February 21, 2014

Interview with TeakaMarie

If you hang out on Etsy, you probably have seen the gorgeous clothes of etsy shop Teaka Marie gracing the front page of etsy or in various treasuries. Her photos and style is top notch and I am so excited to share some more information about her with you today. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started.
My name is Teaka and you can find me over at my Etsy shop, Teaka Marie. I love my shop as it’s a way for me to sell my garments that I’ve designed, drafted and sewn up.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?!

Aside from my life sewing for my Etsy shop I also have a job a church in my city. I love my job and the people I work with and get to meet. Sewing does take up a lot of my time however I love to read about historical figures, enjoying baking and having people over when time permits. I’m also married to a great guy so when we can, we love to watch movies together and enjoy each other’s company.


Where does your inspiration come from?

I’m a prairie farm girl. So, a lot of my designs and photo shoot locations tend to take on a more vintage, somewhat prairie feel. It’s tempting to try new modern styles however I try to stay consistent with my designs as in the end that’s the look I love most.

What does handmade mean to you?
I suppose handmade to me is an object created by individuals that either from a job or a hobby create something out of nothing. Handmade items tend to be unique and often quantities are limited due to the amount of love, time and resources that go into them.


What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Many years back an older brother of mine needed to find a project to work on in his high school shop class. I don’t remember how it ended up coming about but I drew him a sketch of this silly night stand that had these curvy tall legs and a cage style store unite. With only a little doodle he was able to create for me a beautiful 100% unique nightstand for my bedroom. 10 years later I still have it and use it by my bed. It was a funny design however I cherish it because of the amount of time that went into it. It actually means a lot to me.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I don’t think I’ve figured out a solution for this yet. I think time is the only thing that solves that for me. After a new batch of garments are design and sewn up I tend to step back from designing and just sew orders until things quiet down in my shop. This gives me time to recuperate and get back to normal.


Where do you see yourself and your business in a few years?

I’d love to have my own officially website, be able to take on more custom orders, and dabble a bit more into the wedding gown scene.

What is the best and worst thing about being an artisan?
Best- Having an idea in your head and seeing it come to life.
Worst- Never having a break from your designs. It’s typically always on my mind along with a constant feeling that I should be sewing something instead of relaxing.


What advice would you give to other artisans trying to sell their wares?

It takes time to get your product and name out there. Especially with an ocean of artists and products, you have to be constantly promoting yourself, asking for advice, acting on it and renewing what you’re doing. Being able to make a product is one thing, learning to sell it is a completely different thing. This is something I’m still trying to learn.

What is the most popular item you sell?

Last spring I made a simple, white peter pan collar blouse. I never thought it would sell, I more or less made it so it would help create the look I wanted for a photo shoot. In the end I’ve sold more of that blouse than any other item. It’s so hard for me to know what will sell and what wont. 


What are your top five books, movies, musicians and websites?
How about I get you one of each, five is a lot. Haha!
Books- The Gown of Glory by Agnes Sligh Turnbull.
Movie- Gone with the Wind
Musicians- The Civil Wars
Websites- Etsy

Where can we find you online and off?

You can find me either at my shop, www.teakamarie.etsy.com 

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