Today’s Indie Artist Fixx interview with a mover and shaker in the indie world is with Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch. I’ve long been a fan of Subversives Cross Stitch and even have my own sampler. I’m so glad I had a chance to sit down, albeit virtually, with Julie and see what makes her tick.
She’s one neato keen chick with a totally wicked sense of humor and you can find out more about her below in her interview.
1. What’s the name of your business and what do you create and sell?
Subversive Cross Stitch. Irreverent cross stitch kits and supplies.
2. How did you get started with your craft?
It occurred to me when I was stuck at a dead-end job with a hellish boss – it started as art therapy.
3. How did you get started with your business?
I put a few things online to share with friends, then the web found me and it took off all on its own.
4. What else do you do besides Subversive Cross Stitch? Hobbies, other arts & crafts you do, other businesses etc.
I’ve been a freelance writer for years and I have recently written articles and interviews for magazines including Craft, JPG and LAB. I blog in a few different places, I’m mad for Flickr, and I’m generally all about the web 24/7. My latest project is that we’re having our house completely remodeled, so that has wiped out any free time.
5. Tell us one funny/goofy/silly thing about yourself.
I was an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood when I was at grad school in Pittsburgh. I spent the weekends at events dressed up as Purple Panda, muttering obscenities under my breath at all the horribly-behaved children (they couldn’t hear inside the panda head, don’t worry).
6. What do you love about what you do? What do you not love so much?
Everything. Every single minute of it. It’s a dream come true. I thank my lucky stars every day.
7. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at? List as many as you want.
You’ll regret this one – I’m a magazine-aholic. We subscribe to everything from meatpaper to Vanity Fair, you name it. My favorites? Wallpaper, iD, Print, HOW, Bust, Craft, Make, Readymade.
Shops: ebay, etsy.com, amazon, chocolateselrey.com, Blue Q, Elsewheres, Moo.com, Qoop, Unica Home, ex libris anonymous, Crafter for Critters, Superindustriallove, Ornamental Things.com and Severed Unicorn Head Superstore.
8. Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?
Very. Everything. I was always in advanced art classes – I love screenprinting, papercutting (I used to sell greeting cards that were cut by hand), photography, I used to paint murals, just a little bit of everything.
9. What’s your favorite decadent treat?
El Rey Venzuelan chocolate – dark – see my shopping list above for their URL.
My second favorite decadent treat is late-night shopping at etsy. I love getting good mail.
10. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
Independent, obviously – hee. Which I am. I don’t really relate to the counterculture hippie definition, though. I’m not ashamed to make a little money – I mean, it is a business, after all. My main concern is keeping my customers happy and donating a portion of my profits to good causes every chance I get. So I guess indie is about having the opportunity to make my own choices – and all about balance.
11. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
I’m guilty of listening to Howard Stern in the mornings. I enjoy his interviews, but I tune out the stupid stuff. I mix that with my huge music collection, This American Life, Fresh Air, and the occasional e-book. I have way too many books unread right now, but I’m enjoying bits and pieces of Miranda July’s “No One Belongs Here More Than You” and “Learning to Love Your More” (which I can’t believe I’m not in, I did so many projects for that site years ago), “Craft, Inc” (which I’m really enjoying and referring people to as a great resource — I declined to participate in it, I’m too chicken!), “What You’ve Been Missing” by Janet Desaulniers (a customer and really hilarious writer), “I Was Cuba” (gorgeous new photo book from Chronicle). I’ll stop there.
12. What are your inspirations?
Amazing product design, creative problem-solvers, people I see in Bust or Craft who are out there doing things that are so unique and smart and one step ahead of the crowd. People who write really well or take amazing photos (Derek Powazek and Heather Champ, I’m talkin’ ’bout you!) A million things I see in Wallpaper or online — I get so inspired by new ideas. The whole idea of cuteoverload, for example, what did we do before that? Stitchy McYarnpants and her hilarious book. The annual local senior citizens’ holiday craft fair. These all inspire me to tell other people that they can do anything they can imagine. More than they can imagine.
13. What’s next for Subversive Cross Stitch? Any new plans or products that you want to share?
New office space. New book (when I can find more time). New patterns and ideas for the site that I’m really excited about. And, I’m about to launch a new venture called kittywigs.com. Then maybe a vacation, or at least a nap!