Friday, July 24, 2009

Featured ETC Member - Thistlecraft & Thistlestuff

Congratulations to our Dear Milly of and ! She is our newest Featured Member.

Funny to call Milly a Featured Member as she is truly the Backbone of our team. She works tirelessly despite health concerns to further our team and our success. Her contributions to our team include, but definately are not limited to: founder and former leader of ETC. Member leadership team, participates in Monday ETC sales:1st Monday, ETC has secrets, what's new with ETC, & design challenges. Has links to the team shop as well as relevant etsy forums. Team shop manager. She also promotes the team tags and the team blog.

If you aren't familiar with her, read on!

"Real Life" Name: Melinda (Milly) Roland

Tell us a bit about yourself (where you live, affiliations, achievements/awards, and any personal stuff you want to share). I live in Gatesville...a small town about 40 miles southwest of Waco (everyone knows where Waco is, right?!?) that has been designated as the Spur Capital of Texas, due to having the largest spur collection in the world, but that is better known as the home of Texas' Death Row for Women. Oh, and we have one of the last fully operational, full-time drive-in theaters in Texas! My family moved here from Kentucky in 1975, and while I have lived in Minnesota, Connecticut, and New York, I found myself coming back home in 2002. I bought my very first home last August, so I'm thinking I'll be sticking around here for a while. Plus, my parents and younger brother live here as well. I also have an older brother who lives in Austin, and a twin sister who lives in Mesquite. I am single and have no children....unless you count Bubba, my kitty who adopted me last July at the very young age of 2 months. He is a wad of energy and has a personality unlike any other cat I have ever known. For more about Bubba, check out my blog at http://thistlecraft.blogspot.comI have been medically disabled since 1998 due to a couple of chronic illnesses that are very difficult to manage. And if things weren't complicated enough for me medically, I also contracted Lyme while living in CT in 2000...though was not correctly diagnosed until 2005-2006.

Are you an Etsy Buyer, Seller, or Both? Definitely Both! Wish I my number of sold items was as high as my number of purchases!!!

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it? I honestly don't remember the first thing I created -- I have always been creating, thanks mostly to my Mom and her love for creating things! For the longest time, if Mom knew how to make something, then so did I -- and if she didn't know, then neither did I. In college I began to branch out a bit, though not very much. But, then I moved to Rochester, MN, and discovered their Community Education program....I took as many craft classes as I possibly could, working with new media and learning new techniques. There are now several differences between what Mom knows how to do and what I know how to do. While we have both branched out and discovered new loves, we still enjoy creating together and showing each other our latest creations.

Why do you create? Because I can. And because I wouldn't be me if I couldn't.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? My family inspires me -- we are all very creative, though each in their own way. Nature and my faith also inspire me. I'm not sure where some of my ideas come from....they just appear! I have a very active imagination, which feeds my creativity as well. I can see something and think, "You know, I bet I could make something with that." And I can hear things and think, "That would be a cool theme for something." I always have a notebook with me to jot down ideas!

What are your favorite materials? Currently, my favorite materials are yarn, paint, shrink plastic, and game pieces...those these are subject to change at any time!What is your favorite color?I love most colors and go through phases with my favorites, but if I could choose only one color as an all-time favorite, it would be red.

What are your two most and least favorite films? I LOVE movies!!! Two most favorite would have to be Phantom of the Opera and Pirates of the Caribbean....yeah, I know, two very different movies! Two least favorites? Poltergeist and The Waterboy -- I don't like horror movies or movies that try to disguise stupidity as comedy.

What are you reading right now? You: God's Brand-New Idea by Max Lucado, Jesus in Blue Jeans by Laurie Beth Jones, and Shameless Shortcuts edited by Fern Marshall Bradley and the Editors of Yankee Magazine

What is your favorite item you have purchased on Etsy?I can't name a favorite....I'll hurt someone's feelings! I LOVE all of my purchases and have had only a couple of bad experiences in my 3+ years buying on Etsy.

Any tips on selling handmade stuff? Do the most what you love the best -- make what gives YOU joy and fulfillment, and the sales will come. Also, you have to advertise -- folks simply won't buy from you if they don't know you exist! Selling isn't like Field of can't just make it and price it and expect customer to just come! You have to let them know about you and your creations. Advertising doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to be effective. And only you will know what works best for you. And learn how to price your creations. Don't under-price yourself in order to make a sale. Keep track of what your materials cost and how long it takes you to make your creations. Value your work and your time, and your customers will also!

Apart from creating things, what do you do? Help manage the Etsy Texas Crafters team; teach arts and craft classes at my local Boys & Girls Club; help teach VBS, GAs, etc at my church; go "treasure hunting" with my Mom at garage sales, estate sales, and thrift/resale shops; and watch movies! Oh, and spend way toooooooo much time in doctors' offices!!!

Thanks so much for letting us get to know you better Milly~

Want to be a Featured Member for Etsy Texas Crafters? Go HERE and fill out the application link on the bottom of the page.


LindaGJ said...

It IS strange that Milly is being featured as she definately is one of the most important people that keeps this team together! You could have the tendancy to not even realize that she is a wonderful artisan herself, as she works so hard supporting this team. I am loving her new crocheted items!!! Wow they are so....beautiful! I can't imagine how she can do so many activities with her illness....PAIN. I understand Lupus as being similiar to fibro (which I have) and it takes a really strong person to deal with it and also carry on activities.
Thank yall for finally featuring Milly!!! YAY!!!
Linda :)

LindaGJ said...

OOPS!!! I meant Lyme instead of Lupus.