Lynda has a shoppe called Little Odd Forest. I've been getting her e-mails and looking at your website for AGES now, and i finally got the courage to messege her. Everything from her products, to the pictures to the website itself is AMAZING!! I know you'll agree!
littleoddforest.etsy.com is her link. Sadly the computer i am at right now won't let me link properly, but i shall fix it later tonight.
1) How long have you been crafting?
On and off all my life i think! I used to make gifts for my friends, sew them pouches, sew and draw on paper to make cards, even made fancy book covers for all my "ugly" school books and files. One time, my mum refused to give me more pocket money to change my ugly wastepaper basket, so I totally transformed its look by covering it with all sorts of colored magazine ripouts. If you were referring to crafting as a business/livelihood, it was in 2004.
2) Did you always craft in this genre?
By this genre, i assume you mean sewing? I first learned how to use a sewing machine during my school holidays before i started high school. We had to take Home Economics, and my mum (whose grandma, my great grandma, gave her a wonderful, now retro-looking, Singer sewing machine) taught me how to use a sewing machine before school started. And i got hooked onto it! Praises from my teacher (You can sew such a round circle/straight line!) helped too ;p I could hand-sew, but being naturally impatient and a little perfectionist, half the time i'll just destroy what i've created due to dissatisfaction with the wonky sewing lines or slowness of it all!
Otherwise, I've always just been doodling and drawing, alot. I've so many sketchbooks I've lost count. And ever since I had my first computer, I've been doing illustrations on it as well.
3) Who or what inspires you?
Design wise, everything and anything can inspire me. People watching, just walking down the busy streets, shopping, movies, music, a day lazing at the beach, colors, a good design book etc. Even boredom inspires me, because I like to daydream and imagine the strangest things, I also remember most of my dreams at night (I dream almost everytime i sleep!).
Business wise (i treat crafting as my business because I'm determined to make a decent living out from my passion, I don't believe in the stereotype that we should starve to create), my mum's strength, determination and hard+smart working ethics inspires me. Lee Kuan Yew, my country's (Singapore) first prime minister, also inspires me (in a totally different and non-political way) - to be able to "build" and "grow" my passion, from start to somewhere (I'm not saying finish because I don't think there will be one!), is my lifelong goal.
4) What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?
All kinds of unimaginable ones! Mostly people. Because I'm in Singapore, Asia, in general (excluding Japan) does not believe in paying more than US$30 for a purse that is not a well-known international fashion label, most people here don't give two hoots about handmade/ ethically produced/ sustainable designs etc. and paying decent $ for it. It's mostly due to our culture, and education, but on a positive note, things are changing, although slowly. Thanks goodness for the internet, otherwise, I would not have met "comrades" from all over the world! Especially from the US!, and I might just have given up long ago...
She knows how to win my heart. Look how cute everything is, AND she has a cherry bag! So go to Lynda's etsy or website and stock up for the holidays! :)