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We just love interviewing self-driven, independent artists with a passion for crafts, and this week’s featured vendor is no exception. The Bread and Butterfly is a real gem, and Carolyn’s handmade accessories are truly unlike anything else out there. Perfect for a rustic wedding style, woodland theme, or just nature-inspired beauty. She makes and sells hair accessories, boutioneers, flower pins, and other goodies, and she’s gearing up to offer DIY wedding consulting services in 2013! Please give a warm welcome to The Bread and Butterfly – the newest addition to the DIY Bride vendor showcase.
Read on for our up-close-and-personal encounter with Carolyn.
1. What attracts you to the DIY wedding and craft industries?
For me, hand made unique works of art are always more valuable than anything mass produced. When someone chooses a DIY wedding, it can truly become a wedding that is tailored to perfectly represent the couple. I love to see the recent growth in popularity of the DIY wedding and craft industries. It’s important for artists and crafters to be valued, supported, and noticed in a dominantly capitalist society.
2. What did you do before this?
Before this, I was a graduate student and received my Masters in Art Education from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I did, and still do, want to become a high school art teacher. Due to the unfortunate and current lack of high school art teaching positions, I have been unable to find a teaching job. Unemployed, I decided if I was not going to be teaching I wanted to be making. I have always been an artist but never taken the leap into making my passion my work. Not wanting to do anything else if I was not teaching, I began The Bread and Butterfly.
3. What is your philosophy on balancing work and life?
I am definitely a firm believer in a healthy balance of work and life. When one is following their passion in life and making it a job, this balance becomes rather easy. However, I still do need to motivate myself to get in my studio and work. I love my weekends to myself and I find if I put in the hours during the week, then I don’t feel guilty about weekends off. Artists and crafters deserve weekends just like everyone else!
4. Do you have a blog and social media pages (please share links)?
Currently I run my shop online only through Etsy. My shop can be found at www.thebreadandbutterfly.etsy.
Other than The Bread and Butterfly, I also am a fine artist working in both painting/drawing and photography. More of my portfolio of work, including information about The Bread and Butterfly, can be found on my personal website www.carolynmullanyart.com
5. How do you customize your products/services for brides?
I absolutely love working with brides to customize boutonnieres and/or headpieces. When a bride contacts me through Etsy they often have seen something in my shop they like but want different colors. I am always more than happy to work with them to find the perfect materials and colors to fit their style.
6. Describe your ideal customer.
An untraditional bride who truly appreciates handmade pieces is my ideal customer. I describe The Bread and Butterfly as handmade accessories with “uncommon charm”. If a bride is looking for something unique with a somewhat rustic yet romantic feel, I hope they may find it in my shop.
7. What’s new for 2013?
My business only started in the Fall of 2012 so I am so excited about what is to come in 2013 and to see my business grow. I intend to expand my business into consulting with brides. My services will include helping them with DIY ideas and decor, supplying them with the right tools, completely creating all the DIY decor, day-of coordination, and DIY workshops.