MEET KAREN BUONCRISTIANO OF CRAFTY BY NATURE!

Author Written by Princessofallthingscrafty on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 8:57 PM Date
 

 

 Quick Note:  Karen will be at the EcoChic Craftacular at the Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville this weekend.  May 14th and 15th! May 15th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

 

 

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My husband and I started Crafty by Nature by narrowing down the many crafts we were making to 2 main areas, Pottery and Lotions/Natural Skincare.  We both produce pottery on the wheel in our studio.  Together, we are able to offer a variety of different styles of pottery and offer my skincare and lotions line.  I also teach pottery classes for both individuals and groups.  You can contact us to sign up for a class or a kiln share by visiting our website  http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/.  A kilnshare is when you have pottery to fire but no kiln, so you have Crafty by Nature to fire your pottery!

 

2.) What do you do apart from creating things?
We both have full-time jobs that keep us very busy.  We also spend time hiking with our two cute dogs, kayaking, gardening, and basically spending time outdoors.

3.) What first inspired you to become an artist?
I think I was definitely encouraged to produce art and crafts from an early age by my creative parents.  I was always reminded about the value and enjoyment of art and we often visited art galleries and we produced our own art.

4.) Please describe to us what your creative process is.
For pottery, we try to think of making things that people will find useful and actually make good use of.  A lot of times, we see people wanting to find a purpose or use for each piece of pottery, so we try to plan for that. 

For lotions and skincare, I try to make my skincare items as natural as possible, and I get inspired by natural ingredients and try to find uses for them.  I often try to make my own recipe of lotion and then have to use trial and error to get the recipe just right.  Sometimes it takes several tries.  Once I get it, though, I know it right away!

5.) What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I cherish my wonderful handmade purple earrings and necklace made for me by my amazing friend, Cathy.                                       Thanks, Cathy!

6.) What advice would you give to artists that are new to Etsy Team Columbus? 
I would encourage artists new to Etsy Team Columbus to be patient with the process of getting slowly woven into the group and to give it at least a year.  I have made several really great friends with Etsy Team Columbus, and countless contacts, but it did take some time to get there.  Be patient and try to come to the in-person meetings.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
For an aspiring artist, I would recommend you just keep trying no matter what.  Keep promoting yourself because you are your best, and perhaps only, promoter.  Keep trying no matter what and never give up.  Promote using blogs, websites, etsy, and facebook.  Print ads are not so effective verses their extreme cost; I learned that the hard way!

7.) What do you like most about being a member of the Team?
My absolute favorite thing about being a member of Etsy Team Columbus is whenever I have a problem or question and I can post it to the entire group easily.  Usually within minutes or hours, I have several very useful responses and/or solutions!

8.) What features do you like most about the Etsy website?
I really like the feature that allows us to copy a listing.  It is very useful when we need to list similar items but don’t want to re-type everything out again each time. 

9.) How do you promote your work?
We use facebook and have a facebook fan page / company page that is www.facebook.com/craftybynature.

We have a blog that we try to write to as much as we can at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.wordpress.com/.

We have our wonderful etsy page at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com/.

And finally, we have our main website and store at http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/.

10.) How are you surviving the economy in relation to your business?
We started our company, Crafty by Nature, in early 2010 and had lots of initial big purchases to deal with such as a kiln, potter’s wheel, supplies for lotions, glazes for pottery, and festival fees.  We just keep on pushing forward as best we can.  We have noticed that people see the real value of buying handmade wonderful pottery, or “real” pottery.  Also people have been more than willing to purchase handmade, natural lotions and skincare.  People seem to be aware of getting back to real, handmade, and from the earth types of goods.

11.) Where would you like to be in 5 years, 10 years?
We are really hoping to be doing more sales online through etsy as well as through our main website and to get into bigger craft shows within 5 years.  Within 10 years, I am extremely hopeful and motivated to do my very best to have one of us be able to go fulltime with pottery and skincare.  Yes, I am saying within 10 years, I hope to have one of us quit our current fulltime job and go into lotions and pottery fulltime!  It might just be a dream, but I hope we can make it happen!

PS:  Word from the blog writer:  I personally have tried Karen’s Lotion and lip balm and it’s wonderful!

1 comments:

Hev-Vin Designssaid…
Very interesting interview. Enjoyed it and now I want to try her products!
May 15, 2011 8:48 PM  

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