Friday, October 24, 2008

Featured Diva Interview - with Amanda from TackledAndShackled

*A Note From DDIB:Let's end the week with a "getting to know you, getting to know all about you" post!:-) We're excited to introduce you to the diva behind the imaginative and amazing TackledAndShackled shop. Now, admit it...the name "TackledAndShackled" has you super-duper curious, right? (lol) Bet you're wondering what kind of items she sells? Well, read on and find out. If you love UNIQUE...then you'll adore TackledAndShackled.

Name: Amanda

Shop: TackledAndShackled

Shop url: http://TackledAndShackled.etsy.com

Tell us a little about yourself:

I'm a stay at home mom of three spirited kids, ages 13, 6, and 3 (yeah-- we've got The Span...LOL). My husband is a mechanical engineer, but I sometimes think my job is harder! Thus, the monniker TackledAndShackled became the perfect homage to my (much loved) status. I've been crafting pretty much my whole life- growing up poor in a family of 8 helped spark my creativity and love of turning Nothing into Something.

Give us a description of your business and the items that you offer:

My products span many different categories, often blurring the lines from one subject to another. I started out here on etsy doing just jewelry, but quickly branched out into decoupage, collage, ACEO, wall hangings, embroidery, and altered books, among others.

What are your bestsellers? Your specialty? Most popular items?

Interestingly, my bestsellers have been some funky light switch covers adorned with 1946 vintage dictionary pages. I actually just sat down and perused this old, falling-apart dictionary, tearing out the pages which had images that appealed to me, and took it from there. It's both comforting and somewhat alarming that other people 'get' my weird sense of humor! Bats, 18th century public humiliation contraptions, the list goes on and on.

There's 'normal' stuff too-- botanical illustrations of dragonflies and flower species are some of the other selections...) But I've also had great success with altered books-- I recently sold one I'd made from a children's board book. It was all about my favorite species of flower-- poppies. Each page was a unique assemblage tribute to all things poppy, including a complete seed collection of many different types of poppies I'd grown in my own personal garden, and accompanying photos of them in all their glory.

Are your items targeted toward a specific age group?

For the most part, it spans all ages-- more mature people usually love my jewelry, though I make jewelry for kids as well (and everyone in between.....LOL). I would venture to say that there's really something for everyone.

What inspired you to start your own indie business?

Years and years of friends telling me, "You know, you really should be selling this stuff!" Honestly. I was having fun just doing it for myself and as gifts, but admittedly, it's been pretty well received here on etsy! I've only been in business about 5 weeks, and have had 14 sales.

As an independent business woman, what keeps you motivated?

Realizing that people actually enjoy what I do! Crafting started out as almost a sort of therapy for me (I have 3 kids, after all....LOL). But to know that other people not only like it, but want to buy it? That's an amazing sense of fulfillment right there. It feels good to know that what I do is appreciated. Now for the home front......LOL

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement thus far?

I cannot express the absolute glee I felt over selling two lengthy labors of love in one single transaction: the person who bought the poppy altered book also bought another one at the same time. Completely different subjects, but both claiming their own space in my heart.
Oh, and getting dinner on the table every once in a while too.

What has been your biggest challenge as a business woman?

Finding the balance between home and work;
Finding the dining room table.

What do you believe makes a business successful?

I'm still new, remember, so there's (LOL) a lot of room for error. However, I really think that you have to love what you do, and seek out others who will fill that niche. I don't think you can be successful in any sense, doing something you don't like. It has to feel good.

Do you have any specific goals/plans for the future?

One step at a time.....

Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for women out there who may be considering starting their own business on Etsy?

Don't wait so long! I had all sorts of clouds in my head.... "too much trouble"...."how do I set up a paypal?" yada yada yada. Just do it. I wish I'd started a lot sooner. It's so simple. Yes, it takes a great deal of time-- especially in the beginning-- but it's such an amazing experience. Do it already!!! And everybody starts out slow, sales wise, but don't give up. Promote, promote, promote. Use whatever you have at your disposal: myspace, facebook, flickr, AND USE THE FORUMS!!! So many sellers are also buyers! (Myself included!) Make your presence! Show your stuff!

Tell us the best way to relax after a busy day of work..

Wine is nice.

hahahahahahahaha


While growing up, who was your role model? Who impressed and inspired you most?

She didn't seem so impressive at the time (forgive me) but I can honestly say my mom. She was a stay at home mom of 6 kids, and taught me how to do most everything I know. I have an entirely different appreciation for her, now that her wish of me having "a child just like me" has come true.

Give us three (3) words that best describe YOU:

sassy
clever
girly

Give us one (1) word that best describes your business:

ecclectic

What is your favorite quote, line or saying?

"All you need is a pegleg and some bacon," The Pirate on Spongebob Squarepants

2 comments:

TheClackHouse said...

Kudos to you! What a Super Sweet Blog! Very nicely done! Great articles! ~Chasity

div said...

really super sweet blog



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