Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interview: Gingermelon

These interviews are starting to be a regular thing on my blog and I really hope you're enjoying them as much as I do. I fall in love with blogs or Etsy shops all the time and I really like to share them with you. I must say that it's also a great way to satisfy my curiosity, getting to know better who's behind all of these wonderful creations.
So today, I'm delighted to have Shelly and the beautiful creations she sells in her Etsy shop Gingermelon.
Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
My name is Shelly and I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I'm originally from South Africa and my family immigrated to Canada when I was 17.
I've always been fascinated with art, and even from a young age was sketching and colouring whenever I could. 

How did you start your shop, Gingermelon?
About three years ago, I came across an article in a magazine that featured a Canadian artist who had an Etsy shop. I had never heard of Etsy and was very intrigued about this new handmade place, so I immediately typed the website onto my computer and a whole new world was opened up to me! What a fabulous place for sharing anything and everything hand made!!
At that time, I just got myself registered on Etsy as a buyer and for the next year, I bought items from all over the world. Mostly, I was buying fabric, trims, felt and other wonderful items I could not find locally. 

I am a huge fan of Japanese culture and am very inspired by their cute,  sweet, kawaii designs. After much thought, I finally decided to make some cloth dolls that would have hand embroidered faces and outfits made from the Japanese fabrics that I'd been collecting. I really wasn't sure how well they would do, but, by some miracle, people started buying them and also requesting little outfits to go along with them. From there, I started expanding my collection to little felt bears, bunnies and kittens and also ventured into making art dolls with paper clay.

As time went by, I started getting many special requests for things I had made and, at first, this was wonderful. But, I was finding it very hard to keep up with the custom orders and always felt a little stressed out, especially when I had more than one or two on the go. I work from home as an apartment manager, as well as a hairstylist, so my projects are squeezed in between taking care of the building and hair appointments.

Because my sewing skills have always been limited, all of my creations are designed to be as simple for me to make as possible. With this in mind, I decided to make the patterns for my Sweet Stufflings available to others who loved to sew, and from there, each new design I come up with is eventually converted into a pattern. I keep my patterns very easy to follow and include hand drawn illustrations along the way to help guide the sewer at each step.

What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
I love reading the feedback that my customers leave for me and also enjoy seeing pics of their finished creations - it's so amazing to see how others interpret my patterns!
I am very passionate about what I do and customer service is extremely important to me. I want my customers to feel that they're getting something special when they've ordered from my shop!

How and where do you advertise your business?
Most of my advertising is done through my blog and usually, when I've come up with a new pattern, I always do a little giveaway with them. Facebook and Flickr are also great ways for me to let friends know what's new in my shop and also what I'm working on next.

Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells handmade?
For those new to selling online, I would suggest that you invest in a good camera and take some time to learn how to use sites like Paint Net or Picnik. They offer excellent tools to fix lighting issues, sharpness, brightness etc. I cannot live without them as we live in a rainforrest and it can be quite gloomy here for many months!


  1. Oh my goodness, so completely cute! Thanks for highlighting this store!

  2. Absolutely adorable!! Thank you so much for introducing this store here!

  3. Such a nice and cute.Which makes little children , girls loves the stuff.Its gonna be fun have this kind of stuff.

  4. Wow! I love these little stuff toys. They are so cute. I wonder how much this will be if available in department stores.