Monday, June 29, 2009

MEET Etsian LolaLynn!

DOTTY, the LUVBUG - Hand Embellished ACEO

EMERALD KITTY - Hand Embellished 5x7 Print

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Kopper Kitty - Hand embellished 5x7 print

Today, we have a very special Etsian Interview! Lynn Hanousek's passion for art, animals, recycling, and charity are all combined to bring smiles to everyone who visit her shop LolaLynn on Etsy. There, you will find hand embellished prints. painting, and handmade jewelry made with colorful seaglass! There's another special element to her shop that really caught my eye...a 10% donation of designated items will go to one of the following: EFA's (Etsy for Animals)charity of the month, EFC's (Etsy for Charity)charity of the month or AWBAR (Abandoned Wildlife Babies Animal Rescue). Buckle up! Hold on tight to your needlework and pets as we head to LolaLynn Land!
Q. Welcome Lynn! Please tell us about your love for animals and how you’ve incorporated that passion in your shop.
A. Thank you Margaret for your great questions and an opportunity to share. Animals have always been a part of my life. Dogs when a child; cats as an adult. Once it was known that Bill and I were cat lovers, cats and kittens began to appear on our front porch. While living in Brooklyn, we estimate that we found homes for 36 cats and kittens. Of course, several joined our human family of 5 and when we moved to Manhattan, 7 cats came along. In recent years we've become the guardians of 5 adult cats whose humans have gone before them over the rainbow bridge. Our cat family has always been an inspiration to me and many of the artwork in my shop features our cats and those of our extended family. I write about how they inspire my works very often in my blog.
Q. I see that you donate a percentage of your profits to help animals and offer the ACEO Baker's Dozen Club to customers. How did you come up with these ideas?
A. In my early Etsy days, I found a post in the forums from a fellow artist asking for animal lovers to join her street team, Etsy for Animals (EFA). Michele (aka mvegan5) proposed we sponsor a different animal charity every month with a percentage of the sales from our shops. It was totally up to each of us how much we would donate. I joined and became an active particpant by donating 10%, sometimes more, of my sales to the charity of the month and by coordinating EFA's monthly challenges. In 2008 Etsy for Animals raised over $19,000 for a wide variety of animal causes and charities. I'm so glad I found Michele's post. I stated making ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions and Originals) with some of my EFA friends . These minature works of art (always 2.5" by 3.5") sold quite well when I started to post them. A number of people bought more than one and I wanted to do something special for collectors, so I started the "ACEO Baker's Dozen Club." With the purchase of the 12th ACEO, the 13th will be free plus members will receive 20% off the purchase of other items in my shop. I named it the Baker's Dozen as a tribute to my grandparents, Arthur and Amelia Baker, who encouraged my creativity when I was a child.
Q. What an inspiring story, Lynn. One of my favorite things about your shop is that it offers affordable, artistic, colorful items and your feedback is incredible! How do you balance being a creative artist and innovative business owner?
A. I believe that God has endowed each one of us with gifts and talents. When we don't use them its wasteful and to our own detriment. For years I always felt that something was missing from my life. I had everything I needed and was generally a very happy person, but something kept nagging at me. In an epiphany I realized it had been a long time since I had enabled the spirit of creativity to flow through me. I redirected my life to include times devoted to the creative arts and I felt energized. It's not a balancing act for me - I must create to be true to myself and the gifts I've been given. It doesn't seem logical but becoming a "business owner" was just the next step. When I started making wire wrapped rings, my daughter would wear them to work and sell them off her fingers. After I had several bags filled with rings, my kids told me I should open an Etsy shop. Its actually a great arrangement. Others like my work and are willing to pay for it and I get to donate to animal charities and buy more supplies.
Q. Lynn, I have to say, since you are the proud human of fabulous cats, your hand embellished cat prints are noticeably wonderful and whimsical…and we all want to know what’s next for LolaLynn’s shop?
A. Over the years, many fabulous cats have been a part of our lives. We recently lost, Dotty, our beautiful white, fluffy kitty with expressive blue eyes. She inspired one of my first ACEOs. It turned out to be so much fun that I started featuring our other cats. My best selling cat image, however, is "Emerald Kitty" which is an abstract line drawing. Sophia, our "orange girl", inspired "Emerald Kitty's" companion piece "Kopper Kitty." Sophia is always in my face when I sit down to create, so I declared her my "assistant" and she has appeared as my Etsy avatar from time to time. Its been such a busy year for me that I haven't painted any new ACEOs for a while. I dearly hope to add to the collection over the summer. I also have plans to expand and upgrade my "Urban Sea Glass" line to include items made with sterling silver. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because we're expecting a new grandchild within the next few weeks and as my regular blog followers know, I'm as much into our grandkiddiess as we are into our grand kitties!
Thanks again Lynn for sharing your inspiring story and creative process with us. We look forward to seeing more artwork, jewelry and inspiration from you and your shop, LolaLynn.
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Elizabeth Johnson said...

Lynn's art is delightful. And EFA is a wonderful and generous group to be a part of. They accomplish many positive things for animals in need.

Knit 1 for the Road said...

Hi WindandHoney! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment. It's wonderful to know that there are so many generous people on Etsy. :)

twostraycats said...

What a lovely blog feature ~ thank you for sharing :)


Knit 1 for the Road said...

Thanks Lily! I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview.


mvegan said...

Lynn is a wonderful and compassionate artist and member of EFA! We are so lucky to have her involved, so are the animals! Michele ;0)

Knit 1 for the Road said...

Thank you Michele for your input. Yes, I agree! Lynn is an exceptional artist. :) Marg

(Karen) Lisa Daley said...

Really enjoyed the article! Animals are so inspiring and so are the EFA artists who love them.

Annette Tait said...

What a wonderfulinterview with Lynn! and it was fascinating to read, especially about the beginings of EFA and how Lynn became involved!
I also liked how Lynn explains her need to be creative,
thanks for this interview!
kind regards,

Knit 1 for the Road said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Karen and Annette! :) Marg

BeadedTail said...

Wonderful interview with Lynn! Her work is beautiful (I have the Kopper Kitty ACEO) and her heart is huge! I enjoyed reading this feature!

Knit 1 for the Road said...

Hi BeadedTail -So glad you enjoyed Lynn's interview. Kopper Kitty is one of my fav items too. Thanks so much for your comment.


Mishkat said...

This is a really great interview - well done to both you and Lynn! I am a big fan of Lynn's work (I have quite a few of her ACEO's) and I also consider her to be a good friend. Thanks for featuring her!

Knit 1 for the Road said...

HI Mishkat - So glad you enjoyed the interview and thank you for your kind words. Lynn is lucky to have you as a friend.



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