Monday, August 3, 2015

Artist Showcase - Feltinga

Welcome to another edition of Artist Showcase. This week our featured artist is Ingrida of Feltinga. Ingrida creates felted scarves, jewelry, slippers, and home d├ęcor.

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

I live in Lithuania, a small country in Eastern Europe near the Baltic sea. My full time job is not related to crafts. I am a civil servant in a local municipality.When I am at home I need to do something different to give my brain a rest, to keep my hands busy, and as a way to release my fantasy. My husband and two sons are my best helpers in IT, photo making and even products making – swords in Feltinga are made by my elder son and felting tool – by my husband! The name of the shop is made of 2 words: felt (it is what I make for my shop) + Inga (abbreviation of my name Ingrida). So, yes, felting is my passion and core of my creative business. Most of knitted and crocheted items in the shop are made by my mom. My vintage shop Live Past Vintage is my newer shop on Etsy where I sell Soviet and European vintage items.

How did you get your start?

I became acquainted with felting some 10 years ago a small felt ball caught my eye during a public event at our regional museum. It took about 5 years to summon up my courage, to find free time, and to set free the fancy in order to take a flock of wool into my hands. Now I can't imagine spending my leisure without felting. Wool is an amazing material, very plastic and very friendly with the fuller, wearer and other materials composing solid work. I do not limit myself doing one kind work. Brooches, necklaces, earrings, wristlets, bracelets, slippers, hats, felted balls, shawls, mittens are some of my creative works.

Where do you get your inspiration?

There are a lot of sources of inspiration: Colors... I love all colors: bright, neutral, pastel, pale, dark...When it is so cold here, I compensate this shortage with the colors of my felts; constantly changing nature, flowers, sky... The nature of organic materials: wool, silk, glass, linen, amber...They have their own wild beauty and language, and artisans must listen to their whisper... And, sure, my clients! Very often they have great ideas and when working together we turn them into new original creations! It is such a pleasure and future inspiration to read their reviews after items are delivered!

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?
The opening of my shops were followed by lots of successful moments: meeting kind, interesting, supportive and creative people, making new friends, creation of new projects... Each sale, each pleasant convo is a success! But the best is yet to come!

What challenges do you face selling online?

The biggest challenge is distance. There were a lot of cases when clients cancelled transaction when they learnt that I live thousands of miles away... Most of my buyers live in US, Canada, Australia, and long distance for them means extra time and sometimes extra money for delivery. Big challenge was restructuring of USPS at the beginning of this year when huge amount of packages were late for months and there were no relevant information on the site of USPS.

What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?

Do what you like to do and do it with love and patience. Take good pictures. Improve your shop every day. Work on your tags. Continually stock your shop with new items. Share the love by making treasuries and communicating with your clients and colleagues and participate in team activities.
Thank you Ingrida for sharing your work with us.  Next week we'll select another Etsy artist to showcase.  If you would like to be considered, drop me or Zoica a note via Etsy convo.
Thanks for stopping by...
Until next time,
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