Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Interview with TheAwesomestPossum

Interview by Celeste of
From the Cruelty Free Etsy Blog
(shared with permission)

Sam of The Awesomest Possum treats us to a meet 'n' greet! :)

What kind of items do you sell in your shop?
I sell the kind of jewelry I like to buy: unique and affordable. I combine colors, textures, and shapes in ways that I find interesting. Lots of black and silver, lots of natural blues, greens and browns. And of course no shells, pearls, bone, or other animal materials!

How did you get started?
I'm a bellydancer, and part of joining my troupe was making myself a costume. I’ve always liked clothing and jewelry, and as I gathered materials and put the costume together, I realized how much I enjoyed creating jewelry and working with beads and chain. My first jewelry projects were just for myself, but as I got more confident I began making more and more gifts for others, including jewelry for the rest of the bellydance troupe and, for my husband and sister, custom pieces based on ideas they thought would be cool to have. Now I’m getting to the point where I just love designing jewelry in general, and I want to make my hobby somewhat self-supporting so I can try new things without feeling guilty for spending all our money!

Tell us why you choose to use cruelty free materials in your work?
I’m vegan, and I don’t buy or wear animal products. To me, veganism is about loving and respecting all life, minimizing suffering, and living sustainably on our planet.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy (if so, where)?
I don’t. I’ve actually just started selling on Etsy, since my hobby started outgrowing itself.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?
Pretty much everything is a future plan at this point! :) But if it goes well, I’d like to branch out a bit from my super-affordable materials and try using more sterling silver and one-of-a-kind beads from artists in my local and Etsy communities.

Do you maintain any other sites besides your shop (such flickr, MySpace, blog, etc.)?
I’m on facebook way more often than I probably should be. I’ve been obnoxiously promoting my new shop to all my friends, but they’ve been really supportive. :)

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?
My big ones aside from jewelry making are bellydance and vegan baking. I’m part of a tribal fusion bellydance troupe, and I make vegan cookies and scones at my local food coop once a week. I also like gardening, reading, playing way too many video games, and hanging out with my husband, cat, and birds. As my “day job,” I’m a PhD student and a teacher of college writing, and I absolutely love teaching.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by how happy people are when I make things for them, and by how much fun it can be to move our bodies and revel in our senses. I like my jewelry to have movement and texture and to leave the wearer with no doubt that they look good. Everyone deserves to show off a little. :)

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Not for now! Excited to talk more with the team!

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