Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello. I’m Betsy Carr. I’m lucky to live in Asheville NC, just a few miles down the road from the little mountain town I grew up in. My husband, Stephen, my studio assistant, Crystal, and I make foundling happen from my basement studio. The dogs also help. The cat plots against us.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I read a lot. I like to work on several books at one time by keeping them each in different rooms. I also like walks through the woods and cooking elaborate meals.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I’m happiest when I have a project of some sort in hand and I’ve loved that sort of thing since I was a tiny girl. Even so, my path to becoming a professional artist was convoluted. I didn’t take an art class until my third year in college. When I finally did it felt so right that I couldn’t do anything else. So here I am.
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I have a wall in my studio where I’m always tacking up vintage illustrations, little collages, paint chips in my favorite colors, drawings from my sketchbook, old fabric scraps and anything else that I’m loving at the moment. When something I’d like to make finally takes root, it’s obvious to me that it grew out of looking at those little treasures so much.
I try to set aside studio time to just work on new ideas. I often find out that what I had in mind won’t work out so well for one reason or another and I end up making several versions of one piece before I settle on a design I like. Even then, I’ll live with a piece for a few weeks before putting it out into the world.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A quilt hand-pieced by my great-grandmother, Bubba.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin
Coal Miner’s Daughter
True Blood (yeah, not a movie)
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (only when they sing together)
Iron and Wine
anna maria horner’s blog
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
List your work often, market yourself outside of Etsy and make things you truly love.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I love the feature at checkout that suggests other items to buy from your favorites, and I’m thrilled that the traffic tracking feature has been added.
It would be nice for my customers to be able to choose shipping options at checkout.
How do you promote your work?
I maintain a blog. I attend lots of craft shows where I pass out tons of postcards and encourage people to sign my mailing list. I’ve been lucky to be featured on some great blogs, like modish and decor8. I advertise occasionally.
In ten years I’d like to be…
Living somewhere warm, employing a handsome IT professional (I have one in mind, he’s married to me), making jewelry and messing around in a vegetable garden with my pet chicken.