SteppieSpecial

10 Nov

Picture 3I know we usually do this on Fridays, but this is our very first venture into clothing (and trust me, we don’t plan to do more of these with other sellers! Shipping is Crazy!!!!!) so that just shows how much we ABSOLUTELY love her stuff. Her ninjas and pandas are her trademark and they’re ADORABLE. Her aim is to kill everyone around her with cuteness, one tee, tote, and print at a time – we’re totally sold.

P.S. Everything is screenprinted onto AA (americanapparel.com) clothing so quality is Guaranteed.

A short introduction…

panda ring 3

herro, i am steppie: independent artist + designer from california in the US of A. i am 23 years old, and my business is a little over a year old… and was an ‘accident’ or unintentional, actually. it is definitely an extension of who i am–some even say the pandas kinda look like me. i’ll take it as a compliment.

aside from spending some very-much-needed leisure time with the boyfriend and loved ones and being obsessed with reality tv shows, my work is pretty much full time.

Your work space

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(ILI’s note: I LOVE her workspace. I’d die for something like this. Right now, to say that my table’s in a mess would be a crude understatement. BUT! We’ve moving soon and so, I hope I’d be neater this time. Hahahahaha)

One favourite item that you sell!

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ooh, this is a hard one. i think i’ll have to go with the one thing i wear most: my ‘panda face’ ring.  i admit i find myself leaving my house very often wearing my comfty ‘nerdy panda’ hoodie, but the ‘panda face’ ring is year-round and definitely my most reliable companion.

Tell us about your day! Generally…

the beautiful and ugly part of what i do is that i don’t have a set schedule. it’s beautiful because i don’t have someone telling me what to do everyday; essentially, i’m my own boss. the ugly part is being accountable for myself; if i don’t get work done, if i don’t meet my deadlines, the only person to blame is myself. this is where my notepad of lists come in. i write lists all the time, i’m obsessed. my boyfriend makes fun of me, but it’s the only thing that keeps me organized and productive, because nothing feels better than crossing something off that list!

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some days i’m screen printing a whole new batch of tees; some days i’m packaging orders; some days i’m selling at a big craft show or vendor fair; some days i’m stuck on my laptop all day working on my etsy shop; and some days i don’t do anything. it’s unpredictable, yet predictable. i like to see it as a huge assembly line, but i’m the only one working, and each ‘station’ is a day or a couple days… and put those days together, and you’ve got my week’s full of work.

When & how did you first start?

as i mentioned before, my business was very spontaneous, and definitely not planned. i graduated from the university of california, irvine in 2008 with very limited education in art or design. however, it’s always been in my blood. designing and ‘making things cute and pretty’ was always what i enjoyed doing the most (so much i got made of because of it lol). but it was posting a photo of a simple art piece i made for my bedroom on the internet that really sparked the idea of it being something to pursue once i had people asking me ‘where i purchased it’ or ‘where they could get one.’ the idea that someone wanted to purchase something i made took me by surprise, but also got me really excited. now, 16 months later, here i am.

What keeps you going?

my friends, my boyfriend, and of course, my amazing supporters. it does get really tough sometimes, but my beautiful fans on facebook (http://facebook.com/steppie.panda) are honestly my support group. other days i’ll get swamped with orders and it’ll just feel like there’s not enough hours in the day, but once those packages reach the doorsteps of my customers, and they take the time out to message me and let me know that my package put a smile to their face… how could you not go on?

What’s the most exciting thing that has happened since you’ve started?

the most exciting thing that’s happened to me comes close to experiences like this. the opportunity of seeing my handmade products in a physical store (and to top that off, in an international store!). because i’m constantly working on the ‘now,’ i forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. but the few times i do, it’s always extremely exciting. every time a friend or a fan messages me and let’s me know they just saw someone wearing my ‘i am a ninja’ tee or my ‘panda face’ messenger, i get excited. i get excited because not only is it crazy to think that people are walking around with my products, but that my work is going somewhere. i’m going somewhere. and all of that, that feeling… is the most exciting thing that has happened to me.

If you could have one wish, it would be

…that no matter what i’m doing a year from now, 5 years from now, 20 years from now… that it’s something i love. there’s a lot of things that can get in the way of someone reaching their dreams, but luck’s been on my side so far, and i hope it doesn’t run out anytime soon.

it’s a wish, but i know it’s something i need to be proactive about. it’s something i need to take control of, because that’s the only way it’ll happen. so, i guess in turn, i really just wish i won’t lose drive, focus, and motivation.

Picture 1

We have got to say it’s the same as Steppie’s! Hahaha. I wear the ring now every single day. It’s crazy! Our second favourite would be the ninja tank!

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Picture 2

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One Response to “SteppieSpecial”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pandas &&& Ninjas « Indulge Yourselves - November 13, 2009

    […] Click to read the interview […]

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