Friday, June 12, 2009
I currently live in Appleton WI but spend quite a bit of my time also in the Twin City area of MN since my boyfriend of 4.5 years lives there
Where does your shop name come from~
Inu Inspirations came from my love for Japanese culture. Inu means dog in Japanese and is pronounced "ee-nu". Camphor Chinchillas came from my love for the movie "My Neighbor Totoro" They recently re-released the movie, but I grew up on the original, it's a kids movie about a little girl who finds a Totoro (a mythical creature that looks like a giant chinchilla in my opinion) and he lives in a Camphor tree.
How Long Have You Been Creating and What do You Create?~
I started the business end of my creating about 4 years ago when I got my first chinchilla. There were people who would make fleece houses and toys for the chinchillas and sell them online, but I knew I could do that too, so I started selling online. Then about a year ago I started Inu Inspirations after I got a dog. I've had dogs before, but this time she was my own dog and I wanted to find her cute collars that I couldn't find in stores. But I've always been creating outside of my job, I started sewing at the age of probably 8 and would make doll clothes and things for my dolls. And with the chinchilla things, I've grown up not knowing how to sew from a pattern, so I make my own patterns and just work through a lot of trial and error.
Workspace-Tell us a little about where you create~
Right now it's nothing too fancy. It's just a corner of my bedroom. I decided to move back home with my parents to try and do my online business full time since living rent free allows me to do this easier. So I don't have tons of room. I bought a bunch of storage tables from IKEA and use those to store my smaller fabric scraps and wood toy pieces. Then I store all my fleece rolled up in those sweater storage units that hang in my closet. I can't wait until I can have an area dedicated to my work!
What advice would you give someone starting out?~
Do what you love. I've seen some people post in the Etsy forums "What sells best here?" But to me, you're not going to excel if you're doing something you don't have a passion for. I love my chinchillas and my dog. And that dedication to my animals leads me to want to make new things for them to enjoy. Sure, maybe you can make things you don't really care about and sell a few, but I don't really think you'll be successful for the long haul. Eventually you will burn out. So really, do what you love!
Any Fun Facts about Yourself?~
Hmm what to say? Well, I've been to Hawaii something like 6 times. Most people get jealous of that, it's just that my sister lived there for 4 years. I also have a port wine stain birthmark covering quite a bit of my right hand. If you don't know what that is, google it! You'll learn something new :) And then you won't have to ask someone what happened (haha that's one of my biggest pet peeves).. I'm also SCUBA certified, and have been for about 8 years. And while in Hawaii one time we met a wild Hawaiian Monk Seal face to face in the open water, now that was crazy!
Thank you so much for your time to answer the questions! Love your shops, and love that dog! HOW CUTE!