Guest series 2012:Â I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creatorsÂ 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 aÂ backyard studio in East Grand Rapids Michigan, a short walk to Gas Light Village and Reedâ€™s lake…a cozy little neighborhood,Â one hour from Lake Michigan and three hours from Chicago. Â
When I started LooploftÂ 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 exerciseÂ my creative outlet with them. I would sew halloween costumes and Easter dresses, decorate and re-decorate their rooms, and no matterÂ 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. Iâ€™ve found success with these and now have a full â€˜linen lineâ€™. About a year ago I added a custom ‘wedding ring pillow’ and a ‘tooth fairy pillowâ€™ 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 someÂ 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! Â
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,Â as much as a source for inspiratio, has alsoÂ 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 meÂ fulfilmentÂ 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.