Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Etsy Featured Sellers: Petite Tuques

     This is my first week having a featured seller from Etsy on my blog. Etsy is a community of people who make and sell handmade or vintage items or crafting supplies. Every Etsy seller is unique, and in the short amount of time that I've been there I've really enjoyed getting to know a few people. It's one thing to buy something someone made themselves, but to think about the person and story behind that handmade piece is fascinating! So I thought that instead of just myself getting to know Etsy sellers, I'd share their creations and stories with you too. So, grab a seat, listen and learn, and leave some comments to welcome our newest Featured Seller!

     This is Lisa, the owner of Petite Tuques. Lisa is an international seller from Canada, and she knits beautiful hats and gloves for all ages! She is a stay-at-home-mom with two boys who were her inspiration to begin her skill at knitting which she does so perfectly! I hope you all enjoy getting to know her a little as I have!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
      I am 27, soon to be 28. I have two boys, ages 2 and 4, and a husband. Crafting is pretty new to me. I only really got into it when I was 23 years old. I didn’t go to college, but I did an online course in Accounting when I was 23, and it does come in handy with my business! I love to learn and try new things.  I also love my Wii, but I don’t have the time to play much anymore. If I were to exercise, I’d play my Wii Fit Plus!

How did you come up with your shop name?
    I went through a couple of ideas, but didn't like them. So I thought I should come up with something French because I live in Quebec where the primary language is French. I wanted to make child hats and "tuque" is French for hat...so Petite Tuques was born! 

Blue Ocean Visor Tuque: Features a crochet visor to keep away the sun. It has my signature stripes of three colors.
When did you start knitting?
     I actually learned to knit when I was very young. Both my grandma and my mom are to blame for my obsession! After learning, I didn't continue to knit though. After many, many years and getting pregnant with my first baby, I felt the urge to make him cute sweaters and socks so my first "official" project was a crocheted sweater. It turned out quite nice, not as perfect as I can do now, but I was very proud of it! 

What first made you want to start selling your creations?
     I quit my job! After having my second baby, I was going to return to a work schedule that was very difficult for my family life so my husband and I decided that I could stay home. A month after that, I decided to start selling my crafts, not just for the money issues, but because it’s an outlet for me. I feel accomplished after I make my hats. 

Minty Green Classic Tuque:  Made for boys - no ties and no pompoms. Very simple design, that boys can identify with.
Describe your creative process to us.
     I have a big knitters book about different knit stitches and a color book. I'll choose a stitch that I want and pick a favorite color, either brown or blue, and then test the pattern out. Sometimes I fail, or sometimes the pattern just doesn’t want to look good. A good example is my Lace tuque. It took a couple tries to get the number of stitches right for the different sizes I make, and now I just have to pick an awesome color to get the perfect hat. 

What inspires you?
     Usually watching tv. Most of the time I am looking at what the actors are wearing, and if they have a stitch or color pattern that intrigues me, I’ll search it out! I watched the DVD of Charmed Season 1, and that had me going crazy because there was a lot of exciting clothing going on! 

How do you promote your work?
     I use facebook and kijiji the most. I have two shops so I try to participate in the Etsy forums as much I can. I use themomshoppe.net to list my shop, and I’ve also been on a couple of blogs doing giveaways.

Chic Tuque: I love cables and this one in color Oatmeal. It has earflaps with ties. Very stylish!
Are your items pre-made or made to order?
     I was doing made to order, but have switched to pre-made for the time being.  

Tell us two short-term goals you have and one long-term.
     As far as short term goes, I need to get some stocking done for a local craft show, and I need to stock for another job. My long term goal is just to make a profit!

Walk us through a typical day in your life.
     I wake up at 7:00am and get Mr. L and Mr.N ready for the day. I then drive Mr.L to preschool by 8:30. I might do some errands at the grocery store afterwards. Between 9-11 am I could be knitting a little, or watching Mr. N! I pick up Mr. L at school at 11:30. 12:00 we eat lunch. Maybe Mr. N goes down for nap after lunch. I will clean up the mess the kids have made and anything else that needs to be done. I usually let Mr. L play a little Wii. At 3:00 I will either watch Dr Phil, but that depends on what he’s talking about and get more knitting done. Mr. N is now awake so both of them play for a while. 4:00 is my pre-supper clean up then I get supper prepared. By the way, my husband is gone for 12 hrs during the day. We will eat supper around 5:00, watch a kid movie and after supper, clean up begins. I may sneak in more knitting somewhere during this time. My husband comes home at 7:30pm. By this time I just want to chill in my chair and get some serious knitting done! After the chaos that daddy brings home, we get the kids ready for bed. They more or less fall asleep around 9:00pm, and I work until 11:00pm.

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment?
     My favorite is the Christmas Elf Tuque

Christmas Elf Tuque: Made in merino wool. Great for photography, but warm to prance around outside.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
     Don’t ever give up! Sales might be slow, but if you are doing something you love, then tell everyone you know. Work on your presentation of your product. Get a good camera. Do research on SEO.
    So thank you so much to Lisa - owner of Petite Tuques - for sharing herself and her shop with us today. You can find Petite Tuques on the web here:

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