Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Feature - Assorted Musings by Maggie

Name: Maggie Murphy
Shop Name: Assorted Musings by Maggie
Brief Product Description: Crocheted items: hats, scarves, shawls, and jewelry!

What is unique about your product?
All my designs are original; some are even co-designed by my customers!

How did you get started?
My grandmother and aunt taught me to knit and crochet as a young girl, but I really got into it a few years ago as an adult. Pretty soon all my friends and family owned handmade items by me, but I just couldn't stop crafting! When I found Etsy, I knew that I had to share my goods with the world :-).

Where do you get your inspiration? Anywhere and everywhere...If I see something I like I will study it, determine how I want to make it, then off I go! Most of the time I'm looking at fashion magazines, or just out on the streets of Austin when I find my inspiration.

What excites you most about your work/shop?
I make things that I love. I usually start with a prototype that I will keep and wear myself to test out, which means I get to show off what I've made and enjoy it before making more for everyone else. This also means that all of my items are preschool tested and teacher approved :-).

Describe your workspace/workroom.
Also anywhere and everywhere. Mostly at home, but also I will take my projects with me wherever I go, some have even made it to Australia and back with me! I love taking my work with me, because I get a ton of feedback on what people like and don't like, so I know that my customers will love what they get from me.

Which do you prefer: online sales/marketing or face-to-face sales/marketing? Why? Face-to-face for sure! Then people get to try things on, feel how soft they are, play with the yarn, etc. I'm also very hands on when I'm working a trade show, which means I'm usually making something right then and there. I can usually finish at least one new item while I'm there and put it up for sale immediately, I've even made custom orders while people wait! It's so fun to see people trying things on too, I get my own little fashion show!

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Well, pretty soon I will have my degree in Elementary Education, so I see myself working in an ISD which means I'll have all summer long to craft and do shows. I also plan on diversifying the types of things I make. I recently started making more jewelry, and I'm having a ton of fun with it! Who knows what I'll add to my store next, I'm always open to suggestions...

What do you feel is the most important skill you use in your business every day? Flexibility. Not only with the things I make, but with my store and shows. If a design isn't working out, you have to know when to put the needles down and move on. And for shows, there are new and exciting ones coming to Austin all the time, and there are a number of local markets popping up too! It can be overwhelming trying to do too much, but I'm learning what works for me. I try just to get involved when I can, and have fun whenever I do a show, which isn't hard because all the Etsy Austin ladies are always so much fun and so inspiring!!

What do you like about EtsyAustin? I like that it is a group of talented people coming together, working together, and sharing interests. It never feels like a competition, and there is so much support in all areas, which really makes people feel comfortable. I think our customers can feel the sense of community when they come to our events.

What do you think makes EtsyAustin Street Team unique?
I think we're lucky because we live in such an artistic community. We have the opportunity to become a part of so many events, markets, trade shows, fashion shows, and local boutiques who support us. I also think we're unique in that we have such a diverse community among our shops. I am always seeing such new and creative things!

Describe something about yourself that may be a surprise to people on the team.
Hmmm...I don't think I have any surprises, I'm pretty much an open book! But I will say that one of my other hobbies is cycling. I'd love to join a cycling team one day, and when I don't have to drive everyday for school, I plan on doing away with my car for good!

Maggie can also be found at:


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