Katia Tsvetkova owner of Lights Out Go Bed makes sleep masks with a variety of patterned fun fabrics. Her adventures in sewing began about 6 years ago when she learnt to sew to make clothes for herself.
SFEtsy: Tell us about your creative process, where do you begin and how does it evolve?
Katia: I begin with the fabric. Picking it is both easy and hard. Easy because it's fun, but hard because I need to make sure they coordinate. Then it's making sure I have all the pieces (front, back, felt, inside muslin, elastic) and then cutting them all out, pinning together, sewing, clipping the seams, and then top stitching after turning right side out.
SFEtsy: What inspires your creations?
Katia: I love sleep. LOVE IT! But it's hard to sleep when the light is. With my husband and I have different schedules, he goes to bed a lot later than me. So I need a sleep mask. I figured I can't be the only one. Especially in a city where people have roommates, go out party, work multiple shifts and jobs and need to get reliable sleep in between.
SFEtsy: What's your work schedule / routine like?
Katia: I have a full time job. I do work on my sleep masks during lunch sometimes, and then I'll go to Sips n' Sews (a sewing studio in San Francisco) and chill out there in the evenings a few times a week and on weekends to work on these.
SFEtsy: Tell us about your work space - where do you create?
Katia: I mainly now create at Sips n' Sews. They have the space that I need, the machines that I love, and a plethora of threads that I can use. It's a great space. And the people there are awesome. So, good work, good tea, and good company.
SFEtsy: What tools do you use that are absolutely essential and makes a huge difference in your day to day process?
Katia: Canva and Paint.net are my #1 electronic tools for editing and publishing. Other than that, I need to have the materials I need to make it: sewing machine, thread, pins, good scissors, felt, and awesome fabric.
SFEtsy: How did you get involved with Etsy?
Katia: I got involved after I decided to make the masks for sale, instead of just for myself. Mainly because I had leftover fabric from a project, and needed to use it. I only have so many people to give these out to as gifts.
SFEtsy: What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
Katia: Marketing myself was/is the hardest part. I set up the shop, and had nothing ready for it. But now my selection is growing, and I'm learning as I go.
SFEtsy: What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
Katia: I love the gray cats. I have this sleep mask for myself, and made some for friends.
SFEtsy: What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
Katia: Learning shipping...no, seriously. That's my proudest moment.
SFEtsy: What are your favorite tools or apps that help you with your business?
Katia: Canva, Paint.net, and Instagram.
SFEtsy: Share with us one lesson you have learned as an online seller.
Katia: Photography is brutal. I'm glad I have a good camera, and the space to take photos (and play around with them), because getting the perfect 5 shots is a PITA. But it's so crucial! Also, the photo viewer on your PC does not show the proper coloring of your photos (for me it's a lot yellower), and you need to use a different program to see the true colors.
SFEtsy: What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you? Or Why should people support small business and handmade?
Katia: I appreciate the time people took to make something, especially something useful and fun. It's different, it's not mass produced, and in some cases, it's one of a kind.
SFEtsy: What skill or craft would you also like to become more proficient at and why?
Katia: For sewing, it's the goal of the perfect pant fit. Professionally, writing the perfect copy.
SFEtsy: As makers we all suffer from creative blocks - what do you do to unblock to let your creativity flow?
Katia: The funny thing is, the sleep masks are my process to keep my creativity flowing. They're relatively quick to make, and keep me sewing. Then when I get into the mood of sewing some wardrobe items, I can quickly transition into that.
SFEtsy: Tell us about your first sale ever?
Katia: It was completely organic. A complete stranger bought one of the masks, and I was soooo excited! But then came the realization of "well, what do I ship this in?"
SFEtsy: What does the future hold for your Etsy Shop and you personally as a maker or small business?:
Katia: I'm really not sure yet. I need to read up about how to properly go about opening this business so that I can do wholesale, and then aggressively market myself. Or I may not. It's still up in the air.
Katia personally donates to the Marine Mammal Center and supports what they do.
Katia also accepts custom orders, but the delivery timeline of that will depend on how soon she can find the fabric for the theme that has been requested.
You can find out more about Lights Out Go Bed at:
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