Featured Member - BERTH handmade - The Interview


We are back with our in-depth interviews of our members.
The former "Member of the Month" series, was renamed "Featured Member" and will have a new featured member every two weeks, if all goes well. :)

We start with "BERTH handmade".
As she says "Comfy Stuff for Trendy People" and it is. You'll find colorful pillows for your children, dresses for your little girl or scarfs for you and your friends.
Just take a look. :)

SKIPPER the mouse pillow by BERTH handmade
SKIPPER the mouse pillow by BERTH handmade

Name: BERTH handmade
Etsy shop: www.BERTHhandmade.etsy.com
Blog: berthhandmade.tumblr.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BERTHhandmade

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Sonia, I'm 35 years old and I've been a primary teacher since 2002. Childhood is a passion to me, I feel privileged to be working with and for children.

2. How and when was this creative passion for vintage born?

I always loved vintage stuff. When I was younger I used to create for my dolls, then I made some pieces for me and now I decided to transform my hobby into a small business.

BOAT RED DOTS pillow by BERTH handmade
BOAT RED DOTS pillow by BERTH handmade

3. What was your formal training in? Do you find it helpful for your business? In what way do you find it helpful for your business?

The majority of my skills I learnt with my mother and friends, but later I attended sewing workshops to develop my know-how.

4. Is this your full-time job or do you have another job?

For the being time it is not my full-time job, I still teach. Frankly, I prefer to retain my business as small-size in a way that I can control it by myself and to keep refinement and the originality, which I'm so proud of.

5. How did this project started?

This project started when I became unemployed in 2012, because of the crisis through which we are passing. The desire to do something that I personally make, resulted in the creation of Berth handmade. This year I’m teaching again, and hope to do so for a long time, because I really like the life rhythm at school, not leaving Berth behind, of course.

Green & Beige lace collar by BERTH handmade
Green & Beige lace collar by BERTH handmade

6. What inspires you?

I am passionate by nature and fortunately I’m surrounded by inspiring elements such as the natural environment that surrounds my countryside house, with the river that passes in front, the old mills remaining in the hills, the sunrise that I see everyday from my windows and the huge trees that adorn the river banks.

7. How do you choose your items? And where do you find them?

I think of articles I would like to have and I create according to my inspiration. All materials I use are purchased in a very typical Portuguese haberdashery.

8. Could you share a typical work day?

I start every morning by reading my mail box and doing an online research about new trends. I turn over to the fabrics and balls of wool I have at home and start experimental projects, when I find a piece that pleases me, I explore various ways to achieve it. Once a week I visit the haberdashery, not always to buy new materials, often is just to talk with customers and employees to share knowledge which is very enriching.

JUICY APPLE - red and green summer dress by BERTH handmade
JUICY APPLE - red and green summer dress by BERTH handmade

9. What is your favorite part of your work? Why?

I love to sew my creations and the first moment that I have the final piece in my hands, it´s a great feeling, but what I like most is the time to experiment and combine different materials because it stimulates my creativity.

10. Why did you open an Etsy shop?

Etsy is an amazing way to expose my brand, my products and my story as an artisan, that’s why I decided to open my store at Etsy. It’s universality makes Etsy a global market, important for any brand to expand.

11. What do you thinks are the benefits of belonging to a team like the PTteam?

Belonging to a team like PTeam is a way to be in connection with other crafters, to keep abreast of events and have the opportunity to extend the range of visitors to my shop.

SEAWEED infinity scarf by BERTH handmade
SEAWEED infinity scarf by BERTH handmade

12. What do you do to promote your work and shop?

To promote my work and my shop I have a facebbok page, I contact some magazines, blog curators and sometimes I’m in craft fairs.

13. What advice would you like to share with fellow artists or crafters or vintage sellers?

Well, I’m a beginner in this kind of work, but I already understand that’s very important to be aware with fashion, do daily reports on facebook to keep the brand alive and to remind followers of our work and our activity.

14. What do you find most inspiring in Portugal?

Portugal is a wonderful country, I love it in all seasons, specially in the beginning of fall, in cold but light days and the springtime, of course.
CLOUD Yellow Dots pillow by BERTH handmade
CLOUD Yellow Dots pillow by BERTH handmade

15. Where do you see yourself and your project in 5 years?

I believe my project will be part of me for a long time, I’d love to continue working as I work today, still having time to spend in haberdasheries, to monitor trends, to reply attentively to all my customers and to be able to innovate over the years.

16. What would you take with you if your house was on fire?

Maga, my lovely and crazy bulldog!

Quick fire questions. Your favorites:

Book: Jerusalem by Gonçalo M. Tavares
Movie: Matrix
Music: Where is my mind by Pixies
Artist: Antoni Gaudi
Food: Codfish in all ways
City: Barcelona
Country: Portugal

All photos by BERTH handmade


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