I shop at The Gap, love khaki pants, wear dress shoes to work, drive a Honda, eat processed foods, shop at Wal-Mart, don’t wear vintage clothes, don’t have bangs, am not a member of the local roller-derby, consider myself an artist (and will say so instead of dodging the question by sounding thoughtful about what an artist really is and how that just isn’t me), listen to mainstream music like Dave Matthews Band or Five for Fighting or John Meyer or Jason Mraz, and don’t consider my long term boyfriend my “partner” or “partner in crime” (we’ll be married someday, right now he’s just that – my boyfriend, oh, and crime would indicate that maybe the authorities are after us and that’s not a good idea).
As you all know by now, I sell my yarn, spinning fibers and jewelry on Etsy. However, I’m afraid I don’t fit the Etsy mold. I worry that because I don’t look like “Etsy” when you see me at a craft show that I’ll never be interviewed by Etsy. I’ll never be featured because during the day I book events at Walton Arts Center at an 8 – 5 job so I don’t get to put cool things like “walk by the local creek while coming up with new conceptual ideas for my shop” in a list of daily activities because it’s dark when I leave for work and it’s dark when I get home from work. I fear that I will never catch the eye of Etsy because I eat corndogs from my freezer (yes, the Wal-Mart brand) instead of shopping all day at Whole Foods or harvesting my veggies from my huge garden behind my house in a pituresque part of the country (I have a drive way and a huge slab of concrete behind my house). Am I too white bread for Etsy?
I don’t think so. Oh, I know I’m generalizing what Etsy is. SO many artists on Etsy are not the vintage wearing, mary jane sporting, looking cute in their blunt cut bangs, able to roller skate and gets to go flea marketing twice a week kind of peeps, but a lot are. What sticks out to me about Etsy features, articles, interviews, etc are those people and I’m not those people.
What I am is someone who really connects with all kinds of people. I’m the best friend from high school, the band nerd, the person who can sell a funky yarn to the girl wearing the skirt over the jeans with the vintage glasses but also the girl who can sell some classy yarn to the 78 year old grandma visiting with her family at the local Farmer’s Market. I’m middle ground. I can hang with the hipsters or I can talk band camp stories with the non-hipsters (and it’s great if I can combine the two). I can be laid back with my spinning wheel dreaming of dyeing my hair pink on the weekends but also be found at a business meeting throwing the next big idea out there about how to raise an extra $100,000 on client events in a year.
I am Etsy… but I’m not Etsy.
Go figure that one out.
Oh, and once again, I will never be too important to say that I’m an artist and leave it at that. I don’t need to create a person that I’m not just because I think someone in Portland, OR will read my interview and think I’m totally cool and that we should hang out sometime. I am who I am and I’m not afraid to put that down on paper. I dare someone to interview me – as white bread as I am.