Monday, March 3, 2008

Featured Artist Spotlight....Annie Howes!!!

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Annie is truly one of the greatest people I have *met* online. Smart, funny, talented, creative, etc. She is all that and a bag of chips. I came to know Annie from an Etsy Street Team, formerly known as Swanky Designing Moms. The team is now Fabulous Artistic Moms and through this change our sisterhood has grown stronger. I learned of her Etsy shop through this team and a mutual friend, ChamberryCherry, and I was immediately drawn to her pendants. Specifically, the one featuring a Native American Wedding Blessing. This same prayer was recited as part of my own wedding ceremony and I knew I had to have it! I am thrilled to own something so personal made by the hands of a friend. Thanks, Annie!

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Okay...now here is more information about Annie. I asked, she answered!


MJ: How long have you been creating/designing? When did you first learn you had a creative side?
Annie: I’ve always been a creative type person as far back as I can remember. Imaginative play was a big part of my childhood. I spent hours on end drawing horses and later, designing the “Ultimate Barn”. In high school I developed a love for painting and photography. This naturally paved a path for studying art & design in college where I majored in Visual Communications Design at Purdue University.

MJ: What is your inspiration to create? What is your motivation to succeed?
Annie: My inspiration to create is my drive to learn something new every day. I love to work with both my hands and my mind. I enjoy the challenge of trying something new as much as striving to find perfection in what I create. I don’t do anything half way. I’m also inspired by beauty and textures and emotions and I hope to be able to reach out to people with my creativity to evoke some kind of emotion. These challenges keep me focused and help foster my creativity.

MJ: When you are not working on your craft, what are you doing?
Annie: I have a few interests outside of crafting and design. When I’m not working (ie: building websites, creating brochures and packaging, and other chores that pay the bills), I enjoy spending time with my daughter, my husband, and our 3 dogs. We live on 5 beautiful acres and have a large vegetable garden with dreams of bountiful harvests. Someday, we hope to build a fence and barn for horses.

MJ: Do you belong to any groups on Etsy?
Annie: I belong to Fabulous Artistic Moms (FAM) and Etsypaper.

MJ: What is on the horizon for you? New products? Etc.?
Annie: New products are always on the horizon. I enjoy offering products that can be personalized, such as my charms, pendants and matchboxes.

This year I’m focusing on creating a lot of non-personalized inventory and taking part in craft shows. The Mini Albums have been a great addition to my Etsy store and have been well-received and I believe these will also do well at the craft shows. The updated Luxury Mini will be replacing my existing inventory of Mini Albums. It has such a wonderful feel to it and really is a remarkable, luxurious and solid product that I’m very excited to offer.

Being a web designer, I already have two websites, www.anniehowes.com which is an eCommerce site I launched before finding Etsy, and a promotional website www.howesdesigns.com which I use to pedal my skills as a graphic designer. I also have a blog where I update customers on new product launches in both stores, and where I enjoy featuring fabulous items from Etsy anniehoweskeepsakes.blogspot.com. These three websites keep me quite busy, which means I stay out of trouble.

MJ: Share one thing about you that you think would surprise people?
Annie: I served 4 years in the United States Navy as a Radioman, and served overseas during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I’m not really the military type so this little known fact is usually surprising to people I meet.

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Check out Annie's Etsy Shop.... AnnieHowes

5 comments:

luv4sams said...

Wow, what an awesome review and Annie deserves it!

Annie Howes said...

Thanks for such a wonderful feature! I'm ... speechless :o)

Nikki said...

Wow, this is a great interview. I had know idea Annie was in the military.

Leah said...

I love her scrabble tile pendants - so cute!

Sock Monkey Island said...

I really enjoyed reading about Annie and her work what a lovely lady :) Thankyou x