Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Feature -- ciuccio

This week's featured Etsy artisan is Jenny, the creative force behind Ciuccio (which means "binky" in Italian). I love this charming shop! The tagline is "quilted. modern. color," which perfectly sums things up. I like how Jenny is so willing to work with custom orders. Many of her listings allow customers to put together a unique take on her signature designs, like these adorable toddler aprons.

Jenny says, "Together we'll find a color scheme and print that you're thrilled with" -- who could ask for better than that?

Enjoy the interview!

1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?

In 2006 I was trying to figure out what to give to a very close friend as a wedding gift. I decided to make her a quilt, but I never much cared for the look of most traditional quilts, so I designed something much more modern looking. I loved the outcome, but it was a massive undertaking. Several friends were pregnant at the time, so I scaled it down and started making baby quilts. Loveys, which are little security blankets, were the first item I started to sell. It grew from a desire to keep myself inspired into a line of housewares, cell phone cases, pacifier cases, and aprons.

I worked on a fantastic project called Tandem with another Etsy shop called Umbrella Prints. Using their gorgeous hand-printed fabrics I sewed some organic blankets which sold at the now closed Rose and Radish. Everything I sew is bold, simple and keeping with a modern aesthetic.

2. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

While working on ciuccio is rewarding and a fun creative outlet, cooking is really my true love. If I could figure out a way to host dinner parties as a living, that's what I'd do. I'm married to the fine owner of this shop and together we run quite the little workshop out of our flat in the Mission Dolores area. Sometimes we talk about moving far away from the city where we could plant a garden and take up more hobbies, but we also love our urban life.

3. How did you get involved with Etsy?

I was told about Etsy by a friend of mine shortly after I started sewing quilts. She had a shop already and had found it to be great exposure. I don't know much about web design, so for me (and probably most of the rest of you) having such a user friendly way to host an online shop was extremely appealing.

4. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?

I have been a member of Etsykids since 2007 and of course, SFetsy.

5. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?

I guess the biggest challenge is that every item that I make is one of a kind. I can't post something unless it's already been made, and having to write a description and photograph each and every item feels tedious. I also find Etsy to be a challenge because many sellers undersell their goods, so competing when it comes to price can be frustrating. I also sell wholesale, which changes the way you can price your goods.

6. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?

I have really loved working with organic fabrics recently so the tandem quilts are my current favorite.

7. If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy?

Yeah right, like I could choose one favorite item. I have long been a fan of Whitney Smith and since she's local, you should know about her work. I'll take one of everything, especially this:

8. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?

Maybe not technically a crafting skill, I wish I was a better photographer. I actually signed up to take a 6 week course, so that wish may actually come true. I also love looking at ceramics (particularly porcelain) so maybe someday I should learn more about that.

9. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?

ciuccio definitely had something to do with getting us a house tour on Apartment Therapy which then led to a write up about my aprons on OhDeeDoh. That was pretty exciting.

10. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

I keep a regular blog called this humble abode. In it I often put together lists of super Etsy items, write about food and post pictures of projects I've done and the kids I take care of.

I also have a facebook page and a Flickr page too

11. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your shop or your work?

I'm working on some new products, so come visit my shop soon.

Buy Handmade

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!


Anonymous said...

very popular to u! ........................................

AngieHandmade said...

Jenny, your colors and fabrics are fantastic!

Creator of VNV said...

Wonderful interview...I like the colorful toddler aprons. I agree with the comment that creating only one of a kind items presents an extra challenge.

jargonheadstudios said...

Love your fabrics! Your pieces are so whimsical and colorful!

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