Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Artisan: modestambition

Meet this week Saturday Artisan: Anne Lawrence, the artist behind a great shop, modestambition.

Learn from her on how to be creative starting from tackling other crafts to how to make her packaging pretty and environmentally friendly.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I studied art and art history in school. I learned to crochet when I was eight. I’m the type of person who always has to have their hands busy. I am constantly working on or thinking about new projects. I love to crochet and work with fiber, but I’m also a big fan of paper – collages, origami, making paper, and so on. In my Etsy shop I focus on
crochet, but I’ve starting making more elaborate sewn and collaged paper tags for my items for display at craft shows.

What is your favourite item in your shop?
Currently, I’m really excited about the hoods I’ve been making. They are each so unique. I make sure to challenge myself on the technique for each of these.
Here's one:

What is your best seller?
My crocheted button pins are by far my best seller off Etsy at local craft shows.

On Etsy, my crocheted shrugs are very popular for the mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaids.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by color, texture, interesting fibers, period literature and films, Jane Austen, folk art, contemporary art, and things I see on the street.

What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
My crochet hooks of course!

Any advice for a newbie running his or her on-line shop? Try different ways of promoting yourself and really think about your audience. Be as original as possible and true to your own ideas.

During this recession time, tell us one thing that you do to save
I try to make the presentation of my mailed items as lovely and thoughtful as possible. I’ve started sewing little pockets from scrap fabric instead of using tissue paper.

Crochet is fairly light and durable so shipping is easy.
I also reduce paper waste by printing the invoice and mailing label on the same sheet of paper, then I do a quick little accordion fold so the label information faces out and the
invoice is tucked inside with a little arrow showing from the outside and the word “receipt”. I hate producing extra paperwork and paper waste so this keeps things easy for me.

Anything else you would like to share?
In my art day jobs I work to connect people to art. Buying handmade is one of the most direct ways for people to experience art/craft in their lives. You may be able to buy something cheaper at the mall on sale, but when you buy from the maker you create a link, a relationship, really, that is not only more meaningful but that brings us back to a human scale.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's giveaway sponsored by modestambition!


  1. I love that she doesn't use tissue paper, but sews little pockets from scrap fabric instead of using tissue paper. That's so nice because I always think the tissue paper looks lovely, but I feel so guilty about it!!

  2. Love that rose garden cushion, so beautiful! I also love the Ivory alpaca lace ruffled shrug in the shop, wish it were larger, and maybe available in a dark shade as well. Thanks!


  3. Hi Anne! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us AND for giving us the chance to win one of your lovely creations. It's amazing that you learned to crochet when you were only 8 years old! I'm pretty sure I was still working on keeping my shoelaces tied at that age. lol ;)

    I'm sure it's extremely difficult and time consuming to make, but I would *love* to see that pillow in your shop. It's gorgeous... a true work of art! I would also like to see your market bag make a comeback. I love that it's both stylish and sturdy. Such a great bag to take to on those weekend flea market trips!


  4. I make jewelry just for myself and I am also inspired by colour.

  5. I'd love to see crocheted bags! In both solid and combo colours. Maybe in the hobo style?

  6. I like bags and purses so more of those would be nice.

    Thanks for making great stuff.