Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bottled Up Designs...Etsy Featured Seller

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Laura Bergman, and I live in a very rural wooded area in the Lancaster Amish Country. I am married with 2 kids, three dogs, and two cats.

Do you have a blog?
Currently, I do not, but after seeing the remarkable talent on Etsy, I would like to start something as well to feature some of these remarkable stores.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
Well, when I was little, my grandmother was very skilled at all things needlework, and had us all making things using crochet and knitting. To this day, I still love to hand crochet lace doilies because it reminds me of being little in that wonderful old house she had.

What inspires you?
When I was taking a walk in the woods one day, there was a baby deer and it's mother laying in the leaves. When they caught my scent, of course, they were off. Where the fawn was laying was the jagged remains of an antique Noxema bottle, as there are numerous old bottle dumps in these old woods. I was devasted thinking of what could be happening to this beautiful wildlife with all the old glass laying around, and simply started picking it up and creating things with it.

Where do you create?
I have an official "studio"! OK, well, really my husband built me a lovely work bench in a corner of our basement that is now covered with all types of antique glass.

What are your favorite materials?
Antique glass of course! I have been an antique bottle collector for 20 years, and can pick up most pieces laying about and tell you what it was and what it was used for. It's wonderful using something with history behind it, instead of something being turned out in a factory that takes a lot of natural resources to produce.

What is your favorite thing to do with your creativity?
I am always amazed at how beautiful this antique glass is once I dig it out of the dirt, clean it and work with the pieces. Sometimes I just move the pieces around, and hold them up to the light, and imagine what they could be.

Why should people buy handmade?
Don't you agree in this day and age of mass production the simple knowledge that someone sat down and personally brought that piece or product to be with their special touch and creativity is so special? If anyone has a choice, I think most people would prefer handmade.

Any tips of wisdom on selling handmade stuff?
It's certainly hard doing the actual selling, when you just love to create. I guess the only wisdom is to try to find what makes your products unique and set apart from the others and go with it.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am an advertising manager for an Equestrian Manager. I have been there for 13 years.

What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?
I guess to believe in your craft, and understand it's real value.

In ten years I'd like to be ... exclusively making a living off of my Bottled Up Designs!

Three of her products that can be found in Laura's Shop, Bottled-Up Designs.
(Pictures of these three items are also listed through this feature,
just click on the picture to be directed to the item)

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