Comments on this giveaway are now closed.
The winner is Journeys of The Zoo! I’ve already contacted you and you have through 4/24 to get back to me with your mailing address.
Today’s giveaway is sponsored by Ulla Seckler aka GermanDolls. Ulla is a longtime member of the NaturalKids Team on Etsy. Enjoy the interview with our veteran seller on Etsy.
Ulla will be giving away ONE of her cute Necklace Leafbuddies which have been a bestseller in her shop. Please read the rules at the end and comment if you would like to win this cute little one.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Just keep reading back on the blog if you would like to get to know me better. My name is Ulla Seckler, a transplant from Germany, dollmaker, blogwriter, mom to two children, married to a teacher, living in beautiful Colorado. I can see the mountains where we live but we don’t live in them – unfortunately.
What inspires your creations?
My work is definitely inspired by my German heritage and love of sewing and crafting. I grew up in household with 4 sisters. We all loved to draw and make stuff. We also got to play outside and roam by the river. I think nature has always played an important part in my life.
What are your favorite materials to use?
I love wool in any form or shape. I use it in its raw form for stuffing my soft dolls. I use mohair and other yarns for making doll hair and wigs. I utilize wool roving for needlefelting and woolfelt for doll shoes and my cute little Leafbuddies.
The second most important material I use is fabric for my dollclothes. I am kind of addicted to Japanese cloth. If I was rich I’d have a room filled with stacks and stacks of pretty fabric.
How do you balance you family life with creating?
I am an early morning riser. I get up around 4 AM because I love to use those peaceful morning hours before everyone gets up to read and write. I like to write on my blog and the NaturalKids team blog. It’s amazing how much one can accomplish while the rest of the family is asleep.
I have been a stay-at-home mom forever. I love it because I can be with them when they are sick. I don’t homeschool but I see so many parents who send their kids to school sick because they have a job and are afraid to stay home with their kids if they are sick. I love my job because it gives me that freedom.
How do you keep the inspiration well pumping?
I love what I do and get mostly inspired by my family and my customers who often send me photos and wonderful feedback and notes about my work. Sometimes when sales are slow I get down on myself. In fact, this past March was such a month. I didn’t have a single sale in over 10 days and felt really bad because of it.
I think it’s important for artists and crafters to keep creating and believing in your product. Don’t let the slow times get you down. Just keep making the things that you enjoy and eventually sales will pick up again. You must believe in yourself or nobody will!
How did you get started in your craft?
I started making dolls and dollclothes when I had children of my own. I grew up with homemade toys made by my mom, grandma, and grandpa. I believe in the special power of handmade toys. Nothing says I love you like a toy made by a real person.
What advice do you have for others, trying to make a business with their craft?
It’s really tough to make a decent living making toys. Especially in the doll market life has become much harder and more competitive these days. In order to stand out you have to perfect your craft every day. It takes years of promoting and creating quality products to achieve success.
Photos are really important. Online shopping is all about great pictures because people cannot touch your work and you must create an image that conveys the quality of your work.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play? I think kids are naturally drawn to handmade toys if they receive them. They can feel the love that goes into them. It’s like magic!
How can you win this Giveway?
- Visit Ulla’s shop and make it a favorite today. Maybe you can drop her a line and tell what is your favorite item in her shop.
- Visit Ulla’s Facebook Page and become a fan
- Follow GermanDolls blog
- Follow GermanDolls on Twitter
- blog, facebook, pin, and tweet this Giveaway
This Promotion is Worldwide. You have until next week Wednesday to leave a comment. Please, note that Members of NaturalKids Team and their families cannot participate in this promotion. The Winner will be announced next Thursday (4/12).