Amy from "ara133photography" in Pennsylvania USA, was lovely enough to accommodate me this week. Also a fellow Etsian, I found her work when I posted on my blog a couple of weeks ago about how winter was coming, refer to image 1 & 6. She has an amazing eye for detail, please do yourself a favour and stop by her shop, she is also having a grand opening sale for their newest shop.
1)Tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a silly, ovaltine-drinking, photographer and plant biologist. I love to take those personality tests - the last type I took said I am an INFP, which basically means I'm introverted and cannot tell fantasy from reality - which is basically true, and makes things quite interesting in the research lab where I am working to get my PhD in plant biology. I started painting when I was in Jr. High (I took classes from a wonderful woman in her home - I can still remember the paint-and-turpentine smell of the studio, and her beautiful paintings on the wall... and all of the art books; the old wooden tables...). And I'm not even sure when I began taking photos, but it became serious when I was in high school.
2)Where did your business name come from?
ara133photography was partially gleaned from my email address (didn't read the "you cannot change it later" fine print!), and the name for my second shop, Monko Photography, is my married last name.
4)What inspires you to create what you make?
Sometimes dreams (I have really vivid, colorful dreams about strange places!); sometimes I get ideas from music and poetry; sometimes I just happen to be somewhere at the right time!
5)What do you think is the key to achieving successful sales?
I'd have to say marketing and advertising. I think it's important to match the type of item you're selling to the venue and its customers. For example, I would have a lot of Penn State campus photos at a local craft fair, or classic nature photos... but at a local cafe I would probably put out more surreal or food-related images. The same idea applies to online sales.
6)What is your favourite music/artist/movie/book/website?
I'll warn you - I can never choose one favorite anything!! :) music: John Denver, Jack White, Bob Marley, Jewelartist: Henri Rousseau, Edward Hopper, Van Gogh book: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart - I think I've read it 80 times!website: Etsy! :) and I always check the pollen report on accuweather.com; also like anthropologie, sephora
7)If you could interview anybody in the world who would it be?
8)Where is your next holiday destination?
Ooh a holiday would be lovely!! My husband and I are going to meet my parents in the Catskills (somewhat half way between PA, where we live, and ME where my parents live), but we don't have it planned yet.
Thanks again Amy for your time and insight to your business. I must say I agree with you for your love of the Anthropologie store, I think it's my all time favourite. I have been to them a couple of times when travelling with my old job, everything is to die for.