Meet Maria from VeniceHandmadeCrafts, she is Support the Makers Team shop of the week! I am so glad that Maria agreed to interview to let us get a better insight to her shop and her lovely artwork!
What made you decide to open a shop on Etsy?
Well, to tell the truth it was my daughter’s Alice who gave me the idea and pushed me to …I had been giving away my wreaths as gifts and I guess almost everybody of my relations has one of them ,so when one day I was wondering about what I would do with my wreaths, Alice just told me “Open your Shop on Etsy, Mom, and sell them!”
Why do you think it is important to support handmade?
It is important to support handmade because it is much more than that. Handmade embodies manual skill, technique, imagination, fancy, artistic genius. It pushes your ability to find necessary solutions to unexpected problems and stimulates you to go over and over towards almost new and different horizons. Handmade apparently takes you time, actually it GIVES you time, time for yourself, time to sit, relax and create. When I am working on my wreaths I just think of them, nothing else comes to bother me, troubles are all far away. It is therapy ☺ And last ,handmade is the expression of that love we pour into our creations, handmade IS love.
What inspires your creations?
It can be anything, a particular request from a customer, an image seen on the web , an episode or a particular moment in the life of the person my wreath is made for, and memories, of course, combined with particular moods . My almond blossom felt wreath is maybe my happiest creative process. I was tidying away all the left milky felt from a work and meanwhile thinking back to past summer holidays to Holland .The images of my boy then 4, of Van Gogh’s Museum and of his Almond Blossom followed one another , and the idea of making my own Almond Blossom shaped…
How would you describe the creations in your shop?
I hope you will not think of me as conceited, but I would describe most of the creations in my shop s as artistic…They are the landscapes I would paint, the short novels I do not write, the melodies I would play (if only I were able to 😉 )They come out from the deep of my soul, they are myself, and though they all get the impression they are meantime different because they reflect my varied personality.
What projects are you working on now?
I am working on the idea of the BORN FROM LOVE wreaths for nursery rooms, announcements and baby showers.
What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
That’s a difficult question to answer…there is not only one…felt? Styrofoam wreaths? Hot glue? Needle and cotton wire? Beads? Synthetic padding? I need all of them but as you ask me for the most indispensable item, one only, I will answer it’s my fancy, my imagination, as there is no creation without but only copying.
What one artist living or deceased would you like to hang out with for a day, who would it be?
Well, I love Van Gogh, he was a misunderstood genius, yet his depressed mood would not be the ideal company to stroll with …I would choose Gauguin as the ideal mate for a hanging out day with ..he traveled all over the world, from Peru to Europe and last Tahiti, he would have so much to tell…and his two-dimensional images, his spot colors , have much in common with felt shapes…and maybe we could hang out together on one of those days he was friend with Van Gogh and have a glass of wine the three of us, that would be amusing!
What are your thoughts about being an Etsy shop owner in this day and age?
I’m still a very young Etsy shop owner, I started this adventure as an Etsyan only in November 2015. I like it , I like getting in touch with people from all over the world and I like learning about so many thingsI didn’t know. Yet, what I like most is that thrilling sensation, that exciting feeling which pervades me whenever I get an order from overseas. I realize that something I MADE is going to be in the States because someone loves it so much that he/she has chosen it among so many others and wants it to be hanged on the front door of ,their house and I know that we will be both proud of that, me, the maker, and he/she, the owner, who will welcome guests home with one of my felt wreaths! Exciting, indeed!
What do you think about social networking, do you think it’s vital for selling your artwork and why?
Yes, social networking is vital for selling my artwork. That is what makes my shop and my articles known around. Talent, competence, professionalism, reliability, good manners also, these are all important elements to carry on a business everywhere and on the Net they assume even more importance because people out there do not know you from the real and must trust you. But you, the vendor, who are in possession of all these requirements, you need also the means to reach the beautiful minds , the refined spirits which could be our potential customers. Social networking provides us with those means.
What is one important piece of advice you could give a new Etsy shop owner?
As a maker I would suggest any new Etsy shop owner to pay attention to the human aspect of the matter. I say, treat your customers as if they were friends, establish a human contact with them, though respecting limits and individual features ,and “pamper” them : a nice packaging, a greeting card, a thanking discount code will serve the purpose. Think as if it were you the buyer, what would you appreciate most? Do that what !
Where else can we find you on the web?
You can find my shop on Instagram. I also have a shop account on Pinterest under my own name .As to Facebook you can find my page but not my shop, not yet, though I am so happy with my wreaths every time one is over that I immediately post the pictures!