Last holiday season I took a trip over to Rhode Island for Craftland and one of the great crafty ladies I got to meet there was Teresa Levy of Sewing Stars. Teresa makes the cutest plush dolls and animals from her signature bunny to her recent ice cream heads and apple dolls. She also makes a handful of other cool things such as 2 pattern booklets so far on small toys, bags, paper goods, and even paintings. This gal never stops so I got a chance to talk to Teresa more to find out more about the ins and outs of a crafty business and what’s in store for her in the crafty future.
And a quick note for all you Southern California crafters, Teresa will be at Felt Club this Sunday in LA.
Nat: How do you manage your craft business while working a full time job?
Teresa: Oops! Does it still say that on my website? I need to update that full-time crafty lady! I left my job last fall to pursue Sewing Stars full time, and I have been supplementing here and there with temp jobs. It has been great so far, and although I do have my days where I wonder what next, I am a million times happier than I used to be.
Nat: Do you have any tips for crafters on business?
Teresa: Stay as organized as you can. That is something I need to work on for myself, actually!
I also find that my blog is an excellent marketing tool along with Flickr. Because I am small it is hard to know what will be big sellers and what won’t, so getting feedback from the blog readers is an excellent barometer as to where to go with a new idea.
Nat: What kinds of crafts do you enjoy to do most?
Teresa: Well, my crafting actually really runs the gamut. My favorite items to make are the plush dolls and mohair bears. For me they are more challenging work and keep my interest going. I also like doing the more mundane types of tasks like paper punching all the circles for buttons sets. There are moments when I need to do something totally different and I will clear off my sewing table and sit & draw for a while. Part of the reason I do so many different crafts is to keep me on my toes, and not get myself stuck any ruts.
Nat: If you had time to learn a new craft, what would you like to learn and why?
Teresa: Ceramics! I have always wanted to learn how to use a potter wheel. It seems like such a fun and interesting way to use material. It also incorporates painting and sculpture all in one which seems like so much fun. Someday I will learn how!
Nat: What are some of your favorite recent projects?
Teresa: Well, the ice cream dolls are my current favorite. That is always the way, though. The items I am most currently developing are always my favorites…I also am still quite happy with the giant squid & sperm whale plush too.
Nat: What are you currently working on this summer?
Teresa: Well, aside from getting ready for the holiday season, I am also developing a third pattern booklet, and a stuffed toy kit that I hope to debut on the site in September.