Name: Lora Shop: b.bags
Where are you from? Minneapolis, MN
Where do you live? Houston, TX (Oak Forest Neighborhood)
What types of things do you make/sell? I make bags and wallets out of upcycled material.
How long have you been crafting? About 2 years now, but only one year professionally.
When did you decide to open up a shop? I opened up a shop when I realized I was making too much stuff to just hand away as gifts. I then thought, hey, this might be a good sales opportunity!
Do you prefer to sell your crafts online or in person? or both? I like to do both. I have realized that it is very hard to sell your product successfully online unless you really have a stellar, unique, one-of-a-kind product (which we all do!) with eye watering photographs and luscious descriptions.
And really, I just don't have the time and energy for that sometimes. But I really try to keep up my etsy shop as best as I can! For the most part, I really enjoy getting out, meeting people and talking to them about my work and the stories behind what I do. I feel it makes things more personable when people can see the artist behind the piece of work and see and feel that piece in real life.
Do you have a second job? If so, what is it? For the last year I was doing b.bags full-time and doing shows once a week, but this summer I've scaled down the weekly shows (due to the heat!) and picked up a second job at Zelko's Bistro.
What inspired you to start crafting? I received a hand-me-down sewing machine from my mother-in-law a few years back, and at the time, I was taking a pledge not to purchase anything "new" in my life for 6 months. So in order to sew anything I went to thrift stores to purchase fabric. I started ripping apart clothing and other fabrics to use in order to teach myself how to sew these. I realized that simple bags were the easiest thing to sew and one thing led to another and here we are today!
What other hobbies or interests do you have? I love to play volleyball, I can sleep more than anyone you've ever known, I love playing with my yellow lab, cake makes me happy, especially when I get to share it with my husband Eric!
Who inspires you?
Moop - she's got her business down pat. I wanna run a steam engine bag making business like Moop! And her designs are so incredibly functional. I love the Moop!
Made by Hank - I discovered Made by Hank last fall and was in love. In love because Katie Henry is one of the best sewing artists I have ever seen. Her work is so detailed and so well planned out that it just takes my breath away. No wonder she can never keep any bags in stock! Every time I am feeling in a bad sewing mood I head over to see what Katie is up to and it just blows me away with inspiration. I mean you have to go check out these pieces that she stitched! So talented!
Do you have any tips to share with newbies? Take phenomenal pictures of your etsy listings. Find a mentor who has been doing this for a while and pick their brain.