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Featured Artist: Amy of WovenDesigns

Oct. 8, 2012
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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Every week or so, we’ll be interviewing about our favorite Indie artists and shops. Find exclusive Etsy coupon codes for for stores like this on our Indie Coupons Tool!

Thank you, Amy, for being our Featured Artist this week and sharing about your beautiful woven and knit accessories!

Tell us about your store and what inspired it.

WovenDesigns is a home based business specializing in woven & knitted accessories. I sell through my Etsy shop. All items in my shop are handmade by me in my studio. My shop sold woven scarves when it first opened. Since then I have evolved into offering woven bookmarks, knit hats, and knit scarves.

I learned how to weave at City College of San Francisco about 10 years ago. I love to be able to combine different fibers together to create a new and exciting textile that is one of a kind. It is so satisfying to plan every step in the process – from the planning on paper, to the measuring of the threads, to the threading of the heddles, to the weaving of the fibers, to the creation of the cloth.

I have knit off and on for years, but within the last few decided to start offering hats and scarves in my shop. I really enjoy knitting with yarn that is a combination of thick and thin. An interesting and different pattern and texture emerges with each skein used.

What is your favorite part of weaving and knitting?

I find that the rhythmic throws of the shuttle when I weave and the clicking of the needles when I knit bring me comfort.

I believe that every handmade accessory should be created with love and the utmost of care. Each of my pieces is thoughtfully executed and unique and something that I as the artist would wear or use myself. Clothing to me should be comfortable to wear, soft to the feel, and easy to care for. Since these are characteristics that I value, I have incorporated them into the items that I sell.

Who or what has been the greatest influence in your craft?

I am influenced by the wide variety of threads and yarn that are available to knit and weave with.

My knit items are made of everything from Seacell (a fiber from kelp) to alpaca to nylon to linen paper to mohair to silk. I like to use interesting yarns to create truly special and extraordinary accessories for my customers. Still in my stash and waiting to be knit into something are an alpaca/milk/microfiber blend and a bison/tencel blend.

One of my favorite fibers to weave with is tencel. It is made from trees – actually from the cellulose inside trees. Eucalyptus trees are grown without irrigation or pesticides on special tree farms where the trees are constantly replanted. The cellulose is treated using non-toxic organic solvents that are recycled in the manufacturing process. This ecologically sound method of production is environmentally responsible.

What tool has been the most effective in bringing customers to your store?

I have worked on getting my name out there through my Facebook page and my blog as well as participating in gallery shows. Word of mouth and posting business cards in shops have helped also.

What have you learned from selling online?

Selling online is not easy. You have to position yourself as being different to get the attention of your buying audience. My scarves and hats are soft to the touch and feel wonderful against your skin. I have to find a way to convey that through descriptions and pictures.

What kind of coupons are your fans’ favorites?

I have found that shoppers like free shipping so I incorporated it into my shop. Over 50% of the items in my shop now have free shipping with no coupon needed.

WovenDesigns will be participating in the Olive Hyde Art Gallery Show and Sale in Fremont the first weekend in December.