Good Monday to you! It's the beginning of the work week, and the end of a month. Hard to believe we're half way through 2008, isn't it?
I had mentioned in a previous post, that we would be doing things a little differently here on The Downtown Boutique. We no longer have "Tots on Tuesdays", but we will still be featuring some fabulous artists and crafters and giving away some wonderful gifts. We will be doing reviews on products, and even giving some of them away!
So today, we will be featuring Vana of Le Papier Designs. At Le Papier Designs, you will find one of a kind customized + handmade stationery and invitations, as well as fresh and whimsical artwork.
Vana started "drawing" when she was 3-4 and according to her parents there was something in those early drawings that helped set the stage for the type of work she does now. Vana says she actually "mastered" it in high school during her preparation to be accepted to the architecture school.
Vana loves to cook and has just started to learn how to knit (but this is far from a talent-more like a hobby). Living in Europe for most of her life helped her become fluent in Italian, French, Greek and of course Albanian.
The reason Vana started selling on Etsy is because she wanted to find a creative outlet to relieve herself from the stress of a busy day (which she is sure is the same reason why a lot of others started selling on Etsy) and pick up on her creative side. Vana says, "I love being a mom and working part time from home has been such a huge blessing. But at times I found myself doing the same things over and over again and had developed a routine....Selling on Etsy has kept my creativity going. I would say if you do something out of love and passion you will succeed no matter what. Plus I think I might be a bit too determined. There are so many creative people selling on Etsy which have inspired me a lot. And the positive feedback from the client is always a nice bust of confidence and helps me to keep doing what I do."
Typically, about 95% of Vana's orders request custom prints. "And this is the part I love the most. I know it makes a huge difference and sets me apart from other sellers who might offer children silhouette artwork but not the option to customize the silhouettes."
Since becoming a mom, Vana has kept working on her profession part time from home. At times she misses being part of the office life, but says it helps to stop by every week for a couple of hours. On the other side, the blessing of being home with your child to watch him grow is truly priceless and she wouldn't trade it for anything.
Vana loves going on walks with her family in the late afternoon. It's the best thing and helps them catch up before the end of the day. Playing at the park with her 3 year old is fun as well. If she wants to take a moment for herself, she likes going to the local coffee shop, sipping coffee and reading something or finishing up a pencil rendering.
I asked Vana, if she could take a month's vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why? This is what she said: "There is no place like home....and I don't mean home here in the US but the home I grew up in Southern Albania. My parents live by the most pristine beaches. Every year we spend 2-3 weeks with them. For a change I would love to visit Southern France (the French Riviera) and Northern Italy as part of my vacation. It would have to be by the beach though as the best vacation for me has to have the beach in it."
Vana, thank you so much for taking the time to "chat" with me, and to give our readers a little glimpse of your life and your business.
Le Papier Designs is giving away a fun, Personalized Silhouette Print for a boy or girl. This is an 8x10 print, and Vana will personalize either the boy print or the girl print, just for you.
To win this print, please go to Le Papier Designs and take a look around. Then come back and leave a comment about which of her products is your favorite. (My favorites? Click HERE. And HERE.)
Deadline to enter is Sunday, July 6th. We will draw a winner on Monday, July 7th. Please be sure to only leave one comment and please leave a valid email address.
If you mention this giveaway in your blog, please send me the link to your blog, and you will receive an additional entry.
Don't forget, if you own an Etsy shop, you can enter to win one of two EtsyMini Advertising Spots here on The Downtown Boutique.
Also, you can enter to win a gorgeous piece of jewelry, valued at up to $25, from Moondog Cottage.