Thursday, September 4, 2008

Etsy Artist: The Wren

Today I'm continuing my features on South African designers and artists on the etsy website. I bring you (long overdue!) artist; The Wren! I have long been a fan of her lovely fabric designs (LOVE the bird pouches), which I keep track of on her blog, and you can see more of her work on her etsy page.

Who are you, and where are you located?

Wendren Milford from Cape Town, South Africa

What do you sell on etsy? Have you been doing that long?

Hand-bags, Bigger hand-bags (or as some call them 'totes'), a bag design I call the 'Tulip Bag' that is very much like a messenger bag and cute little bird pouches for your cell phone, cosmetics or any other small essentials.

I started with Etsy on 06 March '08. I haven't been on all that long but I have given it everything so it feels like a long time.

How did you come to creating what you sell?
Last year I needed a new day-bag and spent about six months looking for one that I liked. Eventually I decided to try and make my own. I really liked how my end product turned out (what is now known as the Wren Small Town Bag). Other people saw it, liked it and I started making more. I am now proud to say I have my own wonderful hand-made label called Wren.

What inspires you?
Nature and my surroundings are my primary inspirations. There is so much available in nature to draw from – it is the biggest visual library in the world! I often spend time outdoors or enjoy drawing inspiration from photographs, drawings or pictures of nature and/or things in nature.

What is your best seller? Why do you think it's most popular?

It has gone up and down. The Bird Pouches flew out of my shop faster than I could make them in the beginning but have also hit a bit low and are now not my best seller. The most consistent seller is the Big Town Bag. I think it is because it extremely practical and looks good.

What is your favourite material?
I adore natural fabrics: cotton, linen and silk. Shweshwe for it's unique handle, feel and smell also rank highly in my favourites list.

What advice would you give someone else who would like to sell on etsy?
Go for it...

Is there anywhere else customers could go to buy your work (website or actual location)?
I haven't gotten that far yet… If somebody would like to come and see the bags they should contact me and I can arrange a viewing. I am hoping that they will be at the Stellenbosch market and a few other studio spaces soon. Otherwise, etsy (US) and dawanda (EU) are my two main outlets.

Now, completely off topic! What do you never leave home without?...

I am not very good at remembering things. I usually always forget something at home. My to-do-list (notebook), cell phone and wallet are the three things I try and always have with me. I also always have my house/car keys with me (although I often lose these along the way too).

... what's your favourite place on earth?
In the bushveld (out in nature) or far-out at sea (on my surf-ski). Both these places are quiet and peaceful and the busy world seems far far away. I can relax, slow down and take a moment to simply enjoy being.

... and, if you could do anything else, what would it be?

Like every girl one dreams about being a princess, but now I'm not so sure. I dream of what I can do with my life rather than change my circumstances. I enjoy what I do so much and often I wish I could make many of my other ideas come to life – finances are usually the problem. I would like to learn to sculpt one day – I have always wanted to learn that skill…. This is a hard question.

You can visit the Wren at her blog, her etsy shop, and see her sketches and art on etsy too (a different page). If you're in Europe, you may be interested in this page, instead of etsy.

1 comment:

Mzansi Madame said...

Wrens stuff is cool, just ordered two birdy purses and am very happy with them.