1. When did you first get into crafts, and…
This week’s featured recycled artist is Jodi Roberts of Cricket Studio, she turns old wood into beautiful artwork, home decor and more! Learn about her journey and what she is excited about!
When did you first get into crafting, was it in childhood or later in life, and what types of crafting do you focus on currently?
I have always loved all types of art and craft. it’s a lifelong thing for me. There have been many stops along this journey including jewelry design, graphic design and mural painting. My husband and I are now on our third home and they have all been “fixer-uppers”. Although we could have bought new, I enjoy the challenge of something that needs a little TLC. A few years ago, after one of our home improvement projects, I was inspired by some pallet wood left behind and my Etsy shop was borne of this.
Do you listen to music, podcasts, television or movies while you work on your crafts, if so can you give us a few of the artists, songs, shows, movies or podcast names you enjoy?
When I am designing, I enjoy the solitude. If I have a new idea, the energy is like an electric buzz that fills the air. Without distractions of sight or sound, I am more creative. When I am working on the lighter side of my business (ie production, paperwork) I enjoy 70s and 80s music. The trouble is, you might catch me dancing around my studio.
Are there any crafters, artists or bloggers that you look up to, or ones that have inspired you throughout your journey?
I spend time on Etsy, creative business blogs and the sites of crafters that I know and admire. I am always inspired by their ideas and I hope that I inspire others in turn.
Do you sell your items exclusively online or do you also sell at craft shows, and consign or wholesale to stores?
I primarily sell on Etsy, which has given me the opportunity to sell all over the world. In addition to the global reach of the internet, I enjoy working with a few local shops in Maryland. These shops feature local, handmade, recycled, and sustainable products and cater to a clientele that values these ideals.
What were the major steps you took toward creating a successful eco friendly craft business?
After deciding to work with salvaged materials, it took some time to source the best supplies. There are lots of local antique shops, reclaimed building supply stores and hidden places to find discarded items. Determining how and when to embellish, and whether or not to incorporate new materials is part of the design process. But there’s more to being successful than great design. Over the years I have become a student of marketing, PR, photography, web design, and effective pricing.
What are you currently most excited about in your craft business right now?
What I am most excited about right now are some of the new designs I have in mind for the holiday season. Many of my design themes focus on love, family and friends. There is no better time to reflect on that then the holiday season.
What is the one biggest piece of advice you could give a crafter, blogger or designer just starting out, and what is one online resource you couldn’t live without?
We, as artists, tend to focus all of our attention and energy on the creative side of the business. But you need to learn the business end of things, otherwise you risk having a very short run. This is something I learned the hard way. Back in the 90s I was a jewelry designer so this is actually my second go-round in the craft biz.
Some of the online resources that have helped me the most are business blogs geared specifically towards crafters and small business such as ittybiz.com, taragentile.com, and designinganmba.com. These are invaluable resources for shaping your business.
Be Sure to check out Cricket Studio online…