Hi my name is Jacqueline Arroyo an avid craft enthusiast who has been enjoying crafting from a very early age. As a child, growing up in Puerto Rico, I was always interested in making things, be it paper flowers, jewellery, drawing, etc. Making items and learning new techniques along the way. My favourite classes in elementary school and even college were always art classes. I also took classes in everything from batik, glass etching, basket weaving, paper making, drawing, water colouring, flower arranging and pottery, to name a few.
In addition to being a craft enthusiast, I'm also a recently trained interior designer (my first career was as a psychologist). I love the idea of integrating handmade art in my designs, and I'm hoping to do more of that in the future.
What is your first memory of being crafty/artsy?
I remember doing a craft kit I got as child to make paper flowers. They were easy and fun and I got really hooked. I also remember very well making those very common woven pot holders, perhaps in Girl Scouts (maybe?)! A lot of fun.
Where do you get inspiration for your products?
Various materials always inspire me. It could be anything from a beautiful fabric, a napkin, an unusual material (like the inside of a watch, a button) and it usually speaks to me about what else it could be. For me the Bill Moyers quote that I put at the top of my shop really says it all, "Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvellous". So that's how I feel about what I try to do, pierce the mundane and dig in to see what else I can find.
Tell us a little about your workspace:
I'm fortunate to have a nice studio space in my house that I created for myself. In fact if you really want to see it, take a look at the you tube video I made about the recent makeover I did on it. www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoSS5r5K0JM
Where can we find your products?
The whole selling thing for me is only about a year and half old. So I'm still pretty much a newbie. I posted some pictures on my facebook page of items I had made (for myself mostly) and a friend asked me to make some items for his wife and daughter for Christmas. This was my first customer. From this I decided to try and see what I could sell and I found Etsy. I started my shop last May of 2010.
I have recently also joined a local art association/gallery and have shown and sold some of my artwork there. I have also done two local art/crafts shows, and getting ready for my third one soon.
What methods do you find best bring traffic to your shop?
I'm still trying to find that out. Recently I started getting more involved in circles and teams through Etsy and I have received more favourites out of that. Not sure if it translates to sales, but it is good to be more connected to the community, and get more exposure in general. I recently also started on Twitter and I try to keep my facebook page updated at least once a day or every other day. From what I've heard also having a larger volume of items on Etsy helps, so I've been working on my goal to get to at least 100 items on my shop. I've been trying to upload one new item a day, because it is also better to spread out your offerings.
I think that Jacqueline is totally an all rounder and seems to be able to turn her hand to anything as you can see from her beautiful items and long may you continue. I wish you much success and thanks for sharing a little about yourself. ps: Good luck with your next craft fair.
If you would like to be featured or do a giveaway on my blog just drop me a line and we can go from there.