Friday, August 22, 2008

Graphic Designer and Cool Gal: The HenryRabbit ETSY True Hollywood Story

Some of you may remember us holding a contest a while back where we were searching for a graphic designer to help us with a new banner for our team shop.  The winner would receive a generous prize package and a feature on our blog. One such designer arose from the mist and gave us the banner you see here today.

Here we go...

The HenryRabbit Story

EO: Tell us all about you, as much or as little as you'd love to share with the Etsy world.

HR: I am a 31 year old wife and stay-home mommy to two beautiful kids, Natalie who is 3 1/2 and Milo who is 18 months. They are my whole world, and they inspire me in everything I do. Other than graphic design, my hobbies are photography, reading, watching reality TV and shopping. I'm rarely outside with my kids without the camera, and the term "mamarazzi" totally fits me. Reading is my luxury, something I love, but don't get much time to do. And reality TV shows like Survivor, Project Runway, and, well...pretty much all of them, are my guilty pleasure.

EO: What made you get started with your craft, and how'd you end up on Etsy?

Tell us about your graphic designs and about your cute-as-pie plush rabbits.

HR: I actually started doing graphic design through one of my parenting message boards. I started out creating cute signature images for myself and then was asked to do them for some of the other moms on the boards. I was content doing that for a long time, and learned a lot about Photoshop in the process. In March of '07, someone on the message boards posted about Etsy, and warned us not to go there unless we had a few hours to kill. They weren't kidding!! I have always been a huge sucker for stuffed animals, and I was so enthralled by all the unique and wonderful plush creations I found there. I was entirely a buyer for about 7 months when someone (again from my message board) suggested I try making banners. I started out with a few premade banners and most of my first customers were other Etsy mamas from the boards. Once I got a few designs out there, I was hooked!

The henryrabbits came a few months later. Sewing has never really been one of my natural talents, though I do enjoy making things. My husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a few years earlier and I had never even taken it out of the box. I realized, with all the plush things I was buying on Etsy, that I could do something like that too. I was trying to do something based on my original logo, and the rabbits just sort of came to be. I didn't have anything real specific when I started. They've evolved since the first few I made. They now have fleece-lined ears, so they stand on their own. They're bigger, and I think I also pay a lot more attention to how the fabrics work together. I never expected them to be such a hit, but they seem to make people fall in love with them quite easily. In fact, I love them so much, I redesigned my logo to match more closely with their appearance.

EO: How did you choose your shop name?

HR: Funny thing about shop name actually came about because of Myspace. Way back in 2004, I joined Myspace and my user name was Natalie's Mommy. My main picture was a picture of Natalie, who was just a baby then. As anyone who knows Myspace can imagine, such a name and picture invited a lot of...well, less than desierable people to contact me. I decided to change my name to something less obvious, and while looking around the room for inspiration, I saw a stuffed rabbit that my husband had bought for me during our honeymoon that I had named Henry. Henry Rabbit came into being that day and I've used the name in most of my online endeavors ever since. It was perfect for Myspace, since most people saw the name Henry and assumed I was a guy. Funny, since I never go on Myspace anymore, but that's where the name came from. in fact, when I first signed up on Etsy, I had no intention of ever selling anything. Lucky that I love the name so much I didn't have to worry about changing it when I started selling.

EO: what inspires you to create?

HR: Just the love of creating something new and cute. My customers come up with awesome ideas, so I'm always inspired by them. Going to the fabric store always inspires me to create new henryrabbits, which isn't good for my wallet or my ever growing fabric stash.

EO: What made you join the EtsyOWLS banner contest and how did you come up with the winning design?

HR: I was contacted by Jamie from suenosdejmi about the banner contest. I love designing owls, so I was very excited to get started. I designed the owl first, and then came up with the background. The details for the contest said that you ladies liked bright and bold colors and funky designs, so I wanted something fun and colorful.

EO:describe yourself in one word:

HR: kaleidescope

EO: What is your favorite:

--animal? cats

--Muppet? Beaker

--pizza topping? pepperoni

--Game Show? Supermarket Sweep!

--Etsy seller? How can I choose just one?? mintconspiracy, chimeracrochet, vickangaroo, siansburys, name a few!

**Special thanks to Amanda from HenryRabbit for being so awesome!  She does wonderful graphic design and she's been an absolute pleasure to work with!!  Please visit her shop if you are looking for a fun and new graphic to spruce up your shop!**


J-Mi said...

Amazing interview! Amanda, thanks for being so great! We just love you :)

thesweetlimetree said...

Aww, thanks ladies!! It's so neat seeing your name "up in lights" like this. :o)


Holly! said...

OMG those bunnies are the cutest things EVER!!!


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