Welcome to Feature Friday with Mayene of MADE: Design & Crafts!
The shop is full of adorable keychains, pillows, and fun trinkets! She even created her own whimsical fabric on Spoonflower. Every illustrated letter of her alphabet is soo stinkin' cute - "U is for Underwear" especially! (trust me!) I'm sorry, I know it's silly, but anything that's cute AND poo-related, is my favorite! That's why these little keychains really caught my eye!
Soft, cuddly, hilarious, and cute! What could be better?
Enjoy the interview!
1. What is your shop name and URL?
MADE: Design & Crafts, http://mayene.etsy.com/
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
SF Etsy Team, East Bay Arts Collective (EBAC), California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE), Artisans of the California Coast, Etsy Blog Team, Super Kawaii Pop, Uber Kawaii, Unofficial Etsy Forums — I am most active in EBAC.
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?
My shop started off with "art prints" (signs that originated the need to politely tell roommates about common courtesies around the house), but without my own printer, it was getting hard to consistently produce the quality that I wanted. My shop now consists mostly of felt donuts and mini ABC products for children (or decorative purposes). The making of small felt donut keychains came pretty randomly; I wanted to use up some scrap felt I had laying around, and, as a lover of doughnuts, ended up making a small donut. I take custom orders for specific donuts as well, and in the making of donuts, any new type of donut comes most likely from having had a donut recently (especially if from Dynamo Donuts in the Mission District, with their amazing maple bacon apple doughnut). As a graphic designer, the ABC prints started with an ABC book I processed through Blurb for a baby's Christmas present, and from there, I started printing designs on fabric via Spoonflower and making things out of them.
4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I love video games and board games. When I was growing up (very tomboyish, mind you), I had the mindset that I would marry someone who knew how to cook so I wouldn't have to. After getting a Nintendo DS Lite in college as well as Cooking Mama, I started learning how to cook and couldn't stop, and it turned into a love for baking as well. So, basically, thanks to Cooking Mama, my interest in being in the kitchen whipping up stuff was sparked. I can now bake some mean cranberry white chocolate cookies as well as bacon chocolate cookies and even make sushi (ever had duck sushi?). And just earlier this month, my homemade oreo truffles were a hit with my roommates — next on the list is figuring out how to make some kind of truffle with bacon included, and I don't mean for bacon to just be the "topping" sprinkled on top of the truffles. Besides being in the kitchen or playing Cooking Mama, I'm a huge fan of the board game Settlers of Catan (Cities & Knights expansion!); despite not being a fan of history classes in school, I'm a sucker for civilization themed games.
5. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
Promoting without feeling like a spammer. While there is general "internet etiquette", with social media comes more rules; how to post on sites such as Twitter and Facebook vary, and it's hard to keep track of how well you're doing versus how annoying you can be. Since most of my promoting starts with friends and words of mouth, the last thing I want to do is be seen as the self-promoter than people end up skipping over in their news feed. A lot of my friends try to help promote, and I'm very thankful for that exposure, but I don't want them to feel obligated to share my stuff just because their my friends. This is another reason I want to start getting out there locally and see and talk to people face-to-face about my donuts!
6. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?
I wish I had the time and money to devote to learning how to work with polymer clay. So many things that I absolutely adore and love on Etsy are polymer clay based jewelry (specifically food jewelry). ShayAaron on Etsy (http://shayaaron.etsy.com) was one of the first shops I ran across on Etsy when I first started browsing for food jewelry about a year ago. His work really amazes me — the miniatures he creates are ridiculously realistic! There are a handful of other shops that sell polymer clay based jewelry as well that I love browsing through, including a lot more "kawaii" creations. This is definitely something I want to explore and experiment with in the future.
7. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
When I reeled in one of two of my biggest custom orders! A nurse messaged me with interest in my "Stinky Poop" products and made a bulk order to buy out all of my "Stinky Poop" products that were available at that time, and after receiving them and using them in professional presentations as a WOCN (Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse), she decided she wanted to make an order for 24 custom Stinky Poop coin purses. I had never really made a coin purse before or worked with zippers in general, so I learned pretty quickly how to make zippered coin pouches and was able to work with her via constant Etsy conversations and complete her order. Apparently, it was a real hit at her presentations (she handed them out as "prizes" to answered questions at the end of her presentations) and her boss loved them! It was a little weird at first, since the "Stinky Poop" products are the strangest items featured in my shop, but it was a super great experience.
8. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
Blurb: http://www.blurb.com/user/mayene (my original ABC book is available here)
Have a great, super cute, weekend!!!