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The Etsy Interviews -- Reverie By MT

Etsy is a magical place...

I am in no way being paid by these artists or by Etsy to promote their shops but I am so in love with the idea of a place where crafters can become small business owners with a few mouse clicks, that I just had so started a series of posts about independent designers and crafters working to turn their crafting passion into a business.

With the abundance of shops that have opened on the marketplace that claim to sell a craft but are really only promoting mass produced junk, it is even more important now for people like me, that blog, to share amazing artisans with my readers.

I have decided to do this with...

Melissa @ Reverie By MT

The first interview in this series is from Melissa @ Reverie By MT.  A fellow Kent State University
alumna <GO GOLDEN FLASHES!> who is now residing in Oklahoma has had her shop for a short time on Etsy.  Her shop has only been open for a month but it is full of amazing hair accessories for every age and occasion.

My favorite is her beaded elastic hair ties which are pictured below.  Her prices are super affordable too which is really important to me as my family is on a pretty strict budget.

Beaded Hair Ties/Elastics No Crease Mint and Navy
Beaded Hair Ties/Elastics No Crease Mint and Navy

Learn a little more about the person behind

What’s your craft background? 

My craft background is pretty extensive for someone who is only 22. When I was in elementary school I took crafting and sewing classes. While I was in middle school I took multiple home economics classes where I really learned how to expand my skills and make more items. Around this time is when I decided I wanted to go to school for fashion design. I attended Kent State University and studied just what I intended to, fashion design! While I was there I learned that I loved to design children’s clothing so during my senior year I focused my senior collection on this. I created a nine-piece collection focused on my thesis of ‘How can a child’s imagination be incorporated into clothing?’. It was accepted into the annual show too! After graduation, I began working at a company as an assistant designer making socks.

Do you have any memories, that stand out from your childhood, that are about crafting?

Crafting was a vital part of my childhood. I learning how to hand sew when I was five years old and that opened up a world of opportunities for me. I would make my stuffed animals clothes, which turned into making American girl doll clothes. When I was 10 I finally learned how to sew on a machine and I began making pajamas and other clothing items for myself. I’ve always loved being creative and it’s really shaped me into who I am today!

What research do you do? 

I really take the time to research the most comfortable materials for my headbands. I began making headbands because I have a large head and had a hard time findings one that would fit. The perfect solution with my sewing background was to just make my own! I wanted to make sure that my headbands would be comfy and stylish so researching fabrics are very important. I also take the time to see what other hair accessories are popular at the moment. Staying on top of trends is very important in the fashion industry and therefore very important when making hair accessories!

What’s your favorite piece in your shop? 

My favorite piece in my shop is my leather hair bows. Living in Oklahoma, this state has a rich history of leatherwork and I wanted to bring this detail into my shop. The materials for these bows are locally sourced from the area and really embody the Oklahoma spirit with unique patterns, colors and textures.

Hair Bows Oklahoma Leather Large. You Pick Two!

Can you tell me more about these patterns colors and textures? If someone had never been to Oklahoma, how would you describe it? 

To elaborate more on the patterns colors and textures of the leather- I have been able to find some interesting finishes on the leathers. My personal favorite is the snakeskin that has been embossed in gold so it's shiny. I have a bow made out of this one too. I also like the blue and gray snakeskin patterns too. For the sake of my budget, I mostly focus on getting remnants from the leather shops, but some of the interesting leather skins I have seen are stung ray, holographic and basically any color under the sun you could imagine. There're tons to choose from at the store I go to (it's called Tandy Leather, which is a national chain I believe, but they carry local stuff too)!

Oklahoma is basically how you would imagine it. Everyone is very friendly and laid back. This is a big change for me especially since I am from Chicago where everything is very fast paced. There are a lot of western themes here like the banjo museum, great plains museum and cowboy museum. I have yet to go to any of these, though. Steak is a pretty prominent food group down here, it is hard to find anything that does not include meat on it! The weather is great because it's pretty warm year round, for instance, today its going to be 75 and sunny! To put, it simply- Oklahoma is basically where the east, west, and Midwest all meet in one place!

What jobs have you done, other than being an artist? 

During high school, I worked at a toy store named Learning Express. It was the best first job I could have ever had, as I was able to be creative with personalizing items and helping customers. Working here really helped me to learn that I loved accessories and children’s clothing. As I said above, I currently work as a sock designer! I design children’s socks and it is tons of fun. You are able to be really creative with hosiery and use all sorts of crazy prints and colors, which helps me to come with new ideas for my shop!

Hair Bows Maroon Leather Large and Small
Hair Bows Maroon Leather Large and Small

Women's Headband/Turban Sailor Knot Geometric Jersey

Thanks for stopping by and reading this great interview.  I just wanted to take a moment and thank Melissa again for her time in answering all of my questions.

I also just wanted to mention, if you would like to be featured in this series, the application is super easy and only takes a few moments.  If you are approved, you will hear from me in the next 72 hours.

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