Tuesday, September 22, 2009

8 Questions with...Jessica Guthrie

By Kat of The Snuggery

Meet Jessica Guthrie of Eagle Lake, MN (just east of Mankato). Her family in Texas thinks she lived in Lake Wobegon, but that's another story. Jessica is married with a two year old daughter & two dogs. She is the Costumer for the Theater and Dance Department of Minnesota State University, Mankato, basically, making real clothes for imaginary people. (What a great job!) You can find Jessica on her Etsy store Bellaboogie Bath & Beauty & her blog Bellaboogie Studio.

1. What types of items do you sell in your store?

Natural handmade cold process soaps, bath salts, scrubs, teas, soaks, fizzies/bombs, lotions and oils. If you can use the word "bath" in its title I have probably tried it at least once. I started my store with hand spun, hand dyed yarns (which are still for sale), but my wrists tend to protest my spinning after long days of cutting at work. I've also been known to offer vintage hats and fabric when I can get my hands on them.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

I'm pretty selfish...I tend to make things that appeal to me, either visually, tactile-ly, or olfactory-ly. I pester my husband, mother and friends to find out what kinds of scents or moisturizers they would like, but everything in my store is something that makes me smile, as well as being something I use on myself. I'm also inspired to create products that I feel good about my kid using...my whole family has sensitive skin, and thats one of the major motivations for developing natural, dye-free products.

3. Do you have a specific space where you do most of your work?

My kitchen! When I was spinning I would set my wheel up in the living room, but with the soaps and scrubs I tend to take over the kitchen, much to my husband's chagrin.

4. When did you first start crafting?

I was really lucky to have a stay at home Mom who was really into all things craft. She taught me how to hand-sew when I was 4, and how to use the machine when I was old enough to reach the peddle. When I'd get bored she'd come up with a new craft project for us to try. I remember making all sorts of things when I was little...we'd decorate shirts, make ceramics (I had a neighbor who was a ceramic artist, and she'd fire the pieces we painted), paint scraps of wood into decorative signs, and millions of "craft kits". My friends and I in middle school would have "pajama parties" where we'd bring fabric and sew PJ's to wear to bed. Most of the skills I use in my day job are those I learned from my Mom or Grandmother, and I can definitely say that I acquired my need for busy hands from Mom at an early age.

5. Do you do any crafts or art beyond what you sell?

I sew, embroider, knit, dye, felt, paint and crochet in my day job...when I'm at home I sew, felt, embroider, knit, spin, carpenter...and make soap!

6. What are your favorite places to buy supplies?

I'm still trying to find a good source for bulk oils in MN...most of my packaging and oils currently come from Texas Natural Supply, but I'm not really comfortable with the environmental impacts of shipping across the country. So if anyone knows a great source for bulk oils, essential oils and packaging in MN or WI, PLEASE let me know!

7. What is the best thing you've ever done to promote your etsy store?

Joined HandmadeMN! I've learned so much from the wonderful people here, from show opportunities to selling advice. Not to mention everyone who kindly reads the twitter feed! I've also been known to lurk in the forums, but many of my soap sales have come from giving samples to friends and family...they love my stuff and tell their friends, and so on.

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

XO Handworks, kellybot, JulieMeyer, NotAPotato, Paisley Pie, Supershellina, Juniperberries, ShatterstarWoodworks, PersnicketyPelican, mmsomewhere, circlelinestudio, bugtussle, morninglorydesigns My interests are pretty diverse!

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


Glorious Hats said...

Fun read, so nice to learn more about the lovely Jessica.