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Etsy Artist Feature #4- Pins + Paper Online

May 13, 2010

Please tell us a little about yourself- name, location, what do you like to do for fun?
Kristen: I'm a Navy wife and a full time artist with a degree in Art Education from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. My work is my hobby and my hobby is my work, you could say, and I enjoy every minute of it. I specialize in bookbinding and painting.

Katie: From Pulaski, Tn. Like to ride our motorcycle with my hubbie.

What is your shop’s name and URL? What do you sell? Do you have a favorite item? We offer handmade desk accessories in bright and fun designer fabrics.

Kristen's favorite item: Our soon to premier- origami photo albums.

Katie's favorite item:
The Grab and Go Tote bag with pockets all around the outside of the tote.

How did your shop’s name come about?
Since it's a team effort, Kristen doing the bookbinding and Katie doing all the sewing, we wanted a store name that described both sides of our crafts: Kristen works with mostly paper and Katie mostly with sewing pins.

What inspires you to create?
Kristen: I'm inspired to create these desk accessories because of the lack of variety in feminine looking office goods. Shops like Vera Bradley, Paper Source, and Russell + Hazel are my true inspirations for how I design my products. All of the products in our shop is made from 100% cotton fabric, and even the fabric itself is an inspiration for branding our shop.

I love the challenge to work with my hands and see what I can stretch myself to accomplish.

What made you decide to open up a shop on Etsy?
Kristen: Ever since I learned bookbinding, I've had an Etsy shop to sell my creations as Flyleaf Books. Selling online offers such a wide audience for your work and so many opportunities that sometimes local venues cannot offer. I still attend shows and get into boutiques where I can as move around but when I became a Navy wife a year after opening up, I knew selling online would have to be main focus as I moved across the country. I decided to open P+P with my sister Katie when an idea for simple drawstring bags for my books bloomed into a whole new business.

It's a great opportunity to have a business from home and make a name for yourself.

What is the one word that describes you best?
Kristen: Fun-loving.

Katie: Dedicated.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
Kristen: It's a toss up between Alaska and Italy. I would love to visit both via a romantic cruise.

Always wanted to visit the European countries.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newbie sellers?
1. Know where your money is really going, use this knowledge to price your items appropriately.
2. Keep it fresh and unique, as there's always a problem that can be solved your revolutionary product idea.
3. Great Customer Service is King, but Great Branding Design is Queen.
4. Be involved online to connect with your customers in unique ways that appeals to your shop's audience: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr, etc.

Don't give up trying. Make a goal and strive for it. Always follow your passions and they will in the end, blossom.

A big thank you to Kristen and Katie for participating in my first Etsy Artist Feature Week! :) When you have a spare minute or two, stop by Kristen and Katie's blog and say hello!

I'll meet you back here tomorrow for Etsy Artist Feature #5!

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