For today’s interview please welcome Janice from Princess Books by JMH.
1. Firstly, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you are based, for example in which country and part of that country? My name is Janice; I live and run my home based business in Vail Arizona which is a suburb of Tucson in Pima County.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/design based business. I design one of a kind scrapbooks, embellishments, announcements, invitations, and supplies for weddings, baby showers, and birthdays. I love making products out of cardstock, pattern paper and decorating them with gemstones and sparkle.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? After finishing two years of respiratory school, I realized that I did not have a hobby. I started learning digital scrapbooking but felt like something was missing. I began learning traditional scrapbooking and found myself knee deep in scrapbooking supplies. When I was shopping for scrapbooks and embellishments I could not find items that were personal or one of a kind so I started designed my own scrapbooks and embellishments. I began giving my scrapbooks as gifts and going to crafts fairs. Before I knew it, I had two online stores and a workshop full of scrapbooks and embellishments that you cannot find in the stores.
4. How long now have you been established? I named my business in the spring of 2008, opened my first store on Etsy in February 2009 and my second store on Artfire in January 2010.
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your great ideas? Most of my ideas are inspired by events in my own life, families, and friend’s lives (weddings, birthdays, graduations, births, adoptions, and holidays). My inspiration comes from looking at clothing, jewelry, decorations, watching movies and cartoons. I know that I can design my own product with the same themes, colors, and textures. When I sit down to create the design I let myself have fun, if I get frustrated I stop with the design and move onto something else.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? For now, my business is part-time and I work part-time as a Respiratory Therapist. I have three boys who are 15, 9, and 5. My fiancé and I are planning a wedding for next October.
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? A normal day begins with renewing items on Etsy and checking in on Artfire. My day does not begin well if I do not see how my stores are doing. Once e-mails are taken care of and orders are shipped, I begin working on new scrapbooks, embellishments, invitations, and announcements. It is sometimes a real challenge because not only do I have that going on, but I have a family that I take care of as well.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? Design and create items that you love making and believe in. Have fun being creative and meeting new people. Once you feel tied down with your business reevaluate your situation and decide if you need a change. Show your true self in all of your work.
9. As this is Art of Crafts I have to ask, do you enjoy any crafts yourself in your spare time? If so, please tell us more. Definitely, I love making things for my home and gifts for family and close friends. I enjoy learning about sewing and embroidery from my soon to be mother-in-law. I look forward to working on school projects with my kids and I have been tossing around the idea of making my own paper.
10. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a web address, Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can find out more?
I can be found on Etsy: www.princessbooksbyjmh.etsy.com.
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