Monday, August 1, 2011

Featured Seller : Lima Lu Art Studio

I'm excited to introduce the next featured Etsy seller!! She's very new to Etsy and I'm happy to share her new shop with you; but before I give away too much, I'll let her speak for her self...

Tell us about yourself and what you offer in your shop?
Hi, my name is Courtlyn Pearson and I sell baby animal hats in my shop. I grew up in the Alaskan interior and am currently a Linguistics major at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Exactly half of me is an artist, and the other half is a language nut. If I’m not drawing a new design, writing a novel, knitting something soft, or working towards finishing some project, I am studying.

Right now I offer knitted baby animal hats. I’m just starting my shop so I only have bunny and bear hats. I will eventually be expanding to offer knitted stuffed animals other animal types.

A cute close up of cozy critter caps!

How did you come up with your shop name?
Lu was the name of a bubble eye goldfish that was very dear to me. Bubble eye goldfish have no dorsal fin, so he always looked like he was dragging his fluid filled sacs around. I used to pretend he only spoke Portuguese (so I had an excuse to practice), and I teased him to not carry so many Lima, which means sweet limes. So it really just means Sweet Lime Lu.

How did you get started?

View from the train: Denali
(tallest mountain in North America)

Well I had a good friend who was expecting a baby, and I always want to give a present that will be remembered. I thought a bunny hat would be adorable, and set out to find a good pattern on, but the ears I found were not what I wanted. I have been knitting for over ten years, and knew I could make the kind of ears I envisioned. My hat went over so well a lot of friends and coworkers wanted their own creation, and so I started to sell word-of-mouth. After awhile my friends convinced me to sell online, and here I am.

Where do you work?
Anywhere there isn’t a cat to chew on my yarn. During the summer I travel around because of my job. I work as a rail guide for Royal Celebrity Tours on the Alaska Railroad. A lot of the hats that are currently in my shop were made on the train as I  traveled around the Alaskan interior, but my work area is my lap. Wherever I am I knit. Planes, trains, and automobiles- although during the school year it’s limited to the library.
This is where I work,
and when there are no
passengers onboard I sit in the
first seat on the right just after the elevator.

Describe your style in as few words as possible:
Classic - Simple - Nostalgia

What do you do when you’re not on Etsy or creating?
Studying. I jumped around a few majors until I landed on Linguistics. Now, I am studying Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese Sign Language. However, I can only attest to being fluent in Japanese. After I graduate I am going to jump from country to country studying the languages until I’ve mastered them. During the winter I tend to study and work on different creative projects, but during the past few summers I have been riding the Alaska Railroad as a Rail Guide.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy? Why?
I am in love with the simplicity of uploading a new product. I am not a high tech sort of person. I still own and love my tape deck. I know where everything is on Etsy, and when I finish a new hat I click a few times and it’s there for the internet to see.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
The yarn itself. The Sublime Organic Merino Wool line I have been using is so beautiful just on it’s own I don’t need a lot of fancy designs. These are winter hats, and being in Alaska I see a lot of alpine inspired sweaters and a few of my items mirror the patterns. I’m nervous because the yarn I am using was discontinued, so eventually I will have to find a new inspiration.

What is your best/most successful marketing strategy?
Word-of-mouth. I tend to have a piece of knitting in my lap wherever I go, and someone always asks about what I am making.

What handmade possession do you cherish?
My sister made a beaded dream catcher when she was young, and it has been hanging above my bed ever since.

Me with my cat Hilde Bee on my shoulder
Do you have any advice for those thinking of becoming Etsy sellers?
One of the biggest questions I get from potential customers is “where do you buy the hats from?” because people assume that I have just taken the [made in china] tag off. I think Americans are hungry for handmade, American made products. Now is the time to jump onboard, and Etsy knows this.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards to running your own business?

A shot of one of my various work areas.

I suppose the hardest thing is taking that financial leap. It is always scary to invest without a guarantee that everyone is going to jump at the chance to get their very own baby animal hat. The greatest reward is the freedom of doing something you love. I will always work ten times harder so that I can enjoy every minute of my day.

What does handmade mean to you?

Thoughtful. Someone has thought about every inch of what you have purchased. Each creation is actually one of a kind. The word unique is thrown around so much it has lost all weight, but to find something handmade gives unique back it’s meaning.

Keep checking back for more hats, and eventually some stuffed animals!

Be sure to check out Courtlyn's shop, LimaLuArtStudio, and take a look at all the cute hats she has to offer.
I hope you have enjoyed this article as much as I have!
Blessings - Kerry

1 comment:

  1. Cool to read about! I'm glad to have another Fairbanksian on Etsy!


Hullo there!

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- Kerry