Thursday, August 30, 2007

Smartypants Interview

I met the lady behind Smartypants last year at UCU and thought her stuff was awesome. I still do so was happy to get this interview back from her to share with you. Enjoy!

S-When and how did Smartypants sock monsters start?

SP-I started creating sock monsters as my sisters started creating children. I wanted gifts that were handmade with love, so i made a few sock monkeys. In one fashion or another, they mutated into the sock monsters that I know and love and are adored by all. They were such a big hit, I just kept making them. I don't know when it will ever stop.

S-I know you had a booth at Urban Craft Uprising here in Seattle last winter. Do you have any advice for first time craft fair participants?

SP-It's helpful to have a range of prices because many people will respond to you as an artist and will wish they could take something home that is by you even if they don't have very much money to spend. Also contact info, in the form of a card or flyer, is definitely worth having with you and offering up.

S- I really enjoy all the sock inspired plush out there. I think it could be hard to make your sock creatures unique when there are so many sock creatures in the world. Yours are definitely unique. Was this something you thought about when using socks as your medium?

SP- Socks are ever so flexible and surprisingly fun to work with! (and hunt for all the time), and I key a lot of my decisions off of the color palette that's available and pretty much go from there. As for how absurdly goofy they are, I can only say that I have nothing to do with that!

S- Besides selling on Etsy I know you sell at a few stores at least in the Seattle area. Do you have any advice for plush artists that would like to sell their work in stores?

SP- I've only ever had good experiences with Seattles' craft-friendly retailers and I haven't heard any bad stories either. Retailers will usually approach me at shows and that's a good sign that they'll be good to work with. Once that happens and you are in a store or two (in every neighborhood!) keep making things because you never know when you'll get slammed with orders!

S- Networking seems to be a very important part of building your business yet it is also very time consuming. How do you balance the different aspects of building up your creative business?

SP- I wish I could say that I'm an expert at this! (shopping takes so much time) I've found that concentrating on the craft is where I feel most at ease and hope the plush will generate it's own following and publicity. Someday it may become more of a seperate job but for right now I just keep sewing! I will say that good photos can be extremely important though.

S- Do you have job that helps to pay the bills or do you get to focus on your plush business solely?

SP-It seems like I have a few jobs! I'm the Lead-Draper at the costume shop at The Village Theater in Issaquah and I overhire as a First-Hand and Draper and Craftsperson at ACT downtown and I am always getting other side projects like uniforms for rollergirls or custom-dresses or whatever! I love the challenge and find it fun. My monsters are my little babies that seem to spring from my couch every evening and cling to their little spider-home there until I send them away.

S- I am really into reading these days and not so much crafting. Any books you suggest?

SP- I don't seem to have time to read for pleasure anymore (sigh). I scan many magazines like 'Craft' or 'Readymade' or 'Bust' and lots of others and stop at bookstores for fast and fulfilling browsing sessions and do the same thing online a lot. I keep hoping to finish 'Coalminers' Daughter' by Loretta Lynn though.

S- Anything else you would like to let our readers know about you or Smartypants Sock Monsters?

SP- Just that I love how sweet people can be and to say Thankyou so much!

Thank you so much for the interview!

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