This week's featured member is Bobbi Lewin of Bobbi Lewin Crochet and Fiber Art Designs and Bobbi's Mixed Media Art. Bobbi is one of The Treasury Tree's newest leaders and we are honored to have her. Bobbi is a founding member and with such a keen sense of color and design Bobbi is a wonderful treasury curator. We asked Bobbi to tell us about her shops and her art.
Hi Bobbi, would you be so kind as to tell us who you are, what you sell, what you are all about?
Who am I? I have been trying to figure that one out for half a century now and am still trying! I can tell you who I am as an artist.
I have been drawing and painting since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Even though we did not have a lot of money when I was a kid, I always had art supplies. I’m grateful that my parents chose to nurture that part of me. I have also been doing various needlecrafts since I was a young girl. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about 8 years old.
Up until the past year, my primary artistic focus has been on mixed-media paintings. I love being able to use paint and paper and beeswax, or whatever found object I want to stick on the canvas.
Over the past year, I have been very drawn to the idea of using traditional feminine handicrafts in fine art. I love that there is a resurgence now of these crafts, especially among younger women and even men. I have been reading and researching about the history of feminine handicraft, and how it has been used by feminist artists.
My artistic focus has been turning more in that direction. I have gone crazy for crochet. I recently split my one shop into two shops; one for my mixed media paintings and the other for the crochet and fiber art. Recently my main interest is on the crochet garlands I make. They just make me happy!
When I’m not working on my Etsy shop, I’m focused on some larger crochet art projects. One project I’m working on is with some other local artists to create a hyperbolic crochet coral reef here in Salt Lake City.
Who are your business inspirations?
There are a couple of people I have found on the Internet that I just really admire. One is Sister Diane of CraftyPod. I love her approach to crafting and to growing a crafty business. I have learned a lot from her. Another is Linda Tieu from torta gialla. I have been watching her grow her business and blog over the past couple years. Her energy and creativity are very inspiring!
What are your business inspirations?
I want to be able to create a nice balance between selling on Etsy and having time to create some fiber art installations, which are not exactly a lucrative venture! My goal is to be able to make enough through my shop to fund my other art aspirations.
Do you sell online full time? If not, what is your other business/job?
Right now Etsy is my only job. Except for when my cat bosses me around.
What is the biggest challenge when selling your work online?
Getting found! Marketing. Also, knowing when to put the computer away and do something completely unrelated to selling.
Tell us about how you got your start selling your craft, either online or local?
I had heard about Etsy, had seen some fun shops there, and just thought I’d give it a shot. I opened my shop in November of 2009.
Tell us why you do what you do (your particular craft; why make it a business vs just a hobby)
I believe everyone deserves to be able to make a living doing what they love to do. I love to crochet, and want to do it all day long.
Are there any tips or tricks to selling online vs local that you can share?
I haven’t put a lot of effort into selling local. I’ll do a craft fair now and then, but my preference is to sell online.
A few of my favorite Etsy shops:
Sewandsowlife, pquinn, leahduncan, vesselsandwares