T.E.S.T. Interview: Lively Loops

We hope to introduce you to all the great Etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 43rd in our series with Jackie of LivelyLoops.

Tell us about yourself.

I like to think of myself as a writer, actor, comedian, director, producer, editor, content creator, designer, knitter, photographer, and the "queen" of my own marketing campaigns which is a lot, but I like being in control of my passions and managing my time in such a way where I can continue practicing and developing each skill set. I find more often than not that the skills I learn for one pursuit gives me skills that applies to another.

You have theater/ performance background, and now you just opened an online knitting business. Do you see any link between them? Are you still pursuing your career as a comedian?

I am still pursing my career as a comedian/performer, yes. My writing partner and I are in the process of making an original play that will come out later this year, and we also create video blogs or sketches every week for our Youtube channel.

There are surprisingly a lot of links between knitting and comedy! The improvisational skills I have learned through my comedy training can help me “go with the flow” when designing my products. Sometimes things come out differently than you see it in your head, but the more I embrace it, and work with that change instead of against it, the happier I am with the end result.

There’s also a lot of similarities between marketing my comedic projects and my knitting projects. In both cases I use social media to get the word out, and I’m beginning to translate my knowledge of video making and photo manipulation to create supporting video and collage projects for my upcoming collections. I feel that the more I incorporate who I am into my shop, the more it develops an overall style or flare.

Tell us about your shop. How did you get into this Etsy business?

I began knitting for my friends and family, and noticed that everything Etsy could teach me about creating, selling and marketing would be immensely beneficial to me. The things I create are still things I would give to my friends or family and I make sure that everything in my shop is something that I would wear, and would suit my personal taste. I try to make everything practical, but playful.

It seems that you're also interested in fashion and jewelry items. Are you planning to offer different items other than Knitting related products?

Perhaps in the future, yes. I have a long term goal of learning how to sew, but for now I use that interest to create monthly wardrobe inspiration compilations with a local jewelry artist, Elisha West who runs DaisyViolet Jewelry. We incorporate our products into each theme, and in that sense I feel like I can express my “divalicious side.” The following link is our work so far: http://pinterest.com/jackieamodeo/lively-loops-and-diasy-violet-jewelry-monthly-outf/

How long does it take to develop a product from start to finish? Can you explain the process?

It varies depending on what I’m making. The items I have in my shop (with the exception of scarves) take 1-3 days to make, but on top of that, there is the designing and mistake making in the process. It all starts in my head, and occasionally makes it to paper before I dive into knitting my concept. I even have ideas for collections I can do next year, but that idea is certainly going to evolve and become different from the idea I initially had.

Do you also do custom made items?

I do make custom items! That is most important to me. I like that feeling of creating for my friends, and when people request something special from me, I like to try to make them feel like they're receiving it from a friend.

The customization isn’t limited to my items either. I love to learn, so if a customer loves something I don’t supply, I’m more than happy to find a similar pattern to what they are looking for and make it to fit their needs.

Check out the other items avaiable from Jackie in her Etsy shop! You can find more of her work on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Interviewed by Ken of KRokoArt in January 2013 in Toronto.

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