Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An interview with Hearts and Laser Beams

Please enjoy this awesome interview with the owner of Hearts and Laser Beams on Etsy! We love comments too!

Name~ Steph Calvert


General Location~ long beach, california

Shop Name~ hearts and laserbeams (http://www.heartsandlaserbeams.etsy.com/)

Where does the name of your shop come from?~ i get that question a lot! basically it came from the usual jackassery that happens when my best friend jenn and i get together. my husband josh and i went to savannah, georgia to visit a few years back, and the three of us were sitting on the couch watching re-runs of degrassi: the next generation. because we're twelve.
there's always a lot of boisterous randomness when we're all together - there was a point in one of the episodes where two of the tv characters were obviously falling in love (was it emma and spinner i think?)... and jenn makes this hand motion coming from her eyes and yells "hearts! hearts! hearts!"
the only thing i could think to respond with was "laserbeams! laserbeams!"
thus, hearts and laserbeams was born.

How long have you ben creating and what do you create?~ i've been making things on some level all my life. i always had little kid ambitions of being a ballerina or a zookeeper or whatever and those changed from week to week i think, but i've always had that i want to be an artist drive. when i was little i drew a lot, and my sister michelle and i made clothes for our barbies out of weird shit like baby socks or balloons. sometimes when we were lucky we'd go to the local park and gardeners had just been there, meaning it was high time to make some grass clipping houses for our tiny care bear toys!

currently i still do a little bit of everything. i love drawing and painting with acrylics, and my husband josh and i have a blast coming up with funny tshirt and underwear designs to screenprint. we've got some buttonmakers and have a blast doing custom orders, too. on top of that i knit, crochet, sew, cook, you name it i'll try it!

not so much in the crafty realm, josh and i are also working on creating a tiny farm in our backyard. we have a bunch of veggies planted and are looking into getting a couple of chickens - we're in training to someday in the distant future move to savannah, georgia!

Workspace, tell us a little about your creating area!~ ok when we moved to our current house, we set up a section in the garage for my studio. there's a work table in there, lots of space for the shelves upon shelves of supplies, it's perfect! but what's funny is i almost never work there. it's so much more fun to work outside in the backyard, or in the kitchen where i'm closer to the huzzz and our dog. when we get to screenprinting it's pretty hilarious - we'll have the yudu setup ready to go in the kitchen or on the back porch, and as we print tees they slowly take over the living room until EVERYTHING is covered in drying tshirts!

Any advice you would like to give to those starting out?~ michael bolton said it best folks, "love takes time". your etsy shop will not be discovered immediately, and while there's lots of folks who have been able to quit their jobs with their etsy shops, it will take a TON of time and effort to get to that point!

also, stay flexible! in march of 2008 i was able to quit my day job and work from home because part of hearts and laserbeams is freelance graphic design. then with the economy going down the tubes, my freelance work kinda dried up - i'm back in a graphic design day job. we can't complain, it's a steady paycheck again and in this economy that's totally a blessing.

i've also been shifting my focus on the things i make, and the craft shows i do, always looking for what my customer base is. i feel like i'm getting a handle on that and it's made a world of difference. yes you're making what you like for your etsy shop, but if you're not listening to what your customer likes, too, you may be missing out on some sales.

moral of the story, it is hard work! but oh so worth it.

ANy fun facts about yourself?~ i'm one of the founding members of the long beach craft mafia (link to http://www.longbeachcraftmafia.com/) , and i recently started writing for the oc weekly "heard mentality" blog (link to http://blogs.ocweekly.com/heardmentality/). it's been such a blast! my "gettin' made" posts go up 3 times a week, and are all about indie crafters in orange county and beyond. i love that this gig has given me the opportunity to share all of the artsy crafty friends i've made over the years with the rest of the community.

other fun things about me: david arquette and courtney cox own one of my original paintings i got to shake bernie casey's hand at my college graduation (he played the leader of the black fraternity in revenge of the nerds), i LOVE homemade avocado ice cream and project runway, i only have one working eye, and i'm not wearing any pants. ZING!


DawnCorrespondence said...

What an awesome interview! That just put a smile on my face. You are awesome, Steph!

steph said...

aw thanks dawn! so much fun getting featured!

Dirt. said...

yay, what a fun interview on the girl who usually does the fun interviews on the oc weekly! when you move to savannah, we'll be close enough to make a road trip, woot!

swirlogirl said...

Steph I love when you do pantsless interviews. Also I am going to send you Mariah carey's greatest hits!

steph said...

AAAAAAAAAA it totally was mariah carey not michael bolton!

but really. they're pretty much the same chick, aren't they?

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A Painting a Day by Kristen Stein said...

What a fun interview. I loved it!

Design Knit Fun said...

so fun to read more about a uwib down in the LBC! been awhile since I've been south of Manhattan / Hermosa so loving reading OC weekly again :-)

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