Next up in my Etsy Love series is Donna from DKF Design who sells hand crafted pottery and bags. Donna’s shop is full of one of a kind wonders and it is clear that each piece has been made with love. Browsing Donna’s shop gave me a real feeling of serenity. Her designs are not only beautiful, but practical too and would make great gifts for the home.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop.
I am a product designer by trade, I have been designing and prototyping soft products for infants and preschoolers for 30 years. Along the way, using upcycled denim and leftover project fabrics, I created tote bags, purses & journals for myself and as gifts for friends. I started making pottery again, as a hobby, and before I knew it, I was selling my bags and pottery at local gift shops. I started my Etsy shop as a way to gain more exposure for my designs and to increase sales opportunities.
2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.
I have a favorite line of pieces…my Sea Turtle Stamp plates, platters and bowls…..
I took my family to Maui some years ago for a lovely vacation. We spent most of our time snorkeling and body-surfing. Our favorite beach, Po’olenalena, encompassed a series of craggy rock formations, teeming with marine life that attracted a multitude of sea turtles of all sizes, colors and patterns. My daily snorkeling excursions included many close encounters with these beautiful creatures, as they accompanied me along my explorations, often swimming up directly underneath me, inviting contact as I paddled along the surface of the water. I was continuously overwhelmed by their quiet power and beauty and felt blessed to interact with them.
When I returned from our vacation, I was inspired to develop a sea turtle silhouette image that I could utilize in the creation of my work, to celebrate my love of these beautiful creatures. I adopted the sea turtle image as my Etsy shop avatar and the Sea Turtle Totem as a guide for qualities to strive for in my life. The Indomitable Turtle Totem possesses the following virtues:
Independence, exploration, travel by sea, deeper consciousness, steady energy, joy with present circumstances, self-protection, inner wisdom, strength, steady and long-lasting progress, longevity, patience, the secrets of life, Heaven and Earth.
3. What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far whilst selling on Etsy?
I recently organized a face-to-face meeting with other Etsy shop owners in my area. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other creative folks and to discuss issues that affected us all. As a result of that meeting, I have established some collaborative relationships with some of the local talent, and communication about upcoming sales opportunities has opened up amongst the group.
4. What are your future plans for your shop and crafting in general?
I plan to start selling at outdoor art shows this summer. Since I am currently selling through my online Etsy shop and several retail locations, participating in art shows will give me face-time with my customers, which I have not had to date.
5. And finally let us know where we can find you.
Thanks for sharing your shop with us Donna! I think it’s wonderful that you have organised a meet up with local Etsians. I know I would love to meet my local crafters – I think we can all learn a lot from each other (and of course we know we have a least one thing in common – a love of everything handmade!) Your pottery is stunning and I wish you every success with your beautiful shop.