Friday, May 22, 2009

Featured Friday: RagamuffinDesign

Tell us who you are
My name is jessica and I currently live in Troy, NY. I'm a member of the etsyFAST team, the Capital Region Etsy Street Team and a frequent participant at Tight Knit in Troy, NY.

Other than creating things for etsy, what do you do?
I'm kind of half scientist and half artist. I'm currently working on my PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where I'm studying the social phenomena of piracy and the relationship between people and science and technology. It's pretty awesome. I also work as a freelance makeup artist, mainly doing weddings, proms, special occasions, etc.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I've always loved making things - I started off making all sorts of wonky pot holders and banana boat scarfs (as my friends call them) & sketching. It's only recently that I've been able to find the time to really get involved and invest myself.

Describe your creative process and the materials you use
Oh geez. Sometimes I have an idea of what I'm going to do, but more often than not I just start and see where it takes me. I am notorious for frogging or scrapping a project repeatedly before I'm happy with it. I really like to reuse materials and I like using things in unexpected ways, too. In my world there's no such thing as garbage - it's all raw material to me.

What handmade possession to you prize the most?
A stool my mother made and painted for me when I was little. 20 some odd years later I still use it everyday (I'm a bit of a shorty).

Top 5 websites you visit besides etsy?
Facebook, Twitter, CraftCult, and Livejournal...and I love hulu - it's a godsend for those of us without cable!

Any advice you have for new etsy users
I'm pretty new myself, but here are the tips that have been most useful to me:1. Start using google analytics, it's been super useful2. Pictures! Make sure your pictures, avatar and banner are simple & clear3. Try and list or relist once or twice a day4. Cross promote (facebook, livejournal, twitter, etc.)5. Make treasuries and join teams!

What are your favorite features of etsy, and what new features would you like to see?
I love making treasuries! So for that reason I also love the poster sketch tool. I wish that Etsy would automatically notify a seller if they were in a treasury.

How do you promote your shop/work?
I use the Etsy facebook application, twitter, flickr and various online forums - I think those probably get me the most traffic. I also have a blog,, that I try and update regularly. Of course, it's always wonderful when you can get into a treasury!

In ten years, where would you like to be?
I'd like to be a female version of Indiana Jones - traveling the world, collecting cool things, going on adventures, etc. Of course, I'd still continue making things - I'd love to get into fabric printing and silversmithing. I'd love to be working for myself on my own terms - owning an import and antique store would be fantastic.