Immediately fell in love.
Per the Etsy description, she sells items that are:
"UPcycled, refurbished, transformed Vintage Luggage. All artwork hand drawn & crafted by me, Rachel. "
Upon further inspection (read: trolling the internets) I was overjoyed to learn that my sister Colleen's long lost Best Friend of many years, Rachel Braboy (nee Demsick) is said artiste!
Kelly: What is your background (pretend I don't know) and how did it lead you to such a specific job/hobby/passion?
Rachel: Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. and somehow got myself graduated from high school in spite of my severe "artist depression."
K: Yeah, I remember you being a moody little teenager.
R: Some things don't change. In college I dabbled in photography, drawing, psychology and sociology. I always have been determined to create a job where I could listen to music all day long, make my own schedule and make some cash-money as well. I've never been the type to settle for anything that i wasn't passionate about. I'm determined. When i want something i will get it so please do not get in my way.
K: What is it that you DO?
R: I SCOUR the planet for bags, train cases, suitcases etc. I clean them up - a makeover if you will - to bring out their best qualities. I outfit my model, take the best possible pictures I can and then list them on Etsy.com. All of this in hopes of getting my customers to not be able to LIVE without owning something from my shop.
K: SAUCY. How do you ensure the quality of your product? They are vintage after all...
R: I am picky, to the point of annoying. I do my very best to describe each piece to the FULLEST! I am really sensitive to smells- CIGARETTE SMOKE IS NOT A VINTAGE SCENT PEOPLE- i cannot stress that enough.
K: What the hell is Etsy?
R: Everything you could ever imagine under and over the sun.
Tempting things you may never need but find yourself buying.
Satisfying any style.
Yes this is lame, but you'll see what I mean.
K: Was that a Haiku? Never mind.
What sort of special artsy fartsy stuff do you add to the luggage to make it your own?
R: Whatever the people want. I love antique skeleton keys, a good quote, initials and lots of my customers like flowers and animals so I go with it. I LOVE taking custom orders and drawing logos. these are challenging but I welcome them.
K: How long have you been doing this and how has growth been?
R: Going on my 3rd year and the growth has been mind-blowing. a good way to explain this is that while pretty much every person in our country is being affected by our horrid economic state my sales have just been increasing. I haven't felt the blow at all.
K: I hate you. You mentioned you are the first person on Etsy to have sold vintage luggage with an added artistic touch...is that a big advantage?
R: It made a name for my shop before i even knew it! I don't mean to sound cocky.
Kelly: Yes you do.
R: Have you met the back of my hand? Grr. Anyway, it really took me by surprise. I get e-mails from people I don't even know telling me how they saw a vintage piece of luggage and immediately thought of me. It sounds small but it's a HUGE compliment. Who knew?!?! Certainly NOT me.
K: What bag are we gonna give away????
R: this little gem:
All details about this dope bag HERE. And remember that Rachel will personalize it for you!
There are lots of ways to enter and each entry will give you a better chance at winning so lets get on with the different ways you can participate...
● tweet about this GIVEAWAY
● blog about this GIVEAWAY
● blog about this GIVEAWAY
Leave me a comment below letting me know all of the ways that you've entered. Also, make SURE to include your e-mail address so we can contact you should you be the winner:)
Ends Wednesday September 29th. Winner will be announced on both blogs, Twitters, Facebooks, Faxes, Carrier Pigeons etc..
*THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED*