Philadelphia is full of talented artists, many of whom we’ve been featuring here on Uwishunu. I recently had a chance to talk with Sara Selepouchin, Etsy’s Teams Coordinator , who had a lot to say about the indie craft scene. Check out her store, Girls Can Tell, for some of her extremely cute handmade crafts for your holiday shopping needs.
Hi Sara! So tell us, where in Philadelphia are you from?
I live in a little old rowhouse with my puppy, Janie, in Newbold, which is a new name for the (previously nameless) neighborhood between Broad and 18th, Washington and Passyunk.
Tell us about your art!
I’ve bounced around a bit – I went to school for Architecture, but started doing a lot of sewing on the side, and for the past year or so I’ve mostly been screenprinting. I’m working on a series of prints that are diagrams of machines we love right now – bikes, sewing machines, turntables – it makes me happy because they strike a nice balance between silly and technical. I’ll be posting new designs in my shop regularly between now and the holidays.
Just what is Etsy, and how did you get involved?
Etsy is a venue to buy and sell all things handmade. Basically, it’s for people who are kind of bored or fed up with mass produced things when we don’t need them. Bags, clothing, candles, soap, jewelry, art, music: all these things can and shouldn’t be so anonymous – so Etsy makes it easy for people to find other people who make these things, and establish a relationship between maker and consumer. Etsy’s goal is to help people make a living making things.
I found Etsy browsing around online for tutorials on how to make lip balm, actually, because lip balm felt like something I wanted handmade. I immediately knew the site was something I wanted to be part of, so I set up shop about a week later. My shop is Girls Can Tell. After I’d been an active member of the Etsy community for over a year, I decided I really wanted to work for Etsy. I began working as their Etsy Teams Coordinator in the beginning on the summer, and it’s indescribably amazing to wake up knowing that you believe 100% in what you’re working toward…
More after the jump!
Is there a large Etsy community in Philadelphia?
There are many Etsy sellers here in Philly, not too many are active on the Philly Etsy Team, but Philly has an excellent indie craft scene. The Mew Gallery and Art Star Craft Bazaar are two excellent examples of local Etsy-esque community. I’d love to see more Philly Etsy sellers getting together to network and really make Philly a hot spot for handmade awesomeness.
What are some of your favorite places in Philly, any place in particular inspire you?
This summer I had the opportunity to explore the Schuylkill via rowboat a bit, which was an incredibly odd, slow and enjoyable way to see the city. I also really like walking up to the middle of the Ben Franklin, and exploring the tiny corner stores in my neighborhood.
Where can we find your crafts?
You can always find girlscantell goodies on Etsy, of course, at Girls Can Tell. The ladies of the Mew Gallery (906 Christian St, next to Sarbina’s) sell my work locally, and I sell a few other places around the country. The Philly Etsy Team has an upcoming First Fridays Show at the Mew Gallery on Dec 7 at 6pm. I also blog frequently about making things, Etsy, the neighborhood association, adventures around the city and other things at http://girlscantell.typepad.com. Also, if you want to show your support for the Handmade Movement, you can sign the pledge at www.buyhandmade.org.