Monday, March 3, 2014

The CraftStar Featured Artist of the Week: Amanda Rose Designs

My name is Amy Acosta. I am a mother of two: Jonathan and Ryan and I have 2 Shih Tzu’s named Kathy and Khoco and one cat named Tilly.

I was born and raised in Dover, Delaware. I have always been an artist and it’s been my dream forever.  I started with oil painting and was inspired by Bob Ross and William Alexander. I also enjoyed creating one of a kind ceramic pieces for my family.

After I graduated from high school, I moved to Florida and attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale studying commercial art.  I was very successful but I didn’t feel it was the right fit for me.  I didn’t like being confined in my art to measuring and being worried about details.  My art comes from within and it’s hard to contain, and so  I did not complete the course.  I was working full time at a mail order company and making good money and selling my oil paintings on the side and that was enough for me for then. 

Time went by and in 1996, I gave birth to a wonderful son, Jonathan.  I enjoyed all Florida had to offer but in raising my child, I wanted a slower pace, a safer place for him.  I ended up in NW Iowa where I presently live.  I was blessed 7 years later with another son, Ryan.  Both of my children had terrible allergies and I was at wits end to help ease the itching and tired from running to doctors trying to treat it.  A very good friend of made soap and sent me some handmade soap she made.  Instantaneously my skin and my children’s skin improved.  She introduced me to the world of handmade and I never looked back.  I then went on to make soap, lotion, scrubs, lip balms, laundry soap and products for my dogs.  I could not believe the difference it made without all  the harsh chemicals.  I then started giving my products to friends who also had the same results. 

No Worries Oatmeal Soap

I came across a site where you could sell handmade items online in auctions and started selling online.  I met amazing artists in doing these auctions and have made lifelong friends that inspire me every day.  I began incorporating my art into the soap and really enjoyed the people around me and knowing this is what I want to do. 

Magical Fairy Agate Necklace

I enjoy being around creative people and connecting through my art.  I am having the time of my life.  I want to bring just a little joy to others.  I hope I can continue this journey for a long, long time.

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without? 

I cannot live without wire cutters, a paintbrush or an oven!

Key to My Heart Adjustable Ring

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? 

I really haven’t ever had a crafting disaster.  Even when things go wrong, there is usually another way to repurpose them into what they really want to be.  I just let the piece be what it wants to be.

Copper Arm Cuff/Bracelet

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

So far, the most effective marketing tool has been auctions and Facebook.  I have now gone over to Google + and really enjoying learning to market there as well. 

The item in my shop that is a top seller is the polymer clay fairy doors.  These are custom orders and I am able to incorporate the personality of the person ordering into each one.  No two doors are the same and the customer gets to help design it. 

What are two of your favorite items from other shops on The CraftStar? 

This one is amazing.  I really like dragons and this is a one of a kind item for the true dragon collector.   

This is so dainty and the color is spectacular.  I love the beach and this would make you feel like you are on a beach every day you put it on.

Follow Amanda Rose:

My computer has been the portal to connecting with others.  Some of my best friends, I have never even met face to cafĂ©.  Social networks have allowed me to grow and experience so many things I never would have if I didn’t try them.

Twitter:  @AmandaRoseSoaps

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