This week's featured seller is Inspiration Point.
1. Tell us about you and your shop.
My name is Chelsea, I am 18 years old and I live in a little city just north of Pasadena (you may have seen Pasadena's Rose Parade on New Year's Day), and about an hour away from dowtown Los Angeles. I live at home with my little sister (who is ten years younger than I am), my Mom and my Dad. My shop is kind of an experiment actually, as I am sure a lot of Etsy shops have started out as. I have been making hand made cards since I was about 10 years old, and when I was 12 I was invited by a kind neighbor to be in her twice-yearly craft show out of her house. I loved being part of her show as it gave me something to work towards and the extra money it gave me was nice as well. Then in early 2006, I started really enjoying taking photos with my Dad's point and shoot digital camera. That "enjoyment" soon became an obsession. I couldn't walk out the door or see a smiling face or a bunch of flowers without having to take photos of it! My Dad got so sick of me hogging the camera, he helped me buy my own! So in February of 2007, I got my own Canon Rebel XT (the newest model back then, now they have about 3 newer ones!), and have loved it ever since. In Fall of that same year, a friend from Church, who is a pottery teacher, told me about Etsy and how great it is. She started her own shop (Muddy Fingers), and told me I should do the same. I thought about it and decided to wait until after my graduation. So I started Inspiration Point in May of this year, and have really been enjoying it. I sell my photography, cards, gift tags, necklaces and anything else I create. It really is a great outlet for my creativity and a reason to learn something new!
2. How did you get started in your craft?
I got my first set of rubber stamps at a school book store and have never looked back since then! After that first set of stamps, I started scrapbooking and making cards that I sold to family and friends. Then I was invited to be in a neighbor's twice yearly craft show (you can read more about that in the previous question), and since then I have been in many different shows (4 this year) and love it more and more every time. I started photography when I was about 16, got my own camera when I was 17 and have contemplated doing it professionaly. The only formal "training" in photography I have ever recieved was a one day seminar put on by a friend of mine, so I got in free. Other than that, and reading some books on the subject, I am completely self taught. And frankly, I think that may be the best way to do it. When I read something photography related, I have to read it about 2 or 3 more times to remember it, but when I encounter a situation when I'm out with my camera, and I have to figure out what to do, I remember it a lot better than reading it in a book.
3.What is your favorite material or tool?
Wow, how can I answer that, I have so many favorites! My camera and my paper would have to be tops. But after those two, I would have to say, photoshop, my rubber stamps and 3-d stickers would be my next favorite things.
4. Where do you get your design inspiration from?
As many artists before me have said, and it is so true, really anything and everything is an inspiration to me. My sister's goofy smile, a pattern on a paper, a color swatch, a ribbon(I once created a whole series of cards based solely on one ribbon) or a song. Anything beautiful, anything that celebrates goodness and truth and simplicity is something I get inspiration from. And I hope that other people in turn, can draw inspiration from my creations. That's part of why I named it Inspiration Point. I hope that when people get to my store they can feel inspired by what they see.