Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Seller Interview with Folded Frippery

Good day to you, my kind readers. I hope today finds you in good spirits, and ready to read a new interview. Today we're going across the pond for our interview with Folded Frippery. A wonderful lady from jolly ol' England who makes the most amazing things with fabric and paper. My wonderful husband even made her banner and avatar for her. :) Fun times!

So, the moment you've been waiting for...Folded Frippery!

I'm Talia and I live in Crawley, West Sussex in the east of England. I am a tea addict, a lover of autumn (fall to you Americans), and I love anything brightly coloured!

How long have you been with Etsy, and what made you decide to open a shop in the first place?
I opened FoldedFrippery last September, but prior to that I had a shop selling sock creatures. At the time I opened my first shop at Etsy it was the only big online craft sales place that I knew of, and I thought it was worth giving it a try. When I was thinking about opening FF I decided to stick with Etsy as I was familiar with it and liked how simple it was to list items!

How long have you been folding Origami? Was it a childhood pass time, or did you pick it up in your adult years?

I loved origami as a kid, but all I could ever make was origami fortune tellers. It's only in the last few years that I've really got into origami making. I was bought an origami fold-a-day calendar for christmas a few years ago and since then I've been totally hooked!

What drew you specifically to Origami flowers?

I love flowers! I am appallingly bad at growing anything in the garden though, so making them in paper is a fun way for me to have flowers to brighten up the day!

Do you sell your products outside of Etsy, and which do you prefer? Online, or in person?

I have sold mostly to family offline, although I'm going to look into doing fairs this year. I love the instant response you get from selling in the real world though!

You use wonderful colors in your work. How do you decide which colors and patterns to buy when you're getting supplies?

Any fabric that's bright or fun or just speaks to me somehow normally inspires me to start working! It depends on what sort of mood I'm in too - I have some more muted fabrics to use if  the mood takes...although that's rare!

How many of your sales are from overseas?

The majority of my sales seems to be from overseas! I've had sales from all over recently. Being a member of April's Army is really helping my exposure all over the world!

How do you keep your prices down on your overseas shipping?
Haha, believe it or not I've never really thought about keeping them down. I shop all my overseas parcels by airmail, and because the items I sell are fairly small, thankfully the shipping isn't too expensive!

Is it difficult to fold fabric into Origami shapes? Do you have a system for keeping the fabric from unfolding before you've finished a project?

An iron is really helpful when folding fabric origami! Pressing creases is key. Pins are also helpful, as is having great amounts of fabric glue to hand!

How good did you have to be at folding before you could start using materials other than paper?
I had to be 100% comfortable with the folds in paper before I could start folding in fabric. Even now when I think about folding new designs in fabric I practice several times in paper to make sure I know where to fold. And when it all goes wrong it's back to the iron and then starting the folds again!

Is crafting for you more cathartic, or is it like a job for you?

I craft for fun, and to relax. There are days when it feels like work, and I enjoy it less then, but there are crafts I do just for me, like knitting and embroidery, and when origami making is starting to annoy I just move on to something else until the urge to fold comes back!

Do you make time on a daily basis for crafting items, or do you just create when the desire strikes?
I normally fold at least one paper item a day, normally when I'm at my day job. Fabric origami takes slightly more planning and time as I need to cut fabric, and seal the edges to prevent fraying before I can fold it. But I always have paper scraps in my bag to fold if the mood strikes, which is frequent!

If you had an unlimited budget for supplies, what would you make and why?

I'd like a laser cutter to cut perfect squares of fabric! No matter how hard I try, and make templates, I can never manage to cut perfect squares! I also have an idea to make my flower balls from really large squares of paper, but finding paper big enough is a bit of a challenge!

How does it make you feel when you see people, or receive pictures of people wearing your accessories?

I love seeing people wearing things I've made! It makes them seem so much more real than they look when I'm making them, or when I'm storing them!

How important to you is feedback from people who buy your items, even if it's negative? (not that you would ever get negative feedback.)

Feedback is always important! I'd much rather have negative feedback than wasting time making products no one will want. Sometimes being creative takes over and I need someone else to put things into perspective. And feedback from happy customers makes everything worthwhile.

If you could see one of your pieces on any human in the world, who would it be and why? 

Oooh, that's tough! The business person in me thinks that I should choose someone famous, for the exposure, but I think in honesty it would be someone like my sister - she's my biggest critic (in the nicest possible way)!

How long, in general, does it take you to make one of your flowers? How about a bouquet? 

A fabric brooch flower probably takes 30-40 minutes from start to finish, if I include cutting fabric and sealing the edges. Paper ones take less time, although making 12 of them for a flower ball takes probably 3-4 hours. Because I normally make them while at my day job it's hard to give an accurate idea as I have to stop and start making them!

If someone just starting out on Etsy asked you for just a single piece of advice, what would that be?

Persevere! Sales don't come overnight. And join teams! They'll help you with any query you have, and if you find a good one you can make great friends along the way!

What is your favorite way to market your shop online? Forums, Twitter, Facebook, something else?
I love Twitter, but I'm not very good at using it to market - I mostly tweet about my real life! I try to use Facebook, and I blog when I remember, but mostly I interact with people through Etsy teams.

What is your favorite thing to eat when you're being creative?

I eat fruit a lot. But mostly I drink tea. Lots of tea, in every flavour imaginable!

Is there anything at all you'd like to say before wrapping up this interview? Really, just anything you want. 
The interviews you've done so far have been really great - I can't wait to see more! Oh, and if you're interested in my rarely updated blog you can find it at!

Thank you so much, Talia my dear, for the wonderful interview. I really do appreciate all you wonderful sellers who have granted me interviews. If you are interested in being a featured seller, email me at or message me over Etsy. I expect you all to head straight over to Folded Frippery now and start a buyin'. ;)

Thanks again for reading, you guys are awesome.