Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eight Questions with...Sara Werzel

Auntie B

Meet HandmadeMN member Sara Werzel. Sara lives in White Bear Lake, MN with her husband. She's worked for the State of Minnesota for twenty-nine years. She says, "I came about my first State job quite by accident when I was very young and not concerned with things like insurance and a pension. Now I’m grateful I have those things." You can find Sara at her online shop Auntie B Online or one her blog Auntie B's Wax.
Citrus & Teakwood
1. What types of items do you sell in your store?

I sell three different varieties of candles: 100% pure, solid beeswax pillars, all-natural palm wax pillars, and paraffin pillars. I also sell accessories made from bottle caps: magnets, drink charms, and pins.

The shop candle offerings are less during the summer months as too many people believe in the myth that candles are only for winter and the holidays. I do, however, have a wide variety of summertime candles in fresh scents and bright colors that sell wonderfully at craft and art shows.

The bottle cap charms, magnets, and pins are popular items. Besides what I offer in my shop I also take custom orders, which keeps me most busy.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

While I can’t live without my modern conveniences (although I still don’t own a microwave) I find myself fantasizing about simpler times – times when I was a kid and times of generations before me. I think people respond strongly to things that spark memories of those same simpler times.

Candles, especially the beeswax, represent a time when candles were a necessity rather than a cute home accessory. In my all-natural palm wax and paraffin candles I choose scents to stimulate happy memories. The floral scents in your mom’s garden, the butter and sugar fragrances coming from your grandma’s kitchen, the spicy and fruity aromas of Christmases past are just a few ways to tug at memories through the sense of smell.

My bottle cap items stimulate memories visually. The magnets and pins have fun images from times gone by, and many of the drink charms come in sets with images of old movies, retro TV, and pulp fiction.
Interview 3
3. Do you have a specific space where you do most of your work?

I do my candle pouring in the lower level of the house. More specifically, the basement. It is perfect for the cooling process. The bottle cap production is done all over the place. I prepare the caps in my basement studio, glue and resin the images in the dinette area, and I bead the charms in the rumpus room. My husband has learned to tolerate the presence of my products wherever he turns.

4. When did you first start crafting?

I think everyone starts crafting at a very early age. Remember macaroni art and woven pot holders? We all did arts and crafts as small children. I began making things seriously about twelve years ago when I first got married. I made everything from rolled beeswax candles to dried apple wreaths.
Interview 4
5. Do you do any crafts or art beyond what you sell?

I have an interest in learning to sew better. There are so many cool fabrics out there and I often wonder, “what could I make with that?” I also dabble in paper crafts, note cards and magnetic note pads. When I peruse the internet and see a tutorial that interests me I pretty much have to try it, or at least put it in my Things-To-Make file.

6. What are your favorite places to buy supplies?

My candle supplies come from a variety of suppliers, scents and here, wax there, molds somewhere else again. I buy bottle caps at a local home brewing store in the Twin Cities. The beads for my bottle cap drink charms come from Storm Cloud on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul . They’re wonderful! Of course for general craft supplies I visit Michael’s. They’re 40% off coupons are invaluable!
Interview 2
7. What is the best thing you've ever done to promote your etsy store?

I have my shop URL listed on my business card. I do a number of craft and art shows throughout the year and many of these cards are taken by customers and potential customers. I’ve also started getting involved with Facebook and Twitter. Networking and testimonials from customers are the good ways to get a name out.

8. What other etsy store(s) do you really like?

There are so many! Here are just a few:

Creative Thursday
Erin Tyner Photography
SweetheartSinner Creations

If you are a member of HandmadeMN & would like to be featured in Eight Questions email me at katbaro at yahoo dot com.


Sara said...

Thanks, Kat.

Kellybot said...

I was hoping to learn the origins behind your avatar...
Otherwise, nice to get to know you better!