May 14, 2012

Shop Spotlight: In Stolen Moments

Love these as much as I do?  Pop over to In Stolen Moments for more!!

If it were not for Danielle, her friendship and encouragement, I don't think I would have taken the leap into opening my own Etsy shop.  Danielle's shop In Stolen Moments is full of beautifully hand-dyed and hand-printed shirts, linens and bags featuring lino-prints she designed and cut.  Oh, and she is also a full-time mama of two boys.  And she makes her own yogurt and cheese (among other things).  The woman has skills, I'm telling you! 

I was halfway through the alphabet, wishing for a shop, but not knowing where to start when one day on the phone she kindly but firmly told me to just do it - open the shop.  I was never going to be 100% ready since I'd inevitably get thrown curveballs (since that is life!) so why not start and see where it got me.  I owe her a lot and so thankful she gave me the kick-in-the-pants I needed!

So as I was saying about mad skills, Danielle creates beautiful designs.  Between my 2 kids I think we own 5 or 6 of her creations, and I've given many as gifts.  I've invited Danielle for a virtual chat to share some of her shop secrets and stories.  You can also check out her lovely world over at her blog or on Facebook.

Hey Danielle, thanks for chatting with me!  So, when did you start doing prints?  
Better yet, what inspired your first print?  

The print that started it all
Believe it or not, I just started a little over a year ago. My first print was inspired by my second son, Xander. We planned a home birth for the little guy and I knew that if it all worked out I'd want to shout it from the rooftops, or at the very least have my new babe wear a shirt proclaiming that he was "born at home." As it turns out, our home birth turned into a hospital birth. And while it has taken me a long time to come to terms with that unexpected turn of events, it also gave me the nudge I needed to go into business. Since my babe couldn't wear the sweet shirt I designed, I wanted to make sure that somebody would!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Right now most of my inspiration comes from my little ones. I fancy myself a magician of sorts with my toddler. He often tells me what he'd like on his next shirt. And then it marinates. Sometimes it takes a few days, sometimes weeks. But no matter how long it's been since his initial idea, the reaction upon seeing the product is always the same. Unbridled excitement.

When I need to step away from the kid stuff, I find myself drawn to my surroundings. Either what is immediately around me, pictures I flip through, or memories I have.

What has been your biggest success?

Honestly, I still count that first sale as my biggest success. After years and years of making stuff, finally putting myself out there was a really big step. I was nervous and shy and all that. Having that first person look at my work and decide that they wanted it to be a part of their life, their children's life, well, that's a big deal.  
On the flip side, what have you learned through your experiences?

An important lesson I've learned over the past year is that it is easy to get in a rut. Even though so many parts of what I do are my own, from dyeing the shirts through to mixing the inks for printing, it is easy to start doing the same thing over and over. Because it works. I have to make sure to push myself to keep reaching and stretching and trying new things.

Psst - check out the back wall!  Sky, Land, Sea - love.

What would you like people to know about you?

I think people should know that I am not a trained artist. In fact it wasn't until early adulthood that I really started to make stuff. (All this crazy creativity was buried DEEP!!!!) I started with knitting, largely following patterns written by others. And haven't stopped using my hands to make stuff since.

For local Chicago people, where can we see you this summer?

I'm still finalizing my summer schedule, trying to balance my desire to be out doing shows with my desire to enjoy summer with my kiddos. I have my show schedule over on my website, so you can keep tabs on me there.

Thank you so much Danielle for sharing!!  Be sure to check out In Stolen Moments - you will be glad you did.  In the meantime, here are some of my personal In Stolen Moments favorites!!

Tug Boat

My little C wears this one in the onesie style (he's a baby after all)


Here's another you'll catch my kiddos wearing


Hot Air Balloons

My little E wears this very shirt!!

Stay Creative,

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