Recently I was asked some questions for an local interview and I realized I get asked these a lot, so I figured why not answer them all right here.
How did you get started?:
I've been painting and crafting since I was a kid. One of my favorite things to do growing up was draw, sketch, color and paint. I loved crafting with my mom and learning how to refinish furniture with my dad. My mom, dad and I even did craft fairs together. My dad would make wood cut outs, my mom and I would paint and decorate them. I kept up on my painting and refinishing but it was only for myself or family. I took up painting and crafting again about 6 years ago, when my son went off to college. I found I had a lot of time on my hands and had no idea what to do with it. So I got back to my passion and began a business.
What training or education have you had?:
I have been trained by my dad an average woodworker and handyman (not his only profession, he was a pipefitter fulltime) My dad was great he was a "jack of all trades", he dabbled in just abut everything. My mom liked to decorate and make our home as welcoming and inviting as she could with a tight budget. I played and experimenting with painting as a teen (which didn't always please my mom especially since it was my bedroom furniture) I took art classes in high school, I attended college for Architectural Design, I recently was certified in Old World Finishes and I will be attending another course this Fall. A lot of my training and education is experience and a lot of trial & error followed by some pretty cool successes. I also watch a lot of videos on YouTube.
What is your favorite style?:
I am still trying to figure that all out. There are many talented furniture artists who have a specialty or preference but for me I still like looking for a challenge. I haven't honed in on one style or another yet. I love Old World finishes, I think it's because of the history you can feel in the antique you are refinishing. But I also find it fun to refinish with a retro or mcm feel too. The colors are bolder, brighter and vibrant making the refinishing process excitingly fun.
Why has your business name changed?:
I began the business under the name CP's Shabby Chic Creations. The CP has always been reference to two really important and inspiring women. My mom and my mother-in-law. Both believed in me and always gave me their support. For legal reasons (which I cannot disclose) I had to change the name to Cece's & Patsy's (Cece being my mother-in-law and Patsy being my mom) I'm still CP's just had to spell it out in full. Many thought it had to do with mine and my husbands names (Pattie and Craig) hence the legal issues (again can't disclose all the details, sorry) Besides I think by changing the name it elevated me to really set my goals and motivated me to make these two special ladies proud.
Will you be doing live Facebook videos and YouTube videos?:
Yes, I'm working on it. I've done a couple lives on Facebook already but yeah I'm working on my courage to do more. Fun fact I hate being on camera. I hate how I sound and most of the time I am a hot mess when I am working on a piece, so I hate how I look too. It's also a huge feeling of vulnerability being live or on YouTube. I don't like feeling vulnerable. I run through the "what ifs" and get extremely nervous. I feel awkward but I am working on facing my fears. My husband and son are very encouraging and keep pushing me to do more.
Will you be shipping soon?:
Yes, I am still learning all the in's and out's of the process and researching the many shipping options out there. I'm a little nervous though, my fear is something happening to a piece that I poured so much of myself into or the client not being as happy when they finally receive it. Pictures and Reality can always differ in ones mind. What you see something on a screen and then see it in person, it can really translate into different emotions and feelings. So, I guess a little vulnerability plays a role in this scenario too. My son says I worry too much and I need more confidence. But I think as an artist you always feel a tug of vulnerability.
How do you feel when someone buys one of your pieces?:
I get really gitty and excited (like a kid at Christmas, you know that feeling). It's pure joy when I see the excitement in a clients eye for one of my pieces. Seeing their expression of understanding my vision makes it all worth it. Two memories stand out for me, one being at a Craft Show and having a young lady yell across the hall to me "OMG, I follow you on social media, I love you" I was so in awe and shock. "Like what? Are you talking to me? Really?" I blushed and felt really awkward at first. We talked for a while, she introduced me to her mom and grandmother and next thing I know I was commissioned to help her furnish her newly bought home. By the way, that was my first craft show in 15 years, it was my "let's introduce myself and my new found business and see what happens". The second memory is this young couple at the flea market, she fell in love with my mermaid dresser, her excitement and joy over it just melted my heart. She was as excited about it as I was when I finished it. And that played perfectly into her getting a great deal on it. I just knew she was the one the dresser was meant to be with. They were the cutest young couple. I have been blessed by all my clients/customers. They are truly all amazing. Very Supportive and Encouraging.
How do you face criticism and feel when someone speaks negatively?:
It depends on the situation. If it is something I need to make right then I will own up to it and go out of my way to get it done. If it's just negative feedback from another artist, I look at it as constructive criticism. I mostly look at it as a tool to work harder, to grow in my experience and knowledge, to perfect my craftsmanship. I also know I am not going please everyone all the time, I know there is always going to be some negativity and I try to not let it get to me (too much) I don't like to think of myself or other artist in this industry as competition because we are all talented and we differentiate in our techniques and style. We all bring something beautiful and unique to the table. I'd like to think we inspire and motivate it each other rather than compete with each other.
Do you ever get creative block?:
yes, I do. and that's when I know I need to take a break. Or at least I have learned that I need to take a break and recharge the batteries. I've done pieces during a creative block and later looked at them with a clear mind and thought to myself "what were you thinking?" I'm my own worse critic. I've come to learn if I'm not feeling it and nothing comes to mind that excites me then walk a way and take a break. My son, helps to recharge my batteries, I love hearing his thoughts, visions and feelings on art, history, nature and life, for some reason hearing it from a 24 year old helps me see things clearer again.
What is your least favorite thing to do?:
My least favorite things to do are; computer work, the books/ledgers, figuring what to write in a blog (blogging is new to me) and staging pics (although I'm learning and getting a little better at it, after all they say a picture is worth a thousand words, it's your best marketing tool) I struggle with staying on track. If I schedule in my calendar computer work I often get distracted with starting a new project. Writing blogs as I said are new to me, so the whole building an audience, allowing your followers to get to know you and your products, services etc. is a little nerve wrecking. I struggle with what to write, will they read it, will they like it, etc... It's that whole vulnerability thing again.
Favorite Hobbies Outside of Painting and Crafting?:
I love curling up with a good book. Reading is my escape. When I need some me time I find a good book, make a cup of tea and find a quiet corner to curl up in. I love gardening but unfortunately don't always get the time to do it. And lately summers have been brutal so I have for now temporarily put it on hold, I've just been planting perennials and maintaining them. I do find walking barefoot through the yard, just planting my feet into the earth, feeling all that beautiful nature and breathing in that amazing landscape that God has created for us to enjoy each day helps with my own self doubt and confidence. Sometimes I just need to feel close to nature to get my head straight. And I love to cook and bake. I love trying new recipes, using fresh garden herbs and veggies. I'll put some music on and create quite a mess but love every minute of it especially when it turns out yummy.
What are your business goals?:
I think I've been on a steady growth and learning curve. I have grown a lot as an artist and pray to continue on that path of growth and expanding. Having a business is a constant learning curve between running a business, knowing the technology, upkeep with social media, marketing, how to price and stage a piece. It is never ending but I think I'm getting the hang of it. The COVID-19 lock down has given a chance to catch up, to catch my breath and really figure out what I want for my business and for me as an artist and crafter in my future. I took some detours along the way and some were not so favorable with my followers. I am needed the reminder of how I started my little shop and what really mattered to me. And that's my regular clientele and customers who helped to get me started. I got a little too tangled up in the business portion, the money making part and forgot about the creativity and uniqueness that was me. I began following too closely to the trends and trying to imitate those instead of staying true to me. So, now I have to rebuild that trust, rebuild my brand and reputation. I know it has been rough on a lot of people and families with all the turmoil from the pandemic, so I hope once we all get back to a normal routine and back on our feet, I will be able to build a solid foundation once again with my followers and clients. I really want to get back to creating, handcrafting, repurposing, painting and refinishing pieces because they reflect me as an artist not what is trending or what will quickly fill a shop booth. Just want to be me again.
If you have any questions you would like to ask me, please feel free to message me or leave a comment on this blog and I will answer the best I can.
If you have any topics for future blogs that you would like me to do, hit me up with comments.
If you have any suggestions for DIY/How To Videos send me a message.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to bringing more to you in the future.
God Bless and Be Well
Much Love to you all xoxoxox