It may surprise you to know that I own a sewing machine. I don’t sew, at least not well, but I try. Or I stare at my sewing machine and start to have a panic attack. The thing intimidates the bejeezus out of me. My fabric scissors scare me more, but the sewing machine is a close second in my list of the most terrifying things ever. It’s not like yarn; you can mess up with yarn, decide to start over, and that’s ok because you really can’t ruin yarn. Even decoupaging doesn’t scare me like sewing. But anyway, we aren’t here to talk about my fears… Let’s talk about someone who actually can sew!
This Feature Friday we meet Mary Ann of Ovation Studio. She makes the cutest little coin purses and zipper pouches I’ve ever seen! Funny story actually; before I had decided that she would be this week’s feature, I was shopping around for a notions case, and I happened to bookmark her shop as one to keep in mind. But there I go talking about myself again. Let’s get to know Mary Ann a bit better, shall we?
What is your name/shop name?
Mary Ann: My name is Mary Ann and I live with my husband Cameron. He inspired me to name my shop “Ovation Studio”. When I told him I was thinking of starting a business to use up some of my fabric stash, he gave me a standing ovation!
I’m a quilter and long time sewer, so I have shelves and shelves of fabrics. It is so hard to throw out even the smallest piece. And like so many crafters, my supplies seem to spill over into most rooms in the house.
You might notice by my spelling that I am Canadian and often add an extra ‘o’ or ‘u’ to some of my words.
What types of items do you sell?
Mary Ann: I sell affordable, well made coin purses, pencil cases, lanyards and padded zipper pouches. They are perfect to carry money, ID, keys, phone, IPod, camera, cosmetics or small electronics. I have 3 or 4 of them in my large purse at all times filled with one thing or another.
I’ve recently introduced lanyards at the request of a few nurse and teacher friends.
I wear one around my neck with a small pair of scissors and a seam ripper attached, when I’m sewing.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Mary Ann: I opened my shop mid November, 2011 – just 4 months ago. I am really pleased with how well it is doing and with all the wonderful customers and people I’ve met. It amazes me that I’m sending my little pouches to all parts of the world, Australia, Brazil, Norway…to name a few.
How did you get started with your craft?
Mary Ann: I learned to sew in grade nine and it quickly became a way of life. If I wanted a new dress for the school dance, I had to make it. Christmas presents came in the form of piles of fabric.
Later I became a Home Economics teacher and taught others to sew. After staying home with my 3 children and then some retraining, I returned to teaching and became a Specialist Teacher of the Blind. It has been very rewarding.
What else do you do when not working on your shop? Anything else would you like the blog readers to know about you?
Mary Ann: When I’m not busy with my shop, I’m walking, volunteering, reading, spending time at the cottage or “gameing”. Every second week I meet up with friends for an evening of board games and a glass of wine. We have a hoot!
My favourite activity is spending time with my family – hubby, 2 sons, 1 daughter, 2 little granddaughters and 1 wee grandson. Life is good.
Where do you get your inspiration? Both for your craft and life in general?
Mary Ann: My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. I have many more ideas that I have time, and I’m always making lists of what I want to make next.
There are so many fabulous fabric designers, prints and colours that I’ll never run out of ideas.
Honestly, she inspires me to try sewing again. Or stare at my sewing machine until I give up and buy something from her shop. 😛 Go check out her fabulous selection of adorable pouches at Ovation Studio!
*If you are interested in being next week’s featured seller, please send me a message through my Etsy profile, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your Friday everyone!