Monday, August 5, 2013

Featured Artist: Illuminknti Designs

Hi Sophie! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Sophie, but I have been referring to "Maman" for the last 6 years. I have 2 amazing offspring named Liam(6) and Melody(4). I've been a stay at home mom for 4 years now. The online crafting community is my adult social life! We all live in the beauty of New Brunswick, Canada.

How did you get started in your handmade business?
I started crafting when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was perusing handmade sites and really wanted to make things of my own. I started with sewing and that eventually led me to knitting and crocheting. I just love making an item for someone who truly loves the workmanship put into it. It's why I keep doing it!

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
I still consider this little business of mine to be a hobby, but with the help of promotion and The CraftStar, I do hope that it will soon become a true at home business. I'd love to start selling my items in local stores this next winter season and I think this will play a big part for expanding my "street cred".

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?
During Christmas time and early 2013, I had an item that went mini-viral, the crochet Knight's Helmet. This felt like my 15 minutes of fame. It was amazing to see buyers from so many different countries that I had never shipped to before. A big first for me.

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
My hoards of yarn, crochet hooks and my laptop! I could not get any of the patterns or inspiration if it wasn't my laptop. I get to see what becomes popular, what customers are looking to buy and it's a big communication tool between me and my buyers!

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened? 
Oh yes, craft disasters happen to everyone. Nothing too serious has happened to me, thankfully. I've had glue in my eye and my sewing machines have acted up. The fact that I haven't stabbed myself with my knitting needles yet is a big accomplishment. 

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
I try to keep up with social networking, but sometimes there are so many sites to keep up to date that it gets a bit tiring. Here are the ones I try to keep up-to-date.

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
I'm still learning about marketing and I try to think I know what I'm doing. I find that doing giveaways linked on popular blogs has helped me out the most. The biggest one has brought me close to 1000 new Facebook fans!

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
My top seller has definitely been my Knight's Helmet hat. I'm excited for this years Christmas shopping to begin again so I can make more. 

What is your favorite item from other shops on The CraftStar, with a link? What do you like about it?
This amazing beaded dragon necklace from Loveland Castle Gift shop is so amazing! I'm obsessed with Game of Thrones so this makes me happy.

Thanks for taking the time to join us today Sophie. We appreciate you taking time out of our busy schedule so that we could interview you. Happy sales! 

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