Writers Spark: Interview With Lisa LeBlanc

Vintage Typewriter card set by The Craft Pantry

I have to say I am really loving the interviews I’m doing for the Writers Spark series!  It’s fascinating to hear the stories behind the blog writers on Handmade Spark – such a diversity of backgrounds and such a wealth of wit and wisdom.

When a person combines his wisdom and creativity, a revolutionary idea can develop from the sparks. This is what happened when an experienced trader thought that there should be a trading program that even the newbies could use without worrying about the complex analysis and security hacks. The following post, would tell you about this program that is called Snapcash Binary.

I hope you are enjoying them as much as I am!

In this post, we meet the wonderful Lisa LeBlanc – an artisan and independent boutique owner (on Etsywith The Cottage Nest, and on-line and in the ‘real’ world with Nest Interiors) who has a love of handmade and a penchant for chihuahuas!  On Handmade Spark, Lisa has been writing the thought-provoking and inspiring ‘business realities’ series (you can find her blog posts here).  In this interview, she shares some interesting thoughts on journalling and blog writing, among other things.

Enjoy!

1. Tough ask but…give us a bio in one sentence!

I am a retailer and craft artisan with a background in interior design.

2. What do you create?  What drew you to this particular craft?

Having my own shop, a lot of my creations were born out of necessity or from my pure dissatisfaction with what I was receiving from my mainstream wholesalers.

3. What inspires you?  How do you keep your creative spark firing?

Music is a big pull for me; a certain melody can open up a whole new world to me as I tend to visualize what is playing.  The trick is to be as quick as your mind!  I try to keep a journal or sketchpad close by to capture it all.

New Orleans book pages wreath by The Cottage Nest

4. Tell us about your day job…

I own and operate my own boutique where I sell my items and those of several local artisans.  It’s great fun and every day is different; I love working with so many talented people and our community is really embracing us and the handmade movement!

5. What kinds of things do you enjoy writing about?  Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?

I journal like crazy…or maybe I journal so I do not go crazy!  I was gifted a great book – ‘Writing Down the Bones’ by Natalie Goldberg.  In a nutshell, you are encouraged to write it ALL down, no matter how bad it is.  I carry my journal with me all the time and grab it when I need to vent, have a great idea, or if I want to reflect on an experience or completion of a project.  Blog posts tend to fall our of this.  Though it is a different audience compared to writing just for myself, I do want to share enough that the reader has a sense that there is a real person behind the business.

French charm bracelet by The Cottage Nest

6. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from running a handmade business?  What advice can you pass on to other Etsy sellers?

Make sure it looks handmade and not homemade.  People in my shop really pay attention to labels…and although they like the idea of supporting a local artist, it has to look professional.  For Etsy sellers, you need to be on Facebook and on Twitter.  Period.

7. And for blog writers?  Any advice on writing posts and engaging readers?

For my shop blog, people love going ‘behind the scenes’ – I try to give them the inside scoop…pictures of opening boxes when they arrive, what inspires me, what my typical day is like, etc.

8. How do you market your business?

Facebook has been the best!  I post something and I will either have a walk-in or online order for that item within a day.  I use Twitter too, but I haven’t see it as being as beneficial as Facebook.  I also collect email addresses at my shop and online; I send one or two emails a month to my existing customer base and it works!

Fleur de Lis tea towel by The Cottage Nest

9. Time to pay it forward!  Tell us 3 of your favourite Etsy shops that we should support…

Mary Lindsey Designs – this is one of my artisans…she has so many well priced jewelry offerings and her craftsmanship is impeccable!

Rainbow Dreams pendant by Mary Lindsey Designs

Beau & Stella – many moons ago I worked with this artist in my other life as an interior designer.  I love her pieces – sensible elegance!

Branch necklace by Beau & Stella

June Bug Art – a friend and local girl with a ton of talent!

Louisiana Pelican by June Bug Art

Thanks Lisa!