Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amazing Leather

*Where are you from?
I am originally from MA. I grew up on the lake in Monticello, Indiana. At 16 we moved to a small town in Illinois, where I remained until 4 years ago when we relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 
I am the mother of 4 wonderful children. 2 boys, 2 girls. Ages 13-21. My husband and I have been married since 1990. We have a very spoiled Pug named Lucy who is 9. We have an extremely close family and I am so proud of them all! I am an EMT. I just retired myself from EMS a year ago and my husband is a Truck driver. However, I have been an Artist my whole life. It literally drives me in many aspects of life. For this I am so proud and blessed. This is why I love Etsy. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in the company of so much talent and others who have the same passions for all forms of Art!

*How did you decide on your shop name? 
Since our shop is a combined effort, consisting of both myself and my husband when he is home, we felt we should incorporate our last name somehow. We wanted Creations instead of Works, because we draw a lot of our own designs and patterns. We cut all of our own patterns and have tried to put a whole different twist to leather tooling and design. We still do the intricate classic forms of leather tooling, but we also have added a lot of more modern designs and vibrant colors. Sometimes we combine the two using an age old form of stitching (that I feel is the most superior in stitching leather ) with the modern colors and designs. So Creations would have been more accurate, but it was 2 letters too long.

*Why did you start your business? 
Well, I am a 'jack of all trades' artist. Everything you can think of is a blank canvas just waiting for a new twist or a design. Wether it be a piece of wood, an old picture frame, fabric, paper or canvas. You name it and my mind will come up with a design for it. So I have always been the artistic one that everyone comes to. However, my husband has had a huge talent for leather tooling and has been doing it for the last 30 years. He just never thought of himself as an 'artist' like I do. I came up with the idea ( since I never had a real niche') that we combine our talent. My dream has always been to be a successful artist and this was a venue I really thought we could shine at. Combining his skills and mine ( along with him teaching me the tooling and stitching), I feel we are on our way. The great thing to leather work is I can still be very versatile. I have a niche' now, but can still create whatever I feel like. Now the leather is my blank canvas for whatever design I'm feeling and whatever type of item I feel like creating.

*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?

1) Craftmanship - I want people to be able to see the detail, time and attention that goes into each item we create.
2) Quality - I want them to see the stitching and linings and backing we use to truly make our product top notch. I feel we go one step further. When we stitch and use lining and backing, we use a soft leather and leather lace. Each hole has to be individually punched. Everything is done by hand. But we use this method, because we know it never comes undone! I think it looks great too.
3) Unique - Although some think this word is overused, I truly want to stand out and be a little different than others in my trade.
4) Variety - Something to suit a wide range of taste, along with a little of this and a little of that.
5) Versatility - Many of our items like the bracelet cuffs, can be versatile in many looks you are going for. Dressy, casual, etc.

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Specific color for me is turquoise. I love the vibrant colors. Really I love them all! I never have one addiction because of my " Oh we can get this and add it to this and create........" ALL the time! or "We should try to make a pattern for this or start adding in this" Everything I see is an addiction!

*What activities do you enjoy?
I love to cook! I always cook a great dinner and we eat as a family at the table almost everynight. At least whoever is home and not at work. I'm an obsessive neat freak, so I clean all the time. I love to read and we all love being outdoors. We do a lot of family activities, wether we are just hanging out on the deck, playing yard games or heading to the park for some Spicer baseball.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
Although I'm addicted to purses and I just LOVE them, I would have to say the bookmarks. I know, silly, but as an avid reader, I love great bookmarks!

*What keeps you motivated?
My own constant drive to create. It's like food for me. I have to utilize it or I go buggy. When I get an idea or design in my head, I have to get it out.

*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
Well I am new, but patience. Love what you do! Good photos. We know that this is so hard and our items look so much better in person, but this is how the customers view our items. VERY important. Good descriptions and policies! Policies are really important. How soon do you ship, how do you ship etc should all be in there. Great customer service is a must! Communication is key to this.

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
I am on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/paintandcreate
As far as FB goes, I only have a regular personal page. I have not created a fan page as of yet.


  1. Beautiful leather work! Lots of neat items.

  2. Lovely interview...beautiful work!

  3. Her items are great - terrific interview.


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