Friday, August 29, 2008

Dear Asheville,

From the desk of Katie (aka: scrumdidlyump)

The Asheville Etsy Street Team is making an appearance at LAAFF, bringing you hands on demonstrations on upcycled no-sew grocery bags, a community art project resulting in a creature from the briny deep, and an on site display of our team members handmade arts and crafts. Etsy is an online venue for buying and selling all things handmade. Come join us and learn about Etsy, squids, and upcycled DIY projects!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Introducing Lauren (Pliable Trade)

A new team member is more than past due and I'm very happy to be introducing an enthusiastic and fun member of the team, Lauren. With more than two years Etsy experience under her belt, Lauren has two shops of her own, Pliable Trade and Wrens Nest Photography, and is co-owner of a third shop, Luddistines. You never know what you'll find at Pliable Trade, but it's sure to be colorful and fun.

About Her Craft:

How did you learn your craft or art?
Most everything I do is self-taught. Sometimes nice people will show me something new or give me pointers though.

Other than the work you post to Etsy, what other creative endeavors are you involved in?
I take a LOT of photos.

Etsy/Business Related Questions:

How did you find Etsy?
I found Etsy when I was searching the web for something with the word "witch" in it. I don't remember what it was, but I stumbled across someone's Etsy shop (I think they sold art dolls). At the time I wasn't making much of anything, but my friend had just learned to crochet. So after browsing the site for a while, I convinced her to join so she could sell her stuff. Then she convinced me to start making crafty things too. I was immediately impressed by the design of the site, even in beta version. I guess you could call it 'love at first sight'!

Is there a story behind your store name?
When I first started making things for Etsy, it was primarily in polymer clay. I also liked the idea of recycling things to make new things that could be functional- like jewelry. I'm usually pretty good at thinking of names for things, but my boyfriend at the time made the final suggestion. Right now I wish I had gone with something else, but overall it's a decent name.

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy? If so, what is it?
I work for a catering company and restaurant called Laurey's, which is downtown on Biltmore Ave. across from the Co-Op. I work in the shop handling food (not cooking), and tending to customers and retail. Sometimes I cater events (that's how I started) but mostly I'm in the shop. Stop by sometime and say hello! (And get some yummy food!!)

Of Local Interest:

What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
I love stopping in at Animal Haven. It's tucked away in a quiet neighborhood near Riceville Rd. and is the most peaceful and pastoral little place around here. They take in abused and neglected farm animals and you can walk through the entire farm. It's a wonderful place to take your camera and also to hang out with cool animals. It's also free, and the proceeds from the on-site thrift store benefit the animals there.

What's your vote for best place to eat in Asheville?
Laurey's! (Like I had a choice!)

If you had to move away from the area, what would you miss the most about it?
The biodiversity and the scenic views. It still takes my breath away to drive anywhere and see the ridgeline suddenly appear in the distance.

Random & Fun Questions:

Who are your heroes and heroines? Why?
My biggest real hero is probably Richard Preston. He is an author that wrote "The Hot Zone". I read it over and over again when I was younger and that book is essentially why I went to college. I don't want to be a virologist anymore, but I'll always have an interest in pathology because of him.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
This isn't the last book I read (I'm a reading machine), but I think it's my favorite for the year: "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman. It was really eye-opening and informative, not to mention really well-written and interesting. I recommend it to everyone. (Basically, the premise is- what would happen to the planet if all humans vanished tomorrow?)

For more of Lauren's work, click on the Etsy Mini below.