Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Artist Behind The Shop: Rebecca D. Dillon

This week I´d like to introduce you to the lovely Rebecca from Soapdeli. Let´s know a bit more about her:
When did you start crafting? What was your motivation?
I've really been crafting all my life. I was artistic and an avid reader all through childhood and fine arts major in college. I attended college locally at Roanoke College where I studied a bit of everything including photography, screen printing, graphic design, pottery, 3-D design, drawing, painting, art history, poetry and even writing.

Because I have always had sensitive skin - that only got worth with age - I found great relief through the use of homemade soaps. One thing of course eventually led to another and after much book reading, internet research and experimentation, Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen was born.

I started my business in 2001 while I was still working outside of the home. I didn't really take it that seriously when I first started up. Like a lot of folks giving a first time business a go it was more of a hobby than anything else. Around 2005 I was diagnosed with agoraphobia. It was so bad that I was at the point I was having panic attacks over and over, practically non-stop, everywhere including my home. The only places I was panic free were in my office and my bedroom. Finding the appropriate medication to treat the panic took a few tries so at that point I made the decision to stay at home for a while and left my job. I was lucky that my husband had reached a point in his career that I was able to do this. Within a year though I was bored out of my ever-loving mind and striking up conversations with random strangers in Target. Then one-day hubby and I just happened to be walking downtown through the local city market, and I made a spur of the moment decision that day that I was going to sell downtown. The next day I called and got things set up, and the day after that I was officially a vendor. I worked through the panic attacks and didn't sell on Saturdays for several months until I was able to work up to the point that the market was a comfort zone for me. Once I established my local business, I moved on to focus on my online business in January of 2008.
Which one of your designs makes you feel prouder of yourself?
Right now I'm particularly pleased with my line of local Roanoke inspired soaps as they're based on the area I was born and raised. These soaps currently include Virginia Honeysuckle, Mill Mountain Soap, Big Lick Salt Bar, Southern Sweet Tea, and Star City Seduction. Additional local and regional soaps are in the works.
What kind of things inspire you?

I love scents so really a great smell is all the inspiration I need to want to grab the stick blender and concoct a new batch of soap.

Do you have any favorite book, movie, comic, etc? Which one and why is it your favorite?
I'm a big fan of paranormal fiction. Some of my favorite authors include: Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Kelly Armstrong, Karrie Vaughn, Jim Butcher, Richelle Mead, Keri Arthur, MaryJanice Davidson, Jeaniene Frost, Jacqueline Carey, Patricia Briggs, L.A. Banks and so many others

If you could choose any fictional character (from books, movies, comics, etc), which one would you like to be? Why?
Probably Anita Blake the Vampire Hunter from Kim Harrison's earlier books in the series. (Later on it becomes very porn like.) She kicks some serious ass and all the men want her. ;)
Do you have any mania or obsession?

I'm a shop-a-holic. I must have something for everything and my tastes are diverse.
Would you like to share any advice with your fellow artists?

1.Do it legal. It's worth the effort for the deductions and to show income if you decide to branch out and need to get a loan.

2.Give 100%. You can't expect to get 100% if you aren't giving it. You only get a return on the time you're willing to invest.

3. You must spend money to make money. That's just how it goes.

4. Marketing and word of mouth are golden. Nothing sells a product better than a referral from someone who has used your product. Remember that. (If you're new to selling online I wrote a little article to help you get started marketing.,com_content/catid,35/id,8162/task,view/)

Where can people find you? (blog, twitter, flickr, facebook...)
On a more personal note, I have struggled with severe depression all of my life. Several years back I was diagnosed with agoraphobia, and last a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with bipolar. So I'm sort of a mess all the way around some days. Getting things done can be a constant struggle for me because of the bipolar and agoraphobia but I push through because I'm stubborn - and very much the typical Gemini - and do what I can when I can. I also hate that there is a negative stigma attached to mental illness so I talk about it freely because it's really not something that people should feel ashamed of. Everyone has issues of some kind. Some just have a harder go than others. In the end though if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it.

Thanks so much!
Thank you very much Rebecca! It´s been a pleasure!
Don´t forget to visit her wonderful shop!


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes |