What is the name of your shop and how did you come up with it?
My shop name is Ed & Edith - the names of my maternal grandparents. I always thought the name combination was cute for a couple (and now for my shop) and I love that it has a personal connection as well. My logo features two dancing feet - one man and one woman's because the real Ed & Edith loved to go cut a rug every Saturday night at the local dinner club.
What do you make in your shop and how can we find you?
My etsy shop features personalized and custom digital watercolor portraits and painting. The paintings are based on images clients share with me. I create head shots, single subject portraits, couples, brides and families. I love creating art that is both personal and custom, yet something totally unique.
|self portrait of Alison :)|
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I live in a small rural MN community, am married and [am] mom to a daughter, Sofia, age 14 and two boys, Calvin and Holden, 12 and 5. By profession I'm a speech-language pathologist, but after the birth of my children I found a creative release in photography and for the past 11 years I have run my own custom portrait studio. I recently found a new creative outlet in my watercolor art and I love the opportunity to create a new form of art for myself and clients. I can remember as a child thinking that being an artist would be just the best job ever... but then the realistic side would take over at some point and tell myself that that wasn't feasible. It's just really been in the last few months that I feel comfortable wearing the title "artist". I've just signed on to illustrate a children's book and am super excited to work through this totally new challenge. I can't say too much about it at this time but my artistic skills are getting a work out and it's certainly a creative challenge!
How did you get started?
I've always enjoyed doing photographs and have advocated clients to decorate their homes with things that have true meaning for them. My art from Ed & Edith is a new twist on that. I enjoy hearing from clients that the art print reminds them of a very special event or moment. I have lots of moms who send in custom requests for images with their son or daughter in a special outfit. It's a great way to keep those memories fresh.
Does anyone help you with your shop?
I have a wonderful friend, Kari, who has taken over the printing and shipping aspect of my business and she is just the best. She's my "Vice President" and Assistant CEO. It's wonderful to have someone you can trust and who is just as invested in making your shop a success.
What is your favorite piece in your shop and how did you come up with it?
Well all my watercolors have a special place in my heart and each one is so different, but I am having lots of fun with the new "vintage" fashion illustrations in my shop. I love the ease of having printable downloads and my customers have been making art, planner decor and all kinds of neat things from them. I just love anything retro.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration flows directly from the images clients send to me and commission me to paint for them. I have gotten everything from a wedding couple in a diner booth to an ugly Christmas sweater... and it's so neat how each one comes out so cute. I especially adore when clients are images of their final print hung in their home.
Where do you see your shop in the future? What are your aspirations for it?
Ed & Edith is less than 6 months old and so we are continuing to build our following and keep our shop stocked, but it's been a wonderful venture and it's so great to be part of a community where shopping small and shopping homemade is so valued. I love that clients are thinking of Ed & Edith for their holiday shopping and baby gifts, etc.
Any advice for other small businesses or momtrepreneurs?
I think it is true that you either have to be willing to invest time or money. You won't get far not investing either. But while new start-ups can certainly consume a lot of your time, there are days when you have to acknowledge that you cannot do it all... and pick up the next day and try again. It's definitely a balance and I think women especially are always trying to find the balance between wife, mom and boss.
What are some of YOUR favorite shops and small businesses?
Oh there are just so many, but I adore Happy Little Fin (@happylittlefin) who makes the most perfect headwear, floral crowns and vintage hanky headbands. They look great on babes and moms both. They are truly one of a kind and I love all things unique and vintage. I also adore Nickichicki (@nickichicki_) knit wear because who can resist anything with a pom on it? I know I can't! Her stuff is warm and cute and to die for!