Today’s interview is with Cynthia of DoSiDough who makes the coolest colored chalks and play time doughs I’ve ever seen. Check out her natural and safe alternatives to the national brands!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
I am in sunny Phoenix, AZ. As I write this, I am feeling a little warm in short sleeves. We usually have Thanksgiving outside. I was born into arts and crafts. My maternal grandmother was an accomplished oil painter. My paternal grandmother did ceramics. My paternal grandfather painted as well. My mother (http://tapestry316.etsy.com) worked in an art gallery while pregnant with me. I think somehow art got into my umbilical cord. She currently is part-owner of picture framing, gallery and art supply stores in Prescott, AZ (of which I managed the art store for several years). My mother also crafted all the time. She spent hours a day making and creating stuff. She can sew anything, and has had magazines feature her beautiful work. She sewed my wedding gown! So, that’s how I got started in the arts and crafts: I was born.
What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
The main thing I sell is play dough. Sidewalk chalk and watercolor paints are the only other things currently, but keep an eye out for additional art supplies in the future. Other than that, I’ve made a couple of babies (but I had a little help in the beginning).
Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
My husband puts up with an awful lot of DoSiDough stuff. I have hundreds of tins, stacks of chalk and watercolors, boxes of play dough, papers, supplies and miscellaneous boxes of glitter and glue and labels! Other than him, I must give credit to Stacey of http://staceyrebecca.etsy.com for forcing me to sign up on Etsy.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration for my store is largely based on color. I peruse the color charts and start envisioning mashing colors together and swirling stuff and adding glitter. It all starts with color. Aside from color, it’s motivating to provide safer art/creative products for the hands of children whose bodies are more vulnerable to environmental toxins. My inspiration for life? We’ll save that for another time.
What are your favorite materials?
It would be a lie to say play dough is a favorite material of mine. I like to attempt sewing, but I’m terrible at it. I like to cook and bake, so maybe food is my favorite material…?
What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
My advice to potential/new sellers: List often, take phenomenal photos, and at least spend a few minutes a day exploring the other features of Etsy (forums, chat, treasuries, Storque, pounce, gift guides, etc.). Also, it just makes sense to be aware of what (for lack of a better word) “competition” you have. On Etsy, it’s not about competing, but I think a basic knowledge of other similar products on the site is beneficial.
What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Invest in good sneakers for standing in, buy a medium sized spoonula (spoon+spatula), wear a mask when mixing up the chalk and have fun!
What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?
I’m in a congo on Hyena Cart: http://hyenacart.com/CrunchyCongo
I’m also somewhere on Dawanda, but apparently play dough isn’t a big deal there.