We have for you today another great member of our Etsy Paper Street Team. Take a load off and learn about Wendy with CardNotions and her creative process.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the Midwest in a home with cut flower arrangements that were lovely and captivating, food that was too pretty to dig into, and fun activities like sketching portraits and making origami animals. My mom added that special artistic touch to everything. I loved to watch her do sumi painting, arrange pressed flowers, and practice calligraphy. However, I never really exercised my artistic inclinations until I moved to Oregon with my husband and children a few years ago. My kids are now grown and doing amazing things out in the world.
After spending many years at jobs focused mainly on design engineering, I started using drafting software for architectural card design and learned how to use graphic design software to create colorful images. Every year I accumulated more cards and ornaments, that I had designed solely for family and friends.
Last holiday season, I did my first arts/crafts bazaar and was pleasantly surprised with my moderate success. Shortly after that I opened my online shop and really enjoyed the Etsy culture, which is friendly and supportive. I have also been very fortunate to get so much encouragement from my family and friends. This continues to be a work in progress for me; I have much to learn and am enjoying the journey.
When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened CardNotions on Nov. 7, 2011. It was just following my first Holiday bazaar.
Tell us about your shop.
Here is my shop link http://www.etsy.com/shop/cardnotions. You will find pop-up greeting cards and invitations, as well as intricately cut cards and wooden ornaments. All of my art and designs are original. My fabrication process is so flexible that it allows me to quickly modify my artwork, sentiments and cutting on any item I make. Therefore, I encourage custom requests and can make and ship most one-of-a-kind items within 24 hrs. I also offer high-volume, precise duplicates of a single design.
Name top (3-5) items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.
For my pop-up cards, materials that I can not live without include double-sided photo paper, double-sided adhesive tape and ink for my printer. For my wooden ornaments I need good quality 1/8” wood, ribbon, and gold cord. I also can not live without great photos and my graphic design software.
What is it about paper that you love?
I love that I can start with a flat sheet of paper, make some cuts and folds and end up with a 3D pop-up. I also love using lots of colors, cute details and hidden messages whenever I can. With a 3D card there is a lot more space to fill since you can look behind the pop-up image.
What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
The paper I use is very resilient, able to spring into 3D after being rolled flat by USPS and able to remember the fold that I gave to it even after sitting open on a shelf or desk. My technical side loves the mathematics and visualization needed for architectural card design. My newly rediscovered artsy side enjoys the challenge of artistic design.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by nature and animals and spend much of my free time hiking, backpacking, and trail running. That’s when I do my best conceptualizing. I am also inspired, or maybe challenged is a better word, by ideas and suggestions from customers, friends, and family. I’m quick to brainstorm new or unusual suggestions, treating each as a potential path to new products. It’s great to have my husband to bounce ideas off of.
Do you sell mostly online or at craft shows?
I sell both online and at art/craft shows. Oregon is a great place for getting involved with art/craft fairs because something is going on every weekend and many tourists visit throughout the summer. I sell a few items wholesale, and just recently was signed on as a supplier for “Made in Oregon”, which has shops at the Portland International Airport and throughout Oregon. I am very excited about this new opportunity!
Please list your shop name and link and other places online we can find you.
My Etsy shop: CardNotions
My website: CardNotions
My Etsy shop is pretty well kept. My other online sites have been a bit more challenging, but I have been trying to learn and focus on improving.
Thanks so much Wendy for taking the time for this interview. Your work is amazing and we all wish you great success. You are definitely headed in the right direction!
If you are reading this, head on over to Wendy’s shop, CardNotions, and add her to your circles and as a favorite. I am sure that she would appreciate it.
The Etsy Paper Street Team