AND THE WINNER IS:
Everyone knows I love B&B products. But doesn't everyone else too? Of course you do! Madame Koiteh has soap, hair care products, spiritual supplies, perfume and more! Be sure to look through her shop and enter the wonderful give away below!
How did you decide on your shop name?
I have two shops on Etsy one is called MadameKoiteh, the other is Scarfandskirt. The name of the second shop was easy, because those are my two favorite items to sew and design. There is something so feminine and beautiful about a nice skirt or scarf, I love them! And my other shop is named after me.
How did you get started on Etsy?
I found Etsy when I was shopping around for hand-painted yarn. Some of the most gorgeous fibers are here on Etsy. I used to admire the yarn so much, but I didn't understand what Etsy was or how to buy anything. Once I started poking around the site, I fell in love with it and decided to open my own shop here last summer.
How do you describe your style or point of view?
My style is called Urban Village. Everything I do, whether creating bath and body, haircare, or fashion items, is a representation of my double life as a modern Western woman and an African. The Urban Village style is my way of making something beautiful out of the sharp contrasts in my life-- the old and the new, the traditional and the progressive, the spiritual and the mundane. I use many natural African ingredients in my products, but I try to find new ways to use and apply them. The same is true for my fashions. I like to mix traditional African fabrics with modern shapes, and style our cultural jewelry in new, cutting edge ways. I think I'm influenced by everyone, really. I admire so many other artisans and designers, some are famous and some relatively unknown. I just like to admire people's creativity, sometimes I find myself re-interpreting some beautiful thing I've seen.
What or who inspires you?
My main source of inspiration is definitely nature. By nature I mean all the things that have been created by God. The rock, the tree, the river, the flower, they are all infinitely fascinating to me. To think that some benevolent creator thought so much of a tiny blossom to embellish it with elaborate colors, fragrance, precise folding petals, fuzzy leaves, and all is just amazing to me. It makes me put as much attention as possible into my own work. To reflect on how perfect all of creation is makes me want to do my best to make excellent things, to find satisfaction in the act of creating something that will increase the beauty in this world.
How did you learn your craft?
I've had lots of mentors, and not just in my creative fields. Most of my mentors have been spiritual, but I learned sewing and crochet from my mom, and herbalism from my extended family. I also learned a lot about crafting from books.
In one way or another, I've been creating all my life. My family has a long tradition of spiritual healers and herbalists, so I've been playing around with flowers, herbs, oils, and clays since as long as I can remember. When I was five years old, I made my first little perfume. It was some liquid that I don't remember, mixed with my mom's bottle of Opium Perfume, and a broken peach seed... You can probably imagine what it ended up smelling like. By the time I was nine I had moved on to sewing, crochet, drawing, beading, and potpourri. My first potpourri was pretty nice; it smelled good and I only lost the jar last year :)
What's your supply addiction?
That's a serious question for me, because I have a major supply addiction for all my crafts. There are closets full of yarn, fabric, herbs, and oils all throughout my house! And don't forget copper and brass jewelry supplies, gemstone beads, African trade beads, soaping supplies... My addictions take up a lot of space!
What do you want people to know about your craft that they might not already know?
The one thing that I think many people don't know about my craft is how deeply passionate I feel about what I make. I guess you could say that I am a "temperamental artist", but I am really serious about my work. There are many nights that I don't sleep because I am creating, documenting, organizing, or involved in some other aspect of the work. Being an artisan has changed my life in so many ways, because it is unlike having a job in the traditional sense. Every finished product is not just the work of my hands, but the work of my heart too. It has helped me to share my ideas and interests with the world.
The one thing that I would like to tell everyone is to take the time to develop your skills in whatever field interests you. You don't have to make a business or even a full-fledged hobby out of it, but if you spend some time exploring what really matters to you, you will learn a lot about yourself. After all, any craft or discipline is just another way for us to contribute to the beauty of this world--the great thing is that we all have a unique way of doing it.
NOW FOR THE GIVE AWAY!
Win 4 - 1 oz samples of genuine African Black Soap, Organic Yellow Shea Butter, Organic White Shea Butter, and Organic Cocoa Butter. Experience the exotic beauty of Africa with this fabulous 4 piece sample set!
THIS GIVE AWAY IS CLOSED!!
The draw will take place on: September 24 @ 10PM Central
This is open to US & Canada Only!
Good Luck Everyone!!
Audrey's Country Crafts is in no way responsible for the mailing of the prize. After the name is drawn I will contact that person. They have 2 days to respond before another name will be picked! The name and address will be forwarded. Thank-you for entering!!