Monday, July 30, 2012

Team Member Interview With Adrey of AnACreate

Tell us a little about yourself.
  Hi, I'm Audrey, and I'm the supermom of a classically-homeschooling, hobby-farming, craft-loving, large family! We live on 2 acres and have crammed every possible thing onto it! After all, our home is  our school, and we see chores and responsibility, rather like the dad in Calvin & Hobbes, as character builders. J We have dairy goats, chickens, rabbits, geese, cats, and dogs to name a few animals. We also grow much of our own food and have several large gadens and an ordhard. We have 6 children from ages 1 to 13. We love our school years with them.

How did you begin working in your craft and how did it develop into a business?
The Etsy shop(s) we operate grew out of a desire to teach our kids how to run a business.  From the large gardens we mentioned above, we sell excess produce at our local farmer’s market.  One of our daughters started making reusable shopping bags to sell at the market, and another daughter started making aprons.  One of our sons grew zucchini to make into zucchini bread and sell at the market.  We wanted each child to learn about running a business as soon as they were old enough to understand rudimentary math and economics.  An added benefit was learning more math skills as they made change at farmer’s market.  But farmer’s market only runs for 5 months of the year and so we encouraged them to look for other places to peddle their wares…and the Etsy shop(s) were born.

1974 Calendar Bag

We try to do “unit celebrations” with the curriculum we study, and a few of these have really been memorable.  For example, when we were studying Victorian times, we hosted a Victorian Tea Party.  We made authentic food for the era, everyone came in costume, and we made Victorian crafts before tea and played parlor games after tea.  I made everyone’s silhouette for them to take home with them.  (You can see these in the background.)

What advise would you give to other homeschool families who are also trying to run a home business?
I’m not sure what advice to give others about running a home business because our Etsy shop(s) are a twist on that.  We put pretty high priority on our kids running their Etsy shop(s) because it is one of the most concrete examples of real life training we are giving them.  They will have to make an income some day!  We give them time every day to maintain their shops and consider the time very educationally spent!

Carrot Apron

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
Our daughter who makes the reusable shopping bags haunts antique stores for antique tea towels which she upcycles into her bags.  With added ribbon handles, they are fantastic!  Our apron-making daughter loves to find exciting, inspirational fabrics on the internet.  She has also opened a photography Etsy shop, and her inspiration for her photographs is found in nature. 

What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

Reusable Shopping Bag

Do you have specific goals for your business or for your homeschooling? Would you share some of those with us?
Our goal for our children’s Etsy shops is for them to gain real-world, practical experience in running a business.  Without getting political, I think it will be very important for children of the future to know how to make money with as much debt as our generation is leaving their generation. 
A personal goal is to start my own Etsy shop!  I would love to sell vintage item and supplies, and hand sewn items.  (After all, I was the one who taught my daughters to sew!)
This year in our homeschool, we have several new beginnings: we are starting our 4 year history cycle over again, our oldest will start high school studies, and two of our youngest start 1st grade, so our plans for the year revolve around these things. For example, this time through history, we will focus on art and architecture. Last time through we focused on music and geography and next time through we will focus on timelines and inventions. This adds new interest to repetitve material. In general though, our goal in homeschooling our children is to teach them to learn...because then they will be unstoppable! Yes, we will be working ourselves out of a job, but that will give us more time to do things like run our own Etsy shop!

Do you have any other websites that you would like to share? ie, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Shop...
I would love it if everyone reading this interview took time to check out our children’s 3 shops:  (I haven’t mentioned this one yet, this shop belongs to our photography daughter who also loves to craft things from clay.  She has the neatest idea for personalizing clay figures…you should see what you would look like as a princess, witch, or mermaid!)


Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Very inspiring interview! I enjoyed reading about how the children each create their own products and sell them locally as well as on Etsy. Sounds like a fascinating homeschooling curriculum also!

Ewenique said...

You are one busy family enjoying the blessing of homeschooling and home businesses! Your children are learning real life skills as they prepare for the future. I'll be sure to stop by their shops!