Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interview with designed by Diana

Here is an interview with one of our talented members and fellow Etsian Diana from designed by Diana. Diana makes awesome retro-inspired aprons, cute wallets and handy pouches.

Designed by Diana pages: 

Tell us a little about yourself, your shop and what kinds of things do you make?

I’m Diana. I have been making things as long as I can remember. My shop started out with handbags, but has morphed into a shop full of retro-inspired aprons and some cute wallets and pouches too. My shop is very colorful and I love the retro and mod aesthetics, so you can see that in the prints I choose too.

Are you a native Miami-ian?
I’m a native Miami-an. I was born and bred here, left to Central Florida for college, but then came back. Miami is and will always be home to me.

Who or what inspires you?
My grandmother is a definite inspiration. She is a seamstress and took classes to learn it all in Cuba. She knows how to make her own patterns and can whip up any dress I can dream up. Her work never looks home-made, it’s more couture. She is definitely my sewing mentor, and I always measure up my work to the standard of hers.

Have you always made 'stuff'?

Ever since I can remember I’ve been making stuff. I remember painting a receiving blanket for my baby brother with Gonzo on it while my mom was pregnant with him. I must have been 5 or 6. I also got really into plastic canvas for a while when I was younger and made tissue box covers and locker magnets. I have to say that my teal and hot pink blowfish tissue box cover rocked! I’d tried tons of other crafts and thought I could figure out sewing, so I did. And that’s my current craft of choice.

When / how did you learn?
I don’t ever remember learning how to sew. I know my mom taught me how to knot off at the beginning and at the end for hand sewing, but other than that I just picked it up. I was surrounded by sewers in my family, so I think it’s just in my genes.

Can you tell us about your creative process.
My creative process usually starts at JoAnn’s early on a Saturday morning. I scour the cotton fabrics for cool and interesting prints that I can make into my goodies. I also get inspired by seeing things online and being mad about mod, the show Mad Men is a total style inspiration.

Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
People that aren’t hand makers or crafters tend to ask this a lot. I bother to make things, because I enjoy it. It’s my form of fun and relaxation. I also like the quality of handmade goods.  It’s not made in China by a machine and an anonymous factory worker. You can see the love put into handmade items. I bother to spend time making things because I like to and because I want other people to see the values of handmade.

What have you learned about yourself through your work?

I've l
earned that I’m a lot more creative than I give myself credit for. I’ve also learned that I’m meticulous with my work. And most of all, I’ve learned that with practice, your skills will improve.

What handmade item is your absolute favorite? And where did you get it?
I have lots of handmade items, jewelry, hats, purses, but my favorite has to be the clothes that my grandma makes for me. It always fits like a glove and is exactly as I imagined it.

What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?
Starting a creative business is fun, but you have to treat it like a business. In order to make it successful, you have to put time into it. When you get home from your day job, your creative business is your second job. Just spending one hour a week on your business won’t make your business work. You have to spend time not only making, but promoting, listing, photographing, blogging. But the best thing is at the end of the day, when you do sell something you made with your own hands and the person who buys it truly appreciates it and all the work that went into it, it’s all worth it.

Thank you so much Diana!

Diana will be at PPinkghost’s Mini Market, Saturday from 1pm – 5pm on August 21, 2010. The Pinkghost Mini Markets will be showcasing 8-10 amazing and talented local artists and businesses at the Pinkghost store (1888 Polk St., Hollywood, FL, 33020). So you can some discover different handmade crafts, artists, apparel brands and much more every Saturday. Admission is free.

Frances ;0)