Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller Interview is with Michelle Shaw of Cardinal Virtues

Please introduce yourself and your business
Hello my name is Michelle Shaw and I am an artist living in Leicester. I run a charity and craft business called 'Cardinal Virtues', where I design and make my own crafts, along with arranging charity art exhibitions where I sell mine and other artists work with all proceeds going to Leukaemia Research.

When did you establish your business?
I arranged my first charity art exhibition in December 2010 and everything else has evolved from that point, really. I wanted to publicize the event and the artists who donated artwork to sell, so I started a website and blog. Which then led to an Etsy shop where I sell artwork, jewellery, textiles and any other bits that have been donated by artists in Leicester.

What prompted you to start your own business?
The charity art exhibition was really successful and I have since collaborated with Leukemia and Lymphoma Research in the Midlands, who have asked me to arrange another one this year. So the business was a way for me to merge everything together under one name 'Cardinal Virtues'.

What are you doing when you’re not creating?
These days I am very rarely not creating or thinking of new designs, but in any spare time I like to read because I like the escapism. My current book is Harry Potter The Prisoner of Azkaban, my Mother in Law bought me a box set of the books which I am working my way through, and loving!

What is your favourite…? Colour: Animal: Season: Book: Blog?
Ooh these are difficult questions. Ok, my favourite colour is blue and has been for many years.
My favourite animal is the elephant, I can only answer this so quickly because I was talking about this only the other day. When I was at school and all of my (girl)friends had pictures of 'Take That' on their bedroom walls, I had pictures of elephants covering mine. I've always been fascinated by elephants and their social structures, which is very much like ours, along with their intelligence and interesting behaviour.
My favourite Season has got to be Winter, I do like the sunshine but I much prefer it when there is snow on the ground. I also love extreme weather like thunder & lightening.
My favourite book is difficult to answer as there are so many good ones out there. But I think I will go for The BFG by Roald Dahl, I'm a massive fan of all of his adult and children's books and of his brilliant imagination. I also really like Quentin Blake's illustration style, he was a big inspiration when I was starting out as an artist.
And finally my favourite blog has got to be Illustration Rally, which is a beautiful mix of inspirational artwork from all over the world. I entered a piece of artwork into their Ganbare Nippon rally to raise money & awareness for Japan, and was blown away by the artwork from other artists who entered. They also do a really fun rally of celebrity artwork.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything around me, people, the environment, friends...everything.

What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
The piece of work which I am most proud of as a business has to be the art exhibition, we raised over 1k for Leukaemia Research which was a great outcome. As an artist the crafts I really enjoy making are my textiles pieces, I have a new found love for felt.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have a few things on the go at the moment. I'm currently looking for a venue for the next charity art exhibition, and I'm creating some crafts for my sister's new cupcake business called 'Hiccupcakes'. My sister is making and selling cupcakes for all occasions & I have started a line of crafts in the theme of cupcakes which will be on sale on the website in the near future.

What do you like about being part of Etsy?
I really enjoy the community spirit of Etsy, as soon as I joined I was welcomed into circles and groups. There's a real team spirit in publicising others, which is also a bit part of 'Cardinal Virtues'. There are some amazing handmade pieces for sale, I could honestly spend a whole day browsing through the shops adding pieces to my 'favourite' lists. I also love creating treasury's, it's the best way to spend a Sunday morning.

What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
My goal for the near future is for the next exhibition to go as well (or hopefully better) as the last one, to raise as much money for Leukaemia Research as possible. In the long term I hope to continue this into next year and for as long as possible.
In life I would just like to be able to continue crafting for as long as possible.

Michelle's Links
Etsy shop:

would like to offer British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers free P&P with 'NICE123'.

No comments: