I’m so happy to announce the first of (hopefully several) Etsy Spotlights from my Hello Etsy DC event, Jen from Sleepy Pony! Jen and I had the good fortune of sitting together in the networking session, and, well, we networked! We traded a few emails back and forth, and here we are!
Jen has graciously provided a free shipping code just for ShopHappens readers! Use code SleepyShipping at checkout.
As always, click any photo to purchase or for more information!
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I just opened my shop a year ago, but I’ve been obsessively following Etsy for many years. I’ve also started selling at a brick & mortar shop in downtown Annapolis, called The Unknown Artist.
How did you become interested in creating your own handmade products?
I have been making crafts since I was a little girl. Even on my pencil boxes and backpacks, I would make and sew patches or collages to add some individuality. In college l refined my design skills. I loved learning color theory and composition, but quickly became bored creating things to look at and not touch or use. When I lived in Tucson I started crafting with my friends and have learned many new techniques. When I was laid off during the recession and figured it was time to put it all to the test!
What inspires you?
Nature is the source of my inspiration. I love animals, botanicals and organic shapes.
What are some of your favorite colors/patterns/design aesthetics?
My favorite colors are green and blue. I change my mind everyday on which to list first! I love simple design aesthetics. I’m a huge fan of functionality, like Baus Haus.
How do you incorporate them into your work?
I incorporate them everyday, in every way. I am drawn to cool colors, but I really try to leave my comfort zone and go for the warmer spectrum. I believe the simplest, understated designs are the classiest and will stand the test time through fashionable fads. For instance, my hammered hoop earrings will always be in style and will match absolutely every ensemble.
Who are some of your favorite celebrities?
Ah, what a tough question! I love vintage styles, the classic style icons: Jackie O, Catherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn. And I love modern celebrities too! I like Geek Chic like Zoey Dechanel and Tina Fey (whom I think is hysterical!) I like the modern starlets who resurrect the classics, like Scarlett Johansen. And musicians like Amy Winehouse, Adele and Billie Miles. I’m sure I could go on and on! I could see Zoey Dechanel or Tina Fey sporting some Sleepy Pony!
What is your workroom like?
An organized mess! I have magazine clippings, scraps of fabric and tons of tid bits tacked to the walls. But it’s so beautiful! I also work at an independent studio at the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts and utilize their equipment.
What conditions lead you to create the best work?
I work well under pressure, which is probably a product from art school. I also get very creative on cold, rainy days, when I have to stay inside.
How long does it take to design and create each piece?
That absolutely depends on how distracted I get! If I stay focused, it can take me about an hour, depending on the piece. For more complex pieces, the likes of which I have to complete using equipment from Maryland Hall, the studio is open for 3 hours, once a week, so sometimes it can take 2 or 3 weeks to complete!
What is your favorite product so far?
I’m really digging my vintage button rings right now. So fun!
What is the most interesting request you’ve received from a customer?
A hammered silver head pin/hair pin. I still haven’t successfully completed it and it was requested by my dear friend!
What makes your Etsy store different from others?
I use recycled silver! And try to use vintage beads or recycled findings.
Thank you so much, Jen! Don’t forget to check out The Unknown Artist if you’re in the Annapolis area, and be sure to use code SleepyShipping at checkout for free shipping!