This week's featured artist is Kelly of Gone Doggie http://gonedoggie.etsy.com/. Kelly creates handmade items for our four-legged friends such as collars, coordinating leashes, and blankets. She also makes lovable plush toy dogs. I'm such a sucker for handmade stuffed animals! Kelly also has a blog, http://gonedoggie.blogspot.com/where she talks about the dogs in her life, among other things.
Kelly has a real passion for dogs. She says:
I have three dogs--Gunner, Jorja, and Blue. Gunner is a certified therapy dog. We volunteer with our local school system where we help children with reading difficulties learn to read. I will be testing Jorja in the fall in hopes of getting her certified so she too can be in the schools. One day when my baby, Blue, is mature enough and a little more settled, he too may become a therapy dog.
My ultimate dream is to have my own brick and morter shop where I sell my creations and offer an education center focused on pet education. I want to work with the many local animal organizations reach their goals of stopping euthanasia as a form of animal control and find many wonderful pets loving homes.
Is there a story behind your shop name?
Instead of saying I have gone crazy for dogs my husband would say I have gone doggie!
What made you decide to open your own shop?
I was making many items and donating them to the local animal advocate groups for fundraising events. I really enjoyed doing it and decided that I could make a quality product at a reasonable price and so my shop was born.
What is your favorite material to use?
I love fabric! I am always buying fabric even if I have no idea what I am going to do with it. I know I will come up with something eventually.
What is your favorite item?
My dog collars are my favorite item in my shop. My dog and I teach pet responsibility. The biggest thing people tend to neglect is putting identification on their dogs. If a dog gets lost and is without identification, it can be very difficult to trace the owner. I hope that people will enjoy the patterns of my collars and be inspired to put one with proper identification on their pet.
What are your creative inspirations?
My 3 dogs and all of my clients' pets. I'm always looking to see where there is a need and try to meet that need by creating something.
Are you a crafter full time or part time?
I am a crafter part time, I am a pet sitter part time, and I do volunteer work part time, so I keep very busy. I would love to craft full time but I love doing the volunteer work; it is so rewarding.
How do you find time to create?
I stay up late at night after my clients have been taken care of and my dogs are all settled for the evening. I do what I can, when I can get it done. I have this need to constantly be busy, I cannot sit idle for long, so even when watching TV I am crafting.
Who encourages you to create?
My husband. He has allowed me this opportunity to be able to follow my dreams. He is encouraging as he loves my work and goes to every craft show with me. He is my biggest fan and supporter.
Do you have any advice for other shop owners?
I am still new so I don't think I am in a good position to offer advice. Just love what you do, believe in yourself and don't let anything or anyone step in your way of success.