Talented Tuesday – Gone to the Dogs!!

That’s right folks, Talented Tuesday has been overtaken by some real hounds!! 🙂 Today’s featured artist is Brown Dog Boutique. I grew up with dogs and do believe that they can be a man or woman’s best friend. Unfortunately, my hubby is not a big dog fan, you can fill in the rest. But Katie’s labs are too cute for words…

Even though I am best friend less, that doesn’t mean the rest of you should have to suffer. So for all of you with a Fido, Duke, Princess, let’s talk about some doggie goodness.

Aren’t these yummy?!?!?

Dog Biscuits

Let’s meet Brown Dog Boutique:

1) Tell us about yourself – name, location, any personal tidbits

My name is Katie, and I live Jefferson, Georgia (just outside of Athens) with my husband and two chocolate labs, Brady and Cooper. I’ve been practicing law full-time for two years now and realized early on in my practice that I needed a creative outlet. I started Summer Day Designs, a small, home-based stationery business in August 2008. I’ve always been passionate about animals, especially dogs, and I found myself looking for a way to combine that passion with my talents. This past February, I started a new division of my stationery business, Brown Dog Boutique, to showcase my handmade treats for dogs and dog lovers.

2) When you are not creating items, what do you do for fun?

One of my favorite past times is traveling with my husband. I am always dreaming of new places to visit and searching for “off the beaten path” places to stay. I love the website Tripadvisor and always start there when researching a new place to visit.

When I’m at home, I love to cook with my husband and play with “the boys” – my two 1 1/2 year old chocolate labs, Brady and Cooper.

Note Cards

3) When did you first recognize/accept that you were an artist?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed art and design. I especially love stationery and paper products and began creating my own note cards, invitations and gift tags a few years ago. Like many crafters, my family and friends encouraged me to sell my creations, and I finally took their advice.

4) Describe your creative process – idea first or material first?

I generally start with an idea. I never know where my next design or recipe may come from, so I usually carry around a notebook and pen so that I can sketch a quick drawing or list. Occasionally I come across a color or texture of paper that I love and will use that as a starting point for a design.

5) Describe a typical day for yourself in your studio?

Here’s where my answer differs from many artists…(1) I don’t really have a studio, although I wish I did; and (2) I rarely get a full day to work on my designs (other than on the weekends). In my typical week day, I try to check email while I grab breakfast and run by the post office on my way to work. Unfortunately, I don’t get a chance to do much creating during the day, but I do tend to use my 30-minute drive to and from work and my lunch hour to dream of new ideas. When I get home in the evenings, after dinner I often spend a few hours assembling samples, filling orders or creating new designs. Weekends are great because I am able to spend a lot more time creating and photographing my new projects.

Recipe Cards

6) Besides Etsy, how do you promote your work?

My shop is still in its very early stages, so I am just getting into the groove of promoting. I recently started The Brown Dog Boutique Blog that features funny stories about my dogs, product reviews, humane society news and tons of cute photos. I’ve had a lot of fun with the blog so far, and I look forward to many more posts to come. Other than that, word of mouth has been a huge help. As my shop continues to grow, I hope to introduce my products to a variety of both “brick and mortar” and online shops.

7) Any advice for other artisans?

Don’t be afraid to get started. If you’re thinking of trying to sell your art, Etsy (or another similar online marketplace) is a great way to test the waters without having to invest your life savings. You’ll be amazed at how much information you can find online (and how willing other crafters are to share advice) about turning your craft into a business.

Thanks so much to Katie for sharing herself with us! Make sure to visit Brown Dog Boutique for all of your doggie needs…maybe ya’ll can convince my hubby that we need a dog too! 😉

Sticker Gift Set