Monday, December 9, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Ashley Thorner of Ershware

Welcome to another edition of Artist Spotlight. This week’s artist is Ashley Thorner.  Her shop is called Ershware  Ashley makes hip, modern hats for babies and toddlers.  Here is one of Ashley beautiful items:

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business

I am an artist turned designer turned momma and all back again. I have a MFA in Art and a MLA in Landscape Architecture, and a love for fashion, eco-friendly materials and processes, and dressing my son in the coolest clothes I can find or make.

How did you get your start?
As an artist and designer with a love for fashion and modern design I struggled trying to find unique, modern and affordable clothes for my son. It seems like clothing choices, especially for boys, are so one dimensional, cookie cutter. So I wanted to make some cute clever items for him to wear. I drew on my design sensibility, my past-life as a pattern maker, and my ridiculously heavy industrial sewing machine to take matters into my own hands.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My son is my inspiration. From his funny expressions, love of stuffed animals and pets to his endless spills and stains! I’ve always been a hat fan, knitting many over the years, so I started a sizable collection for him - he does look good in a hat as you can see - he is my main Etsy model. Inspired by a previous experiment with converting an old Chewbacca t-shirt into a throw pillow, I decided to create something one of a kind for him using a well-loved t-shirt. It’s a design and process that really stems from my art and design work. I’m drawn to modern simple designs on one hand, and kitsch/over-the-top art as well. You can see both influences in my hats.

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

As my shop is still really new, the highlights have been getting added to high-quality collections, watching the dashboard numbers grow, seeing my first mention in a blog like yours!

What challenges do you face selling online?
The biggest challenge is discoverability. With so many shops on Etsy, it’s hard to rise above, to get noticed and start to get meaningful traffic.

What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?
Be patient. There are so many other shops - figure out your position, your brand, and your style and stick with it. Keep at it, take part in the community, and watch those numbers grow. It’s exciting!

Ashley’s hats and her son are adorable!  I love how the hats are all upcycled too.

Well that wraps up another edition of Artist Spotlight.  We try and run this column every Monday and we’re always looking for artists to spotlight.  So if you are interested or know someone that we’d enjoy reading about please pass on the information.

Thanks for stopping by,

Until next time…

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