Today I have the pleasure to feature another amazing creative mind: Patricia, fellow Italian and owner of Memi the Rainbow. I hope you're gonna love her creations as much as I do!
1 - Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
My name is Patricia, I was born in Carrara, a little town in Tuscany known worldwide for its white marble and because it's a second home for the greatest sculptors and artists of all time… Maybe my passion for art comes from this influence… I don't know, but I really love everything that involves creativity. I've lived in Paris for about three years and I must admit that this city is an endless source of inspiration for me, a place where I can nourish my love for art.
2 - How did you start your business, Memi The Rainbow?
I wouldn't really define it business… At the beginning, my creations were just for friends and relatives… then I realized that many people liked them and I decided to start a blog where I could show them and share them with a bigger audience.
3 - How did you choose the name of your shop?
Memi is a term of endearment that I use for everything I love and find cute. The rainbow represents hope, what pushes you even when everything seems to go wrong, just like that old song, "Over the Rainbow", that says to never stop believing in your dreams and to try and make them come true, because “somewhere over the rainbow” they might become reality…
4 - Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
I studied to be an accountant in high school and philosophy at university… so I would define myself as self-taught, even though I've always loved to draw and to create small objects. Now that I live in Paris, I enrolled in art school, where I hope to refine my drawing skills.
5 - Do your creations support you economically? If not, do you have another job?
As I've said, I consider this activity to be more a passion than a job.
6 - What are your main sources of inspiration?
I get inspired by everything around me. For example, I love to take long walks in the streets of Paris and to be captured by little details, maybe hidden ones, to bring them to light and give them all the visibility they deserve… because I think that details really make the difference. I also get inspiration from Japanese culture from which, for example, I learnt the technique of hand carved rubber stamps.
7 - What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
I always get very emotional when I see someone wearing one of my creations. Usually, it's the people I know who wear them. But recently I met a girl in a café wearing my Red Riding Hood brooches on her sweater; I didn't know her and I was so proud.
8 - How and where do you advertise your business?
Mainly through my blog, ma also on sites like Flickr, where posting my photos gets me visibility.
9 - Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells handmade?
My first piece of advice is not to consider what you're about to do strictly as business, as it can be very frustrating, especially in the beginning. Be very patient and follow your passion, you'll see that you'll get results with time. In fact, people who create handmade items know that the act of creating is itself a satisfaction.
Maybe try to shoot good photos that highlight the unicity of your work, so that more and more people can appreciate what you make.
Read my previous interviews:
* Pattern Runway