Today's featured artist is Michelle Couch, the owner and designer behind the Etsy shop Rhys & Rae's Creations. She creates gorgeous handmade fabric flowers from linen, satin, lace and more. Keep reading to learn more about Michelle and her beautiful flowers!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you create?
I'm a single mom of two little girls, ages 7 and 9. I work full time from my home studio making handmade fabric flowers. I use all types of fabric such as high quality, vintage finds and repurposed fabrics.
Is there a story behind the name Rhy's & Rae's Creations?
I combined my daughters names. Kennedy Rae and Reece. I took Reece and shortened it to spell Rhys because my favorite actor is Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Rhys and Rae's.
Were you always interested in art and crafting?
Yes. I've been a DIY enthusiast for the past 12 years. It all started when I bought my first house. I wanted to decorate it myself so I purchased every decorating magazine available. I was amazed how you could turn something old into something new. I decorated my entire house by repurposing old items.
How did you get into making fabric flowers?
Pinterest. I saw all the lovely DIY fabric flowers and wanted to make my own so my daughters would have a cute headband for every outfit. I decorated their shoes, t-shirts, curtains, lamps.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I was inspired to create My linen and lace flowers from an old western movie I watched. I loved the old, raggedy look of antiques.
Can you briefly describe the process of how you make your flowers?
I use a template of a drawn flower and cut my fabric from the template. I use several fabrics and layer them together, sewn them in place, and add buttons, rhinestones, or pearls to the center.
How did you get started selling on Etsy?
Do you sell or showcase your work anywhere else? I was selling a lot of my fabric flowers to friends, school teachers, and cheerleaders here in my community and I was doing very well. I have a great support system and I was always being told to try etsy and expand my customer base. My shop opened November 20, 2013. My first sell was 3 days after the shop was opened.
Do you have any advice for others thinking about selling their work online?
You cannot do it alone. You have to read the etsy sellers handbook, join etsy teams, take good photographs in natural lighting, advertise to every free site you find, such as Pinterest, Smashion.com, Craigslist, rebelmouse, twitter and create a Facebook fan page. You should also create treasuries. I am still learning and making changes and I appreciate honest advice from team members when I ask for my shop to be critiqued.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend all of my free time with my daughters. We go have dinner together, bday parties, soccer games, gymnastics, and we play games at home. They are my entire world!
What is something about yourself that not many people know?
Many people don't know that I'm a homebody. I love decorating my house, cleaning it, cooking dinner, working and all the other Betty Crocker stuff.
Anything else you'd like to share?