Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Rachel, a recent college graduate and newlywed. I work at home on my bag business full-time and enjoy cooking, traveling, and lounging around when I’m not busy sewing up a storm.
How did you get started in your handmade business?
I’ve been sewing since I was in grade school, and when I got to college, I started selling handmade tote bags at a local coffee shop to earn a little extra cash. I got a really good response from the community, and someone told me about Etsy; I started selling on Etsy during college, and by the time I graduated, it was a full-time job!
What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?
I really love creating and knew that I would always find satisfaction in working for myself and being allowed to be creative on my own terms.
Apart from crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend a lot of time curled up on the couch with my husband and our cat. Relaxing after a long day of sewing is the best! I also enjoy reading, cooking, and eating cheeseburgers.
How long have you been creating art/crafts and how long have you been selling online?
I’ve been doing crafts since I was allowed to use safety scissors. I come from a long line of artsy/craftsy folks, and I carry on the tradition proudly. I started sewing, specifically, 12 years ago, and I’ve been selling online for 3 years.
How many different places do you sell from?
Etsy is the most consistent market for me year around. In the spring and fall, I take part in a lot of trade/craft shows in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. You can get information on those shows at my website: http://www.rachelelise.com. I also sell wholesale to boutiques, mostly in the U.S., but sometimes internationally.
Have any pets?
I have a cat named Dagny that likes to sleep in the window of my studio while I sew.
How did you come up with your shop name?
Pretty simple- It’s my first and middle name. I always liked the way they sounded together. The name confuses some people, though… they always ask if it’s my maiden name, or if I’m “Rachel” or “Elise”… I’m both! 🙂 Every once in a blue moon, I run into another Rachel Elise, and we get really excited haha.
What would your dream job be?
I have my dream job! Yay!
What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
My Bernina sewing machine, for one. My mom got it for me when I turned 13… I’m 22 now, and it’s still a trooper! Second would be my super-fantastic spring-loaded fabric scissors. I cut a lot of canvas and vinyl, and they are a life saver! The third is a custom table that my friends Shelley and Vaughan built for me. It’s great for cutting out bags, designing bags, and has built-in storage for bags that are in the shop, waiting to be sold!
Any other handmade shops you’d like to recommend?
HomeAgain2 – They don’t a have a lot in their Etsy right now, but these are the folks that made the awesome worktable for my studio. They make amazing furniture and are great people on top of that!
IndieThrift – Melissa is super nice and makes adorable accessories!
ZenAndCoffee – Wren makes beautiful and unique gloves. She made a pair for me to wear at my wedding, and I got so many compliments!