I’d ogled the clutches from the JohnMetBetty etsy shop in past… for a girl who doesn’t own a purse, it was a foreign feeling to want such dainty things. Maybe it’s the vivid colours or the terrific retro fabrics, but whatever it was made me drool over these items. So I was stoked when Jill (the mastermind behind John Met Betty) and I recently got to chatting via Twitter, and we ended up doing a swap; I can say officially that her little care package has single-handedly upped the glam quotient of my wardrobe. Not only that, she kindly agreed to be victim #2 of my Lightning Round….
1. Who are John and Betty, and how did they meet?
John and Betty are my grandparents. My grandparents met and fell in love in Vancouver BC, they shared their first date riding bicycles across the Lions Gate Bridge. They first laid eyes on each other at church, my grandpa walked into the church and saw my grandmother singing as part of a choir. He, to this day, says he was reminded of an angel in the clouds when he saw her :)
2. You’ve done and studied a lot of different things… how did you land on sewing purses and accessories?
Long story; to make it short, I worked as a design assistant for a small company in Ontario. I wanted to gain more skills in pattern making and construction so my boyfriend at the time (now husband) and I moved to Toronto. I studied Fashion Design at George Brown College. I started designing purses when my parents (who are quite thrifty) found an entire warehouse full of purse frames for $50.00! I was then living in a small apartment with boxes of purse frames in which I decided I must learn how to make frame purses so I could see my dining room table once again!
3. Favourite breakfast spread?
President’s Choice Strawberry Rhubarb jam — can’t get that in the US. One of the things I stock up on when we make our monthly trip across the border.
4. Worst job you ever had?
The 5 years I spent working at Pizza Hut as a teenager. I did everything from working in the dish pit, oiling pizza pans, to cleaning the mens bathroom. It was disgusting!
5. You’re a fellow Ontarian (high-fives!) — where did you grow up and what do you miss about it?
I grew up in many places (our family moved a lot!) I spent most of of childhood in a small town called Waterford, Ontario; the thing I miss most about it is Pumpkinfest!
6. How did you end up on Bainbridge Island?
Another good question with a long story! We moved to Seattle when my husband got a job with an online book selling company (can you guess which one)? We lived in Seattle for a few months, one day we took the ferry over to the island and decided we liked the quieter pace of life. It’s a small town with a really close knit community and beautiful scenery.
7. What was the first concert you ever went to?
The first concert I ever went to was Ashley MacIsaac for my 16th birthday. My parents paid for a whole group of us 16 year olds to jump up and down wearing kilts at the concert :)
8. Where do you find and buy your vintage fabrics?
I find my fabrics everywhere: some people give them to me, some I buy at flea markets and garage sales, some I find online on Ebay and Etsy.
9. Ideal lazy Sunday activity?
Sitting in our backyard or down at the marina having a glass of wine with friends.
10. Really nice to hear that your hubby’s so supportive! Can you give us a little intro to him?
My hubby is very supportive, I feel so lucky! Patrick is a software engineer, he works for Amazon the gods of books and other goodness :) He’s a wonderful guy who brings me flowers on occasion ;)
11. Dream vacation spot (barring logistical/budget limitations!)?
I would love to spend a month in Paris!
12. Got any party tricks?
I was going to say no until I remembered my dog can dance ;) Is that a party trick?
13. What is your kryptonite?
Hmm, I don’t know about who but I know about what: coffee, chocolate, and good food would be my kryptonite.
14. Who would you thank if you won an Oscar?
Everyone, my family, my friends, my dog, my cats, and of course my Twitter peeps! ;)
15. What do you like best and least about being your own boss?
I love being able to pick my own hours, work when I feel creative and make what I want to make without someone telling me I can’t. There’s not much I dislike about it, I’m quite content :)
16. Most often visited website(s)?
Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, blogs too many to list here!
17. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I would most likely have a job in the fashion industry of some kind, maybe as a fashion buyer or designer.
18. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from running your business?
So far I would say be creative and be yourself. Find your creative niche, and everything else will fall into place. Strive to bring the best customer service possible and value each and every sale you make.
19. Wallflower or first-to-the-dance-floor?
I’m somewhere in the middle, always in a different mood. Sometimes I like to be the wallflower who stays in and sews all weekend, but on occasion I like to party like it’s 1999 ;)
20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
…born to be creative
You certainly were, Ms. Jill. Thanks so much for being a great sport, and keep truckin’ with your delicious creations. Oh, and huge congrats on becoming an Auntie this week!
Find out more — check out:
etsy.com, good peeps