Lindsay Weirich. For those who don't know her.... She is... tada... The frugal Crafter. With over 4,191,288 views on her blog, she is a force to be reckoned with. She has basically done it all. I have had the opportunity to interview Lindsay on a personal level and I am quite impressed. More so than I was before.
We all got to know the quirky and funny Frugal Crafter who normally makes jokes at her own expense. We love to see her craft and her excitement is contagious. Yet she is always willing to help and is joyously ecstatic when someone excels in the craft world.
Often you approach people and they are hesitant to partake if they do not know you. Not difficult to comprehend in these times. I find her honesty and willingness to partake in this interview truly inspiring.
Here is an excerpt from our interview:
|A Children's book illustrated by Lindsay Weirich|
HA: You have quite an impressive resume. Exhibitions, Illustrations, Craft Studio, Columnist, Designer and much more. How do you stay so humble?
LW: Huh, I never thought about that, you have to take success with a grain of salt. I really do not think about past accomplishments because I am always thinking about what's next.
HA: Why the passion of sharing ideas?
LW: It's more fun to share these ideas than to create in a vacuum. Creativity can be so good for everyone, it can make people forget their worries and help children build self confidence. I get emails from fans who say that creating with me through videos helped them through a tough time or loss. That keeps me passionate and motivates me to share more ideas.
HA: Did you ever anticipate that your brand will be so huge and international?
LW: That's funny, I don't think of myself as a brand but as soon as you put work on the internet I guess you are international. I think the love of crafting spans the globe. I am so happy to reach people so far away but I did not expect it LOL!
HA: You have a Associates Degree in Communications, how do you combine your intellectual life with your Art life.
LW: It all goes hand-in-hand. My degree in communications (I was a radio announcer) was great training for the YouTube and blogging part of my business so it works together perfectly, I can switch between both sides of the business seamlessly because of that.
HA: Do you miss working as an announcer on radio?
LW: I do, I really loved it but my husband is still in the radio business so I get to be near it.
|Lindsay Weirich in action|
HA: You were quite young when you started selling your artwork. If I have that correctly, it was in High School? What attracted you to art at such a young age?
LW: Well, I was always making things and you get to a point where its like "wow, I need to get rid of some of this!" (laughs) my parents are business owners so I have a bit of entrepreneur in me. It was natural to want to sell my art so I would have some spending money as a teen. I never took it personally if something did not sell either. A good trait to have I think.
HA: On your Blog you give us a summary of all your exhibitions. Those are mainly in Maine. Did you ever thought to, or have you ever been asked to exhibit outside of Maine?
LW: I have taught workshops outside of Maine but not exhibited. I am a better teacher than painting-seller.
HA: Will you ever leave USA, if so, what is your dream destination.
LW: Oh, maybe to travel but not to live.
HA: How do you deal with negative criticism?
LW: I consider if the point is valid, I learn from it, then I let it go.
HA: When you started teaching at Art Studio of Bangor, did you ever thought of becoming a renowned frugal crafter? Or did that come much later when you started with your scrap booking?
LW: That came later after having kids. I had always planned to stay home and raise my children but also wanted to keep my hand in art, it was perfect because I was able to solve a problem we all had, being broke and affording supplies haha:)
|Home and Garden for Mere Mortals|
LW: That was funny, he emailed me about joining the HGMM team and my husband is a big fan of his woodworking channel, I could not say no. He wanted someone to do more DIY decor projects to round out the channel.
HA: You speak constantly about giving classes, can you tell us more about that?
LW: I used to make my entire income this way, now I teach a few classes a month at the local library, workshops at stamp conventions and paint parties.
HA: You are not afraid to speak your mind (eg. Martha Steward saga). Do you ever get backlash from speaking your mind?
LW: Not really...I never put down someone or try to be mean. I usually make jokes at my own expense but if I see company taking advantage of consumers or with bad/unfair business practices I speak up because they will listen. I try to use my position of influence in the crafting community to highlight the good and make people aware of the bad in crafting (I'm not gonna talk politics though!)
HA: Why is being frugal so important to you? Do you ever get complaints from companies for your DIY products?
LW: Being frugal is important because I believe in debt-free living. I also believe that half the fun is making the products and there is really nothing new, just new ways to use old products. I believe in investing in the really good stuff and making the rest. I have not had backlash personally but I once mentioned a fellow youtuber (she had a small channel and made a DIY stamp postioner similar to the MISTI) on my facebook page and the owners of the product bullied her into taking the video down, they did that to others as well. After investigating it further I found other companies who made a similar product BEFORE the MISTI was even invented, see there are no new ideas, just new ways to spin them, some are better, some aren't. Ideas can't be copyrighted, otherwise there would be no innovation. Personally I have not had backlash, Often when i make a DIY version the company offers me their real product for free to compare. I made a DIY scoring board years ago and the owner of Scor-Pal said she loved my idea and would love to give me one of her boards to try. I have to say that mine worked in a pinch but the Scor-Pal was so much better and I still use it everyday. I did not jump on board with any of the new boards that came out because I liked hers and the kindness she showed me instead of looking at my DIY as a threat.
HA: Did you make many friends in this business? Or mostly competitors?
LW: Oh yes, lots of friends! I don't look at other artists and youtubers as competition, we are all different. We all have something unique to offer, there is plenty of work to go around.
HA: Are you involved with any charities, and why do you support that charity?
LW: I have donated to out local animal shelters and woman's shelters. I prefer donating work, and time to local organizations where you can see results instead of big bloated non-profits where your donation might just go to promotion or a raise for the CEO. I am rather skeptical of many charities unless I can see what they are actually doing for the betterment of the world. I keep it local. I think we can make a much bigger difference locally than globally because of accountablility.
HA: What is your biggest achievement thus far?
LW: I have to say my 3 beautiful children.
HA: I presume this is a question you get asked a lot, but give us one positive and one negative thing about yourself.
LW: Positive: I am honest, Negative: I am impatient & a lousy cook.
HA: How do you juggle between all your ventures and family life.
LW: I do my art full time but it is also what I would do for fun (it is not all fun, but it is better than digging ditches!) so I feel fulfilled. I don't feel like I need "me time" after a workday because my work is energizing. There are days when I can't cram it in and I become frustrated because I did not get to finish my tasks, and the house is a mess and the kids are fighting (feeding off my stress) but usually I can work while the kids are at school and then we can all relax together by dinnertime. It is hard to have balance with everything competing for our attention. I try to finish up most of my work by the time the kids are home and then do a quick email check after dinner so I am available for my family in the evenings. My problem is I keep thinking of new things I want to do and make LOL! There are worse problems to have I guess.
"Creativity can be so good for everyone, it can make people forget their worries and help children build self confidence" - Lindsay Weirich
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Lindsay Weirich. I did not pay her for this interview and I do not get anything in return.