Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Introducing today's featured seller: Paula from Pootinkies

The Steel Town Etsy team is thrilled to have so many new members! We'll be featuring interviews with them from time to time.

The first of these is with Paula of Pootinkies.  We hope you enjoy our interview!

STE:  Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.

Pootinkies:  I'm Paula Luna :) I live South of Pittsburgh. I moved around a bit in my life but Pittsburgh is my heart and soul. I started my company Pootinkies on Etsy after having my son. I saw a serious need for baby things that were not your typical pink and blue. Or ducks. Or nauseating pastels in general. *gag*

STE:  Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Pootinkies:  Number one I am a Mom! I am also a pediatric nurse. I have also done ER and Labor and Delivery as well.

STE:  What first made you want to become an artist?

Pootinkies:  I don't think I ever really sat down and thought-hey! I should become an artist! I have been doing creative stuff all my life really. My Mom is like that too so I am sure I got a lot of it from her. I never really liked the latest fashions or whatever was "in". So I have always done my own thing. I am just really lucky at this time in my life that people are liking what I do!

STE:  Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

Pootinkies:  Things just come to me. My brain is a funny thing. Most of the time I am laying in bed half awake and half dreaming and I will think of something. Then the next day I will attempt to create whatever is in my mind. Everything I would want for my kid that isn't available I just try to create. Then I add a dash of weird, a teaspoon of quirky, and a touch of scary and then voila! Success! I use soft fuzzy fabrics. My favorite is cotton. I can't stand the things out there for babies in the corporate stores. One layer of half polyester half cotton doesn't do it for me when it comes to a drooling teething kiddo.

STE:  What handmade possession do you most cherish?

Pootinkies:  My zombie weiner dogs, definitely. There is nothing like them. Everyone needs one to have a complete fulfilled life ;)

STE:  Name your top five places to be in the Pittsburgh area, books/authors, movies/TV shows, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

Pootinkies:  Oh boy. This question is a tough one.  I think I am going to go with just the top 5 places in Pittsburgh:

1. Primantis-Because they do it up right. You put your fries and slaw all on your sammich. You have a cold Iron City beer to wash it down with. Then for at least an hour afterwards you must speak in a thick Pittsburgh accent that only people from here could possibly understand. It's a total out of body experience.

2. The Strip District-You can get anything you want here as far as food goes. Everything from Chinese food to Italian food to Mexican food. You can get it there. Plus I love the feel of the place. The vendors are out on the streets all summer long. It is the ultimate place to get your Steeler gear!!!!

3. Mt. Washington lookouts-You just can't get that kind of a city view anywhere else. It is breathtaking. It's cool to ride the incline up the hill and walk around on a cool summer night. Especially when there is a Steeler or Pirates game going on because you can see right down into the stadiums.

4. Kennywood Park-I love amusement parks. Kennywood has that nostalgic feel to it. Just the smells and the sounds as soon as you walk into that park. It just makes me feel like I am ten years old all over again.

5. The Point-This is a beautiful park that has an awesome fountain! You just can't experience three rivers all at once anywhere else.

STE:  What advice would you give to artists who are new to the Pittsburgh craft scene?

Pootinkies:  Be true to your own art. Don't be afraid that someone else isn't going to like what you are making. Plus-you are your biggest sales person. You can't be shy. Don't be afraid to ask your friends for a little help in the advertising department. Word of mouth is key. So don't be quiet about it.

STE:  How do you promote your work?

Pootinkies:  Facebook is a big one. I have a fan page on there that really helps. People all over the world are viewing it. I have business cards too. Plus meeting people and talking to everyone and anyone. I have met some of the coolest people just getting involved in groups like Steel Town Etsy. They are really creative and inspiring people. I have flyers and posters that I hang up in various places as well.

STE:  Please finish this sentence, "In five years I'd like to be..."

Pootinkies: A Mom of two ♥

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