A very warm welcome to Miss Messy from Gloriousmess. Gloriousmess sells delightful paper goods and higgledy piggledy. Missy Messy authors Oh What a Gloriousmess and writes about all sorts of everything including arty and crafty stuff.
Tell us about your online store and the items you create
Gloriousmess! is an ongoing leap of faith for me. I was feeling burnt out as a surgeon-in-training and I knew my more about my patients and nursing staff’s lives than I did about my husband’s. I simply didn’t have the time or energy for us as a newly married couple. I certainly didn’t have the capacity to be my husband’s doctor after work and worry about his health, which made me feel guilty. I chose my family over my career in the end. The scariest thing I’ve ever done was to turn down a precious job offer for this year, knowing that some of my colleagues didn’t even get interviews, let alone offers. That left me unemployed by choice, so I could focus on family and give our marriage a chance. The second most scary thing I’ve ever done was start up an online store with this sudden span of free time. An online store with my creations. As an introvert, this is kind of getting personal! Coming from someone with no business sense or experience aside from the school bake sale.. I knew that things had the potential to turn very ugly, very fast into one big glorious mess. And that’s how my shop got its name!
My medical background has made me realize that laughter is a powerful thing, and smiles aren’t too far off. Have you ever tried to smile into a mirror while you’re really really mad?! I try and illustrate moments that will make people smile, even if for just a split second.
I got a random message on Etsy about a month ago that read “ Looking at your shop I can tell you’ve had fun creating. Your shop made me smile. “ Being able to influence people like that is an amazing, humbling feeling and keeps me going. Yes, I’m a rainbows and unicorns kind of girl at heart and you’ll be able to sense that to some degree in all my creations All my products (aside from supplies) are designed and made in Sydney, with inspiration coming from local scenery and personal experiences. My Little Miss CurlieQ series are especially close to my heart, because she’s modelled on my childhood antics.
Describe your creative style and how it has evolved.
I think the best word for my style would be “whimsical” because I love working with so many different media and subjects and it’s hard to pin me down otherwise. I’ve been drawing and creating ever since I can remember. My parents have a picture of me sitting in a chair where my legs too short to reach the ground, in front of a kid-sized easel in complete concentration working on my crayon masterpieces. I grew up drawing Disney characters (thanks Mom!), working on flip books and painting with all sorts of things. I worked most often with pastels and oil paints, and later got into acrylics for acetate cartoon cells. Most of the things I draw are inspired by everyday objects that get morphed into cartoon forms in my head. I’m not very good at drawing realistic things, or people, so I’m still working on that.
My style became less cartoony, and more minimalistic as I grew up. I loved simple, clean lines and wanted to pursue architecture at one stage. Whilst I would have loved to pursue a visual design or arts degree, I also was very science-based and liked biology (my favorite subject in high school). Medical school and beyond helped shape my creative style further.. I learnt to take things less seriously, find more whimsy, silver linings and fun in all things mundane, horrific or sad.. and appreciate the little things in life more. I also learnt how to draw people better, although they’re still not anatomically correct. I made it a point to draw a cartoon caricature of the seniors I’ve worked with as a thank you card after every term so I could continue drawing, show my appreciation and continue to challenge myself with my time management (it got harder and harder to do as I rose up the ranks, but that just made it more challenging and fun to come up with a card on a deadline!). These little caricatures turned out to be the precursors to my Little Miss CurlieQs!
Starting Gloriousmess! has continued to hone my style, and I’ve only truly found it since. If you had asked me earlier this year what my creative style was before my shop opened, I wouldn’t have been able to answer you!
How did you begin blogging?
My blogging history started out sometime during my university years as both a creative outlet, and as a place for me to vent. My personal blog documented rants, whinges, rhymes and letters to imaginary people with things I wish I could say to a real person, but didn’t have the guts to. A medical blog I tried to start fizzled out because it was too technical for most of my non-medical friends, and my medical friends didn’t have the time or energy to read blogs.
When I started Gloriousmess!, I told myself that I wouldn’t start a blog. It seemed like one more thing to do, one extra bit of work that was too much for a one-person show to run. Within a week of launching the shop, I had set up a blog. I surprised even myself! There came a point where I just had to blog. I had things to say that were too long for a Facebook post, or a Twitter tweet and there was no other avenue of getting the message out. Things like shop announcements, running giveaways, documenting my Etsy journey and the roller coaster ride of emotions.. they were just nice for a blog post! Whether people wanted to read about it all is a totally different matter. I just needed the blog for me when it first started.
How has your blogging complimented your Etsy store and vice versa?
I’m more introverted than extroverted, and am still challenging myself daily to get out of my comfort zone. The blog is helping me do this a bit, albeit slowly. I’m still trying to find my feet with my shop blog and trying to shift gears to a business blog. It’s quite hard to steer away from old habits from blogging so long on a personal blog and I’m trying to find topics to focus on now. Having a shop blog was incredibly useful for running my opening giveaway and I now use my blog as “mission control” with all the links in one spot (Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, etc). I think it’s easier to remember just one URL rather than a handful. I figure that if people want to know more about me or my shop, they’ll poke around my blog and click on links that interest them (hopefully, that includes the shop link) rather than inundating them with more “in-your-face” methods of visiting my shop. From a marketing perspective, this is probably bad but if I was a reader or potential customer, this is how I like to visit/shop – on my own terms and in my own time! I’ve had a couple of Etsy store views that were from the blog. Yay!
Blogging has also opened up a new world of fellow shopkeeper bloggers and there is so much to read, learn and be amazed about! I look forward to meeting more and more incredibly talented and beautiful people along my blogging journey, and that also motivates me to continue my shop blog.
What advice and/or tips would you give to an Etsy store holder considering starting their own blog?
Use your own voice on your blog! I know this has been said a thousand times, but I think it’s important and hence, so often repeated. I’m still learning how to blog about my business, and find that I have to remind myself sometimes that I have to maintain some semblence of professionalism there. This means being mindful of my language (watch the potty mouth!) and making sure the content will be relevant to others (instead of posting pictures of mysterious bruises I’ve just discovered on my leg, for instance). Sounds contradictory if you usually do sprinkle a few choice words, or use technical terms on a regular basis that most other people don’t understand but you need to approach it from a reader’s point of view. This is your shop blog, not your personal blog and unless you’ve meant for it to be personal, make that distinction and maintain it. Also, remember that once published, a post is public and can spread like wildfire at times, so you need to make sure you’d be ok with the information being spread. Usually, once it’s out there, you can’t take it back, so again, watching the language and steering away from public denouncements would be a good start. Most importantly, have fun and experiment!
Gloriousmess on Etsy has a gorgeous collection of all sorts of craftyness and I find myself smiling as I view each of the items listed because as a lover of crafty projects myself I can imagine the pleasure of creating that Miss Messy has enjoyed with the making of each item – I see my thoughts echoed in the message Miss Messy mentions. My favourites are the art prints of Little Miss CurlieQs but I also think the mini paper bunting DIY kits are marvellous.
I’m enjoying reading “Oh What A Glorious Mess” blog. The posts are honest, light hearted, often a little quirky and always a good read.
Spots you can find Miss Messy and her Gloriousmess: