August 26, 2009

Featured Etsian: PerfectPaperShop

I mentioned in a previous post that I have a mean paper fetish. When I came across this shop during a nightly Etsy chat, I was intrigued and I wanted to connect with the artist and learn more...Here's Julie of Perfect Paper Shop, in her own words:

I am a 35-year-old stay at home mom of three, living in Wisconsin. My husband and I both grew up here. We moved moved around for my husband's job for about 7 years and after we started having kids, we decided I would stay home and we moved back to Wisconsin. We have two girls (4 and 2 1/2) and 1 boy (10 months). I love being able to stay home with the kids. Everyday they make me laugh. For me though, I have struggled with preserving a little bit of me in the craziness of parenthood. I think I'm finding a way to win that battle.

Describe your art:
I started paper crafting to preserve memories in a way that future generations could relate to. My first scrapbook is of our belated honeymoon to Italy. I tried to include subway tickets and museum pamphlets to help people retrace our steps someday. I was very shy about writing in the scrapbook, but it is something I will definitely remedy. Journaling is so important! A photo can't always tell the story of what a person was feeling or how the food smelled. My goal is to leave a story of my life for my children and their children. I hope I can help others do the same with the scrapbooks and other papercrafts that I sell on etsy.

Why did you start selling on etsy?
"You should sell these!" is the response I would receive when I gave my handmade cards to others. I thought it was a great idea and I found an article about Etsy in a major news magazine, Newsweek (I think). At about the same time, I realized that I was really losing myself in my kids. What happened to the person I was before the kids took over my life? Where was the triathlete, traveller, cook, career woman and papercrafter I used to be? I needed to do something just for me but I was worried about feeling rejected if my stuff didn't sell.  I overcame those feelings and I've been on Etsy for about 5 or 6 months now and I have to say it has really helped my sanity!

What inspires me?
I love seeing people who love their lives and what they do. People who have passion for something are inherently happy. That kind of happiness is contagious. It makes me want to do big things!

What have you learned?
I have learned that I have a thicker skin than I thought I did. It doesn't really bother me that I have not had much luck in the sales department because I am really enjoying the creative process. I am more capable than I thought I was. The technical aspects of opening and filling a shop on Etsy are not that challenging, I CAN do it. I have also learned that you can find time to do whatever it is you love doing even in the busiest life.

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