In this weekâ€™s featured crafter, we talk to Melanie from BagsByMelanie. Read on to learn more about Melanie and how she started creating bags to sell.
Tell me a little bit about yourself:
I am a stay at home mom with three wonderful children Michael (11) Matthew (3) and Megan (1 1/2 going on 10). I work part time at Joann Fabrics on weekends, for my sanity, and a nice discount.
Where can we find you?
http://www.bagsbymelanie.etsy.com or http://www.handbagsbymelanie.com. I do the occasional craft fair in the fall, and once my inventory is built back up again I plan on finding boutiques to sell my goods.
What first got you interested in your craft?
A friend of mine asked me to re-create her favorite bag, once I did that and realized how easily I was able to do it, I pulled out my machine and started playing. With having my son being such a mellow baby and the financial and moral support of my husband, Mike, I decided that this was as good a time as any to try making bags to sell. That was almost three years ago, I have come a long way since then. Of course that mellow baby turned into a very inquisitive toddler, along with a baby girl who was less content and has given me less time to create. However, even though I have less time to create, it has given me better appreciation for the time I do have and a greater drive. However with out the love and support of those near and dear to me I wouldn’t be who and where I am today.
Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc):
I often let the fabric tell me what it wants to be. Just because I have a piece of fabric doesn’t mean in belongs in a tote bag. When it is creating time I have to have absolutely no interruptions (with 2 small children at home I am sure you can imagine that isn’t always easy). I make one thing at a time, which means more often then not I will not make two of the same thing ever. Each item is made from start to finish with attention to detail. I love playing with different fabrics, and texture. My all time favorite thing to work with is cotton, but not just any cotton mind you, but “the good stuff”.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
My children are my world, when I am not crafting something I am doing everything with them. I take them everywhere, even though sometimes it isn’t the easiest thing to do. We spend a lot of time outside when the weather cooperates. I also try to crafting with my oldest son when I can keep him interested. I enjoy a good game of Scrabble online, it helps me relax and for the most part makes me feel smarter.
Is there anything else youâ€™d like to share?
Love what you do and do what you love is something I truely believe. Life is too short to not enjoy it!! Hug and kiss your kids every day (even though they tell you that they don’t want kisses), and most importantly have fun and laugh often.