Monday, September 9, 2013

Featured Artist: Gerda Collins

Hi Gerda! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am Gerda Collins, as you can see I have used my very unique name in all my shops. I currently own and operate Gerda's Garden, Gerda's Goodies, and Gerda's Garage. I hope this will help you remember me. I live in San Jose, CA with my wonderful husband and two dogs. Our children are grown.

How did you get started in your handmade business?
I started painting watercolors about 7 years ago, after I heard about a free class being offered by ‘continuing education’ in our county. I have always loved the soft look of watercolors. It was love at first brush. I paint what moves me and it seems to be working.

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
I would like to continue to sell my work online and in person. I am very careful how much I expand and what I sell with my art work on it. I would like to retain as much control over my work as possible. This is one of the reasons I rarely sell any of my originals… so if you see one for sale… you know it’s a rarity.

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?
I was asked to do an exhibit of my work at the county education office in 2013. This was the same district that offered my first class. They wanted to show the works of one of their students.


What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
Obviously I can’t live without my paint and brushes…. Some sort of amazing things happen when those two things get together on paper.

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened?
I am blessed to not have had any ‘art disasters’ yet… I did once put my brush in my coffee instead of my rinse water… good thing the picture had some brown in it! (and no, I did not drink the rest of that coffee )

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
I try to stay on top of social networking as much as I can without taking away from my painting time. You can find me in these places;
Facebook --
Twitter --
Pinterest --
AND…. Coming very soon (in a week or so) (bookmark it check back later)

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
Marketing has been a challenge for me. I am trying to get my name/art ‘out there’ without being a pest, and without spending a fortune either. Facebook and Twitter have been good, and easy for me to use.

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
Hard to pick one favorite piece, usually it’s my newest creation, but here are a few that seem to be favorites with others as well:

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
I love the ocean, … so naturally some of my favorite The Craft Star items are from 41 Stars Studio and Indica.


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

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