Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet our Members: TotallyCrosses


We have so many fabulous team members here at the Disciples of Etsy. Join me in learning a little more about our very own TotallyCrosses.




1. Introduce yourself.
My name is Terri Cunningham, but all my friends and most family call me TC. My initials are TLC. Isn't that sweet? Anyway, a friend of mine came up with my business name, Totally Crosses, from my initials. My Etsy store is TotallyCrosses.etsy.com.

I have been married for almost 35 years, and we have two boys ages 29 and 19. Our oldest son is married and in nursing school at OU, and I am just waiting on some grandchildren. :) Our youngest son has developmental disabilities and keeps me very busy with school and church activities and Special Olympics. That's why I am so thankful to have a business where I can work out of our home. I actually now have a little studio out back of our house that I am so excited to have. I am a wire sculptor mainly of Christian crosses.

2. Tell us all about your business and what you make. When did you start making it and why?
I sculpted the first cross in February of 2002. I had just come home from a Christian spiritual renewal weekend called the Walk to Emmaus. Upon my arrival, I was informed that a dear friend of mine lost his son in a motorcycle accident that weekend. After attending the funeral, I came home and just sat alone with God praying for the comfort of my friend and his family. I reached for a spool of wire and started sculpting it into a cross without much thought of what I was doing. I then got some beads off of my personal jewelry and added them. I gave that first cross to my friend.

You see, this spool of wire had been lying around our house for months before I did anything with it besides just bending it and flexing it. When I was young, my dad had this type of wire in his work room because he worked in electronics. I loved messing with it because of its flexibility and feel. Unfortunately, if you messed with it too much, it would break, so I was discouraged from playing with it. But sometimes I just couldn't help it.


Shabby Chic Beaded Wire Sculpted Wall Cross

One day while in a hardware store I saw a spool of this wire, and the memories of my childhood experiences came back. I bought a spool of it knowing that I could make something out of it sometime, I just didn't know what.

After seeing that first cross, my husband, Les, encouraged me to make others. He believed they were truly inspirational and that others would love to have one. He took them to a local gift shop, and we were immediately encouraged because the shop owner bought several of the crosses he had with him and ordered more. There was a buyer representative from the Dallas Market at the gift shop that was really excited by the crosses and wanted information on how to get them for his company. However, there was no way to keep up with the demands of a buyer from the Dallas Market with just the two of us doing the manufacturing. But, the excitement was very encouraging to both of us.

Our family and friends kept us busy for months. Meanwhile, during this time, Les designed a manufacturing mechanism enabling him to wrap the crosses (still by hand) but in a way that speeds up the process before I do the final sculpturing. It still takes a long time to produce a cross, but that helped tremendously. My husband is also a wood worker and makes wooden crosses for me to add my artistic abilities to.

So now we have a small business that keeps us both very busy. I display my art at The Market by Quail Springs, I have my main website, TotallyCrosses.com, and joined Etsy in June of '08.


Mary Had a Little Lamb of God -- Wall Cross

3. Other than what you sell, what's your favorite thing to make/do craft-wise?
Besides working with wire, I love to knit, paint, learn new crafts, you name it. I can really get distracted with new crafts. Unfortunately, there is not enough time in my life to do all the different forms of art that I would love to try. Or maybe there's not enough money:)

4. What's your favorite thing about Etsy?
I love Etsy because of all the creativity that I'm not exposed to elsewhere.

Valentine Cross Ornament

5. What's your favorite thing about -- or to do in -- Oklahoma?
What I love to do in Oklahoma right now is take our travel trailer out and visit different parks and camps with my family. Of course I always take my wire and beads with me.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses, TC! We're so glad to have you on the team!

4 comments:

Adrian said...

I love putting faces to names! Your work is just beautiful, inspired!

quidessential said...

This is fantastic! I love to hear such inspiring stories.

xoxo

sewmelody said...

Thanks so much for featuring one of my favorite Etsy artists! I have purchased several of her pieces for gifts (and myself) and can't say enough about her outstanding service and craftsmanship! Not to mention she's an absolute sweetheart:)

♥♥♥♥♥♥ Wordz of Life ♥♥♥♥♥♥ said...

I have my first Totally Crosses cross ornament on the way...I ordered it yesterday! I am so excited to receive it! TC is very special and her work is most definitely God inspired! So glad to have met her on etsy!!