own two hands, turning it into a teddy bear that will last a kid a lifetime."Donna finds inspiration from memories of her childhood, "whether it's remembering all the little things we had around my house and my neighborhood or recalling the joy of art class in school, which was always my favorite time of the day." Being part of an artistic family meant art and sewing supplies were readily available and a project could be found underway at any given time.
When asked what she finds to be the most challenging aspect of selling her creations, Donna replied managing the business end of running her shop, specifically working with numbers and keeping track of her accounts. She has also had to learn a lot about promoting her business through blogging and social networking sites and "the Etsy Street Teams, too." A feeling of success came for her when she could stay in the black and did not have to dip into personal bank accounts for supplies and expenses and when she was able to use her sales to help with family expenses. At the moment, running her Etsy shop is the only job she has with the exception of the occasional freelance photography, video editing, or graphic design projects. She is involved in the audio/visual ministry of her church.
Donna Pool is a stay at home mom to two daughters, age 25 and 16 (her oldest daughter runs and will be married 29 years this May. Art has always been an important part of Donna's life and was evident in everyday life in her childhood home.
"I'll be turning 51 in May so I'm sure I'm one of the older Etsymoms. It does make it interesting sometimes when so many others are at home with babies and toddlers and making things for babies and toddlers. Although my teddy bears and puzzle balls are for little ones, I sometimes feel a little out of step with some of the discussions. But I also have a different perspective on art, business and life in general that I hope others find helpful from time to time. And my two girls are proof that whatever difficult stage your little ones might be going through is survivable ...they will grow out of it!"