Featured Artist + Shop Owner | Studio 336

I don't remember the moment or the details of how one of us stumbled upon each other's blog, but I thank my lucky stars it happened. I have so much respect and admiration for Erin and her blog/shop, Studio 336. Her work is fresh, professional, creative and versatile. After this interview, I respect her even more for sounding so realistic and grounded about owning your own handmade shop, but somehow finding a way to always stay inspired. Read along to discover her story behind Studio 336 and how it all began.

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1. Introduce yourself! What are some interesting hobbies or quirks you have?
Hey, I'm Erin. I'm a maker of things, dreamer of dreams, and thinker of thoughts. I love to work, but when I'm not working I'm hanging out with the boyfriend, friends or family or wrangling up our three dogs. I'm also an avid reader of books and blogs. If I don't read at night, I struggle to fall asleep, and when the book's good, I still struggle.

2. I am so curious - what's the story behind your shop name?
Do you remember filling out worksheets in school when you were a kid? You know, the "what's your favorite color?" or "what did you do with your summer vacation?" questions.. well whenever I think about what I'm doing now, what I'm making of myself, I think back to a worksheet that used to hang on my dad's fridge. The question at the top of the sheet asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I wrote, in the chicken scratch of a 1st grader, that I wanted to be an artist. So, when I think back about about where all of this began, it always reminds me of that worksheet, in that house, and that's where 336 was derived, the house number.

3. How did you discover you loved creating decals?
Out of college I struggled to find a job, I mean what on earth was I supposed to do with a degree in art. Well, one day I stumbled upon an old sign shop where the owner was looking to sell and retire. I walked in and asked the man if he'd let me work with him for a few days to see how everything worked. He said yes, and three months later I owned my business. As much as I liked working for myself, making commercial decals that required no design work of my own wasn't doing it for me. So I started making things for myself. And then for family and friends. And the next thing I knew I was selling them on Etsy, too.

4. You run such a successful Etsy shop. What are some tips or secrets to staying on top of inventory, networking and creating?
Honestly, I'm still working on this one, but a schedule can make all the difference. Etsy orders come in at all hours, every day of the week. Setting aside certain times of the day to do certain tasks makes things much less stressful. I'm still learning how to put myself out there since it's easy to hide behind your shop when it's based on the internet. Learning who and how and where for networking is a matter of trial and error. Creative energy comes when it does and I've learned not to take advantage of it because you don't know when the next idea will strike.

5. What is your most popular item in your shop? Do you have a favorite to make?
I'd say the State Love decals are probably the most popular right now, but my favorite are the new magnet sets I've been making!

6. Do you just do online orders? Or have you worked with other vendors?
I primarily do online orders, but you can also find them in a few local shops (Hampton Roads, VA) and an assortment of others around the US, I have plans for expanding though so if you know of a shop where you'd love to see Studio 336 goods, let me know!

7. Do you listen to anything in particular while in the studio? Any music that puts you in the creative mood?
This might sound a little funny, but I tend to have Netflix on more than music when I'm in the studio. I can tune out the boring television easier than I can the music, and it still helps me to focus. Working from home, by yourself all day, it's nice to hear a little chatter in the background. But when I do go for music, when I'm up and moving around I listen to a lot of the Avett Brothers, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, Ingrid Michaelson. I really need to update my music collection.

8. What other crafts/diy are you interested in?

I've done a little bit of everything. I've dabbled in sewing, and felting, stamp making, block printing, screen printing, painting, wood working, jewelry making, book making, and darkroom printing. I've basically done it all, and I like doing it all. I have enough art/craft supplies to open up a store for that too.

9. What is in the future for you and Studio 336?
As far as my future, I just want to keep doing what I'm doing, and more. I like progress and change, so I like adding new things. I'd like to get back into jewelry making, so you might see a side of that soon. I really enjoy promoting other artists/makers and want to find a way to make that a bigger part of what I do. Ultimately, I'd love a brick and mortar shop of curated goods. But we'll just see what happens, a girl can always dream.

Here is a little glimpse of my favorite items!
(As soon as I move into my own home, I am definitely buying some of these!)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Thank you Erin for letting us peek a little into your Studio!