Steel Town Etsy is pleased to present Mandy Giehll of M. Giehll Creations. Lover of mixing and matching different colors and textures and of all things handmade, Mandy's shop is brimming with eye candy. "Etsy allows me to combine all of these things I love," she states in her profile and her offerings show off her diverse interests. Get to know a little more about Mandy and her incredible work below...
Tell us a bit about yourself: name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.
Hello, my name is Mandy. I am married to my college sweetheart Matt and we have a two year old son named Jackson. I've lived in Western, Pa all my life. I grew up in a small town called Oil City. I graduated from Mercyhurst College in Erie in 2003 and moved to Pittsburgh a few years later. We live in the South Hills which is where my husband grew up. I love all things handmade. I have to credit my mom for my love of crafts and vintage things. I have such great memories growing up and going to local craft shows and antique shops with her all the time.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Besides being a mom to an awesome little boy :)... I am a part time bartender at the Sharp Edge Brasserie and have really come to appreciate good beer. I love to spend time outside with my family and friends. I love the summer and fall. It also seems like someone is always having a picnic or BBQ. There is always a festival or fair to go to. And I love sitting by a camp fire and enjoying good company.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I really have never thought of my self as an artist, just creative. Throughout my life I have always had a creative outlet of some sort. I was a dancer from the age of three right through college. I started making hemp jewelry one summer to make some extra cash. Then when we were planning our wedding, I decided to make the centerpieces for the reception, which turned into topiaries. My latest creative outlet is my wrapped bangle bracelets. I love making them!
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
My creative process is pretty random. When it comes to the bracelets, I never know what they are going to turn out like. I usually pick up a few strands of yarn and start wrapping. Sometimes I like how they turn out... sometimes not so much, so I start over again. I make a lot of my things while my son is napping or late at night. It is my way of unwinding for a bit. I love working with silk flowers, hemp, yarns, beads. I also love photography and plan to dedicate some more time to it this summer.
Name your top five places to be in the Pittsburgh area, books/authors, movies/TV shows, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
1. The North Shore for a Steelers Game...there is nothing like the atmosphere there during a tailgate party before the big game. So much fun and half the time its with people you don't even know.
2. View through the Fort Pitt Tunnels....every time I drive through the tunnels coming from the South Hills I feel like I should take a picture!
3. Primantis...nuff said.
4. Kennywood Park....an awesome park with such an old time feel. A great place to spend a hot summer night.
5. First Niagra Pavillion...or as I call it "Star Lake". I love going there for a great concert. Lawn seats are reasonable and it's always a fun time with friends.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to the Pittsburgh craft scene?
Just go for! I am as new as you get :) I am hoping to participate in my first craft event in the coming months. I really try to spread the word about Etsy to anyone I know who is an artist. It is such a user friendly way to share and sell your art. It's also very inspiring.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I love the alchemy feature. I love making custom orders and also putting out bids for things I cannot find anywhere else. The treasury is fun too, I just wish I could make more of them....always seems like its full.
How do you promote your work?
I do a lot of promoting through my Facebook Fan Page. I have great family and friends who keep the word of mouth going too! I will be the first to admit that I am not the best at self-promotion. Come to think of it....I need to make those business cards.
In five years I'd like to be...
Still happily married with a little brother or sister for Jackson. And, of course, still fueling my creative outlets. I also would like to devote more time to my photography.
Thanks for your time, Mandy! Check out M. Giehll Creations at http://mandygiehll.etsy.com
M. Giehll Creations was also recently featured at the Daily Diva Dish. Take a peek: http://dailydivadish.com/2010/02/17/etsy-find/
We're thrilled to have you as a part of the STE team!