The featured artist this week is April of Aprils Originals http://aprilsoriginals.etsy.com/. April makes designer diaper bags that are so fabulous, they look like handbags. Now moms can look chic while carrying diapers and formula around!
I named my shop Aprils Originals because my bags are original designs made by me. I do not use patterns for my work, all of the designs come from my head. I am inspired by other artists and by the fabric I use. I began designing my bags to meet my own needs and lots of people seemed to have the same needs.
I am a stay~at~home mom of a wonderful 5-year old little boy. All of this began nearly 3 years ago when I grew tired of carrying the same old diaper bag that 'looked' like I was carrying a diaper bag. I was constantly on the lookout for the perfect bag. So eventually I dusted off my sewing machine and just started creating for myself that 'perfect' bag. People would stop me and ask "Where did you get your bag" and when I would reply "I made it" they would usually respond "Can you make me one?". Eventually I realized that I might be able to continue to stay~at~home and contribute a little income to our family and be able to do what I love to do. Aprils Originals was then born!
I started out trying other markets like local boutiques and ebay but my sister-in-law told me about etsy so I decided to check it out and it was perfect!It was just what I was looking for.I love fabric, all kinds of fabrics but I have recently grown to LOVE designer fabrics. The quality of the fabric and the vibrant colors just cannot be beat. I have to admit that until about a year ago I really didn't even know that there was such a thing as designer fabrics. Like I said I am a stay~at~home mom and had pretty much gotten out of the 'loop' of fashion :o)
My favorite item would have to be the Mommy Bag that I make and the Crayon Keepers. I carry a Mommy Bag myself and I have a Crayon Keeper for my son in my bag at all times, it is wonderful and comes in handy more than I ever thought it would.
I would have to say that fabric is my biggest inspiration, it speaks to me like an empty canvas does to a painter. When I see fabric I just feel what needs to go together and sometimes I hold onto a certain fabric until the perfect match comes along and I just know that I will use them together. My husband thinks I am crazy but it is my art.
I started out a part~time crafter but my little shop has gotten so busy in the last couple of months that it has flown right into more of a full~time situation. I am up sometimes well into the wee hours of the morning sewing trying to keep up with my orders. It is very hard to juggle my first job, Mommy, with running my shop. It is a constant struggle but on the other hand a dream come true!
I have an extremely supportive family, my husband helps me whenever I need him to. He even helps me do some of the more mundane aspects of my work like the ironing on of the fleece and interfacing to each piece before it gets sewn together. My Mom and my Mother-in-law both have several of my creations. They have been 'guinea pigs' on more than one occasion.
I feel like the best advice I can give anyone would be to stick with what you love, don't always worry so much about whether or not others will love it. First and foremost create from your heart and soul no matter what the medium. If you don't love what you do then do something else until you find what it is that feels right to you!
I don't just sew I do a wide range of crafts, when I have the time. I love to knit and crochet, make jewelry, my son and I love to 'play' with polymer clay and on occasion I cross~stitch and make soaps and bath salts. I have been crafting since I was a child, my Mom is a wonderful artist. She can draw, paint and also loves to do many crafts. I didn't inherit my Mom's ability to paint and draw, my brothers both got that. But I do lots of things that my Mom doesn't. She is the one who originally taught me to sew when I was a little girl, I would sew clothes for my Barbies and my baby dolls. I have never had any formal training in sewing I just figure it out on my own. I also taught myself to crochet and to knit.
Check out April's blog at http://aprilsoriginals.blogspot.com/