*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am from Birmingham, England, but currently living in the City of Wolverhampton with my amazing musician boyfriend Jamie and three wonderful cats Percy, Albie and Izzy. I am currently working part time as a cleaner while I try and build up my mini art business Cally’s Creations.
*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
I didn’t really think my shop name through, or my business! I sold my first painting in March 2011 through a website called ArtGallery.co.uk and that inspired me to make a Facebook page to advertise through. I never thought I could ever sell a painting and was so happy I’d sold one, it gave me the confidence I needed to take that next step. I called my business ‘Cally’s Art’ at first, but though that ‘Cally’s Creations’ would be better because it’s catchy, but because if I wanted to expand and do different arts and crafts it would still be suited.
*What are 5 things you want people to think when they see your product?
I mainly want people to see that everything is beautiful – even the girl without hair, or lines on her face, that not everything has to be ‘normal’ to be beautiful and that imperfection can be just as brilliant as ‘perfection’! I want the women/girls who like my art to know that they are beautiful even if society is against you. I am perfectly happy knowing I am not what society would class as the ‘norm’ and I want everyone else to feel that too!
Other than that, I want people to see happiness, to somehow relate their feelings, thoughts and lives to my paintings somehow. Many people have described my work as ‘Child-like’ and often feel I would be offended by this, when it’s quite the opposite. I want the people who view my work to find the child within them!
*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
I cannot stop buying Pinks and Tea/ Turquoise l shades of paint. It is rare that I do a painting without these colours – which is weird because if you asked me a year ago what my opinion of the colour pink was, I’d have laughed and said I despised it! But since developing my own artistic style, I have become to love it. PVA glue is also another supply I can’t go without! You need plenty when you’re texturing a canvas with paper and card.
*What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?
I love to read. Mainly books from women authors such as Sophie Hannah, Tana French and Gillian Flynn. I love how women write thriller and crime; it feels more passionate, somehow! When I am not reading thriller/crime books, I am spending time at home relaxing, watching movies and listening to music with my boyfriend and three wonderful cats. As my boyfriend is a musician, I enjoy nothing more than listening to him composing a new song. It gives me just as much thrill as creating a new piece of artwork.
*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
I loved creating my original painting ‘Flowers to brighten your day.’ It was a lovely sunny day in July, and I sat in the window of our living room with the blank canvas, paints and paper, with no ideas whatsoever in my head! The colours of Summer inspired me to do the flowers and the happy woman is how I was feeling that day.
*What keeps you motivated?
I would love to be able to make a living off doing something I love and enjoy. Just enough to get by, I’m not interested in making lots of money, but to be able to work from home and build an art business would be wonderful. When (in the very far future) we decide to build a family, I do not want to be a working mom who goes out every day to work and hardly sees their family, and I think with a creative business from home, a mixture of the two would be bliss. Not only that, I just love creating new pieces. I never used to be confident in my artwork, and I still do have relapses where I think it’s nowhere near good enough (as most artists do) but I love the feeling I get when I have a new idea and I just have to get it down – it some ways it relaxes me.
*If you could give a piece of advice to a new shop - what would it be?
When I first started on Etsy I was scared of not getting any sales or views so I gave up before I had even started It is only in the last couple of months where I have really tried to promote myself. My advice would be to not be afraid to speak to other Etsy users. Join as many teams as possible and get your shop out there whilst having fun and meeting fellow members!
*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
When I started this team in July - never in my wildest dreams did I think it would ever ever get this big!!! There are 1397 members!!!! I was thinking that if a couple of hundred joined and were willing to promote others it would be a good team.
Well there might be 1397 members, but there aren't even 200 that will comment in at least on thread during the week.... that's too bad.
Some of us were chatting the other day in a new thread wondering why we were on sooooo many teams that we never commented on! Some were on at least 14 teams, but only went to a couple on a regular basis, this team being one of those couple. So I went to check how many teams I was on.... I'm scared to tell you! Would you believe 43?!!! I'm not kidding! Many of them were BNR teams - I left most of those. Some where promo teams that I never comment on - left those too. So now I'm down to 24, 1/2 are treasury teams where I promote my team treasuries a few times a week. That got me thinking.... how do we get more members to comment on our team?
Since the name of the team is PROMOTING Creative Friends, I had been wondering how many people actually promoted the SHOPS OF THE DAY during the week. So for the last 5 weeks or so I've been keeping track. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that 97 shops promote the SOTD at least once a week, each week! Wow! That's wonderful :)) All people have to do to get on the SOTD list is to "check-in" once a week. Did notice though that at least 1/2 the team has checked in at least once to get on the list, but only 97 promote the SOTD.... hmmmmm. That got me thinking. Since so many of the shops only check-in and never post on any other threads, I've changed the way that I pick the SOTD. For the last week, I've been picking 2 new shops (or shops that check in each week) and also 2 shops that promote the SOTD at least once during the week. It's only fair that the people who actually post and promote, should get promoted. Don't you agree?
SHOP 'TILL YOU DROP EVENT
This thread was a huge success before Christmas. There were many many sales from this event, and a lot of promotion. I've noticed though that this month it has been really really slow... so I think we are going to change it up a bit.
We started a new thread: THINKING OUT LOUD, where we will brainstorm together, trying to figure out the best way to promote shops and the team. It looks like the SHOP 'TILL YOU DROP EVENT may be moved to weekends only, though I'm still working out the details in my head. There have been other great ideas too - we just need to organize. Please feel free to post ANY ideas you might have!! We all want to make this a better team :)
This thread has been a wonderful way to promote a shop. Some weeks we get 70 treasuries, some week we only get 25... not sure why. Jennifer (thenosweatshop) and I have come up with a different way to do it. The idea has been posted on the THINKING OUT LOUD thread, on page 6. Jennifer is going to take that over starting tomorrow morning. This will be fun!! Thank you Jennifer for the idea and taking it on :)
Pinterest, Wanelo, Twitter, FB, Etsy.. Promotion Party This wonderful thread was started by Coral (toppytoppy). We've been running it for almost 2 weeks now, anyone can sign up by picking a day they would like to host. Be sure to check for the last list on the thread, then copy/paste it and add your FB page. We have had 4 sales from this thread already!! WOOHOO!
I've been receiving a lot of convo's lately, people are confused by the titles of some of the threads and not sure where to post their treasuries. Sometimes what makes sense to me, makes absolutely no sense to anyone else (at least that's what my husband tells me - yes, I still love him...lol). So starting in March we will change the titles of the treasury threads to: * Team Treasuries - must have at least 1/2 of the featured shops be from the team. ** Non-Team Treasuries - self explanatory I hope :) *** BNR/BNS Treasuries
Hopefully this is less confusing.
If you are wondering about the photo's in the post ... I think a blog post is always more interesting with photo's. I have taken this items from the team leaders shops: