Welcome to our very first Hot Seat Interview. The Hot Seat is our community spotlight! Are you a creative type? Want us to feature you? We’d love to learn about your creative business or hobby. Click here to get started!
This week we feature Meagan Lewis of Brown Pigeon:
Brown Pigeon specializes in handmade rubber stamps, cards, books & printed matter.
Tell us about yourself / background:My name is Meagan Lewis and I’m a native Californian who went to school in Utah, obtaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006 at Weber St University. I have always been an artist/craftsperson of sorts, but when I started taking classes at Weber, Printmaking became my passion. For a few years after college, I played around with how I could make my passion my livelihood. I attended Women’s Initiative’s business program in the city and took graphic design classes at CSM. Somewhere in between, Brown Pigeon hatched.
In a nutshell, tell us about your business, art or craft:
Brown Pigeon started with a lot of handmade cards and hand-bound journals. I was selling little by little on Etsy and I also did 2 craft shows with Lighthouse. At the second craft show, people kept asking me how I got the images on my cards…they were made with my handmade stamps! A light bulb went off and I realized people were really interested in the stamps. Now my Etsy store is steadily growing with custom orders from small businesses wanting a stamp of their logo and brides-to-be needing something special for their save-the-dates and such. It’s really fun.
How long have you been in business or doing this? If this is your business, is it a full-time gig? Do you have another job or hobby you’d like to share?
I’ve been selling on Etsy for about 2 1/2 years now. I’m in my studio full-time about 3 days a week. I do have another job at a local restaurant. Serving at the restaurant is a nice thing to have on the side and get me out of the studio…otherwise I’d be hunched over carving stamps all day!
Tell us a little about your process?
Carving stamps is kind of like wood carving or linoleum cutting. I take large sheets of rubber and trim them down to size. To get the design onto the rubber, I actually trace the image and burnish that onto the surface so that I can see what I’m carving. Carving the stamp takes me anywhere from a half hour to 2 hours. My mom and husband say it looks painful, but for me it’s actually very meditative and enjoyable!
What or who inspires your work?
I would have to say other artists, artisans and craftspeople. I feel that there are just so many innovative products and inspiring artwork surrounding me in the Bay Area and on Etsy.com. I’m just in awe by some of the things I see at craft shows and on blogs…people are so creative and I love it!
What do you love most about your work/art?
I love to be able to create something that someone else can use to be creative themselves. I love to hear how people are going to use my stamps…for their business, their wedding, their son/daughter’s birthday invitations…It’s just great to know that my work will continue to have a life in another persons’ hands.
What tool(s) can you not live without?
My carving tools.
What is your biggest challenge?
Finding enough hours in the day.
Is there a question you wish we would ask?
No, thank you. This has been fun!
You can check out Brown Pigeon on Etsy.com at BrownPigeon.etsy.com. Also Brown Pigeon will have a booth at the Vagabond Indie Craft Fair Saturday, April 30th, 11am to 5pm, click here for details.
-Cheers and we’ll be back next week with another Hot Seat Interview!