T.E.S.T. Interview: Afrodelik

Saturday, December 27, 2014

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 70th in our series and is with Desiree from Afrodelik:hand drawn funky t-shirts who was interviewed by Amy Eaton of NightlyOwlKnit.

When did you open your shop? Why did you decide to open? 

I opened the AFRODELIK shop on etsy this year, 2014. I have an Afrodelik online store and wanted to introduce my tshirt brand to a bigger audience 

How long does it take you to design a new piece? 

It varies. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and am meticulous with my art. Because every design is first hand drawn with pencil, I spend a lot of time making adjustments to the design...thank goodness for erasers. The design can vary from 3-4 hours along a 1.5 week period. I rarely draw a design within the same day. I prefer it that way as I get a fresh look every time I revisit it. 

What is your background/what do you do for a day job? 

Aside from running and drawing for Afrodelik, I work as a Video Editor at one of the biggest broadcasting companies in the country. 

What brought you to Etsy? Where else can we find your products? 

 I have purchased products off of the Etsy website, because of their uniqueness, and I couldn't find it anywhere else. Etsy has some of the most creative products I've ever seen, and the best quality. You can find Afrodelik on my website at http://www.afrodelik.com/ and you can purchase it in person at Brimz Hat Boutique on Queen St West in Toronto.

What inspires your work? 

I am a huge music fan and I enjoy images from the African diaspora. I am inspired by African images, African art, music, culture and spirituality. I love art and enjoy going to galleries and checking out some of the local artist in Toronto, or any other city that I might be visiting. I am definitely inspired by fellow artist. The depthness of rhythms and melodies in music inspire me. It's about the flow that I feel and I go with it. 

What are your goals for your business in the coming year? 

I am looking to draw a new collection of tshirts that will be accessible to an even bigger audience, keeping true to Afrodelik's message. I will be adding more designs on the etsy store, and as well, I would like to make Afrodelik my full-time gig. 

What memorable responses have you had to your work? 

My customers and admirers of the brand love the bold colours that I use, and comment on the colour combos that I put together. They love the images uniqueness and comment how they can distinctly recognize an Afrodelik tshirt design. 

What's next for Afrodelik? 

More designs, Bigger shows and more time on making Afrodelik full-time. 

Check out the other items available from Desiree in her Etsy shop. You can also find her on these other social media outlets:

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/1976Dezi  
AFRODELIK Commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blw-U4HW8Ww

Desiree was interviewed by Amy of  NightlyOwlKnits, December 7, 2014. 

T.E.S.T. Interview: Nightly Owl Knit

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 69th in our series and is with Amy Eaton of NightlyOwlKnit who was interviewed by Desiree of Afrodelik.

What is the story behind your shop name Nightly Owl Knit?

When I finally decided to open a shop the first thing I thought about was a name. A lot of my friends in the city are writers so I decided to ask for help. When one friend sent me a list of five or so I wasn't keen on any of them. It wasn't until she asked me about it in person and said the name Nightly Owl Knit out loud that I realized she was playing with the words nightly I will knit (I thought I was the only one who missed the joke, but turns out my Mom, who works with me on the shop, was also in the dark until our first show when I pointed it out). After that I knew I had it and got started on a header for my shop.  

When did you start knitting? What was the first piece that you created?

I'm not sure exactly when I started knitting, but I think I was about ten. I know it took me a few tries to learn, but my Mom was a patient teacher. My first project was a scarf, funny because now they are my least favourite thing to make!   

Can you tell us more about yourself?

Sure! I love all kinds of crafts and really enjoy going to workshops to learn new techniques (I tried out loom weaving a few weeks ago and had a blast). I like to buy vintage and used items and remake them into new things. Some of my best projects are a 70's prom dress that is now a fun party dress, and a set of granny square pillows that I crocheted out of a deconstructed sweater. During the day I work as a graphic designer at a publishing company downtown. On evenings and weekends I like to play volleyball, floor hockey and go running with a local group (I like to joke that I'm a bit of a jock haha).

The Knit Boot collection is really neat. What inspired you to create that series?

I finally bought a pair of Hunter boots late last winter and was really happy with how dry they kept my feet. I did not however, love how floppy they were around my calf or how chilly my feet got on cold days. After shopping around I figured that I could make my own socks and got my Mom to help. She sews and knits the liners and I work on the cute toppers. This winter has been great with the socks and I'm already brainstorming new patterns for next year.  

What inspires your work?

Most of my projects start off as gifts for other people. I see something online or at a store and want to try making it myself. It was actually a co-worker who pushed me to open my store. I made her a deer head trophy for her birthday and she was adamant that other people would want them and that I had to open an Etsy shop.  
Where do you enjoy most knitting and crocheting?

I most enjoy knitting at home with my Mom (my Dad hangs out with us too too, but he's not much of a knitter). When I'm not visiting my hometown I usually knit and watch TV, I like to think it justifies my binge watching. 

Check out the other items available from Amy in her Etsy shop. You can also follow her on Instagram

Amy was interviewed by Desiree of Afrodelik, December 7, 2014. 

T.E.S.T. Interview: Fabric and Felt

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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 68th in our series and is with Ivona Olszewska of FabricandFelt who was interviewed by Melissa Fournier of PenelopePixelArts, December 15, 2014.

Tell me a little about yourself and your shop.
I have been creating for about 10 years now,I started with jewelery then took a break to take care of my family and had my two kids. While being stay home Mom I needed something to work on so I started cross stitching just for fun and that got me into needle works. I tried crocheting, knitting and then sewing and fell in love with the last one. My Etsy store is just the beginning of my life adventure with sewing. 

You have some adorable stuffed toys! Tell me a little about your process -- from coming up with a new idea to completed product.

Every few months I feel the need of creating something new. I usually start with searching thru my books, magazines and the web, then I make few drawings, transform them into templates and start working on the first toy, then the toy goes to my kids for testing while I look out for anything that needs improvement.

What got you into working with fabric and felt?

I love the endless possibilities when working with felt and all the different patterns in fabrics.  

What's your favorite experience related to creating felt products or opening this shop?

I love working with felt because I don't need to worry about fraying.  

Is there anywhere else customers can find your products?

I do only craft shows for this moment but beside my Etsy store I have Facebook page and a Fabric and Felt blog.  

Any new products in the making? If so, can you give us a sneak peak by telling us a little about it?

I started working on few new toys, there is a moose, a mouse and a penguin in works.

Check out the other items available from Ivona in her Etsy shop. You can also follow on Facebook, and read more on the Fabric and Felt blog.

Ivona was interviewed by Melissa Fournier of PenelopePixelArts, December 15, 2014.

Vendor call: Leslieville Christmas Pop-Up

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

They are holding a Pop-Up in Leslieville and have about 10 spots left for some amazing artists to participate! Find out more here.

Annex Flea

Monday, December 8, 2014

The special two day holiday Annex Flea is this weekend! Details, including a list of vendors is here.
They are also in the middle of their 12 day of giveaways-- from December 1 to 12, they are giving away a gift a day to for someone who successfully answers the day's trivia question. Find details on that here. Vendors include TEST's own Black Iris Design, Jennifer Rong Design, Sprout's Press Design, Sudsatorium, Red Rocket Vintage, FoldIt Creations, and more!
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