This interview was originally published on the Team EcoEtsy blog, but I thought I'd share it here as well with my followers and customers.
How did you get started in your chosen craft?
I started cloth diapering with my youngest son, and found a free pattern to make my own fleece soakers (i.e., waterproof covers). I made quite a few for myself and friends, and they convinced me to start selling them! Now I make them out of recycled wool too, along with longies and hats. The name Winkydinks is a play on our last name “Winckler” and “dinky” (for the little ones)!
How do you make your craft or etsy store eco friendly?
I use unwanted wool sweaters that I find from thrift stores, or if I’m lucky, from donations. Most of them are dirty and/or have holes, and I can work around those to get good pieces to use. I also make items out of new fleece, which is an alternative to wool (easier to care for, and just as re-usable). I use minimal packaging, and send items out in polymailers which can be reused multiple times – especially in the cloth diaper world where people buy/sell/trade diapers often. I also do all of my shipping from home, which saves several trips to the post office per week.
Why did you join the EcoEtsy Team?
To share ideas and motivation with like-minded Etsians! It’s great to have a support system. I love the thought that there are many more people living a more “green” lifestyle than just us.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently taking a little break from custom orders, and only working on a few things for the shop. The holidays are a busy time for our family, and I felt the need to re-focus on family for a bit. (I also had quite a few Christmas gifts to make!) After January 1st, I’ll be back full swing and have a pile of sweaters prepped and ready to be transformed into new things!
What steps have you taken to lead a green life style?
We have really cut back on disposable products; using reusable paper towels, napkins, Kleenex, diapers, menstrual products, gift bags, sandwich baggies, lunch bags. I love using neat products that get more people interested in going green when they see them! We focus on reducing waste; recycling/composting, buying things with less packaging, reusing when we can, or just going without. We also use all-natural products whenever possible (cleaning, make-up, soap, laundry detergent, dryer balls, etc.).
Is your art/craft your full time job? If not what do you do to pay the bills?
No, I’m lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom with my boys (5 and 3). I started doing this as a hobby, but it has quickly turned into a part-time job – one that I can only work at while the kids are sleeping or away! It keeps me very busy, but I love it.