GRAB YOUR MOCHAS, DOUBLE LATTES AND HERBAL TEA CUPS...
sit back and relax...here comes some inspiration!
Where can you find one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories with fabulous fabric and excellent hardware? Sweet Pea Totes of course. Mary Miele is the brains and talent behind this incredible Etsy shop. Her products are fashionable, durable, and down right beautiful - and there's also great prices. There's definitely something for everyone - AND custom orders are available Hooray! Today Mary, who has been sewing for many years, is going share with us how her passion for sewing led to the creation of a successful shop in our first 2009 Knit1fortheroad Summer Etsy Interview Series. Take it away Mary!
Q. Mary, thanks so much for taking time out for today’s interview. I see that you’ve been sewing for many years. Who gave you that first lesson and how did your passion for sewing and construction grow into your Etsy business?
A. I took home economics in high school and we were able to make anything we wanted for our first project. I chose to make a jacket, and my teacher was really impressed with my sewing. For me, that class opened my eyes to the sewing world. I’ve made several quilts, dolls, curtains, girls’ clothes, and so much more between my teen years up until now.
I started making tote bags 5 ½ years ago because my daughters had grown up and no longer wanted handmade clothes. I am pretty proud of myself for going from making my first jacket to having my own handbag and pattern business.
I sold on ebay at first and did quite well. Then last year ebay’s fees went up and most of the designers and I left to sell on Etsy. I also have a website SweetPeaTotes.com .
Q. Your fabric choices are wonderful! Which comes first in your creative process, fabric or the design?
A. It’s either way. If I see fabric that I love then my design comes second, but most of the time I think of a new design first and I will venture out or go online and do a little fabric shopping.
Q. If you had one piece of advice for those out there thinking of starting a business on Etsy, what would it be?
A. My advice would be to look at what Etsy already has to offer and see if your craft would sell well. Also, make sure you have good photographs that do your products justice.
Q. Do you have any upcoming events, sales or information about yourself or the shop you’d like our readers to know?
A. Be on the lookout for new ebook patterns. I really enjoy making new designs and sharing the patterns with my customers so they have the chance to make it themselves. If I ever have anything new, you’ll be the first to know by keeping up with my blog SweatPeaTotes .
Thank you so much Mary for taking time out today to share with the readers your story and share you tips.
Visit these links for more on Mary and her designs:
SweetPeaTotes on Etsy.com
CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS HERE! http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetpea-totes-handbags
FOLLOW Mary's BLOG! http://www.sweetpeatotes.blogspot.com/