Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Member Spotlight: BeckyKazana

Name: Becky
Shop:  BeckyKazana

What kind of things do you make?

I create Pipettes! They were inspired by vintage ornaments I've collected for ages. They are made with humble chenille pipe cleaners, but I add lots of luxe embellishments like silk ribbons, antique lace, mother of pearl buttons, feathers, sequins and vintage costume jewelery. Their heads are all carefully hand painted too.

I also love to paint and am constantly making new illustrations, which I sell as prints and greeting cards. The originals are watercolor and ink and they are always whimsical and even a bit silly! 

How long have you been doing your craft?

Ever since I was little, I loved to draw and make things with my hands. The Pipettes originated when I decided to make a pipe cleaner bride and groom for our wedding cake three years ago. I've been making them ever since and they've gone through lots of changes! They've become more elaborate and sophisticated.

When did you start selling and what inspired you to start selling?
I discovered Etsy through some of my favorite bloggers over three years ago. It was love at first sight! It seemed like a friendly place to test the waters for my product, and since my husband and I move and travel a great deal, I like the idea of having a shop that could go anywhere in the world with me!

Is this your full time job?

I am working very hard to grow this business into a full time job. There is nothing I like better than creating something and discovering that someone else enjoys it too. It's the best kind of validation.

What are your hobbies?

I was trained as a florist while I lived in Chicago, so here and there I dabble in making floral corsages and crowns. I just outfitted an entire wedding party for a dear friend! I also like to cook and take photographs. 

My husband and I love to travel and are lucky to have lived all over the world- Kenya, Uganda, China, Chicago, Las Vegas, and now we're trying out life on an island- The Big Island of Hawaii!
We adopted our funny last name- Kazana- while traveling in Africa just after getting married. It's a Swahili word that means "To make a home" and it reminds us that our home is where the other is.

What is your favorite color?

I can never choose between blue and green! Essentially every shade!

What is your favorite color combination?

I love them all, but chartreuse with eggplant or coral pink gets me every time. 

Which colors do you use most in your work? 
I pride myself on using every color of the rainbow. "Colorful" is one of the first words that pops to mind when describing my work.

What is your number one tip for success? 

Renewing or re-listing every day is a wonderful way to keep at the top of searches. And I'm always working on improving my photographs.

What do you think is the most fun way to promote?

I love making treasuries and I often write stories to go along with them on my blog.
It's a nice way to make the collections "permanent", and I always get in touch with the sellers I feature to let them know. That part is lots of fun- it's so great to get to know other artists you admire. 

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