Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Member Spotlight - Amber Michelle Wilson Hand Knit
Name: Amber Wilson
Shop: Amber Michelle Wilson Hand Knit (ambermichellewilson.etsy.com)
What kind of things do you make?
I knit and crochet! Mostly original things for infants and babies but I also do some things for women. Babies are the most fun to knit for, in my opinion, because they look so cute in just about anything and they never complain about how silly they might look! :)
How long have you been doing your craft?
I have been knitting for upwards of three years now and have been crocheting for more than 10. Once I picked up knitting I just fell in love with it. I loved the yarns and the textures and the creative possibilities. I rarely follow a pattern, I just love to watch knitting happen. Each project has a life and a mind of its own. :)
When did you start selling and what inspired you to start selling?
I started selling on Etsy in February and started selling in a little corner of my mom's flower shop last winter. I had gotten to this point in my knitting where people were asking if I would make them things and how much I charged. I did custom orders here and there, mostly hats, etc. One day my parents mentioned that I should really make some things and sell them in their shop. I made about ten baby things in about a month, working all the time, when a friend of the family, an infant photographer, came by and fell in love with my work. She wanted me to make her some infant cocoons and I had to learn from scratch! I had never heard of those before. She introduced me to Etsy and really pushed me to get a shop and so, I did.
Is this your full time job?
My full time job is being a student at this point! I'm studying Spanish. But, I hope someday to do this as an extension of my full time job. My dream is to own a yarn shop where I can sell my work and the yarns I love. I would love to make enough money on etsy for it to be my full-time job but I think that my goal is just to be creative and have fun! If I stop having fun then I am working too hard.
What are your hobbies?
I love to knit and crochet, of course, but I also love to scrapbook. I recently picked up embroidery as well and I am loving that.
What is your favorite color?
I have so many favorite colors, it is really hard to choose a favorite. But I am having a particular affair with mauves and greens right now.
What is your favorite color combination?
I love cominations of bright pink, blue, green, and purple. I just love that bubblegum look. I also really love green and gold and turqoise and gold.
Which colors do you use most in your work?
I find that I use a lot of pink and a lot of light purple. I have to force myself to use other colors, especially for little boys, because my yarn shelf is so full with those colors.
What is your number 1 tip for success?
I guess it may be cliche, but have fun! When I find that I am getting too focused on selling and am looking around at all the other successful infant knitwear sellers, my fiance just tells me to relax and not worry about them. You have to be true to yourself above all and then your work will be original. Stop trying to sell the same thing that every other person is selling, just be original and your sales, I think, will find you.
What do you think is the most fun way to promote?
I love to promote my work in person. I find that it is really easy to sell when you are face to face with a person, when they can touch and feel the quality of what you make and see it up close. It's such an emotional responce that is hard to convey through the internet. I like promoting my work through Etsy, on the forums and through this lovely team, and its always such a thrill to me when I get a convo about a custom order or when someone purchases something I've made. It's a matter of trust, buying handmade and online. When someone takes that leap to buy something that they have never seen in person, it really makes me feel good about what I'm doing.