ME: We'd like to know the basics. What is your name, your Etsy shop name, shop url, blog url, and what you make, do you have a family, pets, etc.?
RUTH: I’m Ruth Kubierschky, my Etsy shop is Ruth’s Creations at Ruth's Creations Etsy Shop. I’m currently blogging at Ruth's Creations Blogspot and Ruth's Creations Twitter (I’ve got more posts up on Twitter at the moment). I crochet, most of what I’ve been doing is baby blankets and hats but I do keep an eye out for ideas to expand my product line. I have two teenage children, a 13 year old boy and 17 year old girl, who are developmentally disabled (my son has ADHD/Asperger‘s and my daughter is, for lack of a better word, retarded).
ME: How long have you been doing your craft? How long have you had a shop on Etsy? Do you do crafts shows and fairs as well as Etsy? Where else can we find you to buy from you?
RUTH: I first learned to crochet when I was a kid. Back in 2000 or 2001 I made a couple baby blankets for a friend whose two daughters were pregnant, at the time everyone who saw them raved over them and said I should try making more to sell. I started out on eBay but found that my blankets weren’t selling there. From what I’ve heard since then, eBay isn’t generally a good market for handmade goods to start with. I’ve had my shop on Etsy for over two years now, will be three in June. I haven’t done any craft shows yet, as I have Epilepsy and can’t drive and transportation tends to be difficult. I don’t have any other online venues yet but I am considering branching out and am researching other websites.
ME: Who/What inspires you in your craft?
RUTH: The reason why I do it or how I decide on patterns? For patterns I have loads of pattern books where I find things to adapt, changing stitches or yarn types, that sort of thing. An example of this is the Cotton Candy Cowls I have listed right now, the original pattern was rounds of single crochet and I made them using a shell stitch I found in a blanket pattern.
ME: What do you like least about your craft? What do you like the most?
RUTH: What I like least? My hands get sore too fast sometimes and I have to take frequent breaks. This actually kind of worries me in terms of how long I’m going to be able to continue doing this as a business, my mom used to knit a lot and she can’t do it any more because she has arthritis in her hands now and it hurts too much. What I like the most? It’s fun! Crocheting is so enjoyable and relaxing it really doesn’t feel like work at all, sometimes I think my work time looks more like most people’s idea of leisure time.
ME: What’s a normal day like for you?
RUTH: I don’t really have a typical day. Some days after I get the kids off to school I work on my crochet for a few hours while the morning talk shows are on & then work on the computer blogging and listing after lunch. Other days I end up on the computer most of the day and work on my crochet in the evening after the kids go to bed. I’ve had a few occasions where I lose track of time and end up crocheting most of the night! When that happens I usually take a long nap the next day while the kids are at school, just to catch up on my sleep.
ME: What advice would you give other Etsy sellers or crafters just starting out?
RUTH: I don’t really know, I haven’t done nearly as much as I’d like in terms of sales so sometimes I feel like I’m still just starting out myself. Just do everything possible to keep learning and improving yourself and your craft, I guess.
ME: I see that your are donating a percentage of your profits to some charities -- can you tell us a little about them and why you choose to do that?
RUTH: My kids and I have been fans of Daniel Radcliffe ever since the Harry Potter films first started coming out. My daughter and I actually went to see him in Equus on Broadway in NYC in September. I’d recommend anyone to go see it, Dan himself and the production in general were absolutely brilliant! Demelza House Children’s Hospice is an organization that Dan has supported and promoted for several years, they provide hospice care for terminally ill children. As I understand it they’re run mostly through donations, clients who can’t afford to pay for their services don’t have to. Children’s Hospital in Boston and Camp Allen are organizations that my children’s godmother had services from, she got all her medical care at Children’s and went to Camp Allen, which is a summer camp for people with physical or developmental disabilities, for several weeks every summer. She passed away earlier this year and I wanted to have a fundraiser for them in November in honor of her, since her birthday was in November.
ME: What is your workspace like? Do you listen to music when you are making your items? If so, what kind?
RUTH: Crocheting is wonderfully portable, I don’t really have a special work space. When I’m home a lot of the time I’ll crochet while I’m watching TV or listening to a podcast on the computer (usually the FlyLady Channel on www.BlogTalkRadio.com). I also always bring a project along when I’m traveling; there have been many times that I’ve worked on a project during train rides into Boston for doctor’s appointments, for instance.
ME: What is one of your best moments as a crafter? A fond memory?
RUTH: I love all the positive comments from people who have bought or even just seen my work, it’s a good feeling that people enjoy it so much.