I'm very excited to share this special artist feature with you: the lovely and very talented Rikkianne from Chakra Pennywhistle! Rikkianne has a wonderful heart and is a delight to get to know. She's an incredible artist who practices what she preaches: the Golden Rule, collaboration and community.
Make sure to read to the end, then be sure to enter the giveaway that Rikkianne is very generously sponsoring!
Your name: Rikkianne
Your shop name(s)/url(s): Chakra Pennywhistle
Your blog(s): Chakra Pennywhistle
Your flickr ID/url: Chakra Pennywhistle (Severely neglected at the moment)
Your non-Etsy website/other websites (e.g., Trunkt, 1000 Markets, etc.): http://www.chakrapennywhistle.com
Tell us a bit about you: who you are, who you want to be, what you make, what makes you unique?
My name is Rikkianne, I live in Tucson, Arizona, and I’m married to my best friend, Dave. We have a lovely three-year old daughter, Mia, and we also share our home with my grandmother, Barb.
Art has been in my life for as long as I can remember. From dance, to drama, to sewing and design, I really don’t know what I would do without some form of art in my life. I have always found pleasure in making something new out of something old. I also feel the need to support forward-thinking businesses, specifically those that incorporate eco-friendly practices. I now feel that I have found my passion and I’m tremendously grateful for the entire indie/handmade community.
(Rikkianne, Dave and Mia)
What do you think it is about you that makes your shop(s) successful?
I try and live and work by the Golden Rule. With every single order, I think about what kind of experience I would like to have. I like to get packages that are wrapped creatively and with care. I like to see handwritten notes. I go the extra mile with my product and hope to see the same when I make a purchase. As for the materials I choose to employ, I like to take the environment into consideration in both the product and its packaging. As far as my designs are concerned, I try to communicate an appreciation for history and hope that everyone can see that ... I really try and relay what the handmade lifestyle means to me. We are both a personal community and business. I feel that it is my duty to promote that! There is something so special about the handmade experience – an experience that doesn’t just stop once the product has been produced. It is my intention to make that experience extend through the act of the purchase, and upon receipt of the item itself...Is Etsy your fulltime day job, or do you do this on top of a day job
I stay at home with my daughter, Mia. She is 3 years old. When she was born, my husband and I decided that I would take care of her and start my business. The whole family pitches in whenever I need it. However, it can be a challenge trying to balance it all. Mia has just started preschool and I believe that I am in need of a more structured work schedule. Instead of fiddling around wondering what to do without my gal, I now have time to really get to work and do things like get into the studio and print! I am excited and am just now beginning to find my groove.
Mia, interrupting a wallet photo shoot (so cute!)
How did you learn your particular art/craft form?
I actually taught myself how to sew – even though that makes me a bit uncomfortable to say as I do have friends that have provided invaluable tips to me along the way.What was the most difficult thing for you to learn when you initially set up your Etsy shop?
I also took a fantastic screen-printing course from the local community college. I am so thrilled that I had the chance to do that because I believe that I have truly found my passion. What better way to learn how to do it than in a small community setting!
Shipping can be difficult. I am still trying to figure out the most reasonable and safe way to pack and ship my items.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known back when you set up your Etsy shop?
You know, comparing the past to the present really gives me a great appreciation for the evolution of it all. I learn something new every single day. Etsy and the entire blogosphere are so generous with small business knowledge that it can sometimes become overwhelming to try and keep up with the wealth of information. Perhaps my wish would have been to have thought to bookmark and file all of that information in an easy to reach place!What stresses you out the most about your business?
Trying to wear all of the different hats. I have discovered that when you are an Etsy seller, you are the artist, photographer, rep., shipping clerk, admin. asst., accountant, etc.
What gets you the most excited?
When someone takes the time to email a note and let me know that they like my work. It is so special when someone takes a couple minutes out of his or her life to say hi. I feel deeply honored each and every time that happens.Share one of your personal guilty pleasures?
I love the Bravo Channel. I don’t get to watch television as much as I would like. You can find me at about 1 in the morning clicking on the tivo and vegging out to the Real Housewives. I can’t help it… I love that stuff! I need more sleep! Ha :)
Rikkianne's inspiration wall in her sewing room
Do you shop handmade? If so, what was the last thing you purchased?
Oh yes. I am just about all handmade and vintage. We do have to run to Target from time to time but I can tell you that my house is full of vintage furniture and my closet is Etsy and thrift.
The last thing that I bought on Etsy was a Xenotees t-shirt for my brother-in-law. I just bought that today!
What one piece of advice, tip or trick would you share with both new and more established sellers?
Get out there and promote yourself. Whether it’s by way of making etsy treasuries, sharing news and notes on twitter, or joining an Etsy team, you will get everything you put into it. Celebrate the fact that you are able to share your passion. Collaborate instead of compete as much as possible.
Thank you so much, Rikkianne!
I can personally attest to the care and thought that Rikkianne puts not only into her creations, but also her packaging, shipping, and communication. A Chakra Pennywhistle purchase is a special experience from start to finish!
One very very lucky Phydelle reader will win a beautiful Chakra Pennywhistle dish towel, winner's choice of the tomato or the rooster (I have both in my kitchen - looove them!)!
To enter, share with us your favorite piece in Rikkianne's shop (check out her "sold" section, too!), including URL.
CRUCIAL!!! You must include your name (at least first name) and email address OR Etsy shop name!!! If your entry is missing that information, you aren't eligible for the drawing (I'm so sorry, but compiling entries is work! Make it easier with your name and contact info, por favor!).
Bonus entries for:
- Following this blog (Phydelle)
- Following Rikkianne on Twitter
- Following Rikkianne on her blog
- Blogging about the giveaway (your blog post must include a link to this giveaway post!)
- Tweeting about this interview and giveaway, with a link to this contest post (cc me on the twitter for verification - @phydeauxdesigns )
- Subscribing to the Phydelle/Phydeaux mailing list (top left corner of this web page)