Thursday, February 25, 2010

Artisan Interview: Monique of Mischyfpaws

This begins the first of a series of artisan interviews I will be conducting of the 7 other artisans involved with me working on the Primo's Pawtourage doggie gift bag project and are contributing handcrafted goodies for the gift bag. All seven are members of the Primo's Pawtourage Etsy Team. This first interview highlights Monique who sews and embroiders fabulous goodies and sells them in her Etsy shop, Mischyfpaws. Without further ado, here is the interview! Enjoy!

  1. I hear you got started with sewing when you were quite young. Can you tell us a bit more about how you got started?

    My mother got me started sewing with a child size sewing machine when I was four years old. She would buy me Barbie patterns and give me scraps of fabric from her sewing projects to make my Barbie cloths with. Where normal little girls would play with Barbie’s I was more interested in making clothes for her to wear and hang in her closet. My Barbie was a fashion cloths horse.

    When I was nine my mother bought me a Singer sewing machine. I started making my own clothes for school. By the time I was in High School I was designing and making Prom and Bridal gowns for my mothers Bridal Shop. In my freshman year of high school I was accepted to Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles . After I college I needed to move to Oregon . While there I ended up taking jobs outside of the design field. I some how kept my designing to a part time business over the years.

    A few years ago I discovered the world of machine embroidery. I came across embroidery by looking for Chow Chow items. I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find products with the Chow Chow breed on it. I decide to make some of my own. I eventually found a CD that contained 25 dog breed embroidery designs on it. One of the designs was a Chow Chow. After a while people were asking me if I could make items for them. Soon I noticed I had 75 dog embroidery designs. One day right before I got laid off from my job I decided to use these embroidery designs and start a company with them. I figured this would bring in some extra money. I started my company on eBay but I wasn’t happy there. Two months later I closed my store on eBay and I opened

    Now I am enjoying machine embroidery so much that I am learning how to make my own embroidery designs. Hopefully I will be able to offer my own designs for sale in the future.
  2. What inspires you in crafting?

    The things that inspire me are music, art, animals, taking walks, nature and the fashion industry.
  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us?

    The most important thing for me to pass along to anybody starting a business is to get organized as quickly as possible. When the orders start coming you have no time to organize.
  4. Monique, you are currently involved with creating embroidered items for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. You are doing a Maltese dog design right now. How many dog breeds do you have in embroidery patterns?

    I am always adding designs to my inventory. I currently have 128 dog designs, 107 of them are dog breeds with 82 breeds currently offered in my store. One of my goals this year is to start making my own dog embroidery designs.
  5. You share your home with dogs, what kind and tell us about them?

    I am currently owned by a Chow Chow named Nicky. He is a pure breed, very talkative and smart. He is so smart he has figured out how to open closed doors by turning the knob with his teeth and front paws. Nicky is at my side 24 hours of the day. He goes everywhere with me.

    I take care of my mother and she is currently owned by a Lhasa apso named Misty. Misty has been tagged with the nickname of “queen of the sofa”. You can always find her proudly sitting on the sofa.
  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business?

    After working many years in non creative jobs with middle management bullies and laid-off four times, I am well over due for a change. After I was laid-off the last time I started thinking about what I really want to do. What I want and have always wanted is my own company.

    In 5 years I hope to be my own boss making a profit from my embroidery business. I would like a company that I can support myself with. I also would like to have a small home with a little land for a vegetable garden. Finally, I would like to have my art work showing in some gallery in Portland and making cloths for Portland Fashion Week. I think that would be an awesome accomplishment!!
  7. Tell us a little about you… favorite things to do when you are not working?

    My life right now is pretty much working on my business and trying to get my company going. I don’t have a lot of time for my hobbies. I am current taking care of my mother and reside with her. I was laid-off a year ago and like many others, I can’t seem to find a job.

    When I am not working on my business, you will find me walking by the river or one of the scenic nature paths around the city. I also enjoy taking a day and viewing the art in the art galleries around town. I read, draw, sew, loom knit, weave and enjoy pastels and painting. My newest hobby is spinning yarn. On special days I will spend a day or two and drive out to the Waterfalls Oregon is known for or visit one of the many beaches here.
  8. One of Primo’s’ Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National specialty in May in Atlanta . Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts?
Since I have opened Mischyfpaws I’ve been approached by various charities to donate items to. Primo’s Pawtourage is my first charity work that I have done from etsy. I wouldn’t mind working with other rescues.

Thank you for allowing me to interview you, Monique. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors!


eeniemoni said...

great interview

2 Virgos Designs said...

thanks Moni!

Nevita said...

loved the interview and artist work

2 Virgos Designs said...

thank you Nevita, gorgeous work isn't it!?

MischyfPaws said...

Thank you for the interview. It was fun. =)