Every week or so we like to have a fun “10 questions” session with one of our contributors to the Indie Craft Sampler. Some serious, but mostly fun questions. This week we are talking with another of our March contributors, Esther from Lumpy Buttons.
1. What is the story behind the name “Lumpy Buttons”? Lumpy Buttons is the combination of the two nicknames of the two middle aged man cats me and my husband have, that when we moved in together, bonded very quickly. His was a chubby grey boy named Static aka “The Lump” from the way he would flump onto the ground when he came into a room and my toothless black boy, Ushi aka “Buttons”. Static recently passed in October from liver cancer so it is especially nice to have him with us always in this way.
2. What is the best advice another shop owner has give you? Do you have any advice for others? Some of the best advice I have received is, don’t undercut yourself. Don’t try to match the prices of items made in sweatshops. You know what your time and materials are worth and if you don’t price accordingly, you will burn out quickly and want to quit what you love to do.
My best advice is, if you know something is a popular seller, make sure you make multiples in advance of the holiday season so that you don’t get swamped with made-to-order items in those last few weeks before the holidays when every order is a rush order. Also, make sure you offer rush shipping options during those peak times.
3. Where do you get inspiration for new designs for your shop? What is your favorite item you make? I am basically a gigantic child. I love animals, cartoons, video games, and Star Trek which is most of what I end up making for my shop. I love the challenge of creating new designs, simplifying complex forms into something simple yet instantly recognizable. My favorite items are actually the custom cat/dog pins. I get to problem solve how to represent a pet as a little pin AND spend a lot of time looking at cute pet photos. It is win-win.
4. What type of items that you would like to offer in the future? I am working on patterns for more 100% baby-safe plush.
5. What are you passionate about? This will seem a little weird considering how cute all my crafts end up being, but I am really into insects and their anatomy. My fine art is focused almost entirely around it.
6. Favorite TV show as a kid?
My favorite TV show was The Wild Wild West! (and still is) I wanted my own tricked out train so bad. 7. What makes you laugh?
I really like the kind of anti-joke that is corny and inoffensive. For some reason they crack me up.
8. What is your most favorite place on earth? I love Buffalo, NY. I moved here for college and after a little time away, came back to stay. The people here are amazing and the arts community is really engaging and fun. There is always something to do on any given day and the cost of living is really cheap.
9. What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?
Oh man… I have a very complicated love/hate relationship with Netflix. I watch a TON of it because I need to have something running while I sew so I often run through terrible series/movies. I think the worst was The Ghost Whisperer. That series is SO SO SO BAD but I was too lazy to get up and change what was playing on Netflix while filling out orders, so I have seen all of it. I have so many regrets. 10. And finally, why should people visit your shop? Since the designs are mine, almost everything I make I can modify to make custom versions to match family members/pets. If you need an adorable, affordable, handmade gift for someone (or yourself!) there is plenty to look at. 🙂
Esther sent in 50 of the most amazing hand sewn animal pins & finger puppets for the March sampler. Cats, whales, and birds (oh my!). To purchase a March sampler click here!! They are shipping now!
And lots more cuteness is to be found in her etsy store.