Monday, August 11, 2008

Cabin + Cub Design


Valerie Thai, Vancouver, Canada
Cabin + Cub Design
Website: www.cabinandcub.com
Shop: cabin.etsy.com

Valerie makes the sweetest collages - love the dash of nostalgia that goes into each one!


1. How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as simple, cute and modern with a hint of nostalgia thrown in.

2. You've sold over 300 items via Etsy and your goodies are stocked in multiple shops - can you give us some advice on the best way to get noticed. Is it just a matter of luck and good timing or do you have a recipe for success?

I started off doing local craft fairs, which I found to be a great way to promote my goods in the community and get direct feedback on the things I made. From doing a few fairs my first year, I also got my first batch of wholesale orders from some local shops. A lot of retailers I met have told me they like to visit art/craft fairs to seek out fresh and new local products to carry in their shops.


Etsy has been great venue for promoting my items worldwide too. I try and list items often as well as list a variety of items to keep the store fresh. I also am a part of Poppytalk Handmade, which I find is another great site that helps promote my items.


3. One of the hardest things for artists to do is to stand apart from everyone else. How long did it take you to come up with your own style, signature look and products? What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own niche?

Some things I have made in the past that I thought would sell well and be well received failed horribly, and vice versa...

Not sure how long, since it has been an ongoing process for me... so I feel like my style is always and still evolving. The only advice I have is to not be afraid of experimentation when trying to find your style. Some things I have made in the past that I thought would sell well and be well received failed horribly, and vice versa... so you just never know.

4. Who is your idol/current artist-crush?

My current art crushes include:
Julie Morstad
Marcel Dzama
Alyson Fox
Ashley Goldberg and Drew Bell

5. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills and how do you find the time to do both?

Not full-time yet. My main job is as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. I do a lot of print work for non-profits, art organizations, and socially conscious/sustainable companies. Because I freelance, I have a flexible schedule which lets me do both things.

6. Can you share with us a couple of blogs that you've recently discovered and love?

Newer blogs I love include:
http://bkids.typepad.com (Bloesem's blog for everything kid)
http://www.pikaland.com/
http://printpattern.blogspot.com/


7. You, like most people enjoy the process of making & crafting and didn't get into it for the sake of "business". Eventually you found yourself having to make the transition from crafter to a businessman. What have you learned so far and what advice can you give others in the same situation?

Stay positive... not everyone everywhere will love what you make, so don't take a rejection personally.

To always keep it fun and enjoyable....if you stop enjoying the making & crafting, then it will show in your products. And to stay positive... not everyone everywhere will love what you make, so don't take a rejection personally.

8. If you could put your products on the shelves of 3 more shops, which ones would you choose?

- Reform School
- Rare Device
- Colette

Thanks Valerie!!

2 comments:

Melissa de la Fuente said...

So wonderful...I love Valerie's ideas of staying positive and not taking things personally. Good advice! Lovely work and I bet Reform school and rare device coming knocking soon! :)
xo
Melissa

M. said...

i love those collages at the top of the post-so lovely! and a very nice interview to read. thanks for sharing :)