Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Feature -- Babushka Designs

This week's featured team member is Babushka Designs.

As I'm sitting here in my chilly apartment, these Magenta Slippers are looking nice and cozy!
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?

I have a few different items in my shop. I first started out making aprons, but then I realized that I like to work on things while watching tv/movies (hey, at least I'm honest, right?), and it can get pretty difficult to watch a movie when you're trying to not sew your fingers together on accident, so I started crocheting and knitting a lot more. I've been knitting for about 5 years and crocheting for about 3. I really like making hats in fun colors and slippers (or booties) that my Boonia used to make us when she was alive, like the photo below, which are custom slippers I made for my mom.

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

I'm half Russian and half Mexican. I am really proud of and embrace both my Russian and Mexican heritage and find it to be incredibly inspiring... and it makes me unique! I try to incorporate or reference my heritage in my work/crafts because I think it's neat to relate to others on that level.

By day I'm a communications designer, which involves a lot of graphic & web design and copywriting. It's fun (and pays the bills) but I really love coming home and making things with my hands and not looking at my computer screen (unless I'm blogging, of course).

3. How did you get involved with Etsy?

Back in 2007 I was a recent college graduate (Yay, UC Irvine, Zot! Zot!) and working as a research assistant. Everyday I came home hungry to make something and be creative. I was always sewing and knitting and I heard about Etsy through Livejournal, so I make a profile and started listing things. Slowly but surely, I found a following. To this day I sell more items outside of Etsy (word of mouth, family, friends, etc), but it has given me to opportunity to connect with people I would have never been able to meet in person.

4. If you had to be an animal for one week, which animal would you choose
to be? And what would you do?

Oh my god, I used to think about this all of the time my junior year of high school, which was arguably one of the busiest years of my life. I went to school, went to either tennis practice or rehearsal for a play, then went to work (Yay, In-N-Out Burger), and then studied for my AP classes. Outta control. At that time I would look at my dog Bonnie with envy and think... you are so lucky. What did you do today, sleep? I hate you. I didn't actually hate her, but I think I would go ahead and say, I would want to be a really chill dog.

5. What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it
affected your life?

Buying and selling handmade means a lot to me. First of all, I don't come from a very privileged background, so I learned how to shop on a tight budget, especially in college. I started sewing because I loved shopping at thrift stores and finding great pieces, but sometimes they just didn't fit, or I wanted to use the fabric for something else. I'm still, to this day, really into upcycling. I feel like buying used, and selling or buying handmade helps minimize the amount of revenue that goes into garments made in factories. From pollution, to poor treatment of workers, to just over-consumption problems - if more people bought handmade, it would not only help the environment, but help your local community, and help us to become self-sustaining and not have to work for 'The Man'.

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


7. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your shop or your

Overall, I just really love making things that remind me of items that our grandmothers would make, but I like to make them in a modern, updated way, like my Mary Jane style Slippers, and the Reversible Aprons I had in the shop for a while. I have big plans and lots of great items and ideas coming to the shop. I'm a recent San Francisco transplant (I've been here for one year now - all the way from Orange County by way of Victorville) and feel inspired by this city everyday. So happy to be a part of the SF Etsy Team!

And we're happy to have you here, Tatiana! Thanks for sharing your story!

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


Angelina Fong Designs said...

Love her slippers! So cute!

lsheely said...

Welcome to San Francisco Tatiana, I enjoyed reading your interview -thanks for sharing your chic and adorable work. ~L

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