Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Interview with Beth of hollysmama

Where were you born and raised?
Hawkeye, Iowa an itty bitty town where the people are timeless and hold a special place in my heart

Where do you live now?
Cedar Falls, Iowa - A place with historic beauty and charm.

How many children do you have? Names and ages?
One sweet little Girl - Holly age 6

What are your hobbies (besides designing and sewing)?
There are hobbies outside of designing and sewing? OK, I love to bead, but don't have the time to do it anymore. I also enjoy sketching and playing with Holly. My most perfected hobby is drinking coffee and talking with my friends.

What is your eBay ID? Hollysmama

Do You Have An Etsy Store? Yes, but haven't started to list there yet. It is under Hollysmama, just nothing for sale.

How did you come up with your ID, is there a story behind it? Kind of boring - I'm Holly's Mama and I needed an ID I wouldn't forget.

Are you a member of a design group? How long have you been a member of that group? Lemonlime and I've been a member for about 3 months.
You were groupless for a while...what made you go back to being in a group? Peer Pressure
I was asked to apply to Gallerybay by Kelly - lexisboutiquecloset and was accepted. Shortly after I joined her health started to get worse and has since stopped designing. Now I'm in Lemonlime at the prodding of Kary - Gorrillabear and Alicia - Rainasdesigns.

How long have you been selling your designs on eBay? 4 1/2 years I believe.

What got you started? I had been making barrettes for Holly on alligator clips through the winter and I was told to try selling them on ebay. Selling on eBay gave me an outlet for the number of barrettes I was making each day. About 3 months after starting with barrettes, I branched out into designing clothes. It has become an addiction and the history seems hard to believe today.

Do you remember the first set you sold on eBay? How much did it sell for? Oh boy, do I ever! It sold for $33 and it was a Pumpkin Man overall with monster sized ruffled legs.

Have you noticed a change in your designs from when you first started? YES! I started out doing a lot of peasant shirts/pattern type of designs with lots of ruffles and since then I have just started cutting and seeing what happens in the end. I have gone from a "classic" look to a bit of funky and somewhat unexpected look for each new set I make. In one week I could work with frayed denim to lace and taffetta - my style is never the same anymore.

What is your inspiration for your designs? Holly for my own unique designs, but I have a lot of customers who just come to me and tell me what they want, colors, etc and I will create based on that. Many times I know the children and their personalities, so I try to design around them. Many of my designs for customers become their special Hollysmama OOAK, because it is difficult to recreate it for another child knowing it was meant for one specific little girl.

Are there any other designers you admire? I adore Angie - That*Funky*Boutique, Dawn - Ella*monde and the DIVA herself thedomesticdiva

What is your favorite design you have created? We are talking about 4 1/2 years here and this is just one? OY! Well, I have 3 designs and each one is special for my own reasons. The first one is a Red Holiday Gown, as I designed it for a SIDS charity for a friend's family. It never sold on ebay and sits in my store, but the local charity raised over $350 in a raffle.
The second design is a jacket and that one reflects my personality the most. It is a very classic cut in a gorgeous yellow/olive fabric. I believe it is in my store still and may have been a part of a poetry collection I did a couple years ago.
The third design is Holly's personality and it was just listed! She requested a rainbow fairy design using frayed denim and lots of ruffles. Considering she requested it, I had to make it. I'm anxious to see what other people think of Holly's design. :)

I see you are now doing more sets with appliques. What brought you to do these new designs? Holly - she asks for it and I do it. I always like to play with appliques, but have never considered myself a "true" applique designer. I'm working towards doing more into the future. We'll see what Holly asks for next.

Who is your favorite fabric designer? Quite honestly, I'm not big on one fabric designer anymore. I have SO much fabric in my house and am not allowed to purchase more until I use up what I have. This is truly easier said than done, of course. I do enjoy a good Euro fabric, but if it feels good and looks fabulous I am happy.

If you could max out your credit card at one store, what store would that be? Lowe's - I love to do home renovations & we desperately need a 2 stall garage. The other store would be a furniture store in New York City that totally had my style - don't know the name, but I bet I could find it again if I were in the SOHO, China Town area.

What can we expect from you in the future? Hmmm....I'm wanting to do some comfy lounge sets complete with robes for the yucky winter months coming up. I'm anxious to do some of the spring designs I had planned to do last year, so some skirt sets and halter dresses will be in the future.

I am always reading on the boards about you going and visiting fellow board members. How many vacations have you been on specifically to visit other eBay members?
Specifically - 2 vacations this year - Diva's BBQ and a trip to visit Kelly (lexisboutiquecloset) and that time we were able to meet up with Stacey as well. Last year we traveled to Colorado and Angie (that*funky*boutique) met up with us at the hotel for a couple hours. There are a couple fellow Iowans that I've had the fortune to shop with and hope to get a couple more to join in the next outing. It really is amazing to meet people in person that you've chatted with on boards for years. I have plans to head to Phoenix in February or March next year...who's going to meet up with me then???? Hey Stacey - when are you coming to Iowa? hee hee

Holly is just so adorable! Does she enjoy modeling or do you have to bribe her?
Great question! Technically, I had to bribe her recently and she is great at bartering already! She wanted an American girl doll and I gave in as long as she modeled 8 sets for me. She hasn't asked for anything since then, so I'm not volunteering to bribe her anytime soon - that was an expensive doll!
Does she still like to wear what mommy makes for her, or do you see her custom boutique days coming to an end soon?
She will wear my sets as long as they don't LOOK like they are "true" custom boutique. She wants more applique'd shirts, skirts and non-ruffled pants. I have adapted my designs to fit her desires & personality. If I can keep doing that, she may wear custom boutique until she's 16. ;)

Beth is offering free shipping through the month of November if you mention that you read her interview on the Boutique Buyers Blog!!


PiaTillys Boutique said...

Love the interview, and Holly is just adorable!


couture*4*my*cutie said...

LOVED the interview, Beth! Thanks so much for taking the time to do it! You are so creative with your designs, and it is interesting to know that Holly plays a big role in your style :)


CB said...

I love your designs! The yellow jacket is one on my favorite also. I only live in MN if you are every up in this area. The MOA just got an American Girl store.

Patty key*west*kids said...

I really enjoyed the interview! I have always admired Beth's creations. I just loved learning more about her! OH, and what a gorgeous little girl!!