Hi! I'm Guin from Camelot's Treasures! I hand make and sell doll clothes that fit the American Girl, Bitty Baby, BFC Ink, and other dolls.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to a United States Sailor, and we have 2 children; Mallory and Theron. Mallory is so full of energy and creativity that she even has her own shop - Mallory Alisabeth!
Where are you in Maine and what’s it like?
Because we are a military family, we are not currently in Maine. Our last duty station was Portland, Maine, where we got a chance to really meet and bond with the wonderful community surrounding us, including the Etsy Maine Team members! We were lucky enough to live in the great little town of Yarmouth, which is really reminiscent of small-town New England. Yarmouth is probably most known for the annual Clam Festival, which brings people from all of the over the country to the little town for a long 3 day weekend.
|My motley crew|
I am not a native Mainer. As stated before, we are a military family, so that is what brought us to Maine. I am a bit of a vagabond; I've lived in many states across the country (CA, NM, KY, TN, NC, VA, IL, ME) and now outside of the country in Italy. But out of all the places that I have lived, I can honestly say that Maine is running neck in neck with Western North Carolina as the most beautiful places.
I've been sewing off and on, most of my life. I think I was around 10 when my grandmother started to teach me how to sew; she would take me to the sewing room to bond with me, while my grandfather would take my brother to a boy scout camp or something. After that, most of the sewing I did was cross-stitching. When I had my daughter, I knew I wanted to make a few things for her, blankets and dresses, but it never really became a hobby because I was busy with the rest of life's events. The funny thing is, I remember a few times in my life that I had toyed with the idea of using sewing for a business, but I never really pursued it mainly because I thought it was just a "hobby" and I couldn't put a lot of time into it because I had a full-time job (sometimes 2) or going to college or taking care of a child on my own.
Do you feel your craft is related to where you live?
I definitely will attribute living in Maine to be the relative cause of me starting this business. When we moved to Maine, I never imagined how much different my life was going to be; Maine is a lot more isolated than Norfolk, Virginia and winters are lot longer and colder. I wasn't able to get a job outside of the home because there weren't jobs to be had (unless I wanted to work at the local grocery store or McDonald's), and even if there were it would be hard to get to and from work and get daycare when we only had one car. I was going STIR CRAZY because I'm used to being a productive financially. So I started with making baby clothes and selling them on Ebay. Then Christmas was around the corner, and I wanted to get my daughter a Cabbage Patch Kid doll which would need clothes. I started to make a bunch of clothes and thought "hey, I could totally sell these." Unfortunately there wasn't a market for CPK doll clothes. I saw how popular American Girl Dolls were, decided to start making some of those clothes and they sold. Local people were so encouraging, giving me information about local craft fairs, spreading out my business cards, and keeping orders coming. And here I am now!
|Girl's Dress I made|
Had I not lived in Maine, I'm not so sure that this would have all started. I would have chosen a job in a restaurant, using my Culinary Arts degree. Something about Maine fuels people's creativity I think.
How has being a part of the Etsy Maine Team helped you?
Being a part of any community that is so supportive is great for anyone! I have been a member of the team since 2009, and they have been some of my biggest cheerleaders! There is constant feedback from everyone, learning the ins-and-outs of how to be successful, and just having people in a similar situation as you are some of the best things about being on the team. Not aside from the fact that they have welcomed me on the team, and continue to let be part of the team even though I'm VERY far outside of the Maine state lines.
What are some of your favorite shops on Etsy?
|Love Birds Peasant Blouse and Skirt|
My favorite shops to get my fabric from are Worthy Good Textiles (a fellow Maine Teamer!), Spice Berry Cottage, and Skyereve Fabrics. My favorite chocolate shop would have to be Nicole's Handmade Treats. And I love perusing through the shops of some of these super supportive fellow team members: Rough Magic Creations, Country Folk Soap, Bunny Baubles, Magenta Sky Studio, and Little Eye Designs.
Where do you see yourself and your Etsy shop in the future?
If we are talking in the near future, then I would like to see my Etsy shop have at least 100 sales by Christmas. But if we are talking in a few years, I would really like to see me expand my shop off of Etsy and focus more on my own website which I'm developing right now (www.camelotstreasures.com). My main goal is to provide great customer service and quality workmanship that will have customers returning to me for their doll clothes need over and over again.
Where can we find you online and locally?
|Trip to the Zoo Dress|
You can find my Etsy store here: Camelot's Treasures on Etsy
My blog here: Camelot's Treasures Blog
My Facebook page here: Camelot's Treasures Fan Page
My Twitter page here: Camelot's Treasures Twitter
And my new website here: Camelot's Treasures
You can also find me writing articles for the Etsy Maine Team Blog and the Homefront Team Blog, on occasion.
Be sure to check out all the other awesome Maine artisans on Etsy, by searching "maineteam."