Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Featured Member Heidi of HeidiBG

Our next featured member is Heidi of Heidi BG Art For Children. Heidi is one of The Treasury Tree's newest leaders. She has been a super helpful and steady presence on our team. Her children's art brings joy and light to us and to all who shop in her corner of Etsy. We asked Heidi to tell us about herself and her her art.

Heidi would you be so kind as to tell us who you are, what you sell, what you are all about?

I am a Mennonite girl hailing from northern Indiana amidst cornfields, Amish county and Nelson's Golden Glo chicken. I moved to the big city to get a job shortly after graduating with an Art degree from Goshen College. I've been in Indianapolis for 8 years and especially now that I have a child of my own I long to return to country living, big gardens and open spaces. I create sock monkeys and artwork for children in my Etsy shop. I have a deep love of handmade and especially things with history like the sock monkey - traditional sock monkeys have been around since at least 1932 and I like how the maker of the monkey is able to give each one unique personality. It gives me great satisfaction to send my monkeys out into the world. I've illustrated 3 published children's books - drawing has been a passion of mine since i was a child and it's so rewarding to be paid for doing something I love and to have other people enjoy it as well.

What are your inspirations?

My parents are my inspirations. My dad is one of the hardest working people I know and he has been his whole life. He's become successful sheerly through his hard work - he never got things handed to him. Mom my stayed home with my brother and sister and I and she worked just as hard at being a mother as my dad worked at his office. I also hear my mom's voice ringing in my head every time I become frustrated with a project - she always said 'A job worth doing, is worth doing right'. I've always liked that and it's helped me to maintain quality in my product as well as my customer service.

Do you sell online full time?

No, but I hope to someday.

If not, what is your other business/job?

I also work from home part time as circulation manager of the Angie's List magazine, as well as working for a local farmer's market and taking on various freelance work. I also stay home full-time with my 3 year old son which requires more energy and patience than all my other work combined.

What is the biggest challenge when selling your work online?

I feel like the biggest challenge has been getting noticed. The Internet is so vast and my corner of it so small and getting the word out has been a challenge. Also being patient as I know it takes time to build a business. And of course just finding enough time in the day to devote to my shop.

Tell us about how you got your start selling your craft, either online or local?

I always made sock monkeys for friends when they had babies and after creating artwork for my own baby's room I always heard that I should try to sell my work. I also had friends and friends-of-friends commissioning me to do work for them. An artist friend of mine has been encouraging me to open an Etsy shop for years and after some big life changes I decided to give it a shot.

Tell us why you do what you do (your particular craft; why make it a business vs just a hobby).

I guess there are two reasons - one being that i really love children. Until having my own I was rarely around kids and after having Jack (my son) it opened my eyes to how honest, sweet and short that time period of life is. I like creating things like my sock monkeys that kids can drag around everywhere with them and I love creating illustrated portraits for parents that capture a snapshot of their child's life. Most of the original paintings of my nursery artwork are hanging in Jack's room. Secondly, I really love handmade things - I always have. Anytime I get a gift or card that someone handmade it always feels so much more personal. My family has always been very do-it-yourself and I love being able to share that with people that don't have the desire, ability or time to devote to creating. I also really like sock monkeys - I mean I really do and I don't want to be that creepy lady with an army of sock monkeys hanging around my house so it works out better if I sell them.

A few of my favorite Etsy shops: daisychestnut, thimbleandacorn, stephanieteague, thejunkman, royaloakcottage


  1. Nice to get to know you better! Love that chicken costume!!

  2. Great to get to know you more! its funny how we want to go back to our roots when we have kids or get older..i hope you get to live in a big farm house and have lots of space to create full time soon!!
    Love being on the team with you, your sock monkeys are so full of personality!!
    love Kimi

  3. Your little guy is adorable. You are so right about how fleeting that time is:) I love your sock monkeys; you make me laugh with the vision of the creepy sock monkey lady!

  4. Super fantastic feature! Yay!