In this age of living on our computers, I still make sure to always have a nice sketchbook on hand. There’s something about putting things down on paper that can’t be replaced by anything electronic… Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks has a special relationship with paper, and her creations are drool-worthy. I’ve bought a couple of her books (one for my sister-in-law, one for me) and was impressed with how well-made and beautiful they were. Take a look for yourself, while we have our little Q&A.
1. How and when did you start bookbinding and paper marbling?
I started bookbinding in 2001; paper marbling didn’t happen until 2008.
2. How did you make the leap to making this your full time gig and selling your work online?
When my son was 2-years-old, I went back to work full-time to an office job. That lasted 5 months. During that time, I discovered Etsy and realized that I could probably manage without the “real job” and I wouldn’t have to miss so much of my son’s childhood!
3. Introvert or extrovert?
Depends on the situation, but mostly extrovert.
4. Ideal lazy Sunday?
Hanging out with my family.
5. You used to be a librarian; what’s your favourite book?
There’s no single favorite. But a few that always come to mind when I get this question: Frankenstein by Shelley, A Fine Balance by Mistry, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Hardy, Catch 22 by Heller.
6. What is your kryptonite?
7. Where do you get the supplies you use to make your books?
I try to shop locally as much as possible but there are some things that just aren’t available here so I have to shop online too.
8. You live in lovely Halifax… How did you land there and what’s your favourite thing about it?
After a few years of commuting to work, driving for over and hour to Halifax every morning and another hour back home every night, I moved to Halifax to eliminate that commute. Walking to work was so much nicer! My favorite thing about Halifax is our proximity to the ocean, seeing sailboats and gigantic cruise ships and Theodore Tugboat whenever we want to.
9. What was the first concert you ever went to?
10. Happiest kid memory?
I grew up on a dairy farm and the best memories are hot summer afternoons that smelled like fresh cut hay and the hay elevator clanging in the background.
11. What’s the last movie you saw in a theatre, and did you like it?
Avatar…it was better than I expected.
12. Worst job you ever had?
Waitress at a Pizza House, as the new hire, I always had the late shift with all the crazies looking for food after the bars closed. I didn’t stay there very long.
13. What’s your most popular item?
Lately, my Bookbinding Kit has been very popular.
14. Any suggestions or words of advice to other Mom’s who wish they could turn their hobby into a business?
Take it seriously; get the support of the people around you; dedicate time to your business so that you have official working hours.
15. If you had the time, what’s something you’d work at improving or learning?
I would continue to study book arts. It would be a dream to go to Eurpoe to study bookbinding.
16. Dream vacation spot (barring logistical / budget limitations! ;)?
Various locations in Europe where I could visit libraries and see books significant to the history of bookbinding.
17. What’s your go-to dish to bring to a potluck?
Spinach Salad with my own homemade dressing. MMMM.
18. What do you like best and least about being your own boss?
Best – I don’t have some boss telling me what to do. Least – Nobody sends me a bi-weekly paycheque!
19. What are you most proud of right now?
My kid. And the new kid that is due in June. Making books is easy in comparison to this parenthood stuff.
20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
I am so glad that Spring is here.
Find out more about Rhonda and her handiwork:
Thanks for playing along, Rhonda — and a big woohoo to you as you count down to bambino #2!