Waste Not Recycle Art: Earth Day Giveaway
This one picture shares with you 2 of my favorite things. Well 5 total: the picture, the blocks, and the 3 most important men in my life. The framed picture was taken when T was just 3 weeks old, and S was holding his hand, just below that you'll see some of my favorite pictures spelling out "Faust" (last name) The blocks were made by an amazing artist and someone I've come to call a friend. I'm excited to share with you this candid interview w/ Mandy from Waste Not Recycled Art as she shares her story, and offers up some advice! Shes had over 2100 sales on Etsy! Also in honor of Earth Day and our Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, RECREATE Webbernet Event she is giving you a chance to win 6 of your very own personalized photo blocks! What started as simply using left over scraps from construction projects, has led to using other people's scraps, home improvement store rejects and recycling "garbage", that no one has seen the value in. I make use of reclaimed wood, antique & distressed items, turning them into ART & HOME DECOR! Happy Earth Day!
How did you get started/learn your craft?
I've been interested in art my WHOLE life. My parents and grandparents were very supportive... especially my Great Grandmother Eve (whom my daughter is named after). Grandma Eva would bring me to Fay's (local pharmacy that's gone now), and let me wander around in the school supplies aisle... yup, that's right... I didn't want toys, I wanted markers and cool paper! My folks even bought me the BIG set of Crayolas- with the sharpener on the back- so I was AWESOME!
I took art classes in school, and went to the technical school for art in high school. I had the best teachers and learned so many different things. I went to college for Graphic Art... but I mostly learned how to party there. LOL I married young and had babies, but still pursued my dream... baby steps. My big break was when I worked as a receptionist in Florida (HATED it!), and the art studio offered me a job painting tacky furniture store decor for $7 an hour! I was fired from my wonderful job that day, when I told them that it wasn't my job to clean the kitchen.... BOO HOO!
Since then, I've worked my way up to murals, design, and actually fulfilled my bigger dreams. I worked on jobs for Disney, Universal Studios, and even got to design a whole section of the Palm Beach Zoo. Life was good, but my family ties were calling me home.
I moved back home to upstate NY about 8 years ago with some great projects under my belt, and quite a portfolio. It took a while to get started here, but I created my own company, and now I am busy BUSY!! My Etsy store was my side business, while I did murals, faux finishing, and remodeling.
Waste Not Recycled Art was born in the middle of the night... I literally got up and wrote down my ideas, so I wouldn't forget everything by morning! I had several pictures of my kids, on my dresser, and I looked at them for weeks trying to think of a great way to display them. My first set of blocks spelled MEMORIES, and I only made them for me. Then my Mom wanted some, and my friend... and it grew quickly! I first listed them on eBay, and a customer recommended that I check out Etsy. And the rest is history! 2100 sales later, and this is my full time gig! I still do murals on occasion, but I am so busy with the blocks, that my fiance is cutting down his hours at his "real" job, and we have several people helping with production! Life is VERY good.
If someone were to interview you for a news article, what would your headline be?
Local Artist Expands Business: UpCycled Art and Home Decor
OR The Art of Dumpster Diving!
You've reached 2100 sales on Etsy, do you have any advice or wisdom you'd like to share?
(2197 as of April 21st!) RESEARCH. Take the time to find out who likes your items, when they're shopping, what search words they use. Be descriptive and promote items in several categories. AND the key to Etsy is BRIDES and BABIES! If you can promote your items in those categories, it will bring people in to think of other reasons why they would need your product. And finally RE-LIST a few items every day. I found a FANTASTIC site for help in re-listing:
Uncle Gravy's Renewing Agent
you can set up your account to re-list items when the volume of viewers in your category reaches a certain number... i.e. it will automatically re-list an item of my choosing, when there are 200 people viewing the holiday category. SO it re-lists when Etsy is busy, but doesn't waste my money when no one is looking! GENIUS!
How do you love the Earth? (Ex. I cloth diaper, recycle, kayak, passionate about educating others etc)
I recycle everything. Sometimes we don't even have a bag to put out for our garbage pick up! We spend a lot of time outdoors- when it's not freezing out there- we love sitting around the campfire, planting flowers, and watching the wildlife. Our property boarders the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge- so we have a lot of animals around us- especially deer. And we just saw a litter of fox... CUTE little guys!
Where can we find you? (Etsy/Web/Blog/Etc)
my mural site:
and on Facebook:
|Mothers Day Prayer Block|
I think I answered this a bit in my first "getting started" answer... but yes- I work in construction. I Can build a house from the ground up- and we're working on our 1000 sq. ft. addition now. Framing, electrical and plumbing, insulating, roof, siding, drywall... and then MY FAVORITE PART... interior design! The boys' common room has an industrial look (or that's the plan if we EVER get to the fun part- LOL) corrugated metal ceiling (recovered barn roof), graffiti murals, barn wood trim, and wood floors. I love making unique spaces for them. My younger boy will have a room similar to what they had in our old house- a tree fort. I've made trees for various jobs- including the redwood trees in the E.T. exhibit at , a restaurant, veterinarian's office and the school library.
I can't wait to do my studio too: I'm using the wood from railroad ties, sliced into squares to tile the floor, my old distressed kitchen cabinets with a tree slab as the counter and glass tile back splash made from recycled bottles. AND I've been saving my wine corks to slice up (round) to make my idea wall cork board. It will have a barn wood ceiling and trim (of course) and cork pendants for lighting. I CAN NOT WAIT TO GET TO ALL OF THIS! <3
Doesnt that sound amazing!? Mandy's blocks make amazing gifts for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Graduation, Weddings, New Families, and so much more! Comment below and tell me what you'd spell out with your blocks-
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