To me the decision between whether to buy goods or to make them is an easy one. For one thing making duct tape accessories is my passion. I love to show off my new designs by actually using them instead of keeping them in my craft room for then they would have no purpose.
1) I first started my duct tape accessories business when I was in Middle School after I went crazy designing different styles of accessories out of tape after going to a library program where we made a very basic, flat bag.
2) I want to be a world traveler one day. Last year I did an exchange to France where I lived with a French family for three weeks and got to explore Corsica, Chatearoux and Paris, before coming back to the states to show my new french friend around for three weeks here.
3) I love making accessories so much that this summer I have used it as a before bed ritual. Most nights I make something new while watching whatever my new british television obsession is on Netflix.
4) If I had any words of advice to give to young crafters, it would be to just go for it. Don't be afraid to try something new, or take your crafts to the next level by starting a business or giving your goods as gifts. Keep in mind that the reason you craft should always be because you love it.
What got you started crafting?
I have always been a crafty child. When I was younger I would always sketch pictures in notebook after notebook, but as I got older I realized that my talent didn't lie in the fine arts but rather in the craft world. I would have to say I began my serious crafting in Middle School when I began experimenting with using Shrinkydinks to create wearable jewelry. From there I went on to making very simple bags out of duct tape after attending a class at my local library. The bag itself, although cute, was flat, with no three dimensional shape which made it very impractical. From then on it became my mission to create all different kinds of accessories out of duct tape- wallets with credit card slots, tote bags, school bags, hair accessories, etc.- and that's how my hobby was born.
What is your source of inspiration?
I wouldn't necessarily say I had a specific source of inspiration. I guess the idea that I am trying to run a successful craft business while still in high school motivates me the most. I also love seeing accessories in stores which I'd love to have but are so expensive, which I then go home and attempt to make a duct tape equivalent of.
What have you made recently?
Recently I tackled the large project of making myself a very large tote bag to use as my backpack for school. I carry around a lot of books which means the bag not only needed to be big enough but also strong enough. I started out by picking a black and white checkerboard patterned roll of duct tape, and from there went on to measure out the templates for each side of the bag. When I make my accessories its all piecemeal. I make a bunch of smaller pieces and then assemble them all together to make the finished product. I'd have to say that this product stands out from the rest of my accessories due to its large size. It measures 14" x 13" x 6" and has a cute white bow on the front. All my bags and wallets are personalized by placing a logo cut out of tape somewhere on each piece.
Another product I recently made which has grown to be one of my favorites is a duct tape wristlet/wallet. I was inspired to make this by my friend Dani who always carries around a wristlet wherever she goes. In designing my own I wanted to makie sure to keep it slim while still having all the features of a regular wallet. The finished product ended up being 4.5" x 4" and had 7 credit card slots, an ID slot, 2 billfolds and space for change.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
When I was first getting started I only made things for myself, but as I improved I began selling things to friends and family until one day when a relative recommended that I try selling things on a larger scale. Soon after I began selling my accessories in a small homemade goods store on island. The store eventually closed so I decided to start out on Etsy.com as the next big step in my business. I'm always looking to expand so that I can share by passion with others.
Besides making accessories I also run library program, birth parties and girl scout classes in which I teach tweens and teens how to make their own customized accessories.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
To me the decision between whether to buy goods or to make them is an easy one. For one thing making duct tape accessories is my passion. I love to show off my new designs by actually using them instead of keeping them in my craft room for then they would have no purpose. Also my making things yourself you save money while also being able to customize what you are making however you want. If you wanted a hot pink zebra bag with ruffles you can make it.