I'm gonna start with a new series of "Blogger4Blogger" here on the blog. I'll present my co-bloggers and their work, since many of them are creating something unique, let that be their little craft businesses, music, beauty brands, or something different. And after all, bloggers should support each other, right? Right.
Anita was probably the first person who commented and followed my blog. I still remember how happy I was when reading her lovely comments. Soon I discovered that she's not only a blogger, but she also leads her own brand and e-store named "3 Ptice" - "3 Birds" in English. She makes lots of different accessories that are made "for interesting people who use their brain and appreciate being alive". You'll find lots of cool stuff in her Etsy shop: from totes and other bags, necklaces, earrings, brooches, hair accessories, shoe clips, and scrunchies. Wanna know more about this creative girl? No problem, here she is!
Hi! I'm great, thanks! I hope you and your readers are great too!
About me ... I'm 23 years old, living in Slovenia. Personality tests tell me that I'm an idealist, but I kinda knew that before I took them. I'm on my mission to make our country and our world a bit happier, a bit more compassionate and loving. I try to do that by being me and by sharing the qualities of my wonderful soul with others. And that's also the purpose of "3 Ptice (slo, eng)" too. I mean, yes, I make and sell eco friendly accessories, but it's not just that ... You know how Blair Waldorf said that those who say money can't buy you happiness don't know where to shop? "3 Ptice" is about happiness and all other great feelings. When people buy handmade items from me, they show that they appreciate my time, my work ... They appreciate me and I appreciate them. We share love. And every customer is so special! Otherwise they wouldn't be buying "3 Ptice" products anyway, hee hee. It's so awesome to hear back from them that my package made them happy and that they love wearing my stuff. And to get their pictures of how they're styling and wearing my work. Dope!
Apart from the fact that you love to create things, what do you do?
I love reading, writing, watching movies, and exploring the outdoors with my dogs. I love to cook when I feel like it and I love to eat - even though both activities sometimes seem such a waste of time. I cuddle with my boyfriend and have deep conversations with my friends. I enjoy the company of my grandpa and grandma. Oh, and I also write a blog. But that's also being creative, only with words.
Is creating a full time job for you?
Most of the time. I occasionally have other jobs.
What inspires you the most and how do you stay inspired?
I'm inspired by everything. I guess if your eyes, mind and heart are open you get easily inspired and easily stay inspired. Also, work itself is a great source of inspiration. People sometimes say they lack the inspiration. Start doing something (not necessarily related to your profession) and it will come the second your energy changes.
What does your process for coming up with a new item looks like? Do you get inspired by an item and then work from there, or do you have the material in mind and then find the appropriate solution, design?
Both. It's a mix ... If I think twice, I recycle old stuff, so it often starts with that. Sometimes ideas are just popping into my mind and other times I find stuff that's just been laying around for a long time before I turn it into something new. Sometimes I really have a fixed idea about what I want to make, but I need some more time to acquire new skills and money to get additional materials.
How much do you use social networks to connect with your buyers?
Oh, working on my social networks is one of my main goals in 2014. I really want to post more frequently on my blog, because I love to write and I have a freaking lot to say. I love blogging, because my readers and customers get insight into my work and see the good and bad sides of it. I love being honest with my readers. And I also hope I sometimes inspire them with my writing or empower them to try something new in their lives. And because there would be no "3 Ptice" without awesome customers, I love giving them the spotlight on my blog and show the world how they're rocking my pieces. I really have to do this more often. Otherwise, I have my profile on bunch of social networks, but they are mostly a waste of time. I guess I have to focus on those that I like to use, like Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, and stop feeling guilty because I neglect Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. Well, maybe I should give another chance to Google+, because of the SEO ... The problem with social networks is that they are very time consuming and addictive. And every hour spent on them means one hour less for working on new pieces ... Gotta work on strategy and balance here.
What does the concept of handmade mean to you?
I think handmade is one of the ways to make this planet a better place. I found a page with 101 reasons to buy handmade and I agree with all of them.
What do you love the most about your job? What's your main motivation to keep on going?
I love the feeling when I stand up in the middle of my work and start dancing. It's a dance of happiness, because I'm able to do what I love. And that I can drink tea or coffee whenever I want. And that I learn a bunch of new things every day. When bad times come, my main motivation are my customers. I remember their nice messages ... I'm also motivated by the great unknown that my work may lead to. And I'm motivated by my dreams, good things I could do for myself and society, if I make it big.
What was the first item you ever made and sold?
The first thing I sold was a portrait of a boy. I drew it with pencil and white crayon. I spent a few days on it and sold it for 10€.
What are the three things you wish you knew before starting your own business?
- How to organize my time.
- Everything will always work out.
- Realization that you don't always get what you want, but you get what you need to move forward.
Any advice for young artists/makers who want to start up a business of their own?
Talk about it, let people know what's your passion. Go out of your comfort zone, you're capable of more than you think you are. Say yes! Become your own best friend. People won't always applaud you for everything you do. So you should be the one to give yourself an applause. Do something for your life balance every day (walk, meditate, do yoga, write). Don't forget about people. Apologize if you are stressed out because of your work. Even though you might not feel supported by them yet, remember, they'll probably have your back when you'll need it the most.