This week I would like to introduce Dawn Correspondence
I met dawncorrespondence through Plurk. Her name is Amanda and I love logging on in during the day to seeing her funny plurks. Every so often I go pass her Artfire studio to take a look at one of her newly designed stationary. Dawncorrespondence is a Virginia native just like myself and wanted to show off some of what Virginia artist are all about.
Here is my interview with Amanda
What is your name.
Amanda owner of Dawn Correspondence, etc.
Where are you located Country/ State?
Richmond, Virginia! USA
Tell us about yourself and what you make.
I am a compulsive paper crafter! I create customized stationery and invitations, and have recently gotten into creating gift boxed stationery, handmade envelopes, and gift tags. In other news...I hate sleeping (I'd much rather be crafting). I enjoy writing. And I love cooking.
Who or what inspires you?
I am most often inspired by nature. I get my best ideas while I am on a long drive and have the opportunity to really look at things. Many of my color palettes, shapes, and forms are developed from something I saw outdoors, or an idea I formed while I was outside.
When and How did you learn your craft?
I began painting and drawing at a very young age. I took my first art class the summer after first grade, and just continued from there. In high school I was passionate about painting, which turned into my inspiration to go to college for interior design, where I then decided to switch majors to graphic design, and minor in interior design.
Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
It is a stress reliever for me. When I am creating something with my hands, or working on a new design, I forget about everything else, and I am content. It is also a truly amazing feeling to know my stationery is a part of someone's wedding, birthday, or simply helping make someone's day brighter. Seeing my customers happy and excited is a huge reward in itself.
What is your craft ”philosophy”?
I must say I sat here for a long time trying to come up with a catchy phrase for my philosophy but got nothing good! Anyhow, I believe handmade products are more "genuine", if you will, than mass produced items. Mass produced items contain no thought, no imagination. Handmade artists truly love what they do, and put their all into what they create. I've really made it a point to buy as many handmade items and gifts as I possibly can.
Have you always made things and if so, how long?
Oh, yes! I started making pot holders when I was a child. I have closets full of drawings and paintings I have made over the years. As I got older, I started making scarves. I've taken metal classes where I have made over-the-top jewelry and bookmarks, I've made silk wall hangings, I've made furniture models...what haven't I made?!
Do you do your craft full time or part-time?
Can I do both?? Haha. I have a full-time job, and I craft part-time, but I guarantee I put in at least 30-35 hours a week crafting and marketing my shops. Luckily, I love it, so it's not a burden. My plan is to be crafting full-time within the next year or less, though, so I have that vision in mind during the wee hours of the night (or morning!) when I am fulfilling orders or preparing for an inventory change.
Can you reveal a little about your creative process?
As I mentioned earlier, I get my bright ideas typically when I am outdoors. I keep a notebook and pen handy with me at ALL times just for moments like these, and I keep an ongoing list of my ideas (I am a compulsive list-maker!). The thing I enjoy most about my creative process is that when I return to my office and am ready to get to work - my interpretation almost always turns out different (and hopefully better!) than my original idea or thought. Occasionally, I will do some sketching if I have a swarm of one idea, but most of the time I go straight to the drawing board on the computer. I'll typically finalize something and leave it for a day or so, and then return to it for any new changes or ideas I may have before finalizing and printing.
What motivates you to do you craft?
My customers! I have the best customers I could have ever hoped for. They have helped me to become better at my craft, and are so encouraging through their comments and words. I just love to see my customers happy when they receive something that I have created for them. And also the fact that I have so many ideas swarming around in my head that I don't think it's ever going to be possible to create them all!
How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
Make it a "happy mistake!" Any mistake (in art and crafting) can be turned around into something beautiful or unique.
Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you? I have multiple! I have an office where I do all my designing on the computer. After the designing and printing is done, I move to the living area where I have a corner of paper, supplies, glue, etc. where I can assemble, package, and prepare my products for shipping. My lightbox has also taken over the kitchen...basically the house looks like a craft store.
Why is crafting good for you?
It relieves my stress. Once I am in the "crafting zone" I am free from all other thoughts and concentrating solely on creating some beautiful and unique.
What kind of support have you received from family and friends regarding your craft? I have received nothing but amazing support from my friends and family. In fact, I would not be where I am today without them. They encouraged me for years before I decided to start selling my handmade products. They are also willing to give me constructive criticism when necessary, which is also great to have! It's nice to know they don't ALWAYS tell me my products are great just because they are family.
What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
I don't think the internet has had an impact on my craft, per se, but it has certainly had an impact on my ability to sell my craft. Right now, probably 90% of my craft sales comes from online sales. The internet has been a powerful tool in marketing my items as well. I have also made some great crafty friends through the internet who have been a wonderful source of ideas and encouragement - I count on them on a daily basis. I wouldn't be in business at all if not for the internet!
Any advice you may want to add to someone who has started or is thinking about start a craft and selling?
Make sure you are passionate about what you'd like to create because it is hard work! I never imagined it would be this much work, but I love every minute of it! Not only will you need to be a crafter, but you will also need to be an advertiser, a marketer, an accountant, and an assistant! Be prepared to do the tasks you don't necessarily want to do to keep sales managed and coming in.
I want to thank Amanda for allowing me to feature her and her beautiful and colorful stationary. Please take the time to visit her online shops at
Etsy shop www.dawncorrespondence.etsy.com
Artfire Studio www.dawncorrespondence.artfire.com.
Photos provided with permission by dawncorrespondence
Thank You you for stopping by.