I discovered this absolutely lovely little shop in the Etsy forums earlier this week and am proud to present Only One Hand Knit Collectibles as my very first Featured Artist.
Below is a fantastic interview with Bonnie, Only One's proprietor and the creator of some very unique toys. Pictured is my personal favorite - Miss Birdie. You'll find out in the interview that Bonnie and I have that in common - Miss Birdie is awesome!
Bonnie makes a wide variety of custom knit toys that are an absolute pleasure to see. She is a very creative and talented artist.
And now, off to the Interview!
Stitchy: Some basic information, how long have you been at your craft and what originally brought you to Etsy?
Bonnie: I have been knitting and making dolls since I was very young. I only recently decided to sell my creations, and Etsy seemed like the ideal way for me to do that. So many people from all around the world can see my toys, and I love how easy it is.
Stitchy: Where do you find your inspiration for your creations?
Bonnie: I’m a new mom, so my 7 month old daughter is my biggest inspiration. She has a lot of toys, so I tend to make fun toys with cute names that I think are unique.
Stitchy: Who has been your biggest supporter and is there anything you'd like to be able to say to this person?
Bonnie: My biggest supporters are my family, especially my husband. He puts up with little bits of yarn all over the house and has helped me organize my supplies. He is also the one who I bounce my ideas off of, which is a big help too.
Stitchy: As an artist, what are your favorite types of materials to use and where are your favorite places to go to get these items?
Bonnie: I love using yarn in beautiful or fun colours and textures. I have bins full of yarn that I’ve collected over the years, and I like rummaging though them every so often to re-discover what I have.
Stitchy: How was your experience with your very first sale on Etsy?
Bonnie: I was over the moon! I think I told every one I know about it. Shortly after my first sale, I got my second, and I was just as excited!
Stitchy: Do you also participate in local venues like craft fairs, and if you do what are some suggestions that help make that a success?
Bonnie: So far, I haven’t done any craft fairs, but I might do one this fall. Besides Etsy, I also sell my toys in two boutiques - one near me in Burlington, Ontario, and one in New York City.
Stitchy: What is the one thing that you don't have, but would love to have that would greatly assist you in your creations?
Bonnie: Time! I have so many ideas and projects in my mind that I want to do. I usually knit during my daughter’s naptime, but I’m going back to work in September, so I’ll have to find time on the weekends to work on my toys.
Stitchy: What is your most favorite item in your shop and what makes it so special to you?
Bonnie: My favorite item has to be Miss Birdie. http://www.etsy.com/listing/49667316/handmade-knitted-bird-miss-birdie
After I designed and created her, I decided that I wanted to share her with the world, so the next day I set up my Etsy shop! And I love her little poem too.
Stitchy: What do you feel are your best marketing tools?
Bonnie: Facebook and word of mouth have been my best marketing tools so far.
Stitchy: What suggestions would you offer to brand new Etsy sellers?
Bonnie: I’m a new Etsy seller myself, so I still have a lot to learn. I found that going on the Etsy forums helped me figure out many things. Some more experienced Etsy sellers told me to spend some time making your banner and avatar reflect your shop, and try to renew a few items each day.
Such a great interview! It was a pleasure to get to know a fellow Etsian! Please be sure to check out Bonnie's Only One shop at http://bgordon2.etsy.com/ for further information and to see some wonderfully artistic toys!