Monday, November 18, 2013

Featured Artist: Vintage Skies

Hi Rachel! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Rachel Burbee and I own Vintage Skies. I am originally from The United Kingdom, Born and raised in the Midlands. In 2007 I packed her bags and said goodbye to my familiar surrounds and went on a journey into the unknown.

Now based in New Hampshire USA, I am married to Jason and we have two children Jayden & Kayla and a dog called Joey. We lead a simple life, where sunny days are longed for and snow days are not wished for. Some of my favorite activities, other than having a camera in my hand are Monopoly, where I regularly lose, dancing, giggling and playing Band Hero.



How did you get started in your handmade business?
When I first came to The States (6 yrs ago) I couldn't work as I didn't have a work permit, I also had a 3 yr and a 5 yr old to look after. I have always had a thirst for learning so I decided to learn how to use a camera, and that's when it all started, I later taught myself Photoshop, and just really studied hard to learn what I could about fine art photography, I later started doing Typography and that's when it all took off. I had friend and family wanting my work, and telling me that I should sell my work. I started of small, and its grown from there, I know I still have lots to learn, but the process so far has been fun.


What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
Well after 18 months of doing this, its took of so well that I made it my day job, which really means I do this morning, day, and night. I think you can always do better in whatever you do, and in that case id like to see my business go to greater heights. I'm always looking for new opportunities, collaborations and experiences.

My hope is Vintage Skies will inspire the imagination and ignite the spirit of adventure in all of us.
Transport the soul, encouraging us not only to dream but to follow our dreams, to take adventures and live a beautiful life.


Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?
My work does get featured quite a bit, which is always nice. Recently I was contacted by a licensing company which I did sign, and I am really looking forward to working with them in the future. I think one of the most exciting things to happen is I signed a contact with a Japanese's company which makes me an international artist.


What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
I wouldn't really call it a work shop, its more of a very busy desk... but I really couldn't live without my camera, photoshop and my tea pot.


Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened?
It's funny cause we don't really craft in this household, we draw and paint and both my children are learning how to use a camera correctly. The sort of disasters we have are more the drop of cameras or maybe someone will spilt water on another's painting or drawing...


How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
I love social networking, and have found it to be a huge part of my business. I have a business web site, Facebook and there are other various sites that I can be found on
Website: http://rachelburbee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VintageSkies
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vintageskies1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/vintageskies


How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
Marketing for all small business is important, and its something I really feel I personally need to work on more, I've learned a lot over the last 18 months, but with all things there is still so much to learn. I was very fortunate that very early on in my business I was invited to join a group of other artist that had already learnt the ins and outs of marketing and promoting, and they taught me so much. Promoting is key, but if your business doesn't have a professional look when you come to promote it no amount of promoting will work. So for me I work very hard on branding and still feel I have more work to do, good quality product pictures as helped a lot. I knowing my target market has also helped, something I really did research in the beginning, and knowing what up and coming trends are. Then my biggest stumbling block was tag words, key works and SEO's , took me ages to fully understand all that and how important it was to my business, I would urge anyone who is starting out to learn that bit first, I didn't and I wish I had cause I really feel if I had I would be a lot further on now than I am.


What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
Well as my The Craftstar shop is fairly new I cant really say I have a top seller in my shop. I do have top sellers "Life is Beautiful" is one of them, and a personal favorite, and another is "Adventure Awaits II " I recently start a line of pencil cases and they have been selling really well too.



What is your favorite item on The CraftStar, with a link? What do you like about it?
Ok lets see, this is going to be hard because I love looking at other shops and what they have for sale, The other day I stumbled across "Tea at the Brit's" being a Brit myself I love tea and I really think I may have to try Earl Grey Extra Fancy


Holiday shoppers can use code: FEATUREDARTIST for 20% off their purchases!

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


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