I was stopped dead in my tracks looking at the Etsy front page the other day. Woah Nelly! I love me a ginormous bag and Bees'netta made me weak in the knees. I love love love her bags. I love her bags, her pics- everything!!!! Ah….
So- I was so pleased to chat to this marvelous bag maker and here is what she had to say:
Can you describe yr art and process?
Well, I consider myself more of a craftsman then an artist. Lets face it, I make bags for a living! So I spend a great deal of my time doing very noncreative things…like measuring and cutting. But the other portion of my time, my favorite time, is spent sketching and scouring fabric stores.
Tell us a bit about yrself?
Bees'netta is a one-woman-band. I work and live in Chicago and have a degree in Fiction Writing. I have been working for a long time helping others run their businesses. I struggled for a long time trying to suppress my itch to design, because I thought there would never be any money in it and that any time not spent at my day job should be spent working on my novel. So I spent about 8 hours at work on a computer and then came home and would try to spend more time on a computer trying to get some writing done. It wasn't working. And I became extraordinarily antsy and guilt ridden that I wasn't completing any stories and merely working to help others pursue their goals. I've always loved to sew and have been cutting up my clothes and redesigning them since I was a kid, but it was when I discovered Etsy that I realized people were making a living creating things. I dragged my sewing machine back out with the intention of making a few extra bucks, but instead I unleashed a decade worth of buried ideas! When the economy blew-up, I become even more disgusted with what passes for business ethics these days and new I needed to break away from it all and run a business on my own (honest) terms.
So- Can you just tell me a few things that inspire you? ( narrative or link or both) and how you work- yr process?
I'm inspired by everything. I'm naturally observant and curious, but my writing background has conditioned me to be unusually perceptive. Which is to say that I'm easily swayed by my surroundings and am susceptible to design ADD! I 'm constantly changing my mind. But mostly I'm obsessed with the drifter and reclusive lifestyle. I find inspiration in old photographs, vintage designs and since I'm a northerner by birth I find southern culture fascinating.
I want to know some things about what is it really like to be a working artist…the good and the bad?
Well, Bees'netta is still very new, so I still have a part-time job. So for me the bad is having to go to a day job still. Since I started sewing again it has become near impossible to sit at a desk all day and give all your energy to someone else's goals of monetary gain. The good is being able to do something I really love and joining the Etsy community of sellers where businesses are run fairly and with dignity.
What are the three top things you wish you would have known before you started this art/etsyjourney?
-That I could have been doing this years ago.
-Stick to one idea, I exploded with ideas, which I know needed to happen for me, but I could have saved a lot of time and money if I just started with one style and exhausted it. So now I'm going back and editing what I've already created to have some more consistency and a collection-like feel.
-That I should have started this years ago….did I say that already? Well, it's worth repeating.
What are yr five top blogs/shops/etc on web?
ETSY! I have so many Etsy favorites I could never pick one. I keep an updated list of my favorite Etsy stores on my website: www.beesnetta.com
Who would you love to meet online?
People who love a big bag and will help Bees'netta evolve into a full-time gig!
Thank you Suzie! I love yr bags so much!
I want to marry the Midway and have an affair with the Field Guide! Love!
Please check out her shop and her lovely blog! Merci.
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Please contact me at my blog or email me at amytsharp (at) gmail (dot) com to give me scoop on cool things that you find or make! I want to hear from you!