I want to formally present to you the team's new co-leader: Katie, AKA Funkybella! Katie has already come with great ideas and enthusiasm for the team, so I'm very excited to introduce you to her.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Katie Winters and my shop name is Funkybella. I live in Norman with my husband, Jason. We have a cat (Saturn), a Quaker parrot (Sunny), and a chinchilla (Ella Bella. I named Funkybella after her).
2. Tell us about what you make. When did you start making it and why?
What I make is always growing and evolving. I knit, crochet, embroider, needle felt, wet felt, use resin, and wrap accessories. I also sell vintage clothes and household items. My favorite and best-selling craft is making jewelry using vintage parts. I started making my vintage jewelry after discovering some beautiful supplies from Etsy sellers. I enjoy finding different parts that compliment each other, such as a vintage harlequin stone and an antiqued gold ring band. The pieces I make have a distinctive look.
3. How long have you been crafting? When did you decide to start selling your handmade goods?
I’ve always made things. I was homeschooled for some time, and I often completed crafts as part of it. In the fall of 2008, I encouraged my sister, a fine art painter, to open an Etsy shop. I had learned about Etsy from an ad in Craft magazine. Kelly opened her shop (murphystudios.etsy.com), and wanted to know why I didn’t have one of my own. At first I didn’t think I had anything to offer, but at the end of February 2009 I opened Funkybella, and I’ve been encouraged by its success so far.
4. Other than what you sell, what's your favorite thing to craft?
I use to be a professional photographer (I belonged to a gallery co-op and was the Chief photographer for a newspaper). I like to photograph and then edit pictures. I also bake and garden.
5. What do you love best about Etsy?
I can find almost anything on Etsy! I recently traded some of my jewelry for all the seeds I needed for this planting season! I love when one of my customers leaves me feedback telling me how much they adore their new item. I also enjoy knowing my jewelry is being purchased from women in other countries (France, Canada and Australia, so far).
6. What's your favorite thing about Oklahoma?
I’ve only lived here for two years, so I’m still exploring. I would really like to go camping and visit some state parks. I feel very safe in Oklahoma; the crime rate is very low.
7. Do you sell anywhere else or have a blog: Twitter, MySpace, etc.?
I have a blog: http://shopfunkybella.blogspot.com/, MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shopfunkybella and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Funkybella/65000277844.
Yay! We're all so glad to have Katie on board. Look for her at this month's Dust Bowl Arts Festival in Norman!