Tell me about your businesses.
I sew and print leather and fabric! I also own and run a small all handmade boutique here in Southern Illinois called Dayshift.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I moved from Chicago to Carbondale, Il in February of 2008. I bought a sewing machine on the way down from my now good friend Jamie. She was working at Joann Fabrics at the time, and helped me pick out a machine and everything I needed to get started. As luck would have it, she was teaching sewing classes as well, and I learned everything I know from her! She now owns an amazing independent music store called the Practice Pad next to my boutique/studio. I still run next store for sewing advice, she helped me pull a dress apart today.
I had no skills before this at all! I just wanted to learn to take care of things myself, I had no idea it would turn into a career, but I am so thankful that I found out what I love and get to do it everyday!
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
In Blue is from the Bob Dylan song Tangled Up In Blue, dayshift is from the Bob Dylan song Subterranean Homesick Blues. I got the names while driving to and from craft stores and singing along to my ipod very loudly.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I spend quite a bit of time with the other artists who have work in my shop, and while I usually create my items alone, I am constantly bouncing ideas off of the many talented artists I know. Dayshift has 40 local artists work on display, so I see each of them all the time…we are constantly sharing our skills with one another and brainstorming new ideas together!
My family is the best family in the whole world :) My dad spends time on ebay checking for great deals on supplies, he is a master at secretly picking out what I need and shipping it to my studio (including my amazing 1957 salmon pink antique leather sewing machine). My mom is awesome, she is super proud of me, I honestly could not ask for a better support system! Hi Mom and Dad! My friends and my boyfriend are also the best in the whole world, they have been so supportive of this endeavor, from laying my floor in my new shop to spending late nights with me in the store working and helping, I couldn’t ask for more!
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
www.inblue.etsy.com and Dayshift, a handmade boutique, and countless handmade boutiques across the United States, Canada, and Australia! I like craft fairs a lot, its so fun to see new people and get to interact with them in person (the food is always awesome too). I love online selling as well! I love the fact that I can be selling things while I sleep, eat, walk the dogs…pretty cool! I don’t think anything is better than selling things in my boutique though, its such a rewarding feeling to know that its mine and that people love it :)
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
My friend Katherine’s shop is awesome! www.happysolez.etsy.com
My friend Emily’s site is also awesome!
Check out Andrea LeBeau’s site, she is new to etsy!
What inspires and motivates you?
My landlord :) Friends, family, my boyfriend, my dogs, music, books, traveling, and sleeping…I love the pond in my backyard, I get some of my best ideas there!
What do you wish I had asked you?
“Do you have any advice for artists who want to quit their day job?”
You can do it! I worked overnights at steak n shake when I first opened my shop to make ends meet. It was hard work, I never slept, but I didn’t give up, and now I get to do what I love full time. I think everyone should be able to do what they love!
Thanks Mary Lynn! And if you want to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.