Friday, March 11, 2011

Feature Friday - Le Joli Paon

I have been horribly, horribly frazzled lately with the whole back injection, job, life in general. But, thankfully, I finally remembered to post a Feature Friday on an actual Friday! So here is the latest. It comes from Carrie Beth from Le Joli Paon, an adorable shop on Etsy with beautiful stationary and other paper goods. Let's take a look at the shop and get to know Carrie Beth a little bit better.

1. How did you get into crafting?
I've always loved beautiful and lady-like paper, especially personalized in some way or another. This love was greatly increased when I got married due to the exciting and wonderful task of getting to pick out and lots of stationery items for the wedding. Then last summer, when my husband was at home preparing to take The Bar Exam, I needed to find a hobby that kept me still and quiet while he was working. So I just started playing around with starting to design paper goods for my friends and family. I made a few cards and gave them away as gifts and then one of my very best friends asked if she could order more of them from me. It shocked me! When I told my husband, he said "I guess you're in business then. Go for it!" Ever since then, I've been designing, printing, and crafting one or more projects a day.
2. How did your Etsy shop come to be?
I have loved Etsy for years and never ever thought I'd become a seller. Then, when people started ordering paper goods from me, I just thought I'd give it a try. So I spent the last five months researching and scouring Etsy to learn how to become a seller, how to run a shop, what makes sellers successful, etc. After doing all of this research and learning as much as possible, I began working on my shop. It's still a budding little work in progress, but I think that's the beauty of Etsy... your shop can always be a work in progress and you're never really finished. I. love. that.
3. What is your favorite part about being creative?
Haha... anyone who knows me personally knows how dangerous it is to ask me to pick my favorite part of anything. I'm way too right brained to have a favorites, but I guess it would be the way an artistic concept is something people relate to differently. Therefore, when I get a request or an occasion to create something for a customer, I try to find out as much as possible about the customer and the audience that will be receiving my work. Then I begin working on a design that's carefully tailored to their personality or their event's needs.
For example, I recently designed for a bride. I asked to speak with her, see pictures of the couple if possible, and I even got a few images of where the event would be held before I begin designing. This ensures that I'm on track with the bride's concept for her entire day. This way, there's a personal connection for her. As for the recipients of her stationery? My hope is that they think of her when they see it!
4. Are you a full time crafter or do you have a "day job?"
I am actually a classicaly trained opera singer. SUPRISE!
I perfomed with full orchestra in Europe and still perform regionally in the U.S. at weddings, funerals, private events, and professional concerts.
This is still not what I would call my actual day job. I am an elementary music teacher at a local private school where I teach grades 4K- 6th grade. I also teach after school piano and voice lessons. I am also the Children's Music Director for my church.... yep, I'm a busy little singing bee, but I am so BLESSED to get to do so many exciting, fun, musical things every day in addition to pursuing my graphic design hobby.
5. If someone were to buy you a birthday gift on Etsy, what 3 words would they use in their search?
Again, I hope by words you meant categories...there goes my inability to narrow favorites down again...
How's this?
paper goods, jewelry, home goods
Any item from any of those categories=love.
6. How do you create your designs?
Being a musician, I believe that elegance is not only something that can be seen. It can be heard, felt, touched, and experienced. I like to remember that when I am designing. So how do it do it? Very carefully and always with the customer at the forefront of my mind. Art is about self-expression, yes, but what's the point if no one appreciates the art which you are creating. I want all of my customers to LOVE their designs. Not because I designed them, but because their designs suit them in a personal way. Basically, I want it to be more than paper.
7. What's in your Soundtrack to Sewing?
Sad confession: I actually don't sew! I have a machine that a sweet elderly woman from church gave to me and I am determined to learn. So far, I can only sew for a very long time in a straight line. Someone help me! As of today, I have only successfully made a fabric square. :(
8. Favorite spots for inspiration?
The sweet little study in my home. After the bar exam, my husband kindly gave it up and let me move in as I prepared to start my shop. He is wonderful. He even helped me to clean his bar exam books out of the closet so that I could get everything insanely organized before I began. What's better? The study also doubles as a yoga studio and practice room for me when I need to prepare music for a concert! It is a wonderfully calm and inspiring space. Even my puppy likes to nap in there! :)
9. Who inspires you?
Countless people and historical figures. Too many to list. All inspire me. All for different reasons.
10. If you had to choose one item in your shop as a signature piece, what would it be and why?
The Sophisticated Family series. Family is the most important thing to me, and that series is designed with the hope that every family would be able to identify with that design.
Big thanks to Carrie Beth for sharing her story with us! Don't forget to head over to Le Joli Paon to check out all the amazing cards, invitations and notes. :)

In other news, I hope to buy my stabilizing fabric this weekend and do my first project using the machine embroidery. We'll see how that does. =/ So far the weekend has begun with my cat using my leg as a means to claw her way up onto the bed. I hope that's not a bad omen.

1 comment:

  1. Le Joli Paon has gorgeous items! Thanks for showing her off!


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