Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller is KimTillyer of Witchmountain
Make your self a cuppa, settle down and let your imagination carry you off into a world of bears , dark forests and northern myths  

Please introduce yourself  and your business
I'm Kim and I live in a remote moorland cottage in North Yorkshire; a while back a friend called it Witchmountain - I'm not sure if it was complimentary but it stuck!
Where I live is very important to me and to the feeling I want to create in my work.
I like to live in a little fantasy world that is a cross between Moominland, Little House on the Prairie and The Good Life (lots of coffee, log fires and crop failures).
I have been trading on Etsy, as well as selling through galleries, since graduating in 2008. While struggling as a freelance embroidery designer my children said " just do what you love, it shows in your work" , so this is what I have been trying to do, producing artwork, illustration and clothing and accessories with a heavy emphasis on embroidery and drawing.

When did you establish your business?
I first joined Etsy as a buyer in 2007 but as I was still a penniless student I didn't have the right kind of credit card to sign up a seller! Eventually with an updated card and my shiny new degree I opened my shop at the end of 2008. My first sale was in February 2009.

What prompted you to start your own business?
My college course had guided us in the direction of studio work and freelance design but I always knew that because of my location and personal circumstances I would have to make use of the internet as much as possible.

Since graduating in 2008 I have continued to work part-time, produce freelance designs for an agent and show at various galleries, as well as running my Etsy shop.

When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I have always made things; tiny books for my dolls house when I was a child, painted tobacco tins to sell at Glastonbury in my hippy heyday and handmade cards during the dark days of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme! In my 30's I was encouraged to do my degree in Textiles and Surface Design at CCAD where I learned new print and design techniques which I combined with stitch. I now make a variety of work but I think I have developed a distinctive style which unites everything from a £12 brooch to a £250 framed piece.

What inspires you?
I am really inspired by where I live and also general ideas of The North. I have a personal obsession with bears (a long story), dark forests and northern myths which might also explain why I love the writing of Tove Jansson.
Although I hate being cold I have an affinity with winter, hibernation, nest building and coziness which is often reflected in the materials I chose to use.

How did you hear about Etsy?
From my good friend Helen who had been trading for years and doing very well with her handmade hats www.helenhats.etsy.com and more recently her beautiful sea glass jewellery and supplies www.tidelinedesigns.etsy.com

What do you like about being part of Etsy?At the moment I'm liking the "Circles" and Activity Feed features which seem to make you more visible, although this isn't necessarily translated in to sales.

How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
It’s always fantastic when somebody wants to spend money on something you've made! My first sale was to a college friend so it was even more exciting when I made my first sale to a stranger...and in a foreign country. More sales would be nice though!

What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
My friend Helen once told me that the thing about Etsy was that many of the people who use it tend to be "makers" themselves, which is why she started selling things others might want to use in their work- perhaps consider producing kits?

Also have a range of prices so that if someone likes your work they can at least afford a card if not a framed original.
I have often felt very disheartened but refused to give up and through blogging and Facebooking have found that there is a lot of encouragement and support out there in the virtual world.
Publicise yourself mercilessly, wear your product, give it away, support others and hope they return the favour!

Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a
special offer?

I have created a 20% discount coupon code for readers of this post, just type in WITCHMOUNTAIN2 at the checkout. thank you and good luck x

Where can we find you?

Etsy shop link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KimTillyer

Blog: http://witchmountain.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Witchmountain/113930678656104?ref=ts


nuvonova said...

Great interview, and lovely work!

It's true what your friend said that most Etsy buyers are makers themselves, that's how I originally found Etsy, as I was looking (and found) something I couldn't find on eBay!

im zoe said...

such a great little interview, and really cute work also.



Alexis Southam said...

Great interview!
I love Kim's work, such beautiful drawings. Its great to have an insight into what inspires these works.
I'm intrigued about the bears!