Interview presentation by Kylie of SilentLotus
Meet Jenifer of Etsy's lovebugknits
Jenifer's adorable knit creations have many selling points, such as the obvious care that is put into all; the use of kid-and-planet-friendly organic cotton; and the combination of fun, whimsy, and practicality that make up each design. But the biggest selling point of Jenifer's work has to be the use of her beautiful children both as inspiration for her line and as models in her listing photos! Who could resist?
Q. What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
I started my business making unique custom made hats for little ones. I have since expanded my designs to include backpacks, mittens, scarves, bunnies, bears, and now hair clips.
Q. What are your creative inspirations?
My children are my biggest inspiration. Most of my designs were created for my children first, although I do have a few I have done just for custom orders. Items like the car and dinosaur hats come from my son’s interests. I created the backpack so I would have something for my son to carry his toys in when we eat out. Some items, such as the Elf hat and the Button Flower hat, came from special requests from customers.
Q. How did you get started creating?
In 2004, I got married and left my teaching job and home in California for Texas. I was looking for a job, and I had a lot of time on my hands. I bought the supplies and taught myself how to knit and crochet, for lack of anything better to do. Two years later, when my son was born, I started looking for and designing unique hats and sweaters for him. After getting many positive comments on the hats and sweaters I made for my son, I decided to begin designing and selling my knit items.
Q. What other artistic tendencies do you have? Do you have other crafty/artsy skills that you already do or would like to try?
Growing up, I never thought of myself as artistic or crafty. Now I am always looking for something new to try. Mostly I stick with knitting, but I do a little sewing, and I would love to learn to quilt.
Q. What would you like to try to make, that you haven't already? What is your dream project?
I am always looking at new patterns, and at any given time, I have at least 10 projects waiting to be started. I would really like to work on a large lace knit blanket, but finding the time to sit down and start just has not happened yet. I hope to complete one for my daughter's wedding, though since she is only 1 year-old I have some time.
Q. Do you have any other hobbies/interests/passions?
When I am not knitting I am usually taking care of my two little ones. I have a 2 year-old son and a 1 year-old daughter. Before the kids I spent most of my free time camping, skydiving, and cooking. I still do those things every now and then, but my kids are really my life right now, and the other stuff I fit in when possible.
Q. How long have you been on Etsy, and are you an Etsy addict? :)
I have been on Etsy since 2007. I love Etsy and I always look there first for anything I want. I could spend all day shopping and searching through the wonderful stores on Etsy.
Q. Is etsy a large part of your business? How else do you market your work?
With kids and life, Etsy is the only thing I currently have time for. I would love to do some craft fairs, but it will have to wait until the kids are a bit older.
Q. What are your future plans for your shop/business?
Currently I want to work on increasing sales and adding recycled cotton yarn to my current organic cotton yarn choices.
Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian? How does being veg play into the rest of your life?
I have been a vegetarian since I was 14, so almost 16 years. I think that being vegetarian has made me more aware of the food I eat and has put me on the path to my current green, organic lifestyle.
Q. What is the last recipe you made? What are your food vices or cravings?
I am always cooking here. Since we eat very little processed/canned/premade foods, I am always cooking something. Today I made black beans, bread, and carrot drops (a cookie-type snack for the kids). Many of my recipes can be found here.
Next week, meet Jody of ShabbynChic...