Friday, June 4, 2010

Feature Friday - Velvet Otterhound

Welcome back to Feature Friday! We've been on hiatus for a bit to revamp and refresh the queries!

And what better way to than to feature a seller that takes the old and transforms it into something new and exciting!

Tara of Velvet Otterhound creates an array of accessories and art from vintage trinkets. It's pretty amazing what this gal can do! For example, my favorite item is this altered jewelry box with tin type.


1. What is your shop name and URL?

2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?

SF Etsy

3. 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?

I make jewelry and other projects from vintage jewelry and found items. It's like collage. At times they are themes but generally and simply a catalog of my mood at the time. They can be big and chunky or delicate depending on the items I have in front of me. Someone once called them 'vintage glam'... I like that.

I started making jewelry when I was a teenager. I lived in a small town with little resources for supplies. The materials I had were from church thrift stores and garage sales. I slowly learned various ways to take things apart and put them back together. Along the way I took some classes but mostly learned from trial and error and bead books.

I have magpie-syndrome... if it's shiny or has an interesting shape or texture, I get it. I then sit at my 4' table, spread out the items, open my machinist box filled with other parts and start fiddling until some design tickles my fancy.

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

um... I have a collection of Christmas tree ornaments I stole from hotel lobbies in San Francisco when I was young? =)

My husband,, is an artist so we are often at various art events in the bay area. It's really fun to see the variety of ideas that come out of people. When not going to events, I usually wander around fabric stores, lace museums, and, of course, garage sales and flea markets looking for fun items to incorporate in my jewelry or my life.

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

I have the luxury of not having to rely on etsy to pay my bills. I have a full-time job and use etsy as a way to sell my creations as I make them. The biggest challenge, for me, is not getting caught up in the 'hey I sold that- If I make one just like it- I can sell that too' attitude. I make things because I like too and they speak to me at that moment. I try to keep it that way... but the lure of sales can get enticing.

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

I have a customer that comes to almost every show I am at. She has bought multiple items in person and on etsy. She is always so excited to see my new pieces. I just love that.

7. Give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.

I recently turned 40 and instead of having a birthday party, I asked a bunch of artists (including some etsy artists) and craftspeople to donate items to sell at a benefit for Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland. It's an art center for disabled adults. We raised over $1600.

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

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


Carolyn said...

So nice, glad the friday's are back.

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

great interview!! Loved learning more about Tara and her beautiful creations.

memakestuff said...

I like your magpie syndrom!

memakestuff said...


jargonheadstudios said...

Nice work! Love your creative use of different metals. Thanks for sharing!

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