Today’s Feature Friday Presents:
amandajocrafts is one of those happy accidents. Its owner, Amanda Jo, was in her senior year of college when she was given the opportunity to enter into a free craft fair at her school. Loving crocheting, she started searching for things she thought would sell, and amigurumis sparked her interest. Encouraging by how well the craft fair well and all the positive responses she received, she decided to take amandajocrafts online! Amanda Jo is a recent graduate who majored in English and does not know what she wants to do with that. (Well, she does, but it involves being the next J.K. Rowling, and she tries to be practical.) For now, she’s delighted to have a big family, a good job, and be engaged 🙂
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What got you interested in crafting?
My mom is a very crafty woman, though she’d never admit it. She taught me how to sew, knit, crochet, needlepoint, etc, and was always there to help me when I got in over my head with patterns. I continued making things because I believe there’s something truly beautiful in handmade items; it’s like magic. Wearing something you’ve created, or seeing it hanging over the couch, or playing with it while it keeps you company on your desk is such a warm feeling — you know you’ve brought that piece to life.
What has been your favorite project to make and why?
My favorite project in my shop is making the octopi. There’s something so fun about creating all the squiggly legs, and they always have so much personality afterwards! 🙂
Although, I’ve recently been getting into “themed” things (Harry Potter and Star Wars). They help cater to my strong tendency toward sci-fi and fantasy, and they have a great fan base on etsy that really brings in a lot of views!
What’s the secret behind your etsy name?
Unfortunately, my etsy name is pretty bland. When I first started, I didn’t know if I wanted to keep just with amigurumis, or expand to other crocheting, or add some lino prints and litho prints (I also LOVE printmaking). So, I kept it pretty simple to allow for growing room.
If you could open up a shop in your town what would you call it and what would it be like?
If I could open a store for my amigurumis, it’d probably be called (though the title is QUITE subject to change!) Amanda’s Adorable Amigurumis. It would be brightly colored, covered in fun, massive amigurumis, in all colored and animals. It would be a bustling, stupendous playground for everyone, and I would encourage jumping in the mound of baby amigurumis 🙂
What is the most challenging thing you have made?
The most challenging thing I’ve ever done was create a linoleum print that was 24″x36″ of a girl standing in a field holding sunflowers. It was a reduction print with five colors, which means you have to cut some of the linoleum, print it, then cut more and print that, etc. It’s a mind-blowing, intricate process that is also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Now that I’m out of college, I don’t have the materials to do another one, but someday *crossing fingers* I’ll be able to again.
What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?
Well, I’d love to keep plugging away at my shop. It’s been an uphill battle to get attention, as the vast majority of etsy sellers know, but it’s also been so rewarding for me that I’ve never minded. I’d love to expand my fan base, really.
I could make lofty plans to make etsy my full-time job, but I’m also trying to be realistic, and so I know that’s nearly impossible at this stage in my life.
What inspires you to be crafty?
Everything! I swear, the second I sit down and tell myself to take it easy, I’m whipping out my latest amigurumi, dragging my ton of scrapbooking stuff into the living room to update my books, picking out patterning for a new blanket, starting a new sweater…
Every thing I see, I think I can make it (even if I maybe can’t :P). Every thing I touch, I want to know how it’s done. That “craft” gene just does not sleep!
What is your best quality when it comes to your crafts?
Without “tooting my horn,” I like to think I bring personality to my amigurumis. They’re not just things, they have a life to them. It doesn’t matter if I use the same pattern twenty times, they’ll all come out looking just a little bit different. I love that I can breathe that life into something and make it coveted.
At the first craft fair I did, a pre-teen girl came up to my table and fell in love with a little white rabbit. It was a tiny thing, and she just kept holding it and hugging it and saying how cute it was. After she bought it and moved on, I could still see her holding onto that bunny through the other booths. I love that I’m able to make someone that happy.
If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?
Hmm….I don’t know if it would be endless time to create, more collateral, or more views! Right now, I’m really happy with the opportunity to create, and I’d love to have the resources to share that some more 🙂
If you haven’t already stopped by Amandajocrafts – click on the link!
Thanks for stopping by!