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Congratulations to Arlene at Chez Whimsy for being this month's featured artist!
Read below for the interview & visit her shop!
Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have 3 full time jobs!! First job - wife and mom! Second job - school teacher (I teacher computer skills K-7.) Third Job - Chez Whimsy. I have a very supportive husband who helps me with everything! We have 3 beautiful teenage daughters who bring us much joy! They are also a big help!
How did you get started making handmade items?
If I see something crafty that I am really drawn to, I will always try to make it before buying it. I have created wreaths, wall hangings, painted outfits, hair bows, paintings...LOTS of stuff. I was taught how to sew by my mom and Home Ec. many years ago. I'm not a seamstress, but I can put a few things together! I have always had a love for personalized things, and wanted to get into embroidery, but was always too busy or felt I couldn't afford it. But, one day a friend and I began making personalized pillowcases and towels using fabric and a sewing machine. We saw a need to make them look more professional and decided to purchase an embroidery machine. I had already looked into creating a website and had picked the name Chez Whimsy for my business. From there it has evolved into a shop on ETSY creating mostly children's clothing.
What does a typical day look like for you?
At the moment, I am off for the summer! Although I still have to spend a few days at school during the summer break, I get to spend a few more hours in my shop during the day. Of course the girls are involved in school things and we also like to take an occasional fishing/crabbing trip. During school days, it tends to get very hectic! I have to run the girls here and there, cook, clean, do my schoolwork, and then stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. creating for my customers. But it always seems to work out!
If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
First I think I would need to let them know that we aren't all SWAMP PEOPLE; Secondly, I have lived here all of my life and I don't know anyone who has an accent like the guy who narrates SWAMP PEOPLE (that southern drawl thing); finally, the SAINTS will always be #1 (no matter what!)
What is your favorite item to make?
I really enjoy creating the baby gowns! I get many orders from soon to be mommys who tell me they are bringing the baby home in the gown they are purchasing. It's just an honor to be a part of such a grand occasion!
What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
Why, boiled crawfish, of course!!
You can visit Chez Whimsy at the following locations:
Then email membership[at]handmadelouisiana [dot]com and she'll help you get started! We welcome all handmade artisans, LOCAL small business owners, local musicians (even if they've since moved), and displaced residents.
Are you a Local Musician?
Please contact amy[at]handmadelouisiana [dot]com if you are a LOCAL musician who has information for us to share or you'd like a musician review done.