Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. I am very excited to have a wonderful lot of fellow creative folk guest posting here at whipup.net over the next couple of months. Please welcome…
Lisa Siebert, is the designer and owner of Looploft, a small, fiber arts business. Looploft is conveniently located as a backyard studio in East Grand Rapids Michigan, a short walk to Gas Light Village and Reed’s lake…a cozy little neighborhood, one hour from Lake Michigan and three hours from Chicago.
When I started Looploft a few years ago, it was mostly a hobby, exploring designs and specializing in natural and repurposed fabrics. I was determined to evolve it over time, into my own business. My creative interests and background is varied and I hold a graphic and advertising design degree. When I became a full-time mom, helping to raise our three children, I was always seeking ways to exercise my creative outlet with them. I would sew halloween costumes and Easter dresses, decorate and re-decorate their rooms, and no matter how small our home was, we always had an art room for creative ventures.
In my initial years of Looploft, I was making mostly one-of-a-kind softies out of repurposed wool sweaters. However the thrift store inventory for wool sweaters was dropping as others also found those useful, and I was finding that I had less time do the hunting. My product collection has evolved toward simple designs that include my own printed fabric and printed graphics. I’ve found success with these and now have a full ‘linen line’. About a year ago I added a custom ‘wedding ring pillow’ and a ‘tooth fairy pillow’ and they are among my top sellers these days.
I was excited to find spoonflower as a resource that allowed me to design and print small batches of fabric I use on some of my products. Another time saver (I read about somewhere) has helped me with all of the fabric appliques I do: use a glue stick to affix the applique to the linen instead of pinning, it is so fast and easy and works like a charm!
A good day for me at Looploft: I wake up, make coffee, check Etsy and respond to customer orders. I retreat to my studio where I work until late afternoon when school gets out. I have a postal scale in my studio and a laptop so my orders can be boxed and labeled conveniently. I head to the post office and the coffee house next door for a raspberry and white chocolate scone. During really busy weeks I may have to go back out to the studio in the evening to fulfill orders.
When I have free time, I can be found getting creative inspiration from my favorite current or back issues of Anthology Magazine, Selvedge, UPPERCASE and Domino. I love pinning things on pinterest to get my creative juices going and also sharing my latest creations from my shop. Pinterest, as much as a source for inspiratio, has also been a very effective marketing tool for me, driving nearly a third of the traffic I get at LoopLoft. Over time I would like to launch my own blog and focus a bit more on social media as a marketing tool as well.
This fall both of our girls will be in college and I feel fortunate to have a business now to bring me fulfilment and to help us afford that. For me, I feel it’s a gift to live a life with a creative spark and to enjoy sharing in the process along the way.