Welcome to the eight artist interview on miscellany!
(1) Tell us about yourself:
My name is Diane, I’m 19 and I’m a Business Management major. I live in the Philippines together with my brother my mom and my dad and our 3 lovely dogs – we own a shihtzu, a cocker spaniel and a beagle. We run a small construction company business as a family which is probably why I have always been interested in business and entrepreneurship even at an early age (around grade school).
A typical day for me would be studying/working in coffee shops near my university when I have school. I like to work while having my favorite blend of Iced Coffee (I’m a coffee addict). At instance when I don’t have schoolwork, I usually work on my creations. I surf the internet a lot to get some design inspirations and when I’m not designing stuff, I research about business tips and blog posts of successful entrepreneurs.
(2) Tell us about what you create:
I create handcrafted jewelry. I specialize on hand-woven bracelets using different braiding and knotting techniques such as macramé knots. I started getting interested in this type of crafted jewelry when I saw a video tutorial on youtube about macramé bracelets. I got so interested in it that I immediately purchased some cord and started weaving. At first, I only made bracelets for myself. Then my friends began to notice my work and I got a lot of compliments because of my bracelets. After that, I saw the potential of turning my hobby into a business. This wasn’t actually the first time I started crafting bracelets. I was able to get into this hobby because of my mom. She used to have a small jewelry crafting business when I was a kid and I guess I learned a lot from watching her make her creations. Although the type of jewelry I make is different from the ones my mom made before, I think it’s because of her that I got into crafting jewelries and that I got most of my inspiration from seeing her work.
What makes my creations stand out from the rest is that I do not simply base my designs on the latest trends. When I design bracelets, I focus more on giving it a personal touch. The bracelets that I make are actually a representation of my own style. I’m a very simple, casual and easy-going person and I think that my bracelets emanate that kind of vibe. I wanted my creations to tell a story and be a part of someone’s story. For me, it’s not just about the style of a particular item but the stories that they create with it. This is why I made my designs while think of something that others can wear everyday, something that others will be comfortable wearing.
This whole crafting thing started out as a hobby but I want it to become my full-time job in the future. I’m still a student so I’d have to balance everything out still but hopefully, as soon as I graduate, I’ll be able to pour all my efforts into not just growing my business but also honing my skills.
(3) Tell us about your handmade art business:
I started Weave Tassy with the help of my brother – he’s an Industrial Designer and he takes care of the photography and product presentation in my shop. I thought of the name “Weave Tassy” with his help. I wanted to include the word “weave” in the shop because it basically represents what I do – I “weave” bracelets. My brother was the one who came up with “tassy.” I said I wanted something that is catchy. At first we thought of “sassy” but then it was a bit too common so eventually, “sassy” became “tassy” which does not really mean anything but it sounds pretty cool and it fits in with “weave.”
Currently, I do not have a “studio” or a “craft room” yet but I do have a big room so I rearranged it a bit, bought a big enough table, installed some pegboards and viola! I have my very own improvised craft room. I’m dreaming every night of having my own studio later though, hopefully sooner rather than later.
(4) Tell us about your customers:
I made my designs thinking that my potential customers will be in the young adult age bracket (university students to young professionals). I think my designs will suit simple and free-spirited people who love a fun and adventure. Like I said earlier, my bracelets are something that others can wear comfortably.
(5) Tell us where we can find your art:
Currently I have a shop on etsy. It fairly new and I’m still trying my best to improve and present my products the best way possible. I also started a blog on tumblr. It contains some behind the scenes information on how I create my designs and some product features as well. I think people will be able to get to know who’s behind “Team Tassy” by reading some of my posts (although I only have a few so far. I’m working on it though). I’m also active on social media. I have an instagram, facebook page, twitter and pinterest. I’m a very social person so I’d like to engage with my customers as much as possible. I do not have physical stores at the moment but I’m planning on joining bazaars around the Christmas season in my area.
(6) Tell us about your support:
I’m not a member of a craft team yet here in the Philippines but I have some friends who are and I’m planning on joining them soon! There are a lot of craft groups here in my country and I’m just excited to join a group with a lot of like-minded creative people. My family and friends on the other hand has been very supportive of my work. They help me a lot financially (again, I’m still a student) and of course I get a lot of encouragement from them as well. I mentioned earlier that my brother is helping me out in my etsy shop. He takes care of all the visuals (photos, promotional materials, etc.) and I take care of the products and designs. We make a pretty great team!
(7) Tell us about your favorites:
I’m a real coffee fanatic and most of the blogs that I follow are blogs about coffee. There’s just something about sipping coffee while working that makes me happy ☺ I’ve also completed most of my designs while working in coffee shops (yep). And if you look at my pinterest account, most of my boards and pins are pictures of coffee drinks. Some blogs that I especially like are dearcoffeeiloveyou.com , acuppaday.tumblr.com and literarystarbucks.com . Somehow coffee is both related and completely not related to my craft. Go figure.
In terms of my craft category, jewelry, I have a bunch of favorite shops on etsy. I think they’re really awesome and you guys should totally check them out as well! (of course after you check out my shop first). Here’s a mini list for y’all:
- feltlikepaper.etsy.com – they sell colorful beaded bracelets.
- Kurafuchi.etsy.com – they sell cute bracelets and necklaces.
- Dubudumo.etsy.com – they sell planners and other cute stuff.
With regards to my shop, my favorite item is the mermaid braid wrap bracelet. It’s this one – https://www.etsy.com/listing/240556804 – I love this bracelet because it’s very simple yet colorful. It’s fun to wear and it fits my simple style. It’s a bit bohemian/gypsy inspired as well. It comes in different colors too! This piece is probably the bracelet that I have used the most.
(8) Tell us anything else:
I think it’s amazing to see websites like etsy and blogs like this that promote handmade craft because they showcase a lot of talented artists from all over the world and bring them together in a creative community. Just being part of something like this already inspires me to better. I hope that more people will appreciate handmade products and that they’ll support all those crazy talented artists because really, handmade crafts are the best. Cheers!