Interview: MrsGibson from Etsy

This is the first in my interview series with talented designers from the wonderful world of Etsy.  "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade," Etsy is the online marketplace for one-of-a-kind creations at  affordable prices with over 4.7 million items currently listed.

Welcome to MrsGibson's Atelier based in England, where you can "expect to find the highest quality, most delicious handmade accessories and jewellery in all the land."

 MFT: When did you first start designing your creations?
MrsGibson: "I have always been a *maker*, sewing from a very young age, drawing, building things, but it was only after I gave up my job in London, in 1999 and moved to Dublin (my husband's job was relocated) that I had a re-think regarding my working life and decided I would extend what had been hobbies into a proper 'job'. From that point I started to think about where I wanted to go with it and committed more ideas formally to paper."
MFT: Who or what inspires you to create?
MrsGibson: "I have an emotional need to create, I would feel lost if I didn't and I get a lot of inspiration from films and literature, fashion and glossy magazines. Pop culture, my immediate surroundings and family. I love old vintage nick nacks, the Victorians and famous historical figures."
MFT: What was the first item you ever sold?

MrsGibson: "Wow, I don't think I can remember, it was probably a greeting card or a little tote bag and it would have been on eBay or at a craft fair or village fete."
MFT: What led you to start selling on Etsy?
MrsGibson: "I discovered Etsy at the beginning of 2006; it was very different then and has developed brilliantly. I would trawl the internet for suitable venues or for forums to touch base with other crafters. The craft scene in the UK was far behind the US in terms of innovative art lead design and there was no real viable online venues at the time for UK crafters to sell. It is catching up quickly but at the time Etsy was the natural place to be."
MFT: Describe the concept of your store.
MrsGibson: "I have three Etsy stores (Samski*art, TJ Spanky), with my main 'Mrs Gibson' store I wanted it to feel like an old fashioned department store or Victorian emporium, a place to get nice little trinkets and jewellery items either for gifts or to treat yourself. "
MFT: Tell us about your favorite item currently listed.

MrsGibson: "I love them all but I have a special affection for the buttons bracelets, I make them in affordable silver plate, a fun piece of costume jewellery or in sterling silver with vintage glass buttons. I have a special place in France that I visit and buy antique and vintage gems.
MFT: What was the most challenging piece you’ve ever made?
MrsGibson: "I guess the most challenging was the button bouquet I made for my sister-in-law's wedding. She is allergic to the pollen in flowers and was having a 'make do and mend thrifty' and recycled themed wedding so it fitted well to make a bouquet. It was made up of pearlised antique buttons that she had inherited from a great aunt and old broken vintage crystal jewellery. It looked fantastic and I was very proud of it, the most challenging in that all the materials were very fragile and so laden with sentimental value but also the most fun as I created a beautiful piece of art that my sister-in-law can keep forever."
MFT: As far as style, what are you into right now?
MrsGibson: "I love an eclectic mix of old and new, I like clean lines, old 60's Swedish design, Ercol furniture, etc., mixed with old nick nacks and curios."

MFT: Besides Etsying and creating, what else occupies your time?
MrsGibson: "My two sons and my husband, keeping on top of the housework and my garden, I try to make time for day trips out to get inspiration and cozying up at home with a good book or a thick glossy fashion mag. I also have a backlog of DVDs to watch."
MFT: Anything you’d like to add?
MrsGibson: "I would just like to say to anyone out there who wants to give up their day job and follow a creative dream then really do go for it, there is nothing better than having a job you love, I don't feel like I am working I just feel like I have the best life."
Thanks to MrsGibson for her wonderful insights on crafting and sharing her treasures with us. Please be sure to visit Etsy for unique and fun gifts for everyone, for anytime of the year!