Q: Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Moscow, Russia and I am still in love with that beautiful and vibrant city. It’s not only a place of my childhood but a city with history that dates back to 1147 AD and diverse, fast pacing urban life. I still have a lot of friends and family members in Moscow and go back every year. In my mid 20s I moved to New York following my husband who got accepted to a university. It was a difficult but manageable transition as New York actually remind me Moscow a lot. Later on we moved to Richmond, Virginia where I reside now.
Q: How did you pick up crafting?
I love to create things with my hands! I’ve been crocheting and knitting since I was little. Hand crafting runs in my family as my mom has a great taste and wonderful hands. As so many Russian moms back in 80s and 90s she sewed and knitted for all my family. My brother and I always had beautiful and neat clothes hand made by my mom. I remember myself crocheting home décor items, making small sculptures out of wood, creating figures of paper mache. It was all back in my childhood when I had plenty of time to just hang around and experiment. Since then I had my own kids. While observing my children grow at some point I felt a need to resume my crafting. It’s great that my kids watch me actually make things with my hands and even try helping me sometimes.
Q: What are your favorite materials?
I love glass for its brightness and transparency. There are so many things one can create of glass beads and wire. One’s creativity is pretty much the only limit. Recently I’ve discovered felting which in some sense is similar to knitting and crocheting but gives much more room for experimenting. The result can be totally unpredictable.
I’m a fan of minimalism that has nothing in common with a traditional Russian ornamental style rich in flowers, curves, swirls, stylized animal and nature images. I guess I’m not a typical Russian in that sense as I adore simple lines and bold colors.
Q: What can you tell us about your Etsy experience?
I actually discovered Etsy by pure chance through an article in Wired magazine. I really liked the idea of an independent portal for artisans and craftsmen from all over the world. Besides I always thought that Etsy layout and design is very friendly and well thought out! I had no prior experience with on-line sales and marketing and Etsy came as a sort of revelation to me. I’ve been on Etsy for a bit more than a year now and I’ve learned a tonne since I started. It’s amazing how much more I now know about the world of on-line sales, SEO and marketing!