Well so much for trying to post everyday! Yikes I really need to get back on track and manage my time better. I have super busy making paper pinwheels. The past few weeks alone I have orders totalling over 315 pinwheels! I have 150 done though so I'll keep plugging away. Pinwheels and bloomers were big sellers for us in the month of July. Who would have thought! Last week we added hanging dish towelsto our line up. These are awesome and only $10!!!They are so pretty and useful! I also would use them when I go camping (if I get the time) they will stay clean longer this way.
Welcome to the first ever House of Random Giveaway!! Today's giveaway is brought to you by EmptyOnTheInside. The winner will receive these four amazing hand painted cards!
How to enter:
You must follow this blog AND follow the blog Dough, Dirt & Dye (we will check) then leave a comment here saying you did so.
IT IS THAT SIMPLE!
You have until July 19th at 11:59pm PST (California time)
The winner will be announced here on July 20th as I drink my morning coffee.
Don't forget to come back and check to see if you won!
Today our interview is with Annie from the Etsy shop EmptyOnTheInside and the blog Dough, Dirt & Dye. I have had such a wonderful time emailing back and forth with Annie and I am very excited about our upcoming GIVEAWAY. More details on that coming soon!
T.H.O.Random:I am little obsessed with names in general so I always have to ask, how did you decide on the name for both your Etsy Shop and your blog?
EontheI:Yeah, I know what you mean – names, titles, ARE fascinating. I’ve come across some Etsy shop names that are so amazing to me – where did they come up with that clever thing? I came up with the name for my shop through the back door, kind of sidling up to it rather than being struck in a moment of inspiration. When I first ran across Etsy I decided to create an account – as a buyer rather than as a seller – I wasn’t thinking about that yet. But I actually gave it some real thought because of the very dire Etsy warning that once chosen, you couldn’t ditch that name! The weight of that! I wrote down a whole list of ideas, some of them relating to where I live or where I used to live, books I like, song lyrics – a lot of things ended up on that list. As soon as I committed to the name I came up with five better ones, of course. Anyway, from there I started pondering becoming a seller on Etsy; what would I sell, how would my product look? Offering greeting cards was logical for me because I’d been making my own for years - every Christmas I sent out a hand-painted card to my list – and I loved making them. My problem had always been: what do you put on the inside of the card? The outside of the card? – that was cake, but the words…a lot tougher. So from there came the idea of the card being blank on the inside so that the person giving the card could write without the encumbrances of someone else’s notion of the holiday, birthday, whatever the event – and that played into the idea of being beautiful on the inside and outside…we have this noble idea of judging people for how they are “inside” rather than the outside and turning that around in a way that’s maybe too subtle for anyone but me to pick up on - so my cards are beautiful on the outside, but empty on the inside.…thanks for giving me the opportunity to take a stab at explaining the name!
The name for my blog, Dough, Dirt & Dye came about a lot faster. I mention on my Etsy shop that my three favorite materials are bread dough, garden soil and wet paint. When I decided to create a blog, I knew those themes would run through it – and I’m a sucker for alliteration.
T.H.O.Random:I read on your blog you have done quite a bit of travel, what effect do you think that has had on the way you design?
EontheI:Reading that question, the first thing that popped into my head was: travel light. My card designs are pared down, not detailed, not fussy (I hope). And that’s a good way to travel – though when I travel I don’t always follow my own advice – and for me, it’s a good way to create art. Keep it simple; clean colors, strong lines, tight compositions.
Also, when one travels or lives overseas, it’s a good idea to be tuned into your surroundings, to pay attention to detail, to be aware. That’s maybe a no-brainer for a creative person, it comes rather naturally, but the bonus is, while you’re tuned in, you’re storing away all kinds of things: colors, angles, objects, feelings associated with place, architectural styles, faces, gestures, the play of light, smells. All of those things can eventually show up in one’s creations whether it’s in art or in writing.
T.H.O.Random:Do you consider EmptyOnTheInside a profitable hobby or a business? EontheI:Right now it feels like something in between, though light on the “profitable” if you know what I mean. Which is okay – so I guess in that sense E on the I leans more towards being a hobby – a very time-consuming hobby. But I’d really like to see it grow into a business. I’m impatient about the slow pace, but also understand how much time is involved in nurturing a concept like this. Though I’m really just revving things up, I fully appreciating the hard work it takes to create a business. It’s very daunting yet inspiring to see those Etsy vendors who are doing so well and making their dreams come true. It’s like: hoorah!! I mean, how many mind-numbing jobs have you had where you kept thinking, if only I could be doing what I love? That’s the goal. That’s the incentive.
T.H.O.Random:Where do you see EmptyOnTheInside in five years?
EontheI:I would love (love, love) to see my cards in shops in select cities across the US. I would love to have a loyal “following” that looked forward to the next card coming out. I joke about becoming a greeting card mogul that will one day threaten Hallmark and American Greetings. Ideally E on the I would have expanded into other creative areas as yet undefined. And, in five years it would be great to see E on the I showing a profit – doesn’t have to be huge – just enough to validate that what I thought was a good idea was in fact a good idea.
Thanks Daniyal and House of Random for introducing me on your blog – it’s been a lot of fun working with you!
Thank YOU Annie your work is amazing and I wish you luck and success. You definitely have me waiting to see what comes out next. EmptyOnTheInside will also be featured tomorrow on my (Daniyal) personal blog I Don't Sew.
Today has been full of great news for The House of Random, both the blog and the shop. The House of Random has been open only two months and the shop averages one sale a week (I included sales we made outside of Etsy in that number) and we made a sale today! For this blog,Stumble Upon sent out emails to certain people recommending this blog to read. I find that so mind blowing considering it only had two posts and 9 followers. I have to credit amazing friends and fellow Etsy shops for recommending us. Thank you all so much. I am sure most of you know how much any recognition means to me, either because you know me personally or because your blog and shop mean as much to you and you spend almost as much time trying to promote as you do actually creating. Today I will keep it short and sweet because I am working on Thursday's interview and writing a piece as a guest blogger for a fellow Etsy shop owners new blog. More details coming soon! Including giveaways! I appreciate you for reading my blogs and visiting my shop and all the love, support, and promotion I feel at this moment.
Thursday is interview day at The House of Random Blog. However, I set this blog up yesterday and did not have time to set up anyone to interview. So I am going to interview our shop.
Where did the name The House of Random come from?
We were preparing for a craft show and needed a name to put on the registration form quickly, we ended up putting down 6 Crafty Hands. The name was just too generic for us so we started brainstorming and someone said something about our stuff being so random it was hard to really get a name. Then we realized that was it, we would be House of Random, except that name was taken on Etsy so we added The to it and Viola! The House of Random was born.
Why "random"? Why not focus in on one product or theme?
Well that is boring. On my (Daniyal) personal blog I Don't Sew you will see this whole thing started as a personal adventure of discovering my crafty side. I don't have one thing I have perfected and want to produce in mass. I am still discovering all different aspects of being creative. As for the other two members they may be a little more sure of what they are doing. Laura makes amazing little girls skirts. The detail and time she puts into picking fabrics and making sure the hems are well surged is impressive. She also makes the bib and burp cloth sets and key fobs and the purses. The purse gave her such a hard time cause she wanted them to be perfect and very well made I am afraid we well never carry purses again! Denise makes these awesome retro style aprons, little girls bloomers, and hats. She also is one to make sure to take the time to do it right not just slap something together. That is part of the reason I wanted to do this with them. As for me everything is basically an experiment I feel turned turn out right. Maybe one day we will hone in on a specific product but not any time soon.
You read a lot about "branding" on Etsy. Do you feel you have created a brand?
Actually not yet. We are definitely working on it. I have two very talented younger brothers and one of them is an artist. My brother Samm is working on a logo for us to use. We want that to be right, something we stick with and people can easily recognize. So brand coming soon!