I am pleased to introduce todays artist, Kelly Drill from Texas of Macaroni and Glue. She offers invitations and announcements, handcrafted greeting cards, unique and special holiday card sets, and vintage-inspired blank notes. It's really great stuff and makes me reconsider how often I use stationary- I need to start writing more hand written letters and notes- it would be a pleasure to do it on such beautiful paper.
What is your real life like?
I’m a work-at-home mom to one beautiful, precocious 3-year-old and one beautiful, strong-willed Black Lab. In addition to Macaroni and Glue, I provide part-time childcare for my niece and do a substantial amount of volunteer work for a Democratic political action committee. My pre-child life included stints as a film/TV production assistant, an event planner, an editor, a print model (bizarre experience…), and a variety of other things before I finally settled into an 8-year career in the medical ethics field. About a year after leaving my corporate job to do the mommy thing, my family relocated to a suburb of Dallas, where housing prices are much more reasonable and there are an astonishing number of things for preschoolers to do.
What is your process?
I work with a lot of vintage illustrations that are now in the public domain. They are often scanned images of old postcards, advertisements or book pages and require lots of digital love before they can be used in a design for print. My “tools of the trade” are mainly my laptop, my printer, my scoring blade, and my paper-trimmer. I do use some scrapbooking techniques (although I’m actually not very good at scrapbooking…) for my individual greeting cards. I’m particularly fond of big chunky eyelets that require me to break out my hammer.
Business Goals and Vision...
I’m still in the process of rounding out my product line to include a wider variety of invitations, announcements, and bridal stationery. While I do a substantial amount of custom work in those areas, I’d love to have more options available in my shop. Since my job as Mom is ultimately my first priority, in the short term, I just want to continue to see growth in my work - I want to streamline my creative process and hone my design skills. I’ve established some great wholesale and corporate relationships this year, and I hope to continue to do so, expanding my presence on the web and in brick and mortar shops. Long term, I plan to transition Macaroni and Glue to its own e-commerce site in hopes that, as my daughter gets older and enters school, I’ll have the freedom to contribute to the family financially, but still be here for her when she gets home.
How do you market your business?
I’d love to say that I have a carefully thought-out marketing strategy, but unfortunately I’m a bit “unfocused” in this area. I’ve been very fortunate to have had such a positive response to my business, both through the Etsy shop and through word-of-mouth, and because of that, I spend most of my available “work” time keeping up with my orders. That said, I’m trying hard to learn about the brave new world of social media, and have seen traffic to my shop increase a little bit at a time as I’ve incorporated new online tools into my marketing arsenal. I have a blog http://macaronianndglue.com where I feature other Etsy sellers, talk about my business and my creative process, and let readers get to know a bit more about me. I have a Facebook page , a MySpace page , and a portfolio on Trunkt where industry professionals and potential wholesale clients can find me. I run inexpensive ads through Project Wonderful on a wide variety of sites. I also do my best to keep my Flickr photostream up-to-date with all my latest creations. Most recently, I added my URL to LinkReferral , which has produced the single biggest bump in traffic to my site so far, and I’ve received a lot of great reviews. I’ve also begun using Twitter and have seen big increases during my “tweeting” times as well.
Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I have a love/hate relationship with business periodicals and blogs. While I love reading them and getting great advice on growing my business, I often find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So, rather than get frustrated by all the great advice I can’t put into practice, I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from too much biz-related content.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by all things vintage and girly. My current obsession is turn-of-the-century illustrations and greeting cards from the 30s – 50s. I love to find beautiful vintage imagery, and then take it completely out of context to create something fun and modern. My 3-year-old daughter is also a huge source of inspiration – she teaches me how to look at the world in unique and quirky ways, which helps to keep the creative juices flowing.
Who is your favorite musical artist? (click on artist name to see a video)
I have lots of more recent faves, but I absolutely adore Peggy Lee.
What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I love the new holiday cards. A couple of my favorites:
Am a fan of these places...
Somewhere along the line, the time I spend online for business merged with the time I spend online for leisure… The sites I visit daily are Twitter, Facebook, LinkReferral, Google Reader, and Etsy. I get a lot of inspiration from other Etsy artists, particularly jewelry artisans and illustrators – whenever I get the chance, I love to just browse.
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