I love reading about fellow handmade Etsy people. I'm always surprised to hear how much I have in common with them... Like this time with CheriseDesign I find common ground with shoe collecting though my huge clod hopper feet won't fit vintage shoes, I have to stick to modern shoes and old hats.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Leea and I live in Tampere, Finland with my boyfriend and 2
kitty-cats. I'm a bit of a vintage enthusiast and a shoe hoarder and I
love to dance.
Describe your craft
I basically make and sell clothes. I I design and draft most of my
patterns scratch, but I also use authentic vintage patterns that I alter
to modern sizing.
3. How did you get started with your craft?
Well I've always been into clothing: dressing up as princesses and
making little dresses for my Barbies. I guess I can thank my high school
student councilor for introducing me to the idea of actually studying
clothing design. I was planning to become a psychologist, but now I
couldn't think of doing anything else. It was clear to me soon after I
started my studies that I wanted to become an entrepreneur.
What is your earliest crafting memory?
I got one of those pink children's sewing machines when I was a kid,
that I used to making clothes for my barbies. When I was old enough I
got to use my mother's real sewing machine and iron.
What are your favorite materials to work with/favorite mediums?
I love the feel of silk satin, but it's a pain in the behind to work
with. The most I like sewing with medium weight wools and cotton
How did you come up with your store name?
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I take ballet lessons and learn to speak French. I also enjoy rummaging
flea markets and sipping coffee with my friends. I also enjoy baking and
trying new recipes.
I also work part time at a coffee/candy/gift shop at the local market
hall. I only work there couple days a month, but I enjoy being there.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Mostly my inspiration comes from the fashions of 1930's to 1960's. My
favorite decades are 40's and 50's and I love browsing magazines of the
era, looking at pictures and reading blogs inspired by the era. I also
enjoy reading books about vintage fashion. I also get inspired by modern
people and designers, movies, music videos and fashion magazines.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade doesn't mean every stitch would have to be stitched by hand,
but merely that the item was made by its seller and not some faceless
corporation in a factory producing thousands of copies every day. That
the item is unique or produced in small series. When you buy handmade
you know your item was attended to with the utmost care and that your
money goes to the person who deserves it.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a few pairs of vintage shoes and I love every each of them. They
fit and feel so much better than any modern pair of shoes I own. I know
someone put their heart in to making the shoes and that it's a proof of
their craftsmanship and skill.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I feel the best you can do is simply take a break. Do something
completely different. Many times when I have been in a rut for several
days the idea finally comes to me in my sleep when I stop thinking about
it. I work best after a couple of days of rest and not thinking about
business, with fresh ideas and new enthusiasm.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love to have a steady income from my business and I would like
to have my clothing sold in at least 5 places abroad. I would also love
to have a little boutique somewhere, where I could also sell other items
such as shoes and purses to compliment my own collections. I hold it a
possibility to move to France, where my boyfriend is from, someday and
open a shop somewhere near Paris.
Where can you be found on-line? (besides on Etsy)
I have my own web shop at www.cherise.eu. You can also find my items in England at www.pinuppolly.com and in Sweden at www.butikprimavara.se
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Humm, that's a tough one. I appear shy to new people, but I enjoy
performing enormously. I love to act and dance on the stage, but holding
a speech in front of a crowd would be a nightmare.