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Monday, October 31, 2011

Featured artist: PJ and Holly from GettingWeddy

This week  I bring you a very talented couple to be wed in the Fall of 2012 PJ and Holly from GettingWeddy Together they run their business and make wonderful stuff.  They just passed their 100th sale and are offering a 25% discount to their next 25 sales!  Check out their shop for more details and enjoy the interview!

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
We are PJ and Holly. We started our Etsy site as a way to raise extra money to put toward our wedding (hence the shop name GettingWeddy), which is set for Fall 2012. It seemed like in our spare time we were always building, crafting, creating and dreaming up new ideas, and our shop seemed like a good creative outlet for all of that.

2. What do you sell?
We sell primarily hand-carved leather goods, beaded rosaries and lanyards, computer mouse belt buckles and custom creations made from reclaimed wooden fence pickets.

Rustic jar sconce
3. Why handmade?
Anybody can save a few bucks by going down to the big box store and buying mass produced junk to fill the current hole in their lives, real or imagined, and for a while it will work. Until it breaks and they have to find something else to fill the void. Handmade items might cost a little more, but one thing we've found to be almost universally true is the craftsman, or artisan, actually cares about more than just the bottom line. Every piece they turn out has a little love in it, which is something a buyer can truly take comfort in ... and you can't put a price on that.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
That's tough. If we knew where inspiration came from, we'd bottle it and sell it on Etsy. The easy answer is everywhere, but who knows what actually triggers that new idea? PJ has to constantly update a list on his iPhone of new things he wants to create, so he doesn't forget them. And he tends to add ideas faster than he checks them off.
Custom handmade leather portrait 8x10
5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
When we're not drilling, carving, cutting, beading, sanding and stitching, you can find us playing with PJ's kids or working at our local newspaper. His son, Eli, is 6 and his daughter, Riley, is 5, and we always have a lot of fun together. At the newspaper, Holly is a photographer (hence all of our awesome pictures), and PJ is the systems manager. Before he moved to this position, he was the editor in charge of layout and design.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
PJ: I'll let you know when it happens. I've never really thought I was an artist. I've been working in leather since I was 15 years old, learning from one of the top holster makers in the business. I consider myself more of a craftsman in that regard. As far as some of our Etsy offerings go, I can't stand to see things go to waste, so I'm constantly trying to figure out new and practical ways to use them. If others consider me an artist, I'm flattered, but I figure I still have a long way to go before I earn that.
Holly: I don't think of myself as an artist, either. I am always trying new crafts...I have done everything from knitting scarves and sewing sock creatures to making picture frames and beading a variety of items. Usually this is a way to make gifts for my friends and family, sometimes I enjoy a craft so much that I continue with it and then those items make their way to Etsy.

Yellow/ivory and gray Catholic Rosary
7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
PJ: My dad. As long as I can remember, I've helped my dad on a myriad of projects. From him I learned carpentry, plumbing and mechanics, and he got me my start cutting leather. Everything he's taught me has been applied toward the things I build at one time or another. Because of my dad, there hasn't been much trial and error. Once I have an idea in my head, it usually works out exactly as I planned (well, so far).
Holly: My mom always allowed me to try new things when I was younger. It seems like I was always taking a new drawing or art class, trying to do cross-stitch or weave pot holders or buying some kind of art kit from the store to make what was probably one of the ugliest things you had ever seen. Still, no matter what the outcome was, she encouraged my creative side which I am sure has something to do with my craftiness today.

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
In five years we hope that we are doing well enough on Etsy that we can move all of our tools, materials and shop supplies off of our kitchen table and into a spot of their own. Holly would like to be self employed, devoting more time to portrait photography and art photography...stay tuned for her Etsy photography site.

Custom leather guitar strap

 9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?

We would both like to try para sailing some day and PJ would like to skydive (not Holly though, floating through the air attached to a cord is plenty for her.) Travel is always high on the list too! While we have seen our fair share of sites there will always be more on our list of places to go.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
Occasionally an acquaintance will contract PJ to build a holster or belt for them, but that's about it. We don't have a website, and we don't attend any craft fairs, although we've considered it.

PJ and Holly
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  1. What a great way to make extra wedding money! They are such a talented pair. I love the look of their rustic sconces!

    The snow has been rough. We had a nasty storm Saturday night too that has left many still without power! What a disaster! I am thankful my power came back on. ~Val

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful article!

  3. @Miss Val's Creations
    That does sound like a nasty storm, so glad you electricity is back on! Hope you have a great week.


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