Friday, March 27, 2009

Featured Friday JBirkemeierPhoto

shop . profile . contact


This week's featured shop is jbirkemeierphoto. Based out of St Louis, MO, Julie's shop features her beautiful photography. You will not only find prints in her shop, but note card sets, and coaster sets that feature her work as well. In addition to coaster sets fearuting her work, you can also custom order a set of coaster with your own image on them!

If you love her work as much as I do, here are some more places you can find her: blogger, flickr, and twitter.


Tell us who you are
My name is Julie Birkemeier, and I'm from St. Louis, MO. I live with my boyfriend of nearly four years, along with our two cats, Francis and Sherman. (Is it weird that I put their names and not my bf's? His name is Joe). For three years I have been a part of the commerciaI photography community in St. Louis as an assistant in a studio. I just recently left my day job in order to freelance and pursue crafting and fine art. I am a member of the St. Louis Craft Mafia, Show Me Etsy, Etsy Owls, and Photographers of Etsy.

Other than creating things for etsy, what do you do?
Besides creating things for Etsy (and craft shows and stores), I photograph the nature around me, hang out with friends, listen to NPR, read and do yoga. Oh, and drink lots of coffee.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I'm not sure what first made me want to become an artist. I had my first camera when I was pretty small. I would walk around with this little purple Mickey Mouse thing with no film in it. But then I wasn't super interested in photography again until high school. Every time I would see someone else's amazing picture I would think, "Man, I wanna do that."

Describe your creative process and the materials you use
When I first started on Etsy, I was only trying to sell prints. After a few months nothing sold, so I decided to make my work into something more practical by creating coasters out of the prints. I mod podge a print to ceramic tile (which has been painted to compliment a color in the photo) and spray it with outdoor furniture varnish to keep it water proof. The tiles are also backed with cork to protect the surface they're resting on. All of the photographs on the coasters are my original photography.

What handmade possession to you prize the most?
I'm not sure where this item originated, but when I was little my grandma had a huge ceramic cheeseburger that doubles as a pen holder. It's ridiculous looking, but I've always loved it. When she died (when I was 8) my mom gave it to me and I've kept in on my desk ever since. It makes me smile whenever I look at it.

Top 5 websites you visit besides etsy?
My top 5 websites...hmmm...I'm such a nerd, but I think I mostly visit Etsy! I also look at Poppytalk Handmade, Modish, Photo District News Online...hmmm...oh! I also visit and PETA. (Phew! I think that was the toughest question yet!)

Any advice you have for new etsy users
My advice for new Etsy users can't be all that great, because I've only made 11 sales. However, I think customers really appreciate rapid response and a friendly attitude. I try not to be sterile and formulaic about it either. I type conversationally and thank them, and if it's a fellow seller look at their shop and compliment something in it.

What are your favorite features of etsy, and what new features would you like to see?
My favorite feature on Etsy is the artist interviews and the Quit Your Day Job articles. Really, any of the Storque articles are great. I wish I could better organize my conversations!

How do you promote your shop/work?
I promote my shop by renewing items, participating in showcases, and handing out business cards and coupons at craft shows. I also recently started a blog, a flickr account, and a twitter account, which will hopefully generate more traffic.

In ten years, where would you like to be?
In ten years I want to be profitable enough from crafting and art so I can have my own little studio to work in. Right now I'm working at the kitchen table! Really, I want to be able to make enough money from my art that I don't have to wait tables on Friday nights anymore.

If you would like to be featured in an upcoming Feature Friday, please convo your answer to these questions to my etsy user account, Capow.

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