one crafty photographer's stumble through life :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Sweet Etsy Goodness and a Giveaway ~ Sarah Mai Designs

Sarah Mackey is a primary school teacher in Limerick and has only begun her Etsy adventure in the past few months. "I have always been good at crafting and doing things with my hands and been threatening to 'do something creative' for years so decided to start." After making herself a few headpieces for weddings over the years (when she couldn't find what she wanted in the shops) and getting admiring comments, Sarah decided to try and sell them to the public........

** Shop names are so important and personal; where did you get yours from?
My shop name comes from my first two Christian names combined (SarahMai) and was my Mam's suggestion. I think she wanted initially to call me Sarah Mai instead of Sarah when I was born so I thought it was a good suggestion and thankfully, the name hadn't been taken on Etsy so now it's my name for anything to do with the fledgling business.

** Where do you find that you get your inspiration from?
I'm a big fan of gardening and lots of my headpieces have elements of nature in them from butterflies to flowers, also drawing on the rich greens and blues of the countryside and the ever changing greys of the Shannon. I love the crowded canvasses of Klimt and sometimes I think paintings like 'Garden with Sunflowers' echo in some of my butterfly fascinators. In the 'Simply' range the dramatic starkness of someone like Mondrian or the pop art colours and vibe of Lichtenstein are at play in the background. I do watch for the Pantone colour trends and then fashion magazines like Vogue have always been a big part of my life.

** How do you keep up your motivation?
I'm new to selling my items and it is fantastic when someone likes or admires your work so this does help motivate you to create something new. I find creating something really relaxing and calming and it gives me a great sense of pride and self fulfillment. I really 'itch' to make something new so I think the motivation is very intrinsic at the moment. I hope that as I get more successful, I might get some custom orders!

** Do you see you art and shop as a reflection of yourself; your soul?
I think it is a reflection of myself yes. My favourite colours would be black, blues, purples and greens - the cool end of the spectrum and it is to those I naturally feel drawn but for commercial reasons, I have to start to use more of the warm spectrum as they are what most people like and what people are drawn to with spring summer coming - Pantone's colour of summer 2012 is a bright warm orange hue so this is influencing my fascinators and earrings for spring/summer 2012. I love to wear accessories and I think that in a recession, you can wear a simple dress to a few different occasions but if you ring the changes with your accessories, then you don't have to buy two or three expensive outfits!

** Where has this artistic journey taken you so far?
I'm at the very beginning of my journey - I think you need to come back to me in a couple of years and maybe I'll be a bit further along this path but it has proved to me that I am capable of doing something creative and also, that I might be able to set up my own business and earn a second income from my own creativity. I a long way from that yet but I think the future holds some good things for me and SarahMaiDesigns.

** Does Art enhance your life?
Without a doubt - looking around for inspiration helps you to see the beauty all around you, something you might not notice otherwise. On a dirty winter's evening, it is heartening to create something at your kitchen table that is beautiful - it cheeers you up.
** Can we have one pearl of wisdom you have learnt along the way?
Take a chance! If you live life afraid to take a risk you will never try anything new. You might surprise yourself at what you are able to do when you take that chance no matter how small it is!

** How important is feedback to you?
Feedback is really really important to me. While I want to create my own brand and designs, I also want to sell my items and to have this as a sucessful business so any feedback is important as it will hopefully help me to create and design even more desirable items.

** Are you a member of any teams on Etsy - does this help?
I'm a member of crafty ireland which helps me connect with other Ireland etsians. I also joined a review team to give me some pointers and I'm trying to redo a lot of photos but dull winter sunlight in Ireland is not conducive to great photos! One of the members suggested special light bulbs so I am waiting for them to arrive at the moment!

** How do you feel about your life right now?
I'm feeling really positive right now. I am in the middle of creating some new fascinators for spring/summer. They will look really luxurious with silk and feather trimmings but should retail about €40 - €50. I also will be creating some new stunning cocktail earrings and neckpieces to coordinate with the headpieces so you can get a very coordinated 1950's Mad Men look if you want or you can wear something very unique and eye catching from the 'Simply' range.

** Dogs or Cats?
Neither - not a pet person at all but my sister has a lovely rescue dog called Cosi!

What a gorgeous photo of the lady herself!

Details of where you can find out more about Sarah Mai Designs
Etsy shop
blog  (had a blog disaster over Christmas but starting Monday 9th January Sarah's back in the saddle.)
facebook page
any shops you are in/markets you take part in? : Part of my 2012 ambitions so watch out!

**** Giveaway Time ****
1 - Go Sarah's Shop - where are three pairs of earrings that are £9.39/ €11, one pair of which will go to our winner!
2 - Leave a comment on the SarahMaiDesigns Facebook Page letting us know that pair you like most :)
3 - add in your email address so we can get hold of you!
4 - THURSDAY I shall pick a winner out of my hat and they shall be gifted with the beauties of their choice


1 comment:

  1. thanks for the chance girls, such cute stuff!!! xxx


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