Thursday, 29 November 2012

Favourite Shops - Chick-Lit Designs

 Oh gosh wow I want to buy so many things from Chick-Lit Designs store on Etsy... It makes me want a iPad, just to get a cover to match! I have a bit of a soft spot for the White Stallion of Lipizza!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
 My name is Michelle. I’m a first generation American with roots in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. I live in a little house in the suburbs of Gilbert, AZ, with my husband. I love to travel the world and study different cultures. In the past few years, I have found that creating handmade items is a huge passion for me. I am constantly thinking of what I can make next, and I spend hours in my studio – it is like therapy to me. I can hardly wait to see the finished product. When I do finally finish a project, I’m so completely excited that I have to run to my husband and show it off!

Describe your craft
   make handbags, clutches, ereader covers and iPad covers out of used books!

How did you get started with your craft?
 I discovered Etsy a few years ago when I was trying to find a way to make extra money to send to my parents during a difficult time. I have always been interested in turning old objects into something unique and different- so i opened up my shop and would send my parents the money I would receive from the profits. Eventually, my parents told me to stop sending them money, but I couldn’t pull myself away from my shop – it has become a part of who I am.

What is your earliest crafting memory?
  I've always been crafting! It's hard to say what my earliest memory was... I think when I was about 5 years old I made a little dinosaur out clay in grade school. I still have that little dinosaur- I'm still surprised at how good it turned out!

What are your favorite materials to work with/favorite mediums?
  Definiately books and fabric. I love finding a fun,unique old book and then finding the perfect fabric to match the book!

How did you come up with your store name?
 I used to have another shop with a horrible store name- so i just recently re-openend a new shop called "Chick-Lit Designs" . I wanted something catchy that was related to books. And I Love my Chick-Lit's!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
 I have a full-time job as an advisor working for a company that sends American college students abroad to study other cultures in the foreign countries.

Where does your inspiration come from?
 I’m inspired every day by vintage items, bookstores, colors and patterns. Just looking at an interesting pattern can really drive my creativity. I’m also inspired by Etsy. It’s a complete melting pot of creativity and a place where I can be myself and create. Not only is it allowing me to follow my dreams, but I see the community it has created with other sellers.

What does handmade mean to you?
 Handmade is my life. It’s where I came from, it will always be a part of who I am. Growing up, I remember my father making everything. We would get handmade gifts for Christmas. If my mother wanted something from the store, my dad would simply make it for her instead. Handmade to me is the passion, love and effort you put into an item: something that comes from the heart; something to remember a person by. It carries with it a history and a story.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
One Christmas, my mom asked what I wanted for Christmas. They were about to lose their house, and I didn't want them to spend any money so I asked her to make me something. She sent me a painting she made of Slovakia. I love it because of how much time she spent and all the care and thought she put into creating it. It’s now the central feature of our guest room!

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
 I try to do something relaxing — I go to the pool, watch a movie or just go somewhere to let my mind rest. After having had some time to myself, I pull up Etsy and read Quit Your Day Job posts. After reading some, I almost immediately find myself getting up to go find new books and start new projects!

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
 I would love to spend about a third of my time living in Slovakia and the rest here in the US. In both countries, I see us nestled in our own little haven surrounded by beautiful greenery, trees, and streams, but never too far from civilization. I can envision living in a peaceful area with my husband, raising our kids and making a home as special as my parents did for me. I imagine my business being even more developed, eventually leaving my day job behind and making my creative passion a full and complete priority. I’m so interested to see what exciting things will develop for me, my business, and my family in the next ten years!

Where can you be found online? (besides on Etsy)
 I'm currently only on etsy, however my husband is helping me create my own website. I'm not sure when it will be fully running... but hopefully soon!

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
 I was an extra in the movie "The Notebook". I was also a Stand-In for Judy Greer in the Lifetime mini-series "Maneater". :)

What did you like to do when you aren't crafting?  
 In my free time, I am obsessed with international travel. I love to read, watch movies with my husband, and do geeky things like visit waterparks or play mini golf. I love going on picnics and visiting local cultural events like the Polish festival or Oktoberfest.

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