Monday, November 19, 2007

Darjeeling Darling. Lovely Books bound by hand

Let's meet Michael Gresh, owner of Darjeeling paper.
An exclusive interview by Kalicat

- How did you get started ? I started bookbinding years ago as a hobby of sorts, never planning on using it as a means of making a living. Then, I met my beautiful girlfriend Demeree (you can see her work at ) and everything changed. As she's quite the crafty gal, it got me thinking about how I could contribute to the vause. And BAM! Darjeeling paper, Ltd was born.

- Are your creations seasonal? My work is great for any season! I try to incorporate the time of year into my works whenever I can, but most of my books are more of the annual type. Or maybe they're everygreen. I can't remember.

- How long have you been doing it? I started Darjeeling paper in August of 2007 but have been making books for close to 5 years now. So, not very long. I'm a spring chicken to the business.

- Are you a professional or is this a hobby? I'd like to consider myself a professional, but this will alwats be a hobby for me. When you find yourself doign what you love, and loving what you do, it's hard to call it "work".

- What inspires you? The world around me, really. I try to incorporate my life and experiences into my works as much as possible. The tricky part is finding a way to combine all those elements without going too crazy. There's a fine line between "ecclectic" and "insane".

- How do you promote your business? ANY WAY I CAN! From blogs to advertising spots to craft shows, right down to passing out my business card to everyone I meet. I live for this stuff, and it shows.

- Where are you showing/selling your work? My work is currently available at the Craftsman House Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL. I also showcase my work on Etsy, Trunkt, and will soon be selling my wares on Mintd and DaWanda.

- What is your favorite product and why? My blank journals, hands down. So many possibilities are available with a blank journal. It's like an artist making his own blank canvas.

- What advice you wish someone had told you when you started? Don't stop pressing the book until it's dry!

- Do you have any advice for fellow sellers? BE PATIENT. Don't expect everyone to flock to your site in one day. You have to stick with it to win. And for God's Sake, ADVERTISE!

- Will I get a discount or freebies? If you buy one of my books, I'll throw in a paint chip card holder. I've got nearly every color in the spectrum, and they're a great way of toting your cards in a fun and handmade way!

- Any advice for looking fab? If you want to look good this year, get yourself some of the wonderful jewelry available on Etsy! There are many to choose from, but the best are the ones involved in the 90 Features in 90 Days thread. Check them out!

- Will it make my life easier and more stylish when using your products? Absolutely! Nothing's sexier than someone who carries around their own journal. Someone who you spot on the train or at the coffee shop jotting down lyrics or poems or some thought of the day that they just had.

- If you were an object, what would you be? I'd be that old t-shirt you just can never get rid of. The one you've had since high school that never goes out of style.

- Anything else you'd like to add? Nah, that's about it. Love, Peace and a Polar Fleece everyone!

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