To kick off the series, I would like to introduce Blair Stocker:
Please introduce yourself (actual and professional name) and describe your areas of expertise
I am Blair Stocker of Wise Craft Handmade (wisecrafthandmade.com). I am an avid upcycler and DIY'er, with a current focus on quilting as a tool for upcycling. My first book, Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love, covers many different ways of upcycling and decorating our home with meaningful handmade things. My newest book, Wise Craft Quilts: A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork, focuses on quilt making with meaningful fabrics from our lives. These can be fabrics we've collected in our stash simply because we love them, or fabrics that have significance in our life's story, such as a wedding dress or childhood bedroom curtains. I am a firm believer that fabrics like these shouldn't be stored away in a drawer. Cutting into them and making them into a quilt that is used daily can provide so much satisfaction and joy in our lives. (More info on my books here)
What is your background and how did you arrive at your current job(s)
I studied Apparel Design and Merchandising in college, and straight out of college began working in my chosen field, Textiles and Design, for various clothing lines and fabric mills. I loved it! I literally played with pretty colors and fabrics all day long. I did that up until I had my daughter, who is now 18. Over the years of being at home with the kids, I discovered that I missed the creativity of my former profession, and began dabbling in all kinds of projects to decorate our home, both with the kids and on my own. I began recording all of these crafty projects on my blog, Wise Craft, back in 2005. I quickly discovered the power of an online community and loved it. Having a place to keep my creative projects and write about them helped me over the past several years become very focused and clear about the things I love to make most and what my own style is. I formed Wise Craft LLC in 2013 and made clear goals on what I wanted to do moving forward, creating a little business for myself.
How many hours a week do you devote to your job?Because I am usually creating something every day, that is somehow related to my business, I'm tempted to say 7 days a week! But I think its accurate to say 5 days a week, about 6 hours a day. I try to remember that a reason I choose to work for myself is the flexibility. I have 2 teenagers at home and get to be in "mom mode" when I'm needed.Where do you physically work?I have a full studio and office in our basement.
What do you sell and how do you sell it?I sell my work on my own website, wisecrafthandmade.com, on Etsy- https://www.etsy.com/ shop/WiseCrafthandmade I also teach classes both in person and online for CreativeLive, and do commissions when there is time.What are you working on now?In addition to doing trunk shows, teaching, and lecturing for my newest book, which just came out in March, I am launching new classes this Fall on my site, which I'm really excited about! Its a large undertaking, and I'm working a lot of the content behind the scenes. I am also having fun doing #100daysofthreaddrawing to develop the whole free motion quilting side of what I do. Its been a really fun challenge, and I need to keep trying new things or else I get bored.What do you do when you are not working?I probably watch way more reality TV than I should, I also love just hanging out with my family. My daughter will go to college in the Fall so I'm following her around like a lost puppy.Perhaps an indelicate question, but people starting out want to know - what are your income sources?My main income sources are my books and in person teaching and speaking. Printed quilt patterns are next in line, then online sales are last.If you could give one suggestion to someone starting out, what would it be?The hardest part for me was the time spent making free content, visual things for my site, etc. That is all important and the pay off comes much later. Some days (or weeks) I felt like all I was doing was making free stuff (sometimes still do!) but also realize that its all a part of being an online presence. We are constantly educating the consumer about our brand.Where can people find you and/your products? (FB, blog, website, IG, Twitter, storesWise Craft Handmade- http:// wisecrafthandmade.comMy Etsy shop- https://www.etsy.com/shop/WiseCrafthandmadeMy Craftsy shop- https://www.craftsy.com/profile/wise-craft-handmadeWise Craft Facebook page- https://www.facebook. com/blairwisecraftWise Craft Quilts Facebook Page (for fans of my newest book to meet and discuss projects)- https://www. facebook.com/groups/ 234669506942328/Instagram- https://www. instagram.com/blairs/Pinterest- https://www. pinterest.com/Blairwisecraft/Twitter- https://twitter.com/ blairstockerMy YouTube channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN44M3I4p3RI-TVLDn3yaUQ