We have a special treat this month to hear from our dearest retail parter, Ellen Hutson! Let's tune in and see what Ellen has for us to share.
1. Let us get to know you better! How did you start crafting and motivated you to start your crafting store?
It was the year 2004 when I first discovered rubber stamping. I had walked into a local store a couple of times and had been intrigued by what I had seen, but I dove in head first when a dear friend hosted a little class using stamps that had been brought over from Sweden. I was instantly hooked and began researching - books from the library, information on the computer, and magazines that were in abundance at that time, covered my dining room table along with the supplies I could afford. When I could find the time or entice my children we would take an outing to a stamp store in my region. It was like I was a giant sponge as it brought me happiness to absorb, learn, and try every technique I could find the supplies for (shhh – don’t tell my husband – I still have too many of those supplies sitting on my shelves J).
In 2006 I met a dear friend, Karen Lockhart. Karen encouraged me to sell the Lockhart Stamp Company products on the internet. It was a little thing that was easy to accomplish from one shelf in my laundry room – I could do that and take care of my girls. It is still amazing to me that such a simple dream had a life of its own. Life puts us in places and leads us to what is simply extraordinary! There have been bumps and bruises, long days and nights but this little dream has provided me with many years of joy! I have been surrounded by women with compassionate hearts, extraordinary talent, and a belief in me that I have felt I cannot let down. My passion for creativity and art and the certainty that this simple hobby can bring so much joy and stress relief to those who get involved continues to push me on those hard days and helps to keep me striving to make a difference in others’ lives.
2. Is there any technique you think that is a really popular in the crafting world this year?
I have always loved techniques – techniques captured my heart from the very beginning! The two techniques I am in love with this year that I see as being at the forefront are watercolor techniques and foil (copper, rose gold, gold and silver). How can one resist when like little birds we are drawn in to the sparkle and simply gorgeous color!
3. How about your favorite technique to use when crafting?
My crafting sessions are too few and far between as of late, but the one thing I will always love to do is color! I find coloring to be a huge stress reliever and love to still grab my Prismacolor Color Pencils together with my Copic Markers or a brush and watercolor paints and simply color. I never seem to get around to finishing a project and actually making a card, but I do love to color the images.
4. Tell us some of your favorite card designers you like to follow via social media.
I have to admit that I am so very grateful to Brandy for her assistance with our social media channels. She has been on the lookout for the many talented designers both advanced and beginners who are showcasing their beautiful work on their blogs and Instagram accounts so that we can share them on our account. It’s like going down a rabbit hole when you start trying to figure out who is my favorite - there are far too many to name! BUT like a mother with her children I am so very proud of the gorgeous work that our designers and guests share in the CLASSroom. Many have been with us for years – I am so very grateful to them for sharing their incredible talent and education with the world on our behalf!
5. Any advice for those who like to stay current with crafting community trends?
Trends have always been something that I have had an interest in studying and predicting. As an interior designer I would have the good fortune of attending seminars on how to predict what we would see next in the world. This passion has been allowed to continue as I try to take an active part in working together with Julie and my team here at work to help bring you products that we believe will stand the test of time and yet push the edges of the trends we are passionate about. We always try to think about how we can use existing supplies with new and upcoming trends in hopes that we don’t break our customers budgets, but allow them the option of exploring and learning at the same time. It isn’t always about the latest and greatest in my opinion but rather about what brings you joy; what is it that you can learn something new with to keep your minds active and engaged. It’s about doing what you love with what you have and adding that one little something special and/or trendy to the mix to spice things up J
6. Last one just for fun! Can you tell us your favorite Altenew stamp set and why you love it?
This is an unfair question for someone who LOVES flowers and sentiments! There are SO many lovely stamps to pick from but if I have to choose then today I am going to pick the Majestic Bloom set because it reminds me of the amazing “fluffy” poppies my mom grew in her garden and I love the “voice” behind the Painted Inspiration sentiments. Thank you for inviting me to share a little of myself with you today – it is an honor to do so and we are so very thrilled to carry and share the Altenew stamps and dies in our store!