One of our favorite things to do at DIY Bride is interview real DIYers about their own experiences – trials and tribulations – with oh-so-fun-but-not-always DIY projects. This week, we’re getting to know Maribel of Eight Tree Street a bit better. After all, she’s a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made contest!
Martha Stewart’s American Made contest is based on the audience’s choice for the best American-made crafts around. Check out Maribel’s Etsy Shop, EightTreeStreet, to see why she’s a finalist for this “American Idol of the Craft World” (as she calls it!) award. She’s known for her custom florals and wreaths. There are gobs of talent in this contest, so go on, vote for Maribel and few other deserving crafters.
But before you go, grab a snack and a drink and get to know Maribel along with us. She’s a real sweetheart!
What attracts you to the DIY wedding and craft industries? I designed all decorations accessories for my wedding from the favors, to the veil; I also designed my wedding dress. There is something special about putting a special personal touch in decorations and essentials for the crafts and weddings.
What do you love most about your work? I love color and texture, something about creating an image in your mind, testing the colors with flowers, ribbons and jewelry, and then seeing the final product. It reminds me of working at the theater, waiting with excitement for the curtain to go up on opening night. It’s hard work but there’s such a wonderful reward to see it all come together at the end.
What did you do before this? I worked for many years in museums and cultural art centers, working with artists and community building programs.
How would you describe your own wedding style? My own wedding style was a little glam vintage. My mom found this beautiful lace that I used in a lot of the favors I made, and to decorate the cake boxes. We also included rhinestones decorations.
What’s the neatest wedding craft you’ve ever seen? I love the new designs for photo booth backdrops, sweet tables, pom poms, fabric swags, and burlap banners.
What is your philosophy on balancing work and life? I have 4 kids and one of them is special needs, so I make sure that I have time for business, and also blend in some aspects of it with my family life. So, the kids and my husband have a role to play in EightTreeStreet as well. They are my main motivation to work and create something beautiful, and I love sharing ideas with them.
What DIY projects are you working on right now? For home decorating, I am updating a bathroom decor with less than $50 to see how you can make it work and decorate on a small budget including paint, supplies, and accessories. And in weddings, I am really excited to explore chair decorating for the bride and groom. I’ve fallen in love with it!
Do you have a blog and social media pages (please share links)?
I have a blog www.eighttreestreet.wordpress.com to share ideas for decorating, DIYs, and weddings.
And I love Twitter, so you can find me there @EightTreeStreet.
I’m on Facebook at EightTreeStreet, and I love to pin on Pinterest (EightTreeStreet).
Did you start your business from scratch? How did you get started? Yes, I started with help from family and friends, first displaying my work at craft fairs, then I opened an Etsy store for my wreaths; this year, I opened one for weddings, and I have done a lot of work through my website.
How do you connect with your customers? I use social media, word of mouth, promotions and giveaways, and advertising. I work with a lot of churches that are now having wedding planning as part of their programs, and I love building relationships and collaborating with other vendors – that helps out tremendously.
How do you customize your products/services for brides? I love this part of my job – every bouquet, wreath, decoration, or floral is designed with the bride and/or couple in mind. I work from an artistic point of view, so I see each floral as a canvas reflecting each person’s personality and what they want the florals to do at the event. We look at color together with the brides, I research several ways to incorporate their themes, and make them truly special. I just did florals for a wedding with a rustic/vintage theme and a firefighter theme together, and that was so fun! I included these simple, beautiful firefighter pins in the bouquet for the bride and in the boutonniere for the groom. I have a new bride for 2013 with a brooch bouquet in deep orange and platinum and a seaside theme, so I just found the most perfect brooches including a beautiful starfish in orange rhinestones which fits her theme, and I am starting early. I’m so excited!
Describe your ideal customer. I love working with customers who are excited to explore their color choices and combinations; customers who are incline to add jewelry or other accents to their florals, and I love when they give input. It’s important to work with clients who feel connected enough to send you emails of things they like or have seen somewhere.
Describe your idea of a perfect work day. I love starting with my social media outreach, finding some great blogs to share on FB/Twitter, then I set up to work on each proposal or project for the day, and also include time to explore the net for new supplies. I’m always looking for new ideas for brooch bouquets or ribbon (one of my favorite things) and fabric. Then, I design on paper some wreath themes to explore.
Do you work with any other vendors on a regular basis? I work with some planners, bridal boutiques, and stylists who have been referring me a lot, and I do appreciate their support!
What is your most popular product/service? Brooch and crystal bouquets are very sought after in our area. I have wedding boutiques who call for samples to hold in their store so they can show brides when they are getting fitted. And, I do fresh flowers as well, so local brides are always looking for new ideas with fresh flowers.
We thank Maribel for taking the time to chat with us. Let’s all wish her luck in the Martha Stewart American Made contest…and don’t forget to check out her profile and vote!
Disclosure: DIY Bride has a financial relationship with EightTreeStreet, meaning we may have received compensation for this content and/or related content. We firmly stand behind our review and recommendation, and are committed to promoting only those companies we feel offer our community excellent products, ethical business practices, and outstanding customer service.