Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Don't Panic Design

In college I took a desktop publishing class and loved it! I spent countless hours in front of a computer screen designing anything from business cards to brochures to wedding invitations. I can't tell you just how many headaches I had sitting in front of that computer screen. 

The headaches alone are the reason I didn't pursue a career in graphic design.... only kidding. I didn't pursue a career in graphic design because I am nowhere near as talented as Amy at Don't Panic Design.

I love Amy's design style; simple, crisp, bright and bold. A girl after my own heart... and she is self taught too!  

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a word loving, Montana loving, self taught designer with a minimalist sensibility. I love MT, and that informs both my personality and my style. I also love to travel; I have been to 13 states and 30 countries. I love nature walking and garage-sales and get a lot of ideas from both those activities.

When did you first discover etsy?

After setting up cards, programs, and wedding invitations for years, my sister told me about etsy and said I should try it out. I put my site up and sold an invitation the first day. It's been slowly building since then and very fun, and I continue to learn everyday.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I love to read, recycle, walk, eat, cook, knit, paint (walls), spray paint old stuff to make it like new again, build (walls) and use power tools, and sew. I love making my own stuff, and I am always trying to find ways to reduce waste and make my own things. I like to feel helpful and strive to help those in my life in small ways everyday.

Is Etsy your full time or part time business? 

My Etsy shop is my part time job that I spend full time working. Since I opened I have averaged one sale a week, and my current ambition is to get to one sale a day. I have a long way to go, but I love what I do so much, I'll keep trying until I get there!

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world?

I only sell on but I do have a blog. I post new listings there, feature other etsians of all kinds, and talk about DIY design and print, and a few other things like my constant attempts to become more green.

What steps do you take in your creative process? 

It's a nerve wracking process, but it requires trust of self and communication with customer through proofing. It's fun to see what you started with become just the thing someone didn't know they wanted. 

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community? 

I love the handmade community and the focus on real people doing and creating what they love. I am also a buyer and two this year's birthday presents came off of my favorites list, which was awesome!

How do you get out of your creative ruts? 

Take a break. Do something else, think about something else, look around, and pay attention. One of my most recent designs was inspired by an ad I saw on the side of a van while I was driving to the bank.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

Living in the south of France and doing invitation design full time.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why? 

To read as much as you can and take one thing from each article. Use your community, ask for help, and seek support. If you don't find it right away, keep looking. It's out there. 

Favorite recipe

I love to cook, and while I enjoy reading cook books, I don't usually cook with a recipe. I read them for ideas and use what I have or what I can easily get. So, my favorite recipe is for deodorant: 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 2 tablespoons shea butter. Slowly heat them up and stir together. Once melted, add any essential oil for scent (some essential oils can cause sensitivities, so test it first). Transfer to a small wide mouthed jar. Stir well then refrigerate to firm it up. Remove and keep room temperature, it should be the consistency of a thick cream. It will melt as you use it.

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