Last week, when I put together my post about pastel rainbows, I discovered the lovely Etsy shop Ila's Garden. I put one of her barrettes in my round-up and then was delighted when she agreed to do an interview and giveaway here on The Pretty Bee.
Let's get to know Mandy a little bit better:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am the owner of Ila's Garden, where I sell my handmade jewelry and accessories on Etsy, at local craft shows, and at a few boutiques. I am definitely a craft addict. I always have to be making something, it keeps me happy! I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my awesome husband and two adorable little kids. My son is three years old and I spend most of my time with him talking about super heros. I never thought I could stomach so much Spiderman, but with him it is fun. My baby girl is 3 months old and I just love holding and looking at her. I don't want to miss anything she does, she is growing so fast!
How did you get started in your craft?
In high school I started making pottery and discovered I really enjoyed it and was really good at it. I got a fine arts degree with an emphasis in ceramic sculpture while in college. I stopped doing it when I got married because I couldn't find a studio where I felt comfortable and happy to work. I needed to do something with all the creative energy building up inside me, that is when I started working with felt. It was the perfect material to work with in our little apartment, where I could be close to my honey. After we had out first baby I stopped working a full-time job and needed to start bringing in money using my craft work. That is when I started posting it on Etsy!
What has been the most rewarding part about having an Etsy shop?
I don't do a whole lot of business on Etsy, but I have had some boutiques interested in selling my work after seeing it on there. Since my favorite way to sell is through those boutiques, I consider my Etsy shop a successful showcase.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my family. My children are very little and I know this time is precious. They give me so much joy! That said, I love to have ladies nights. Which usually consists of my husband sending me to a friends house for a couple hours (without my babies) for girl talk while we work on craft projects.
What are you looking forward to this Spring?
I am looking forward to sunshine and clean air. Salt Lake has the worst air quality in the nation this time of year, something to do with the geography of the valley and the inversions we get. I have been afraid to take my kids out anywhere. I am excited to go on walks to the park and visits to the zoo. Spring is such an inspiring time of year for me, with all the fresh colors and budding flowers!
1. Visit Mandy's shop and come back and comment on what your favorite item is.
2. Subscribe to Mandy's blog, In Ila's Garden.
3. Follow or subscribe to my blog.
4. Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway. You can use this:
Come win a sweet sampler set of felt accessories from Ila's Garden on @theprettybee's blog: http://theprettybee.blogspot.com/2013/02/ilas-garden-giveaway.html
Please leave a comment for each entry! Giveaway ends on Tuesday, March 5. Winner will be chosen via random.org. Open to US residents only.