Crafting – to some it can be daunting with visions of painted elbow macaroni bonded with Elmer’s School Glue onto construction paper, slapped onto the refrigerator for all to see. To others, like me, it is embraced with wide open arms. It means opening up a world of creativity whether for yourself or for others; a chance for inspiration, creating, replicating, and gift giving. If your product is good enough coupled with style and just the right amount of uniqueness, it means making a little cash on the side. Now, aside from how lucrative anyone’s crafting is, it’s about doing something that you enjoy, something that you wake up and look forward to doing. Not many people can say that about their jobs nowadays. I’ve only met a few people in my life that can actually say they enjoy what they do. Me? No, not yet. Believe me, I’m working on it though. I love crafting, designing, I love to write, I love painting and sketching; I love being creative and love the idea of an end result product that has come from my own hands. Crafting can be done in a mass variety of ways – fabrics, clay, wreaths, paintings, digital art, refurbishing from old to new; the possibilities are endless. Thanks to the internet, crafting has just exploded on craft specific websites such as Etsy and Pintrest. A crafter’s audience is now limitless.
Here is someone I know personally. I have known her for quite some time; it must be about 7 or 8 years or so? I’m not even sure; my entire 20s are a complete blur to be honest.
Her name is Patricia Moreno and she is the girl behind The Pixelette – an increasingly popular Etsy shop where you can order custom cake toppers, stationary and illustrations made entirely by her. It’s digital artistry where elegant meets modern then shakes hands with personal touch. She has been featured in Buzzfeed and Mom.me which is a phenomenal achievement since there are thousands upon thousands of talented artists and crafters. I had a chance to ask her some questions that I thought would prove beneficial for those just starting out sprinkled with little gems of wisdom coming from someone that has been in this game for a little longer than others. Take a minute to read through her responses and if you’re interested in getting into something along these lines, this is the article you need to read and soak it in because this is coming from a pro. Plus, she’s just an absolute cutie inside and out! LOVE this girl!
Tell me about how you got into your line of work?
Well, I used to sell vintage through Etsy, but I would always follow these real artistic sellers. I really wanted a shop of my own where I could get crafty as well. So I opened up The Pixelette. I put up some zombie cupcake toppers and some cards I made for my wedding. A customer wrote to me and asked me if I could draw her and her husband as zombie fighters for their wedding, so that was the first one I made. From then on it was mostly collaborations between me and the brides.
What is most rewarding about this; what makes it all worthwhile?
The most rewarding part for me is when I get a customer who loved their topper or drawing. Even when I get a message telling me they love my work and describe what they see in it. It blows my mind that people actually like it.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Probably my stats for this year. I had doubled my orders, revenue, views, by the middle of the year compared to last year. I was so excited and I hope it continues.
Who do you consider most influential to you?
Emily Martin of the Black Apple on Etsy. She was/is my inspiration because I saw her shop back in 2008 and it was just her drawings then. I would read her blog and she had goals of being an illustrator and she has accomplished her goals, even been on Martha Stewart and she did it all through Etsy.
What was it like seeing your creations featured in Buzzfeed and in the article “Our 50 Favorite Etsy Moms” by Mom.me?
I was so excited about the 50 favorite Etsy moms feature. It came at a perfect time too, it was the busiest my shop had ever gotten and I was stressed out by also being a stay at home mom, so it just gave me that little reassurance in myself. And Buzzfeed, I kept seeing traffic sources from Buzzfeed and when I searched it on my own, I was really happy, and actually relieved it wasn’t on a “fails” or “regretsy” types of list!
What is the most valuable piece of advice you can offer to someone wanting to start an Etsy shop?
I would say make goals, like by Friday I am going to add so many products, try to get so many views and have so many sales by the end of the month. Etsy provides you with stats so you can actively try to reach your goals. And plan ahead. Once you do a year on Etsy you can see which months are going to be good and what you can do for those slow months. It’s helpful to setting goals.
In addition to digital art, what else interests you? What hobbies catch your attention?
I love to bake. I used to love to decorate and try baking different things. But now because of Etsy and the one year old, my baking has been cut to sugar cookies…which is ok for now.
You have two beautiful children – a daughter, 11 months and a son, 3 years, how are you able to manage and maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Lots of help! My husband helps on the weekends and my mom helps when she can. She will even cut for me if I need a break from the work. My husband will make me leave the house to go to the park or to go thrifting, because if it were up to me, I’d probably stay locked in my room all day working on orders. I’ll try to include my son when my daughter naps. I’ll set him up next to me with paper and crayons.
Favorite weekend activity (whether alone or with your family)?
We do the same thing every weekend, we lounge around in our pjs and watch Netflix, then we’ll get dressed go thrifting, then back home for more Netflix. It’s pretty simple but fun.
What’s your favorite funny story about yourself?
Recently, we went to Sea World and my husband I got on water rollercoaster. I immediately regretted doing that on the way up to the big drop. When we went down, I grabbed the little 12 year old girl next to me instead of my husband to the right of me. When we got off the ride I knew what I had done and my husband reminded me to go and see the photos. I was so humiliated because sure enough I’m grabbing onto this poor girl and it’s documented in a photo somewhere!
What was your favorite toy (or game) as a child, and why?
I’d have to say my Nintendo. I got one right when it came out and even though all of these other game systems would come out I would still play it. When I moved out of my mom’s, I found it and had it hooked up to my TV again! It never really went away!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to draw, like be an illustrator, fashion designer (when I was really little), graphic artist. I was always wanting to do something in that field.
If you could do anything now, what would you do? Why?
Probably go back to school and finish my degree. I’m so close and I would get my Bachelors in Art so that I could learn new skills and maybe actually become a graphic artist.
There you have it, folks. She’s so very down to earth and just an all-around cool lady. Links to her shop and articles have been included here in this post. If you have a wedding coming up and looking for a personal touch, visit her Etsy shop and browse! Everything she’s featured in her shop is so visually pleasing to the eye. Her creations are just amazing and cute and inspiring. I’m actually thinking of remarrying my husband all over again *just* to have these cake toppers and invitations made by her. Thank you for reading, cheers!