Interview with Diane Toepfer of Ferdinand

If you visit or live in Maine you owe it to yourself to stop by Diane Toepfer’s wonderful shop FERDINAND located at 243 Congress Street (right up the street within walking distance of the Angela Adams studio). If you aren’t lucky enough to visit FERDINAND in person, don't despair! FERDINAND is now selling on etsy.

Ferdinand has a wonderful variety of “fashioned by Ferdinand” and vintage “found by Ferdinand” items including jewelry, cards, tshirts, kids clothes, handsewn underpants, patches, potholders, magnets, tote bags, journals, tissue cozies, stickers and more!

In keeping with etsy’s current handmade kid’s showcase, Diane has a fantastic variety of the cutest baby cards and onesies. The honey bear onesie is just too cute!

Before flying out to San Francisco for the Renegade Craft Fair, Diane had a chance to complete an interview for the Maine Team blog:

What brought you to the state of Maine?
I am from California and met my sweetheart there. He wanted to come back to the East Coast and so we sort of eloped.

When did you first open up your brick+mortar shop? Your etsy shop?
I signed the lease on my shop the 1st week I was in Maine. This is a crazy thing to do, but it worked out somehow. That was 7 years ago. My main website came a year or so later, and I've been late to get it together with the etsy bandwagon- but I launched it this past February.

What inspired you to become an artist?
Can't not do it!

What is your favorite thing to do in Maine?
Oh, I can't decide. I think switching it up with a variety of things is my favorite. I'm a restless and curious person- so exploring and seeing new things is fun, working hard in my shop is fun, relaxing and soaking up the summer is also fun.....

Who are some of your favorite Maine etsy artists?
I honestly don't shop around enough. I am always excited to search the steampunk things, also burlesque items, fancy tiny hats and hair extentions... I never wear costumes like this but I like to peek into those worlds. I also get lost in the vintage miniatures and bead shoppes.

What advice would you give to a Maine artist just starting out?
Don't gamble more than you can afford to lose, and also-go for it.

Tell us about your upcoming promotions both offline and online:
Well, I am not web-savvy enough to know how to do this, but readers of this article can email me for a free gift with their online order from or!

In-store (243 Congress Street) shoppers get 20% off if they bring in the blog coupon (located on the right-hand side of the Maine Team blog page) or just mention it when visiting.

Don't delay, both coupon offers are good through October 31, 2008.

More on Ferdinand:
Sirkus, also a big fan of Ferdinand, wrote up an article on Ferdinand back in Apr: "Fresh Finds at Ferdinand"