Introduce yourself. Where are you from?
Hi! My name Madlen and I am the one behind Madlen’s Ribbon Riot on etsy (www.madlensribbonriot.etsy.com). I was born and raised in Germany and have been in the United States for almost three years now studying Psychology at a small town college.
What is your shop name? What is the story behind the name?
I named my shop Madlen’s Ribbon Riot. Since I use a very traditional German ribbon folding technique, I figured the name of my shop should represent that. However, I am trying to revamp the technique through “rioting” against shapes that are usually associated with the technique, such as pinecones.
How did you get started? Is this your full-time gig?
My cousin taught me the technique when we were snowed in once. That was about 12 years ago. I still have a full-time job and will start my Master’s degree this Fall and will be moving to New York with my fiancé. But I am hoping that my shop will cover some of the finances while I am in college.
What items do you sell? Which ones are your favorites to make?
Just a few of the items I sell are door wreaths, pew balls, and wedding wands. Currently I am working on a huge American flag. I really enjoy creating new items. When I have an idea, I can’t wait to go out and buy the materials. It’s really fun to figure out what works best and play around with ideas.
What inspires you? Who influences you?
My fiancé is a big inspiration. He spends a lot of time surfing the web, researching whatever we are currently interested in. I come across a lot of fun stuff through him. Etsy is a great inspiration as well. I see other seller’s creations and transform them into my own ideas through incorporating ribbon.
Describe your workspace. What book is near you right now?
Since we are getting ready to move, my workspace is somewhat non-existing. I like creating on our couch though. I am a true couch-potato. Currently I am reading “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins. Truly captivating!
Describe your creative process. What is your creative style?
My creative process: Get home, TV on, check emails and shop, start crafting. I am pretty lazy though sometimes about taking pictures and posting them to etsy… Working on that!
How do you stay motivated? Tea or coffee?
COFFEE!!! I am still super excited about Starbucks’ Trenta size!
Do you think feedback is important? How can you turn around negative comments?
Feedback is always important. Negative comments can always be turned around into something positive. It might be an opportunity to improve customer service and above all, it gives you an idea what to work on. How other people view you and your products is waaay more important than what you think of your shop yourself. The customer might not be always right, but the customer is king.
Are you on any teams at Etsy? Which one are you most active? Do you think they are helpful?
Yes, I am part in about 18 teams, however I am mostly involved with the Etsy Success Team. I check the posts at least once a day. It is a great team for any questions and concerns you might have as a seller. Especially as a new seller!
How do you feel about your life right now? Any advice for new Etsians or for those wanting to take the plunge into selling their artwork?
Right now I am at a transition in my life, so I am feeling somewhat confused, nervous, suuuuper-excited and overwhelmed. I am very happy though about moving to New York, getting married, and getting another degree. As far as advice goes, I would probably tell others to be patient. While there are no orders, do research, craft, and support others.
Wolves or Mountain Lions?
I’m gonna go for wolves… No particular reason J