Diana has dabbled in many crafts over the years including macrame, woodworking and leather crafting. Sewing, crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint and photography...as well as her precious puppies and wonderful hubby...take up so much of her time, that Diana wishes she could be cloned so that she could experiment with glass etching and needle felting.
Diana started selling dog sweaters at her dog groomer's shop 4 years ago and has since branched out to a stint on eBay and then Etsy. Etsy offers so many ways to utilize a crafter's expertise...contests, games, giveaways, charity auctions and Christmas boxes for children in the hospital that Diana is content with sewing for Etsy, an occasional craft fair, family and friends.
Diana, how did you get into crafting?
I think crafting is either in your blood or it's not. I started crafting when I was 7,crocheting and knitting. I made all my own Barbie doll clothes. Started selling little Christmas dolls when I was 12. Starting making some of my own clothes when I was 14.
What type of crafts do you enjoy?
I love fashion design. My dream as a child was to go to Fashion Institute of Technology to learn pattern making, and open my own shop. But life got in the way. I also love needlepoint, cross stitch, crocheting, sewing and photography. I am so happy to have found Etsy where I mix many of these loves to create my shop and my designs.
Do you have a favorite craft?
I love crocheting and designing dog sweaters. I am also obsessed with fabric, and love designing dresses and vests for the dogs. I have even combined these 2 loves into something I created that I call a skirt-ter. It is a fabric skirt with a crocheted sweater top.
What inspires you?
I am so glad that you asked that. Probably my love for dogs inspires me the most. These wonderful creatures that God put on this earth just for us to love, to enjoy, and to befriend. The pleasure I feel when someone receives one of my outfits and sends me pictures, keeps me on a high. My own dogs inspire me as well. It all started when I got my first small breed dogs Giupetto, and Gianna. I always had big dogs growing up and we never dressed our dogs. When I got my "babies" I went out and bought them lots of clothes, but they didn't fit right. So I decided to make her a poncho and him a sweater. I am still selling the very first design I ever made. I call it "Show Time".
Do you have a favorite theme?
I love making designs for the holidays the best. Christmas and Halloween costumes are my favorite.
How many hours per week do you get to enjoy crafting?
I work at a full time job so I do not get as much time crafting as I would like. I do spend as much time as possible in the evenings and much of the weekend crafting, but take time out to enjoy my husband, my fur babies, and our family.
What project was your favorite from beginning to end?
I received a request to do almost an entire bridal party for dogs. The wedding dress was my favorite. I also loved making the groom's velvet tuxedo vest and the groomsmen's bandannas. The range of sizes from tiny Chihuahua to large Cumberland Spaniel made me laugh. I also made a cute little dress for one of the attendees.
What project was a nightmare from beginning to end?
No real nightmares yet, but I do remember when Gianna ate a customers patch for a sweater, and I had to replace it. Sometimes some of the dogs' sizes are a challenge, but I love a challenge. I also receive many custom orders, which take the most time. But when the customer is happy with the results it makes all the time spent well worth it.
Have you ever hurt yourself crafting?
Many stuck fingers and my fingernails are always scraped up from pins.I bled on a white dog vest once, and had to start it over.
Do you have friends and/or relatives that craft?
My Mom loved to craft, and her Mom was a seamstress. I have also met such wonderful crafters on etsy, and have become very good friends with many of them.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would love to thank my Mom for passing on her love for crafting, her talent, and her genes. She passed away last year, but I still show her my new designs, and hope she is proud of me. I was visiting her grave this past April when I got the idea of starting a second shop to sell my pre-mades. Even the name of the shop just came to me. It was all so clear. I felt it must have come from her, so I
started setting it up as soon as I got home. The shop is StylinDogsBoutique.etsy.com. I have recently added dog and cat toys to the shop and plan on adding hats soon. The very best part is I got my husband involved stuffing the bones. So I have named them "Hubby stuffed" dog bone toys. (He is very proud of them.)
Thank you, Diana! Your dogs are adorable and so photogenic. I love the 'Hubby Stuffed' toys. I've got a bunch of grandkids living with me...maybe I can keep them out of trouble by teaching them to quilt.
Etsy is the online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Etsy connects buyers with independent creators and shop owners to find the very best in handmade, vintage and supplies.