Revolution Co-Op Collective

How did you get started on Etsy?
I’ve shopped on Etsy for a while, and have been crafting and involved with fine art ever since I was a child. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to make some money doing things I love. Who doesn’t want to do that? Plus, with the state of the world and economy right now opportunities are much scarcer than they used to be. One has to go out and make opportunities. I like the idea of being “the master of my fate”. Plus, as Thomas Edison said, “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”… and I’m ready to sweat!

What was your inspiration for your shop?
Again, with the economy taking such a drastic downturn the past few years I thought it was time to try and do something to help myself financially. Then I looked around and saw all these great friends in the same boat – some have been laid off, others are just not making enough money to survive as the cost of living sky-rockets and salaries remain stagnant. So many of my friends are creative and I wanted a place where everyone could take advantage of the gifts and talents the possessed and turn it into a way to help support their families and themselves.

What’s your favorite shop item and why?
Trying to decide on a favorite item in my shop is a little like asking a parent if they have a favorite child – and regardless of what a parent says they do have favorites to one degree or another. While I love everything in my shop (if I didn’t I wouldn’t have it there), I do have a few that resonate on a deeper level. My Cherry Blossom/Sakura Embroidery piece was the first thing I had embroidered since I was a kid, and it was the beginning of a renewal of creative expression for me. Plus, as a Washington D.C. area native Cherry Blossoms have a special significance for me. I also am personally drawn to the jewelry pieces in my Gypsy collection. I love the vibrant colors and most especially love the necklace. I love knowing that each Gypsy necklace I make will always be a little different depending of what beads I have at the time, but that it will always be a piece that is colorful, and looks like it has a history and a story to tell. I like that idea that whoever owns a Gypsy necklace can even make up stories to go with each bead. The idea behind it was that it’s made of items collected over years and in the course of a life’s journey. Lastly, I love my Alice in Wonderland Onesie. I recently became and Aunt to my lovely niece, Alice (who also happens to be my model for the onesie). She was the inspiration for this item, and I can’t wait to see what else she inspires as she grows.

How do you unwind when you’re not creating?
I know most people love to watch TV and movies, and listen to music – there’s a reason entertainment is one of the US’s biggest global imports – and I definitely do, but, it’s more than just a way to pass the time and unwind. I love the storytelling aspect (oh, did I mention that I also love to read) and I hope to one day work as a screenwriter. My best friend/roommate and I are writing partners and have three completed scripts so far, about a dozen more in various states of development, and are trying to get some representation in order to make our dream of a writing career a reality. If you’re gonna dream, dream big… that’s the last thing you want to skimp on. So, of course a lot of research is always in order… where’s the remote?

What’s your favorite kind of cupcake?
Is there such thing as a cupcake that isn’t a favorite? I will never say no to a cupcake, but I must admit that I’m more of a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting kinda gal. And throw in a few sprinkles for good measure, will ya? Though, lately, I’ve been on a bit of an orange kick, so if I could get a cupcake with a little Grand Marnier action going on I’d be as happy as a pig in slop.

What pushes you to want to create something?
Creative motivation can come in many guises. Sometimes it’s a song that I  hear, looking at a piece of art or something in nature that inspires and gets the creative juices flowing. But often it’s the fact that I’m trying to build a business, and without product there is no business. So it can be the more pragmatic, but no less important, motivation of a healthy bottom line. Getting to the day where the shop is in the black is a reality I look forward to living. One thing that is always a factor in what I make is the question “Is this something I would want to buy?” If I can’t say yes, it’s not getting made, and it’s not going in the shop.

What’s your favorite cartoon as a kid? As an adult, if you stumble upon it while channel surfing now would you stop & watch?
As a kid I loved all the Schoolhouse Rock cartoons on Saturday morning… my Uber Nerd-dom began at an early age. In fact it’s how I learned the Preamble, which came in handy in my High School Government class when we all had to recite it from memory! If I came across it on TV today I would absolutely stop and watch. However, I don’t have to rely on catching them on TV – I have them on DVD.

What’s your fantasy job?
Featured dancer in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Since I’m almost 40, haven’t danced in any real capacity since I was in high school, have arthritis in my knees, and am about as white as they come (seriously… in the winter my skin glows… the pitfalls of a Anglo Celtic ancestry), it will remain a fantasy. Instead I satisfy my love for dance as a spectator and fan.

Do you have a secret guilty pleasure?
I’m a Bravo junkie, there… I admitted it. It started innocently enough, a little inside the Actors Studio here, a little Project Runway there. Then came along Top Chef, still perfectly respectable “reality” TV. Then the others came along… Housewives, Bethenny, Millionaire Matchmaker, Flipping Out, Rachel Zoe, Salon Takeover… and they just keep coming. I’m not proud of it, but it’s like a drug – it feels so wrong and I just can’t say no.

List 3 things you are so obsessed with it is torture to ever say no to.
1. Travel – If I could spend the rest of my life traveling the world I would be in heaven. Instead I snatch a road trip here, a holiday to Europe there (more here than there). Someday I hope I can take off anywhere at a moments notice, until then I have to satisfy my wanderlust through Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown. And, not unlike Sandra Bulloch in while ‘You Were Sleeping’, I keep my passport on me at all times… ’cause you never know.
2. Baubles, bangles, and BEADS!!! It is virtually impossible to walk into a craft supply store and not leave without more beads, chains, findings, etc. I could drop thousands without even breaking a sweat, if I had thousands to drop. And online… don’t even get me started.

3. Its cliché, but shoes and bags, shoes and bags, shoes and bags. Now, I’m not talking super-extravagant $400 shoes or $1000 bags. Personally, even if I had that kind of money to spend I don’t think I could bring myself to throw away that much cash on either. But, take me to DSW and I’m in heaven/hell. Heaven, surrounded by all those wonderful goodies – Hell, because I’m lucky if I can afford to buy just one thing there.

Do you have a favorite author? When you read, do you use a proper bookmark, bend the page, or grab anything
handy to mark your place?
I’ve been in love with books since I was three years old. There have been many favorite authors throughout the years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Steven King, Edith Wharton… but only one has changed my life so profoundly as Toni Morrison. I was introduced to her almost a decade ago, a directive to read Beloved. It changed my life… the prose, the soul, the way the book hit me in the gut and changed how my very molecules felt. I had never imagined, in all the years I’d been reading, that a book could transform the very air around you the way that Beloved did as I read it. I’ve been in love with her writing ever since. If you have never read any of her works I can’t urge you enough to do so.

Have dozens of proper bookmarks, many marking pages where I’ve sadly neglected a new read. In a pinch I’ll grab a scrap of paper to mark a page. I will NEVER bend the page… it actually hurts me to bend pages or crack spines. I imagine the book screaming out in pain if I do. Books are some of my most prized possessions I try to keep them as pristine as possible.

If money was no object and you can live wherever you want, where would that be?
If money were no object I would have homes all over the world. Apartment in Paris, townhouse in London, villa in Tuscany, vineyard in the Virginia countryside, beach house in Malibu. Most of all would be an exact replica of the house in Practical Magic… the tower, the garden, the kitchen, the greenhouse, the herb pantry, the rugged coastline, and a black cat or two.

What is your best childhood memory?
Standing on a step stool at our kitchen counter, maybe five or six years old, next to my Grandma as she made apple pie from scratch. I always got a little knob of pie crust dough that I would roll out in a thin sheet with my miniature children’s rolling pin, then placing it in a small tin, and filling it with fresh apples coated in sugar and cinnamon. I remember how easy she made it seem, and how I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to as I pushed my rolling pin back and forth. Years ago, before she passed, I asked my grandma to show me how to make her pie. She talked and walked me through it, a little pinch of salt here, a dash of cinnamon there… but I still can’t make pie like her. Luckily though, I still believe I can do anything I set my mind to.

Find more handcrafted items from Revolution Co-Op in her Etsy shop and follow on Facebook to catch the latest news.

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