Let me introduce you to Chio Bloom, whose website is bloomwoosie
She is going to tell us about her adventure.
How do I get started....
I grew up in a small coastal town in southern Japan. As far as I remember, I was always making things with my mom. My mom taught me everything I can think of in terms of what you make and do with your hands. As I wrote in my "profile" section at my Etsy store, my sister and I liked to stay home doing crafts in my mom's kitchen. By middle school and high school, I was making lunch bags, gym bags, and small cute things all by myself, that by the way, my mom still keeps in her drawer.
After I worked for a major American company in Tokyo for four years, I decided to study business here in the States. I was supposed to go home with my MBA, but I didn't - I got married to my husband. My older boy was born soon, and I just made so many things for him in my 6 months maternity leave. The crib bumpers, bibs, pajamas, blankets, diaper bags, anything you can think of for the baby. I discovered my destiny - making cute things for little people! My friends, neighbors, and other mommies from music and swimming classes kept asking me where I bought my stuff - this certainly gave me some confidence and put a little "seed" for my future Etsy adventure in my heart.
I became a full time stay-at-home mom when I had my littlest. He took a great nap every day - I came downstairs after he fell asleep and had so much fun making cute things for him. But there is only so much he can use and wear... I started to make things for other babies around me, and soon after, I decided to open up my shop at Etsy.
I make what I think other moms also like, using the fabrics I fell in love with. I just make sure to use high quality, comfortable materials as my items are for little, delicate people!
I opened my Etsy store in May 2007. Since then, I am having just a GREAT time.
Are you a professional artist?
I am a professional full time mommy, wife, and an artist (I am so honored to be called an "artist!"). I actually have other hobbies, too.
What inspires you?
Anything. Anything around me. My boys, their friends, my friends, books, window shopping, swimming pool, anything. Most of all, I love spending my time at bookstores just browsing books. I get really refreshed and visually (and intellectually?) inspired by the atmosphere.
What is your favorite piece?
My favorite piece is Mommy's One Mile Bag. I feel very special about this piece. When my littlest did not need a huge diaper bag anymore - maybe he had just turned one - I made this bag for myself to carry what I needed for a quick trip to neighbor stores and parks. I made several different sizes in different materials until I came up with the current design, and I am really confident that this bag WORKS. It is just the perfect size for anything - not too big, light, but carries a lot more than it looks.
Cotton fabrics - softer the better!
Any tips for fellow designers?
I am not in a position to give any advice... but one thing I have been most serious about is to make my customers happy. I have a baby gift business - people come to my store to buy gifts for themselves or someone they love. People think about their family and friends when buy gifts and every single gift is special for the person who buys and person who receives. I want everyone 120% happy with what they select as a gift, because that is what I want when I buy a gift for someone.
Any special promos?
I am not currently running any special promotion on my website, but please tell me by sending an Etsy conversation, if you found me through this blog. I will give you a secret discount...
What would you like to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. My mom did not think my science grade was good enough for that dream, and I was too easily convinced.
I love visiting the Diamond District in NYC - spectacular!!!
I like "Secret Agent Josephine" 's blog at http://secret-agent-josephine.com/blog. She is an excellent graphic designer, blogger, and a wonderful mommy. Her blog that often talks about her daughter "Baby Bug," is so honest, lively, and sweet. She actually reminds me of my mom a little bit.
My older son is a big boy now - he puts my customer packages in his backpack and bikes to the local post office for me. He is the biggest supporter of my website. I started making baby things for him, and I would never even have thought about doing what I am doing now without my boys. They are a bottomless source of my ... trouble, gray hair, and joy!
Arigato gozaimashita Chio :) Subarashuii !
Summertime in the city - London is a great destination in the Summer for tourists or for those having a staycation in the U.K. Around the Southbank there is always a line up of am...