Monday, November 11, 2013

Featured Artist: Old Frog Designs

Hi Charles! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Charles Bailey and I own Old Frog Designs. I live in Longs, South Carolina, which is a wide spot in the road just north of Myrtle Beach before you cross the North Carolina border. I live with my partner of 28 years Marco, and we share our lives with 5 Italian greyhounds.

How did you get started in your handmade business?
I was in JoAnn's one day and noticed that they had a cricut on sale. I had looked at them several times before but could not imagine what I would do with one. Well that day they were somewhere in the range of $50 so I bought one. So I made a few cards and cut outs for work etc. Nothing exciting. Mostly it sat on the shelf collecting dust.

I had a new home care patient and on one of my visits she had her cricut out and I said I had one but mostly it just collected dust. She started showing me some of her Scrapbooking projects. I left that day with a little more appreciation for the shelf warmer I had at home. A couple visits later she invited me to go with her to a Scrapbooking Event in Santa Clara. I had no idea there was such a thing (I was not interested in scrapbooking but cards did interest me) I dropped around $700.00 that day in Santa Clara and then I was hooked.

The first cards were pretty primitive but I started making cards for friends at work and they encouraged me to continue. They encouraged me to sell them. I said who would buy them? They said they would. I continued, the cards got better, and here we are today.

 What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
I'm retired after 37 wonderful years as a registered nurse and this is just a hobby that I enjoy it allows me to be creative. I never thought I had any artistic ability. I thought to do art projects you had to be able to draw or paint pretty landscapes. There is a whole different world with paper, paste, double sided tape. I would like to do some other artistic things like mixed-media art, and maybe make a little bit of pocket change to support my paper addiction. I really want to get better at photographing my cards. I think they are much prettier in real life that the photographs show on line. Don't worry Hallmark, or American Greetings your corner on the market is safe.

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition? 
No awards or recognition yet. I would love to have a card published someday in one of the card making magazines. I can remember how thrilled I was the first time someone re-pinned one of my cards on Pinterest. Now about 4 or 5 have been re-pinned but the thrill is still there.

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
The Sizzix Vagabond machine, My Spellbinders Grand Calibur, and all of my Spellbinders and Sizzix die cuts.

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened?

Yes just recently I broke a new Sizzix Big Shot only used it a few times.

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
Social networking is new for me. I've been around computers for years and Facebook and Twitter are beyond my learning curve. But I'm learning a little more each day.

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?

I'm so new at this that I'm not sure what has worked and what has not worked. I have my cards in a consignment shop not far from here and they have done pretty well there. I also do a card class for seniors at the shop once a month. Next month I'm doing two all day card workshops to make cards for a Breast Cancer Organization who uses them for patients and families. Also I'm hoping to do some sales on The CraftStar to raise some extra funds for the Susan G Koman Foundation. 

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
It's hard to say because all of my cards are different. At this time I would have to say the breast cancer awareness cards are my favorites.

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

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