Wednesday, August 26, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH JACKIE CLARKE OF BABY LOVE BY JACKIE!







One of our favorite customers at 44th Street Fabric is Jackie Clarke, Canadian designer and Etsy shop owner. Jackie makes adorable baby items, aprons, bags and more. Her original design for the Mommy Bag (shown above) is fabulous and wish she would hurry and do the pattern. Recently we interviewed this up and coming shop owner and designer.
We love your designs and love your Etsy shop, Baby Love by Jackie! Tell us a little about you and your family.
Well, I am a stay-at-home Mom with two young children (Abigayle 2.5 yrs, and Austin 9 months)- I suppose that defines me, more than anything! Busy, busy, busy! My husband and I live on a Dairy farm in Ontario, and I wouldn't trade the "country" lifestyle for anything. Between the kids and the farm, I really don't have time to sew...but I do it anyway ;) What a rebel, I am.
When did you first discover your artistic talent and when did you start to sew?
I guess I've always been artistic - I think I started to draw and paint as soon as I could hold a pencil, and it grew from there! My Mom has kept bits of my artwork over the years, it's so fun to look back. As a young child, I can remember my Mom teaching me how to sew buttons, embroidery, and how to hand-stitch simple pieces...but it wasn't until home-economics class when I was about 13 years old that I was really bitten by the "sewing bug". That's when I learned to use a sewing machine and follow a pattern - and realized that the possibilities were endless!
What are the inspirations for your current designs?
Right now, my inspiration is definitley my children. I'll admit, everything seems to be revolving around my daughter at the moment; I've always been a "girly-girl", so I have way too much fun making dresses, frilly things, and indulging my obsession with the colour pink. But - I know that I need to start including the boys! I'm afraid that my son may start to accuse me of favouritism, so I'm currently brainstorming ideas to accomodate the other 50% of the population. And then, my selfish side comes into play...I want pretty things too! Which is why I had to include a section in my shop that's just "For the Mamas".
What caused you to open an Etsy shop?
I eventually came to realize that being a "Stay-at-Home-Mom" doesn't pay very well. Remember when I said, "I want pretty things too"? Well, that's pretty much why I decided to start an Etsy shop! I've always loved to sew and craft, and was excited by the prospect of my "guilty pleasure" generating a bit of income. It helps me feel a bit better about the time and money I spend on my sewing addiction!
What advice, if any, do you have for other Etsians?
Well, since I'm relatively new to Etsy, I'm really not one to offer advice. However, the one thing I've learned so far is, expose yourself! Not in the naughty sort of way, (however, I'm sure that might generate some traffic!) but by promoting and marketing your product. Get your name, logo and product pictures OUT THERE for the world to see! Know your target clientele, and get your product in front of them.
Do you sell your clothing in any other venues?
Not yet...but it's part of my plan! Our Canadian winters are long and cold...a perfect opportunity for me to sit at my sewing machine :) I'll be building an inventory during the blustery months (so, October to...May?), with the plan of setting up a booth at farmer's markets, fairs, trade shows...anywhere they'll have me! I'm pretty excited.
Please tell us one unique thing about you that would surprise us!
Hmm...how surprising are we talking, here? I could tell you that a lot of my sales experience has come from the "adult novelty" industry...knowing my personality, that shocks most people! From lingerie, to baby clothes...a bit of a career change. Or...I could tell you my age. I'm 25 years old, and have been employed in 7 different industries. A lot of people seem surprised that at this point in my life, I've done so much and am happy with where my life is now. Call me "old-fashioned", but I've always wanted to be a wife and mother...and now that I have the opportunity to stay at home with my babies and be self-employed, I don't know how it could get much better. Life is Good! :)
What are the links to your shop, facebook page, twitter, etc.?
facebook: "Jackie Clarke"- "Babylove By Jackie"

1 comment:

Ang and Cam Hoit said...

Loved it! Love Baby Love By Jackie!