Tell us about your business.I started this business back in the mid-90's because I wanted to make a little money, selling my hand-crafted items. I had previously run a craft supply business but I loved making handmade gift items for family and friends. I love doing all kinds of crafts and never have fewer than three projects going at once. My little Service Dog, Scrappy "helps" me whenever he can (mostly by laying next to me). I would love to be able to have to hire at least one person within the next five years to help fill the needs of my customers. I'm having a great deal of difficulty promoting my business due to lack of advertising funds, since my tiny retirement check doesn't go very far.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I work from my apartment so my recliner chair and my kitchen table are currently my workspace. It would be nice to have a larger space to work in but I make do.
What inspires you?Ideas in magazines and online as well as items I see in the craft stores and at bazaars inspire me. I have a rule of thumb: if I look at something (raw material) and see at least three ideas to use it for, I buy it if I can afford it. If no ideas pop immediately to mind, I put it back.
What makes your business stand out?I make unique, sometimes one-of-a-kind items that I haven't seen in other venues and I keep my prices very competitive (sometimes even lower than the lowest you can find elsewhere). I don't set out to lose money but I do want my prices to reflect my concern for my customers in this economy.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Don't give up! If something doesn't work the way you want it to, adjust your goal and try something else. Ask for advice. Try several things and figure out which one or two you're best at.
What does American Made mean to you?It means just what I do - make it myself, using materials that are generally produced here in the United States. I do use embroidery floss that's made in France but that's because it's high-quality. I don't use "junk" in any of my finished items. I believe in using what is available locally as much as possible.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
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