Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meet the Mafia--Polly Scoots

Tell us about yourself and your business.
Hello! I'm Beth and I make scooter-themed and inspired crafts. I enjoy sharing them with folks through Polly Scoots. I'm a native of Maryland with stints in Pennsylvania, England, the District of Columbia and Virginia. I live in suburban Maryland with two dogs, husband, Ryan, and some scooters. I love to explore new places and always look for an opportunity to sample something from "Sandwiches That You Will Like" when planning visits to new cities.

Why did you start in business/crafting?
My parents and grandparents all crafted in one form or another so the idea of making things has always been there. I remember making magnets for a 4-H project and selling them at a table alongside my mom and grandmother at an outdoor fair. The challenge of creating things and everything that was involved in selling them (packaging, photographing, creating a Web site, writing descriptions, etc.) appealed to me. And I'm thankful for the opportunity to share what I make with others.

How did you come up with your crafty name?

The first scooter-themed crafts I successfully created were made with polymer clay (like the wine glass charms below), thus "Polly," and well, I scoot around on my scooter--so Polly Scoots it was.

What is your favorite item handmade by someone else?
Tough question! I have lots of favorites--I try to wear something handmade everyday (usually a ring, bracelet or necklace) and I enjoy decorating my home and workspace with bits of handmade goodness (from photos to pottery to magnets, you name it). However, one of the things I know I'll keep forever is the wedding quilt handmade by my mom for Ryan and I.

here do you find inspiration for your work?
Scooters and life on two wheels. Long rides in the country.
Demolition derby-like commutes into the city. Practical things (like keeping track of my phenomenal gas mileage). Scooter rallies and my fellow scooterists. I also enjoy the challenge of creating scooter-themed things using a variety of mediums.

What are your favorite materials?

Lots including paper, ink, resin (love/hate relationship), plastic and polymer clay.

What is the ugliest thing you've ever made?

Well, I had some awesomely bad luck with resin early on. Lots of things ended up in the trash can. In my last cleaning binge, I also came across a watch made from one of those kits from a craft store which never was actually wearable--I don't know how that project went so terribly wrong.

What have you made that you're most proud of?

My "urban commuter" image is a real favorite. I've painted it and recreated it on belt buckles, magnets and patches.

What's your favorite thing about Washington, D.C. (or the Metro area)?
I love all the things there are to do. Going to museums, parks, the monuments (and that most of them are free!). And if you get bored with DC, there's lots to explore nearby in Maryland and Virginia.

What crafts do you still want to learn?

Experimenting with acrylic and screen printing are next on my list--I've sprung for the supplies, now I just need some time to dig in.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
If I were packing for the perfect days, I'd bring a book, a camera, some peppy music and hit the beach in off-season with my dogs and Ryan. A scooter ride to somewhere with good french fries would be nice too.

What is your favorite crafting tool?

I don't know if it's classified as a "crafting tool," but blue painters tape is usually a must-have.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I like to read, garden, keep my dogs out of trouble and go on scooter rides. My day job is in communications for a nonprofit.

What advice would you give to fellow crafters?
Spend time creating what makes you happy. And, if you're selling your crafts, remember that how you treat your customers can be as important as what you make. Show them that handmade rocks!

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