August 7, 2008
Thank you to Michele for letting us get to know you and your businesses a bit better and for being Giggleberry's very first featured artist.
Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
I am currently a stay at home mom with 2 wonderful, albeit energetic and curious, children, aged 4 and 5. This is something that I never, ever planned on. I originally was going to be an equine veterinarian, I went to UNH, earned by BS in Animal Science, but decided vet school really wasn't for me. I worked as an equine surgical technician for 6 years, then worked for an insurance company in the claims department. That was not exciting enough for me. I then earned my MBA and was working in the financial industry....got married, then, after the birth of my daughter, decided to stay home (yes, me who was never having kids became a stay at home mom) I have always done something crafty, rubber stamping, cross stitching, candle making...sewing wasn't at the top of the list until about 10 years ago.
My mom has always been creative, we made Christmas ornaments every year, sewed clothes for me, my dad, herself...I remember being in second grade and having my first "store-bought" winter jacket. Her mother was always sewing, too. My grandmother's nickname was Pandy, hence one of my store names.
How long have you been creating your craft?
I have always known how to sew, but never really pursued it. About 10 years ago, mom and I started getting into more textiles and soft sculpture with our craft fair inventory and decided on the name Pandy's. It was short, easy to remember, didn't limit us to one particular thing, and was a great tribute to my grandmother. GriffinGear, my second shop, was started after I started making clothes for my son, as there is a severe lack of "normal" clothing for boys.
What is one of the biggest lesson you have learnt about your craft & selling it?
Mistakes aren't always a bad thing. The first time I try something, it's usually a disaster.....but in the process, I have come up with shortcuts and new ways to try something. I have a hard time with pricing. I'm my own worst critic and never think my quality is good enough.
Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
I get overwhelmed in a fabric store, so periodically, I get a "scrap bag" from a local quilt shop....they will send me random 1/4 yard cuts of fabric. I never know what the fabric will inspire me to create. Right now, I am working on an art type quilt. It's fun so far, and a stretch for me. I have to have everything balanced and even, so something rather random with no rules is fun, but was hart to start.
Is there a basic ‘household’ item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual ‘tool’?
I used to work for an equine surgeon and would NEVER be without hemostats or needle drivers. Hemostats can poke corners, help turn narrow tubes, hold strings-they lock so you can attach them, lock them and walk away. Needle drivers are great, too. I am tying beads onto the art quilt I mentioned above, using clear thread. I just make surgeons knots, pull and snip with the scissors built into the needle drivers. Much faster and easier than trying to tie myself, then cut.
What is your favourite candy bar & why?
I'm not much of a chocolate or candy fan, but I do like Baby Ruths. The combination of caramel and peanuts isn't too sweet and it sort of cancels the chocolate taste.
If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
I am not sure....there are so many places that inspire me. I love history, I love bustling cities and quiet, open spaces. I'm happy in the mountains and happy at the lake. I guess I'd go everywhere, as there is always something new and exciting around the next corner.
Visit Michele today at either http//:pandys.etsy.com or http//:Griffin Gear.etsy.com where not only does she have a huge range of great handmade items to choose from but will happily work with you on a custom order and if your purchase is going to be a gift? 'Convo' Michele the details and she can wrap your purchase, include a note with a handwritten message of your choosing and send it directly to the recipient at no extra charge.