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!