Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Arelel Designs - Interview

'jumbo skull' bag available here

'how many licks' bag available here

Arelel Designs can be found on Etsy with a fascinating shop featuring everything from purses to bags to pouches and wallets, all with varying and exciting looks! I was lucky enough to land an interview with her this morning! Here it is. :)

Haru-Dori: What is and who is "Arelel Designs"?

Arelel: About a year ago, my now 21 year old daughter came home with yet another new purse. I looked at it and thought, "I could make that." I mentioned to my older daughter that I was thinking maybe I should start a business making and selling purses. She was immediately convinced I could do this and suggested I set up a shop on Etsy. I had not even heard of Etsy at this point, but Megan knew all about it. She gave me time to get some stock built up, and then on April 10th, 2008, she went ahead and got my shop set up for me.

Haru-Dori: Wow, it sounds like you had some great support to start out with. It's not easy to get started selling online.

Arelel: She [Megan] is way more computer savy than I am, although I must say that in this last year, I have learned a lot of new things. I have had so much support from my husband and kids. My hubby used to sit and do all my listings for me because I had no clue how to do it. I now do it all myself, and love having all this new knowledge. I have since ventured into setting up a blog without any help. My kids and their friends and even my nieces hand out business cards for me and promote my shop to their friends and co- workers. It has been an exhilarating experience.

Haru-Dori: Your shop "Arelel Designs" has a very interesting name, and I can't help but wonder what it means...

Arelel: Once again, my eldest daughter, came up with the idea for my shop name. My full name is Ronna Lorraine Lund, so my initials are RLL. Megan decided to spell the RLL out..hence Arelel and she added designs to the name and I loved it. I have since added a second shop that I decided to call "ArelelDesigns2" to keep things simple.

Haru-Dori: Haha, so Arelel is "R-L-L"! That's very clever. Your designs, as I mentioned earlier, are quite varying in style. What inspires you?

Arelel: My kids keep me informed about what they think will sell and what the current styles are. For instance, Megan is the one who ordered the Alexander Henry "Inked" tattoo fabric and had me make her a purse. She got so many compliments on it and a few of her friends ordered bags out of the same fabric. I made some other items out of this fabric and was amazed at how fast they sold. I figured out very quickly that tattoo and skull bags sold very well. Ideas are always popping into my head and then I am off to my studio to see if it can be created.

Haru-Dori: The tattoo design is definitely hot on the market right now, and yours are exquisite. I also noticed some very cute styles and bags geared at a younger market.

Arelel: I really enjoy making various children's bags as well and have had a lot of fun making some of my designs like the frog and owl purses as well as the monkey and butterfly purses. I have often recycled various tee shirts into the front of some of my bags. I really love to recycle items into cool bags.

Haru-Dori: It sounds like we can expect to see a style for anyone in your shop. Is there anything in the works right now that we should look out for?

Arelel: You never know what I will come up with next....wherever my creative juices take me I guess. I have been very interested in the material that is made from fusing plastic bags together. It is an awesome way of upcycling and helping the environment. I finally experimented the other day and came up with my first design using this material. I am pleased with the result, so I would expect that I will be creating other designs from this material.

Haru-Dori: That sounds exciting. I can't wait to see what you come up with! Out of your current creations, do you have a favorite?

Arelel: I really like so many of my creations that it is hard to pick a favorite. I love the pink jumbo skull bag alot though [note: pictured above] and I would say that is my favorite at the moment.

Haru-Dori: The pink jumbo skull bag is VERY cool. Have you ever been guilty of making something and then falling in love with it and keeping it for yourself? (I know I have)

Arelel: I actually just made a bag and kept it for myself 2 weeks ago. Sometimes it is hard to list the things I really like, but it is very fullfilling to see others buy and enjoy the things I make.

Haru-Dori: For any potential customers out there, are you offering any current promotions or sales we should be aware of?

Arelel: I am running a sale of 20% off all the wallets in my shop through March 23rd. I am doing this in correlation with the "Big Bag of Luck Giveaway", that the CABTeam is sponsoring. I am a team member and do have a shamrock hidden in one of my listings, so I thought I would run a promortion during this giveaway. I had to move the shamrock because the bag listing it was hidden in sold. What a nice problem to have. :o)

Haru-Dori: Great promotion, and that is a LOVELY problem to have :). Well, thank you for a great interview, Arelel. To finish off, a completely random question: If you could imagine one celebrity toting your totes, who would it be and why?

Arelel: Drew Barrymore seems to me to be a fun, quirky individual, who I can picture carrying some of my designs.

Haru-Dori: Interesting choice. I can definitely see that! Thank you again, and good luck! :D

'what a hoot' owl purse available here

'alex henry' tattoo bag available here


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