Business Babes | An Interview with FUN CULT

Shop Name: 

Tell us about yourself:
I have been making my unique style of banners since I first started the shop in 2005.
I have done craft tutorials for books put out by Chronical and Penguin.
I watch a lot of old movies. I love TCM.
I enjoy roadtrips, 1 day or 3 weeks.
I like watching business related shows like Shark Tank, The Profit, and especially Nathan For You. 

A description of your product / materials / aesthetic:
You will find that my Fringe Banners can be a special detail on your wedding day just as well as they can hang in your apartment where you eat lots of pizza and play your records like they are a soundtrack to your life. You can hang up one of my HOORAY banners when your kid aces their science project, or you can tack it up in your road trip van when you and your best pals take a trip cross-country. My vintage textile light shades will work with your flea market finds just as they will compliment a clean and modern decor aesthetic. My work is sort of like a favorite vintage rhinestone necklace- you can wear it with your fancy dress just as well as with your old t-shirt and worn out jeans. 

When did you start your shop?
I started under the name Nice in 2005. I set up a shop on Etsy and began doing the Renegade Craft Fairs. In early 2012, I was sick with what I thought was the flu. I found out that, quite randomly, I have kidney failure and require a transplant. I had to put my shop on hold for 15 months. When I was finally able to begin working again, in the spring of 2013 I decided it was a good time for a change, and I relaunched as FUN CULT.

What are your goals for your shop in 2014?
I hope that this will be the year that I can return to working 100% and once again reach the success I was having before I became sick! I think about it every day and am looking forward to it. I love what I do and I have a massive list of new product ideas I'm dying to get to. It's been a challenge just organizing a photo shoot, which can be my favorite part of launching a new product. I know things will even out soon enough.

Things that most inspire you to create:
I really love that customers use my pieces for everyday use as well as special occasions. The Fringe Banner, my current best seller, was inspired by some trim I had for years. I ended up tacking it up on my wall and soon after the idea to create a banner that brought to mind vintage paper party decor came to mind. I wanted it to last (not fade, bend, tear or bleed) but also appear dreamy and delicate. I wanted it to look like something an artist may piece together between projects to brighten their studio. 

Do you have a favorite Etsy shop besides your own? Care to share?
SO many. Really, I cannot pick just one! Instead let me direct you to my favorites list, which still needs to grow since I switched accounts from Nice to FUN CULT.

A peek inside your workspace:
I had to move back home and so my work space is the smallest it has ever been. I have a lot of things to store until I can move back out again, so I work mostly on the dinning room table and sometimes on the living room floor if I want to watch a movie at the same time. It's not ideal at all, but I am very happy to be working again. I know I'll have my dream space again some day! Lots of space, lots of natural light, great storage, a couple of large work tables, and a shipping station.

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out?
I wholeheartedly believe the key to a successful handmade business is to create a unique product that only you could think of. Your business begins with YOU. You have the ability to give the world something that comes right from your heart. Do not get caught up in trends and what you think people are buying, instead listen to your instinct. If you think about what YOU wish was out there, you have the ablity to CREATE a trend and thus really stand out and gain a following. 

What would your ideal day be like?
Heading to my studio either in my home or walking distance away. Coffee is hot and with a snack. I'm all caught up on current orders and it's time to get to my endless list of new ideas. Lunch with my boyfriend or friend(s). Maybe make a supply run. Get back to work. Finish the day and leave the studio at a normal time...insist I enjoy my evening doing other things besides working (which is tough as that's also enjoyable.)

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