Friday, February 12, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - Soliloquy

Carol has a great attitude about her artwork, and she tells us in just one word, Soliloquy, the name of her shop! She must have been reading my mind... I've been thinking of asking owners to explain where they get their shop names. Don't know what soliloquy is? I didn't either, but Carol explains it perfectly! Although she doesn't have a blog or website, you can follow her in a number of ways on the internet. And you can learn more about her here, in this featured interview:
  • What's the name of your business/shop?
Soliloquy. It means "an act of speaking one's thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers." I am the type of person who just has to create things, whether by sewing, drawing, painting, designing in the computer, or whatever it is; I can't help it. So I thought this was the perfect name for my store, since whatever I create, whether people like it or not, I create it anyway and at least try to share it with people.

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
I only have an Etsy store, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopSoliloquy
  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I sell anything I can make with fabric and felt and can be wearable, like keychains, hair clips, wallets, bags, ipod cases, tops, leg warmers, etc, and mainly for women, although every once in a while I come up with some items for men, or at least I try. And I am in the process of expanding to selling prints of some of my own illustrations as well.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
My latest piece is a pair of crochet leg warmers, called Romantic Blossoms on Ivory, that are not yet for sale on Etsy, but you can have a sneak peak of them on my Facebook Fan Page [they're on etsy now, here ]

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
Right now I am working on another pair of crochet leg warmers, so unfortunately I do not have any sketches to show. I am also planning on making different color versions of my Blue Bird Barrette soon.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I have a Twitter page and I have actually been getting a lot more visitors in my store since I got it, which is exciting. I also have a Facebook Fan Page, as previously mentioned, and I advertise my store on my Graphic Design online portfolio on www.virb.com/carollantis (yes, I am also a Graphic Designer). So I try to advertise in all those places, but I do feel a need to open up my networking possibilities even more.

My avatar is my logo, or part of it, which is a caricature of the first wearable creation I made for Soliloquy; the Perennial Spring Owl Keychain. I love birds, especially owls, so it just happened that the first thing I made was an owl that ended up becoming my logo. Usually, on my avatar, I use the logo in white on some bright color background, or to make it easier on me (I don't have to pick what color I like best for my mood at the time), I have a version with some of my favorite colors splashed and running down on a white background behind the logo in black. I think the particular use of colors throughout my avatars, banners, etc, portrays my style of creating well, which tends to be very bold and colorful.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
I use a couple of widgets on Facebook that I think are very useful for what I do. On my personal profile I added a tab for an application called My Etsy, which was developed by Etsy and it basically brings your shop into your Facebook profile. That way, friends and family can get to my store easily through my profile, without having to look it up or try to remember the address. Also on Facebook, on my Soliloquy Fan Page, I have another application called My Stuff by Gigya, where you can add the code for your Etsy Mini, making your store available also for all the fans to see easily through Facebook.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I only use Etsy.com right now. I feel that if I take on one more online "identity", I might not be able to keep up with any of them at all. I do like Etsy because it's a place for connections. You cannot be a successful store owner if you do not connect with the people of the Etsy community. I think that is beautiful, in the way that it forces you to see the talents of those around you instead of isolating yourself in your own world; it gives you "market experience", per say, even if it's a virtual market; by connecting with others you automatically receive increasing exposure; and of course the practical things, because it's very user friendly and it is visually appealing.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I actually have several websites that I use for social networking. Well, I could say some of them are for "professional networking". For personal use I have Facebook and MySpace. On Facebook I also have a Fan Page for Soliloquy, and on MySpace I have another page for exploring my musical side as well (my husband and I compose music together). I use Virb.com for networking with Graphic Designers and other artists and for sharing my Graphic Design and Illustration work. Finally, I use Twitter to try to make sense of it all. My Twitter account is mainly under Soliloquy but it also touches my everyday life and other creative work I do.

I would have to say that Facebook is my favorite. First of all, because most of my friends and family who live far away are all on it, so it's easy to keep in contact with them that way. Secondly, at least the way I see it, it's very easy to navigate and find people and pictures, videos and events; it's a place where you can have the convergence of many useful things at once.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
I am still new when it comes to business in general, but what I have learned about online business so far is that you have to make connections, and lots of them. Spread the word out into the digital world as much as possible, and take a break every once in a while, get away from the computer for a few minutes. That's one advice I have to mainly give myself, not just for sanity, but for health. I've forgotten to eat quite a few times working on my creations and on the computer. It's not a good thing.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
Not really. I just research what is out there and try to judge what should be fair based on similar handmade items. Of course I have to make adjustments once in a while, and hopefully time and experience will teach me more as I go, but really, if I were to try to charge based on the amount of time and work I put into these things, they would be so expensive I would never sell any at all. But I guess that's how it goes for many handmade things. I really do this because I love it, and I can't help it anyway, so the pay just comes as an added bonus.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
Well, this is my tiny dining room turned into a studio a few days a week. It's a mess, but it works for now. Hopefully sometime in the near future I will be able to have a better studio (at least one that doesn't have a carpeted floor!)

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I'd love to see some boutiques sell my work. I hope that in the future I can establish my business well enough that I will even be able to pay others to help me. It's hard to make as many things as I'd like to by myself, and although I love the whole process from conception to production, my passion is really for experimenting and designing my creations. And finally, having a more appropriate studio would also be a great improvement!

  • OK, it's the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite!
Carol's silly people and birds top my list. Her blue bird barrette is quite beautiful. My hair is long, and I've been thinking of cutting it, but with handmade barrettes like Carol's, there's no reason!

6 comments:

TiLT said...

awesome! Love the legwarmers...they are a nice delicate feminine twist on the legwarmers I always picture :)

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

That bird hair clip is so cute...so is her owl :)

UberArt and Emerson Bindery said...

The legwarmers are unique! I like the screaming open mouth onesie...too cute!

BeadedTail said...

That owl is so cute!

Splendid Little Stars said...

I love the little owl!

Joy (The Art Of Joy) said...

Sooo Cool! What a great interview! Cool shop too!

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