Today I would like to introduce you to Melissa. She merged her love for pets and crafts and started a business on Zibbet. Go grab a cup of your favorite liquid and enjoy the interview with her.
meet Melissa from Melissashandycrafts
I was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. Knoxville is a pretty good place to live because there is a little bit of everything to do, and because it’s near the mountains (the mountains are absolutely beautiful). I technically started my business in 2010 but started having some medical issues so I had to give it up. At that time I was trying to sell on Etsy. Last year I started working with an organization called Feral Feline Friends of East Tennessee and started making things for some people in the group, mostly cat toys. After making toys for the people in the group I noticed a sense of peace that I have never felt before. I’ve always wanted to work with animals and I’ve always loved crafting so it just seemed right to start my business again since I was with the group. The reason I say that is because I donate a portion of my sales to the group, which goes towards vet care, food, supplies, and more. So by doing that I’m doing two things I’ve always wanted to do most in my life, work with animals and craft.
The studio got it’s name mainly because my name is Melissa and I craft, and I’m very resourceful if I run out of something I need for a project. The original name of my studio was The Purrfect Life but it had to be changed, long story, so when I renamed it this name seemed most appropriate due to the 3 reasons listed.
I actually work with several different types of materials because I sew, crochet, and make jewelry. For the jewelry I stay mostly with Swarovski crystals, Beadalon wire (either 7 strand or 19 strand), and sterling silver is a must because I want to make something my customers can wear without worrying about allergies. I’ve just recently picked up sewing again after several years of a hiatus from it so I’m only using cotton fabric for my catnip toys, and lots of catnip. I use a lot of different types of yarn depending on the project I’m making. I love cotton yarn the most because I’m allergic to acrylic and because I use it to make my pot holders. I either buy I Love This Yarn at Hobby Lobby or Peaches and Crème cotton yarn, and I use I Love This Yarn and Red Heart acrylic yarn.
I had always known I had a creative side from the time I entered school because Art was the only class I really enjoyed and excelled at. I mainly stayed with general Arts and Crafts up until I was a teenager when my mom taught me to crochet, and when I took Home EC and learned to sew. From then on I was hooked on the more advanced stuff and taught myself to make jewelry, and the more advanced stitches for crocheting (I had only learned single crochet when I was a teenager).
My inspiration and motivation come from the same thing, helping unwanted or misplaced animals by doing something I love. Knowing that I can help them by selling my completed projects brings me great pride and a sense of achievement.
If I had to choose 5 words to describe myself with they would be obsessive compulsive (I can’t stand for a project to have something wrong with it), creative, introvert, intuitive, and rational.
you can find Melissa here online:
www.melissashandycrafts.com (artfire studio)