LilacPOP and LilacPOP Photography

LilacPOP features funky felted items, hip tailored clothing, one of a kind jewelry, and handknit accessories, and LilacPOP Photography features fine art photographs printed on metallic paper. Janna Bissett runs them both, and I was so pleased she took the time out of her busy schedule to tell us a bit about herself.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
When I started at Western Michigan University I majored in Graphic Design. However, I couldn't get into the intro classes until my 3rd year and by then I was frustrated. I transferred to the University of Michigan. I took a photography class and fell in love with it. The darkroom is like magic and I found that I had a good eye for it. It was kind of like the missing piece in my life. I also took many mixed media classes as well painting, life drawing (one of my faves), computer design, lithography, sculpture, and even a class solely on color. Mixed media influenced my work a lot! I love mixing things up. When I create jewelry I love to mix styles, such as pretty and tough or pink and steampunk. But the thing that really got me going making items to sell was the "Handmade Holiday Show" in Troy, Mi that I had a table at. I wanted to open a store on etsy for a long time but this was the kick in the butt I needed to really start creating enough to do that! And I recently opened another shop on etsy for my fine art photography. Now I am so happy to be doing what I am doing.

How did you first get interested in vintage goods?
I am obsessed with the idea of taking something old and making it look current and hip! One of my favorite things to do is to look for funky and cool vintage things at area church rummage sales and resale shops. Mixing a vintage article into an outfit and making it look unique and cool is so much fun. One of my pieces of art is framed in a vintage window frame that was part of my parents' house before they did some remodeling. Their house was built in 1929. The piece has photos of every woman in my family dating back to the late 1800's and I sewed the smaller photos, quilt style, and used them sort of like a mat around a larger photo of myself and my mom and grandmothers.
I recently acquired an old cash register from the 1950's and I can't wait to take it apart and use the pieces somehow in my jewelry! I'm very excited about this!

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I love learning something new! When I see a new craft or a piece of art I like, I immediately feel like I need to learn that!! It's like a hunger almost. Right now I am learning how to dye wool and hand felt. I am so excited to start wet felting. My husband runs a State Park in Michigan which has a farm on it and he brought me 2 large bags full of wool from the farm's sheep. I tried dying some of it with koolaid and it worked great! My next adventure is going to be felting it. Woohoo!

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
How much time it takes! When I first opened my shop I thought I could list things and sit back and wait for business come to me. Now I realize that there is a lot of marketing involved, including getting on social networking sites. All of this takes a lot of time. I am a mother of two awesome kids, ages 7 and 3 and that keeps me busy on its own! I also work shooting virtual tours of real estate, I sell clothing on ebay, create new photographs whenever I can, spend my evenings knitting, crocheting, or felting, reading craft blogs and getting into the etsy forums, & photographing the items for my shop. TIME--a big challenge indeed!

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
From my photography store I would like the Sepia Flower print.

From my lilacpop store I would like the Cashmere Felted Scarf.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
It sounds like a cliche to say that I have always known I would be an artist but it is true. I didn't always know that I would be a photographer though. I always thought I would be an artist/fashion designer. I used to draw all the time from clothing catalogs my mom would get in the mail. And when I got old enough to buy fashion magazines I was in heaven! I still have about 6 magazine subscriptions and I look forward to receiving every one each new month!

What other shops out there do you love?
FringeLore's "almost forgotten stories retold", organikx's nature inspired jewelry, TimothyAdamDesigns's steel pieces, mimidoodles's "small" art, refashionology's recycled bags, rachelaustin's beautiful paintings, courtneycourtney's children's clothing made from recycled clothing, zelaya's gorgeous natural clothing, michelemaule's awesome art, kjoo's incredible textiles, re4madoprints's infrared photography, and TheNebulousKingdom's whimsical art.

What does your future hold?
My hope is that my etsy shops take off so that when my son goes to kindergarten I can work as a full time artist. That is what I paid all that money for college for! Seriously though, that has always been my dream.

Visit LilacPOP and LilacPOP Photography where Janna is offering free shipping to anyone who reads this blog by sending her a message after purchasing with the code "Such Cool Stuff." While you're at it, stop by her blog and say hello!