Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Meet bohtieque- Featured WIST seller

You do custom graphic design, such as address labels, cards, website shop banners, among other things. Why did you start making it?
Well, originally, I started designing as an extension of the web design I was doing because, one, this English major inexplicably knew how, and two, I needed money for things like fuel oil to heat the house! I decided I loved designing graphics much more than websites and focused on that for several years, working evening and summers to design identity packages for small business. When my son came along, I switched over to announcements and labels because my attention span shortened drastically, and, truthfully, they're more creative. I'm beginning to see the importance of allowing myself the freedom to create on my own terms, instead of someone else's.

How did you end up hearing about Etsy and joining?
I don't remember how I heard about it--maybe Dooce's blog? Somewhere in the blogiverse, at least! I started up my shop at the beginning of the summer because Etsy seemed like the perfect way to expand my reach, plus I loved the community feel and the emphasis on handmade. Now, I can't do without it!

What's the toughest part of running your own Etsy business? The best?
The toughest part is definitely having enough time in my day. I love creating, I love working with clients, and I love tieing that final bow on the packaging before I send out an order. It all takes time, though. And lots of lost sleep! The best thing about being a part of Etsy is knowing, finally, that people appreciate what I have to offer. For so long, the only people who knew I could do this were family members and a few scattered clients. Now, I get orders everyday from people who appreciate what I do! I know that sounds a bit selfish, but without that affirmation, I'm not as driven to create and I'm not as happy, in general.

I'd love a list of where else you're at on the internet.

I do blog, although it's been a little neglected since school started and I went back to the classroom. It's http://andtherestishistory.com/. Mostly, it started out as a way to chronicle our adoption process and ended up morphing into this odd mommy blog. There are LOTS of photos, and sometimes a bit of whining :) I also have http://bohtieque.com/. It's my home away from Etsy, and although I should keep it up to date, I don't always. Etsy is my true internet home!

Can you tell me something I (probably) don't know about the city where you live? Hmm. Black River Falls. Well, I think we all know about the big, orange moose on the highway. Let's see...did you know about our awesome kid-sized waterpark (or any of the other really nice city parks and walking trail)? Or Lake Wazee, the state's deepest inland lake? (If you're into scuba, I hear it's the place to go!) The downtown is great--there's a great scrapbook store on Main Street just down the block from my other favorite store, The Merchant.

What does "home" mean to you?
Well, home is where my husband and two-year-old son are. Of course, it's hard to actually feel like home unless our springer spaniel, Ike, is nuzzling at our legs for a pat or trying to crowd on the couch for a family moment.


Tell me something that I don't know about you!
Well, YOU don't know that I'm practially papparazzi. My son would say so, if he could. When I'm not drowned in orders or correcting paper, I'm stalking my son and his friends with my camera. If you visit the blog, you'll find that out soon!

How did you come up with your business name & what does it mean?

Bohtieque. I picked an odd name. Here’s the story, simply: my maiden name sounds like “bow” and is spelled “Boh.” The first part of my married name sounds like “tee” and is spelled “tie.” Then there was the little joke among some teens I dealt with daily about my odd sense of style that used the word “boutique.” Somewhere a bell dinged and I mixed it all up into BOW-TEEK design. Simple, huh?

Is there something you'd like to learn how to do someday? (Arts & Crafts related).
Hmm. I'd love to learn how to be a great quilter. I really don't know that I have enough patience, but I would love to be able to create such beautiful things!

I'd love to know what you'd like to "get" out of being a part of WIST! (Community, sales, promotion, etc!). Are we fulfilling that need right now? Is there anything you'd change?
I'm not as active as I'd like right now, but that's a result of the amount of time I've got for participating in the community. This summer, I loved participating in the moogift giveaway. What would be awesome would be finding more WISTers near me--I love the Milwaukee/Madison area, but it's a little too far for me to feel as connected to the community as I'd like :) What inspires you?
Everything around me. I mean that. Some days I can sit back and see so much in the world around me that inspires me to move on, to create, to LIVE. Especially important is nature. I live in a rural area, and my gardens, the fields and the spectacular views that greet me on the way to and from work every day are bound to move you.

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