Today, I have a special treat for you awesome people. We’re welcoming to the blog Shannon of DorkEMom Crafts! Shannon is here to tell us a little bit about her new online craft website & is offering a special giveaway only to Roof Beam Reader subscribers! Please enjoy the interview & be sure to enter the awesome giveaway below.
Please give Shannon a warm welcome! She’ll be back to visit us again for Austen in August!
1) Tell us a little bit about DorkEMom Crafts: Where did the idea come from and what has the process of launching an online craft store & blog been like so far?
The idea for DorkEMom Crafts stemmed from being a stay at home mom. I’m not sure I would have had the motivation or courage otherwise. My husband and I were eager to have kids and when we finally did, I quit working as soon as I had the opportunity in order to stay home with them. Financially it has been tough but I love it. I also love to craft, I always need some kind of creative outlet, so one night I was lying in bed and floated the idea of starting a crafting business to my husband. I was crafting all the time anyway! He was 100% on board and has supported me every step of the way.
The process has been a little complicated but I did a lot research about starting an online crafting business. I prepared by having a lot of stock in place—I knew having two little boys at home wouldn’t leave me a whole lot of free time. I researched blog hosting sites, pricing, scoped out the competition. It has been a little overwhelming but SO fun. Brainstorming ideas, crafting, seeing people interested in what I’m making and actually (gasp!) ordering products! That has been great.
- What are your favorite “geeky” things – books, movies, television shows – and how do they translate into the crafts & projects that you make/sell?
I’m enthusiastic about a lot of “geeky” things–most science fiction/fantasy subjects interest me. Favorites include Star Trek, of course, Supernatural, Harry Potter, comic books (mostly DC comics but I like the Marvel movies), video games like League of Legends, Super Mario Bros, Minecraft and World of Warcraft, Tolkien, Game of Thrones, Firefly, I could go on and on.
The diversity of my interests makes having a crafting business tough. I think generally the more specific or niche your product is, the easier it is to find a target audience and market to them. Give your people what they want! I, however, love making all kinds of things. Harry Potter coasters, X-Files dolls, Supernatural buttons, miniature books. I’m still finding my way in all of this. For now, I am making items I would enjoy receiving and that are fun to create, and I’m making quality products that I’m proud of. I think that is a good start.
- On your blog, you mention that you have a husband and two young boys: how do you find the time for all your craft/artwork, too?
It is all about organization and making every free moment count. I take pictures of my work while I’m outside with the boys in the morning. I edit photos on my Ipad while they have a snack and play inside. My youngest is almost two and those two hours in the afternoon while he naps are priceless for getting things done. My older son is four and he loves arts & crafts so he’ll sit next to me and work on his own project while I do my work. I spread the work out throughout the day and so far have been able to juggle things pretty well!
- What craft or piece of artwork have you done that you’d say is a personal favorite–one that you loved working on or were really proud of after completing? Did you sell it, give it as a gift, or keep it for yourself?
I love the outer space coasters I made–the images are from the Hubble telescope and each one has a quote by a different science fiction author. I also think the miniature books are so cute. They are versatile–make good magnets or necklaces or key chains. Anything in miniature. :)
- Do you accept custom orders or stick to your inventory? If you do custom work, what should your future customers know about the process?
I absolutely accept custom orders. Creating something for someone who is excited about the product and involved in the process is a lot of fun. Customers should know that I am open to discussing their ideas and interests and working with them to come up with a good product! It will take a bit longer than my usual turnaround time, but it will be worth it. I am happy to provide sketches and in progress pictures.
- Lastly, what would you most like to share with the subscribers of Roof Beam Reader – how do you think your work might appeal to this group of book lovers in particular?
Reading is one of my passions and I get really invested in characters and settings. I spent many lunches during high school reading in the library instead of hanging out with friends. Many of my current interests stem from books that I read as a kid, and a lot of the crafts that I have done and plan on doing relate to books! I think a lot of my creations would appeal to book lovers and if there’s something one of your readers would like handmade for them, they should contact me. I am always looking for new sources of inspiration!
This giveaway includes custom orders, so if you have an idea for a button, peg person, magnet or something else but don’t see the exact item you’re looking for (maybe you’d like a magnet with a favorite quote from Gone With the Wind, for example), then just send Shannon an e-mail and she’ll be happy to work with you!
Edit: Please note that shipping outside of the United States might be expensive.
Giveaway ends on Wednesday, June 3rd at 11pm Central Standard Time.