I’m giving you a treat to start your weekend!  Today’s regularly scheduled Handmade for the Holidays feature is an ah-dorable, sweet, Southern gal with an eye for design.  We’ve both been mutually e-stalking each other for a while and now Amanda’s finally hanging out on my blog for the day. 😉

meet amanda1

K: Where did you come up with the name of your business?
A: I asked friends on FB to help me name it. My middle name is Joy, so when “Joyful” was suggested, I knew that was the essence of what I was all about – making happy items to bring joy to my customers. 

K: Which items do you enjoy making the most?
A: I love, love sewing, and could make a wallet in my sleep now! I also love making diaper wipe cases, because each one is so unique to the customer. 


K: What are your greatest struggles with owning your own business?
A: The record-keeping side! I would be happy to just make things all day long and let someone else worry about the paperwork. 😉 My brain doesn’t enjoy those details! And balance…it’s a struggle to be a mom, wife, and biz owner – I don’t have office hours or spend time away from home, my set-up is just in a corner of my living room. Sometimes I just have to sit on the sofa and watch cartoons with my girl. She won’t want to forever! 

K: What are your greatest achievements so far?
A: In my personal life? Being married to my awesome hubby for almost a decade, and having a sweet girl, and a little boy on the way. Creatively, I am very proud to have an Etsy shop, even though I’m a little fish in a big sea of creativity. I’m also part of a great group of creative girls who just started a {very cool amazing fun special} crafty blog…http://plumcrazylife.wordpress.com. We started out as a group on Facebook that loved to buy from the website “Pick Your Plum” and trade grab box items, but we quickly changed into a tight community of friends. Now we blog about food, Silhouette crafts, sewing, family activities, woodworking, fashion, the list goes on! And I’ve also been featured on several blogs, including the amazing www.couponingtodisney.com, advertising my cash budget wallet system. 

meet amanda3

K: How/where did you learn how to sew/craft/create/design?
A: I learned at the feet of my Mom, Granny and Aunt. They all were crafty in different areas, and as a little girl I soaked up all I could. They let me watch, and try things on my own, which was priceless. I like to think my Mom and Granny would be so proud of where I am as a crafter today.

K: What inspires your designs?
A: I get inspired by seeing items on Pinterest and Etsy, like a lot of other people. Some ideas are stuck forever in my to-do list, and others I try to put my own spin on. Some items come about because I have an idea of what I want, but can’t find anything like it in stores. I also make a lot of things for my daughter.

K: What is your favorite part about selling/making handmade items?
A: There is so much variety in what people want! That is the fun part-making things that you can’t just go to Wal-Mart and buy. 

meet amanda4

K: Name one thing in your craft room you couldn’t live without.
A: Just one? Dang! I can’t do it. I’m gonna have to be a rule breaker. How ’bout a category? My “power tools”. Lucille – my sewing machine. Ethel – my silhouette cameo. Bessie – my heat press. Fabric. Vinyl. Thread. And on and on. I feel it’s all essential to me, haha.

K: Anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
A: To put a tidy bow on who I am…
  •  I love Mountain Dew, Dove Dark chocolate, Starbucks Peppermint Mochas, wearing pjs far more than I should, making all sorts of princess items for my daughter (who is 4 and firmly in the princess years), watching football with my husband (Go University of Georgia Bulldogs!), Burt’s Bees original chapstick, living in the south, having people over and making lots of tasty food, and trying new crafts.
  •  I dislike living far away from Target and Hobby Lobby, calling people on the phone, tech-y computer stuff, stepping in wet stuff while wearing socks, trying on jeans, and scary movies, and lipstick.

And of course, my favorite: THIS or THAT

  • COFFEE / TEA: Coffee anytime, especially with large amounts of fancy flavored creamer. As a southern girl, sweet iced tea for lunch or dinner. (No hot tea, ever!)
  • GOLD / SILVER: I’ve always been a silver girl, but lately I’m coming around to the gold side when it comes to jewelry. So much of the old, good stuff is gold!
  • BIG CITY / SMALL TOWN: Um, medium? I love, love having the convenience of stores and restaurants, but I’m not a huge fan of heavy traffic.
  • BOOK / MOVIE: Bookworm here! Book wins almost every time.
  • DVD / BIG SCREEN: Both? I love the experience of going to the movies, but don’t go a lot. We love to get a dvd and have movie nights with homemade popcorn at home.
  • WINE / BEER: Neither, my weakness is soda. My favorites are Mountain Dew and Coke. Also, see above where I love coffee. I promise, I’m not caffeinated all the time. Ha!
  • FLATS / HEELS: Being 5′ 3″, I really wish I liked heels. But you know what, I don’t. I love flats, especially my old black Tom
    s that have a major hole in the toe.

  • VINTAGE / NEW: New clothes, vintage kitchen accessories/gadgets, vintage jewelry…

You can find Amanda and all of her goodies at these links: SHOP | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST
She’s also been crazy kind (and generous!) and is offering 10% off in her shop!  The code “HANDMADE” will get you a discount during checkout.  Thanks Amanda!

While you’re at it, be sure to visit the HANDMADE FOR THE HOLIDAYS gift guide and check out all of the other featured vendors this holiday season.  Support handmade, indie businesses this year!