Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Member Spotlight: SilkArtFromBrazil
Name: Maria Brenner-Kelly
Age: 50 - darn! you did have to ask, didn't you? :-))
Location: A little town in the Northeastern coast of Brazil
Shop: SilkArtFromBrazil - http://www.etsy.com/shop/silkartfrombrazil
What kind of things do you make?
I make all kinds of silk things. When I first started, I painted scarves but that are only so many scarves you can paint.
So, after a while, I started looking for new things I could make with those beautifull pieces of hand painted silk. Nowadays, I make purses, jewelry, bookmarks, clocks, and of course, my beloved scarves.
How long have you been doing your craft?
I have been doing some form of craft since I was born, I think. Specifically silk, I have been painting for four years.
When did you start selling and what inspired you to start selling?
I used to have a fulltime, corporate marketing job. Then, when my daughter went to college, my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to retire and move to my dream beach house. Since then, Silk Painting has been my fulltime job, so selling the pieces was just a natural thing to do (how many silk scarves to you need?). My very first sale was three years ago to a neighbor who was going to Europe to visit family and wanted to take "something unique" as a gift. It felt so good!
Is this your full time job?
Nowadays it is, although I can't say I make a living with it; not even close.
What are your hobbies?
Besides my art? Well, hummm... I read a lot, maybe 2 to 3 hours a day. I also spend time on the beach.
What is your favorite color?
That's a hard one. I always say if I had a motto, it would be "it is all about the colors. I do consider the colors and the color combination the single most important part of my craft.
That been said, I have this tendency to blue. Not that I don't like the other colors, or I like blue better but, when I look at my body of work, blue shows up a lot.
What is your favorite color combination?
Oh, so many!!! Olive green/turquoise, purple/turquoise, orange/fuchsia/brown, pink/green, orange/yellow/turquoise, and I could go on and on.
Which colors do you use most in your work?
As I said, blue is always there one way or the other.
What is your number 1 tip for success?
Be patient, hang in there and . keep doing your thing. It takes time but little by little you'll see your business grow.
What do you think is the most fun way to promote?
Well, if we are talking about fun, I would say craft shows and blogging. Even though I don't blog as much as I should, I have fun doing it.
However, if we are talking most effective, I would say it is word of mouth, and that means promoting to your family and friends, in anyway you can, without being a pest, of course, so you can keep their friendship:-)