Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Ghouls Best Friend with Baltimore Artist Sara Vogel

Four Bulb Dangle Earrings
Karen in Shabby Chic WhiteBarbara Shut Your MouthZombie Necklace
Pink and Black Spider with Retro SettingGhostly Zipper BroochUndead Elvis in Acid Blue with Retro SettingDragon Zipper BroochA Divine NecklaceDivine as Babs Johnson with Teal GemsAcorn Necklace and Earrings Set

- how you selected your name

When I was picking my shops name I already knew what kind of items I was going to sell. I knew that I was going to focus on accessories for women that like horror movies and items that are sweet and twisted. When I say sweet and twisted I am referring to items that are cute, but edgy at the same time. For instance, I like to make flowers that are hair clips, but their centers are eye balls or skulls. Knowing that I would be making items like this I wanted a sweet and twisted name as well and I came up with A Ghouls Best Friend.

- describe your studio

My studio is technically in a small room that I call my closet. I know that sounds strange. I am currently living in a basement with my four pets (2 dogs and 2 cats) and my husband (we just got married this past Halloween!) We have a small room that holds our dressers, bookcases, a mini fridge, and my crafting areas. I have a counter, a large table, a cabinet of drawers filled with supplies, and boxes upon boxes of finished items and even more supplies! Since the closet is rather small, I try to keep everything as organized as possible, so naturally everything is labeled like some crazy lady with OCD took over. Now, even though I have my supplies in this room, I tend to take whatever I am working on into my living room and I create at a table where I can feed my Netflix addiction. I can't work without background noise and Netflix + Xbox Live = Amazing background noise! 

My husband and I are currently house hunting and trust me, craft room and man cave are at the top of our must have list!

- talk about your work

On top of my Etsy shop, I currently work full time at a book store. I don't want to name names, but I can sell you a Nook like it's my job.... oh wait..... 

- educational background within your work? 

I went to college at Villa Julie College (now known as Stevenson University) and graduated in 2007 with a BS in Human Services (counseling and socail work). I only took the once required art credit, but grew up in a family of crafty people. I come from a family filled with quilters, sewers, jewelry makers, and wood carvers. Maybe I was born with the crafty gene because it didn't come from all of those family and psychology classes I took.

- where you sell, why do you sell there? 

I sell primarily on Etsy. However, I also have two shops in Hampden that carry my items year round. One is called Kiss N Make-Up and the other is called In the Details. Both are located on the Avenue. I also like to vend on First Fridays at a salon in Ellicott City called Ohh Lalal Salon and at Sonar for their Sunday Flea Market. There is also a shop in Provincetown, RI called House of La Rue that also carries my Divine necklaces as well. On top of this I like to attend burlesque festivals and earlier this year vended at The Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival and will most likely vend there in the early spring of 2012. 

What can I say, I like to stay busy. I love selling on-line because it helps me reach a larger audience that goes beyond my own backyard. I had a lady in Australia that bought a large amount of my hair clips and brooches for a fashion show featuring her own designs. She had her models wear my items during the show and let them keep them as a form of payment. My shop was given a huge shout out and in return I now have a few sales every month from Australia. If I didn't have an on-line shop, this may have never happened.

I love selling at local stores because I can give the small shops in the area whole sale prices and in return I get more requests for custom items, more whole sale orders, and I am helping out local businesses make money in rough times. One of the shops that carries my items has had great success with selling the earrings and necklaces I make that have Natty Boh and Divine on them. 

I also like vending at festivals and events because even if I don't make a killing on sales, I am still getting my name out there and self promotion can really go a long way. 

- what you are doing now, where do you want to take this business

I have just hit my 1 year mark on being a seller on Etsy and have hit over 150 sales. This is amazing to me because I know some shops that have been open for a year that barely hit 20, let alone over 100. Right now I am working on new items for the holidays to help open my shop to a newer audience that may have overlooked my shop before. Not everything I make is horror movie related despite my shops name. In a dream world I would love to solely get my income from Etsy and be able to quit my day job, but with looking for a house to buy and not rent, I don't see quitting my job as a wise financial decision. 

- obstacles you have faced

Most of what I make has not been taught to me. I learned how to make certain things through trial and error. Also, working a full time job five days a week has made me learn to get better with managing my time to accommodate time for friends, family, craft shows, my pets, and life in general.

- good things that have happened

I have had so many wonderful things happen in the past year that it is hard to pick just one or even a few. However, I do owe all of these good things that have happened to something I learned. One of the best things that could have happened was learning the value of self promotion. I think I owe a lot of my success to my shameless self promoting. I have a Facebook fan page for my shop, a Twitter account, a Blogspot account mainly geared towards my shop, and I made an investment in business cards, bumper stickers, and signs for events. I also joined Etsy Teams to help myself out. If I hadn't pushed myself to use these networks I may not have been as successful. 

- bad things that have happened, what did you learn from them

I have found that sometimes I get over worked and need some me time. I also have found that from time to time I will get in a slump and will need motivation to craft on. When I started making accessories I had no intention of selling my items, I was just making them for myself and friends. It was a hobby and a stress relief. To keep myself from thinking of crafting as work I think about when I first started making items and why I enjoy doing this so much. To keep a positive attitude and not make crafting into work I take breaks from it to do chores. This way I am actually doing boring work and I am even more eager to get back to crafting. 

- other/extra stuff
- Contact informationE-mail:
Facebook Page:
Twitter: @Aghoulsbestfrnd

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