Here's another fabulous featured artist with a giveaway to share with readers. Meet Amy from Bags of Blessings on Etsy and enter for your chance to win her Blue Recycled Sweater Bag.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Amy Gibbons. I am a stay at home mom in Westfield, IN, just north of Indianapolis. I have two wonderful sons aged 10 and 12, one fabulous husband and two slightly neurotic dogs. Even the dogs are male, so the testosterone runs high in our house. I think that is partly why I chose a girly hobby like knitting purses :)
Tell us about your art. What do you make? How did you come to your craft?
I started knitting seriously about 5 years ago when our church started a prayer shawl ministry. It was amazing to see the looks on the people's faces that would receive these shawls when they were going through a crisis time in their lives. I still do charity knitting with my church group, but my shop on etsy, www.bagsofblessing.etsy.com, features mainly handknitted and felted bags, purses and totes. As well as scarves, shawls and my newest items, my "Blessings" keychains.
What inspires your work? Describe your creative process and tell us about your favorite materials to work with.
All the blessings in my own life inspired my shop name as well as my work. I am fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom and I needed something to give me some meaning, definition and sense of self back in my own life. I believe my bags, scarves and shawls are wearable art. I hope they make the wearer feel a little bit brighter and special in having a one of a kind item like mine. My goal is that this increased sense of well-being that comes from wearing my art is passed forward to the people they encounter.
What are your goals for your business?
I haven't really set goals for my business. Right now, I am totally enjoying doing what I am truly passionate about, and getting paid to do it. If I come out making more money than I spent to make it -- great!
What are your favorite hobbies?
I love reading, playing volleyball, going to my sons' sporting activities, going to the beach, spending time with my husband and family, singing and hanging out with my girlfriends.
What brought you to Etsy? Do you sell anywhere else?
I was directed to Etsy through an acquaintance of a friend. Kind of a weird beginning, but it has blossomed into a great business partnership and friendship. I also do a lot of custom work by referral, and am slowly getting my merchandise out into boutiques and shops throughout the Indianapolis area.
Where can we find you online?
You can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=132171290455 or http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Bags-of-Blessing/72282814249
I am on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/bagsofblessing
I also have a website at www.bagsofblessing.net
What is your favorite item in your shop?
My favorite item has to be any of my "Blessings" keychains. The whole idea behind them inspires me. I hand make them out of recycled, felted wool sweaters. I add beaded handles and inside each tiny purse a "blessing", in the form of an inspirational quote, scripture verse or customized message, is tucked. I think they make great gifts or party favors. I just love the idea behind an actual "Bag of Blessing".
What is the most valuable thing you have learned from your art and being an Etsy seller?
It's all about bringing joy to other people. It's not so much about how much you sell, but the friends you make along the way, and the way you feel about yourself and your work at the end of the day.
Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I believe in kindness, generosity and the power of the human spirit. We all need each other to thrive. The more we can help each other out, the better off the world becomes.
Here's how to enter:
First you MUST visit Bags of Blessings on Etsy and leave a comment with your favorite item.
For additional entries you can do any or all of the following, leaving ONE comment for EACH:
~Become a follower of this blog or let me know if you already do- 1 additional entry leave one comment
~Follow Oceanside Creations on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. Leave your Twitter username in your comment - 1 additional entry
~Blog about this giveaway with a link to your post- 2 additional entries (leave 2 comments)
~Enter any of the current giveaways on this blog -See left sidebar for a list- 1 additional entry per giveaway entered ( leave 1 comment per giveaway)
~Make a purchase from Bags of Blessings between now and midnight July 3 -5 additional entries ~ Leave 5 comments with your transaction #
~Add your review of this giveaway to StumbleUpon using the Share Button on the bottom right of this post- 1 additional entry (leave 1 comment)
~Post this giveaway to any other social networking site (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) - 1 additional entry ( Leave 1 comment with the link to where you posted)
That's a lot of chances to enter this fabulous giveaway!
Giveaway runs through Friday, July 3 at midnight EST. Our winner will be chosen on Saturday morning, July4 via the random.org widget in the right sidebar and will be announced right here on this blog. Winner will be e-mailed and have 48 hours to claim their prize. If winner does not claim their prize a new winner will be chosen. When leaving comments please be sure your e-mail address is available for me to contact you. All photos are courtesy of Bags of Blessings.