Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team member SARAHDERAGON

...And we're back with the team interviews...
sarahderagon interviewed by fauxsure

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
I offer all kinds of fabulous hair accessories from small flower clips to headbands with brightly colored feathers and of course glitter! I actually just started playing around with creating veils too!

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I have been selling on etsy for less than a month. I set up my shop because my best friend (emintaos) has had an etsy shop for awhile and was always raving about it. She and I talk a lot about strategy, marketing, photography and building community - so having the shop actually keeps us in constant communication, which is nice because she's a busy stay at home mom. Originally, I came to etsy as a shopper because I'd rather buy handmade and I adore their daily emails - so many wonderful treasures to choose from. As far as selling anywhere else, I recently tabled the craft show at Homo-A-Go-Go and will be doing another show in San Francisco in September. I was also approached to present at the ArtDyke monthly salon in Berkeley in September where I'll talk about how I do what I do - I'm excited.

Where do your ideas/ inspiration come from?
I think that my love of old movies and glamor are my inspiration. Luckily in the queer community I see inspiration around me everyday in the community - I love femmes because you know what, they know how to command attention when walking into a room and I try to put that into each one of my designs. It is actually harder for me to design smaller things vs. the big bright over the top pieces! Editing is a constant struggle in my design process.

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?
My work process is sporadic - I have spurts of creativity when I can churn out 6 pieces and then there are days when I feel totally bleh about the glue gun and spend my time flipping through magazines or doing research on the internet. Lately, I have been designing in 3's - so I'll go get 3 big flowers or 3 colorful feathers or 3 little sparkly accent pieces and then design with those as the main focus. Some of my pieces have many many steps - take for example my design called "Jingle Bell Rock" - I have to go find the ugly Christmas sweater, cut it up, paint the edged with Fray Stop, let it dry for 24 hours, adhere it to some felt, let that dry for 24 hours, clean up the edges, secure it to a headband, photograph it on a model, shoot it in a lightbox, edit the photos, come up with the blurb, price it and THEN it goes up on etsy. Phew, that is kind of a lot of work, but you know what - I love it!

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Feathers, glitter, flowers, tulle, buttons (with the backs cut off) and felt.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?
Sometimes I feel like my entire life is a creative project!! I'm surfing the fun-employment wave, so yes, I have lots of different things going on right now.

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I like spending time with my wonderful partner, walking my pitbull mix named Pork Chop, baking, yoga, hanging out with my friends and I am trying to do more professional photography.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
My queer identity is integral to my designs. I don't think that my designs resonate with the hetero community as much because I keep hearing women say, "Oh, I like your stuff, but I'd never wear it" or "I don't want to attract that much attention to myself" and as a femme - I don't even think about that stuff. I am unapologetic in my fabulousness and I think that my designs help point out the fact that yes, I'm a big queer and I have no problem wearing a big feather head piece out to brunch with my friends. My hope is that I can set an example for the straight girls - do it - be out there - attract attention - wear something gorgeous in your hair - you deserve it!

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I adore that there is a Queer Etsy Street Team because when I was at Homo-A-Go-Go I was talking to other queer crafters on etsy and we all talked about how, for us, etsy was lacking a sense of community. I think that this team is important because of the visibility it provides us as artists/designers, but also lets other queers find us, so that they can spend their gay dollars in our shops. I know that when I buy something I'd much rather go support a queer business, so here we are, now support us. There is so much creativity in the queer community and it doesn't surprise me that so many of us perform, make crafts, sing, etc... I think having a hub where we can connect across the country is vital to our survival. My hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team is that our blog continues to thrive, that we get to know one another during chats and one day that the daily email features all things Queer - cause you know we're amazing!

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