I'm starting a new series, friends! I love discovering talented and beautiful Etsy shops, and I'd like to support them here on the blog. Knowing more about the hard work and artists behind handmade shops makes us realize just how special they are. So today I'd like to introduce you to Julia, the owner and artist of the little shop, Hilitos, where she sells hand-knitted toys and adorable photography prints.
1. How and when did you start knitting?
I started taking an interest in crochet a few years ago, but it wasn't until I joined Ravelry that I found my passion for knitting! Although I see myself as self-taught knitter, I can well say I owe most of what I know and do to the many talented knitters out there who inspire me on a daily basis.
2. What inspired you to open an Etsy shop?
I guess I've always had a thing for crafts and handmade, it's part of the way I've been raised. The idea of supporting people's work- and not machines' - just goes with me. I love being part of this wonderful community.
3. How would you describe your store in a few words?
Handmade, high quality and unique are three words that I'm trying to relate to my little shop.
4. What does "Hilitos" mean and why did you choose it as your shop name?
"Hilitos" (which sounds similar to "hee-lee-tohs") is Spanish for "little threads". Since I deal with threads a lot and sell toys, I wanted a cute name and thought of a Spanish word as I'm in Argentina.
5. What are you goals for the shop and your career?
To be honest, when I opened my Etsy shop I was only hoping to sell those few toys I had kit as a hobby in my spare time. Just recently I made the decision to build my small business, as it would be just wonderful to make a little profit out of something I truly enjoy. At the moment I'm working on a new toy collection and I'm still learning the whole business deal...
6. Your photos are beautiful. When did you become interested in photography?
Thank you :) Actually I've been interested in photography since I was a little girl. I got a simple film camera for a birthday once, and would shoot non stop with it (I'm pretty sure my parents regretted it as soon as I started asking for more film rolls!). Then I had a "photography off" moment and picked it up again a few years ago. Obviously, I've got a lot to learn yet, but then again, one never stops learning right?
7. What is the hardest part about running your own shop?
For me, that's got to be self promoting and marketing. I find it hard to put myself out there, mostly because part of me still thinks that marketing will eventually come along... by itself. So I guess the lazy me is somewhat involved in it.
8. I also see you knit your own clothes. Do you plan to sell those as well someday?
I would love to sell sweaters and cardigans some day. At the moment I find it quite hard because either it would be too expensive for me and the potential buyer, or I knit them from copyrighted patterns (which won't allow selling items made from them). We'll see, hopefully in a few years I'll be able to design my own patterns.
9. How has knitting contributed to your personal growth?
I say it often and hear it a lot from others, knitting is like some kind of therapy! It'd be exaggerated to say it has made me a better person but it certainly contributed to problem solving... In some way it has made me a more secure person, I often feel proud when I'm wearing a handmade sweater and get asked where I got it.
10. Which item in your shop is your favourite?
It's a bit hard to choose as I can relate my toys to the time I had made them. Right now my favourite is this bunny. it was the first one I knitted in that colour and didn't like him at all. After putting a bit extra work on his facial features, I got a lovely chubby bunny that makes me smile whenever I look at him.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Julia, her handmade process and her extraordinary talent! In addition to her bunnies, she also has elephants, cats, tigers, dogs, beavers, and even dragons. Please check out Julia's shop--her little toys are the perfect gift for newborns and toddlers, and her photography prints are lovely for any room! Be sure to spread the word :) Etsy love goes a long way!