Featured Handmade Artist- whatnomints

Hi! I'm super excited to introduce you to an incredibly fun etsy seller- Sasha from whatnomints.etsy.com. I think if I lived out East, Sasha and I would be bff's. Not only is she a scientist (I started out as a bio major in school) but she's crafty too! I love her quirky geeky science geek designs!

Featured Handmade Artist- WhatnomintsLove this Pleasure Molecule Felt Ornament!

Check out some of her other super fun designs:
Featured Handmade Artist- Whatnomints

Hi Sasha! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Sasha: Scientist by day and Crafter by night! I work during the day as a research assistant in a molecular biology lab and in the evenings I stretch my creative fingers, stitching quirky and cute felt goodies. I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania and currently live in Lambertville, New Jersey, a beautiful and quaint little town located on the Delaware River.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

My most memorable, childhood project has to be a giant plant cell I created for a biology class assignment. As a kid I ALWAYS went over the top when it came to assignments that involved going to the craft store, and this cell was no exception. I fashioned the cytoplasm from that gel-type candle wax and hand-formed all of the organelles from clay. To this very day I am so proud of that plant cell and I still have it, sitting in my parents' basement!

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from a lot of places. A lot of my chemistry and biology-related goodies come from my love of all things science. I love to try and bring science to people in fun and interesting ways, and I think my vibrant little microbes and embroidered molecule hearts do that! Some of my more nature-oriented items are inspired by the things I see around town when I go on my daily runs.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

It's quite simple, really: Once I have an idea in my head, I figure out what color combinations are speaking to me that day and get to work tracing and cutting shapes of Eco-Fi felt for the item. Once cut, I hand-stitch and hand-embroider every detail you see. Then, I add a magnet/loop of ribbon/pin (depending on what I am making), stuff it with a tad bit of Poly-Fil for shape and finish my stitch!

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I don't really have any handmade family heirloom to speak of, however, every year my boyfriend and I give Christmas ornaments to each other (in an attempt to fill up our scantly-decorated tree). The first year we did this, he made me a blown egg "Curious Orb" (a character from the popular video game "Portal" - So geeky, I know). It's important to me because it marks our life lived together and on our own (we met in college and have been together for over 5 years now).

Curious Orb

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

Make what you love, provide excellent customer service and support your fellow Etsians. Okay, I know that was three, but I think they are all absolutely necessary to be successful. When you create what you enjoy, it shows in your work - Customers will see this. Buyers won't necessarily remember great customer service, but they will never forget when it's terrible. I always try to be attentive and do what I can to give my customers the best experience. Finally, I seriously believe that what goes around, comes around (in the Etsy world at least!). I promote and support my fellow sellers on my blog, in Treasuries and will sometimes shoot them a quick Convo when I find one of their items particularly striking! Numerous times, these talented people will turn around and support me or even make a purchase from my shop - I have also made a few friends as a result!

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/whatnomints
Blog: whatnomints.wordpress.com/
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/whatnomints

What are the three websites you couldn’t live without?

foodgawker.com/
www.goinghometoroost.com
en.wikipedia.org

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Well, I am nearly finished applying to graduate schools - I want to go back to school to earn my PhD studying in environmental chemistry. So in 10 years I see myself graduated and either continuing post graduate education or doing some kind of field work and perhaps starting a family (which is very weird for me to say now, but I will be 33 by then and I think that will be around the appropriate time for those sorts of things). As for my Etsy shop? I will be honest in saying that I really have no idea what will become of it - I am certainly having a blast and it is definitely something I want to keep up at least as a hobby in the future. Either way, handmade will always have a special place in my heart.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Hmm, probably the ability to travel anywhere in the world instantly. Something like this would come in handy on regular days when I realize on my way to work that I left my coffee on the kitchen counter or when I arrive at the grocery store only to realize that the list was forgotten at home. I could also travel anywhere in the world whenever I wanted - Want to go to Germany for a beer this afternoon? Sure! *Zap* And I'm there! (Apparently the sound of instant travel is "zap" ...)

Thank you so much Sasha!!! It was a pleasure featuring you and your shop this week! Please check out Sasha's shop!
http://www.whatnomints.etsy.com