For this week's feature, I'd like to introduce you to Melissa, from HautTotes. She makes very cool totes using very cool fabric, and I took some time out to get to know her a little bit. She has been all around the world and has come full circle. You'll see what I mean.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.
I was born on a sheep ranch in Nevada, and thought the town was terrible and boring. After graduation, I moved to NYC and then to San Francisco where I worked as a nanny for children with CP. I moved to Moscow, Russia in 1993 and stayed (as an illegal alien) for a year teaching English. After that I traveled though Turkey, Egypt and the middle east. I returned to the bay area in 1994 and met a man I had known in high school, we got married, graduated college, and ended up moving right back to the town I grew up in. Our property even shares a property line with the sheep ranch I grew up on. LOL I love it here now. We have 1.5 acres and I am currently a stay at home mom to our two children, 3 cats, 1 dog and a 135 gallon fish tank with 11 fish in it.
How long have you been making totes and how did you get started?
I started making totes when my 9 year old daughter, who uses a power wheelchair, wanted a "cool" bag for the side of her chair. I made her one with pink roses and skulls and pink faux fur trim. The rest is history.
According to your profile, you are well traveled and lived everywhere. Where was your favorite place to live?
I love where I live now, but as far as places I've traveled Turkey was my favorite. Just absolutely lovely people. New Zealand was the most beautiful and I recently spent a month in Ghana and met the nicest people in the whole world, but the humidity would kill me eventually.
What is your most recent Etsy purchase?
My most recent purchase was 30 yards of fabric. But, before that I bough doggie treats from a great shop featured on Sneak Attack*.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What is this spare time you speak of?
What are your favorite foods?
Bangan ka Bhurta , it is an Indian dish made of eggplant.
What plans or aspirations do you have for your business?
For now I am hoping to average a bag a day. Next year when my youngest is in school a full day I hope to step things up!
Do you have other places online where we can find you? (twitter, flickr, blog, etc.) If so, please list them here.
I haven't even begun to think about all that. lol
Thanks Melissa! If you'd like to see more of what she has to offer, please do check out her shop.
And in case you were wondering:
*What's a Sneak Attack? Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announce on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop! Want to join in? Click here for more information.