Friday, November 6, 2009

Featured Artist: Tadd Hardy of Hawkwolf's Armory and Accoutrements


Hello! My name is Tadd Hardy, and I'm the artist behind Hawkwolf's Armory and Accoutrements.
I've loved anything remotely medieval since I was very young, my lovely wife is the same way! We enjoy attending rennaisance faires, watching fantasy movies, and for the last ten years, making really special chain maille jewelry, accessories, and more.

1. When and why did you start crafting?

At first, it was just for myself and my wife, I thought it would be fun to make some accessories for our ren faire outfits. Soon after that, our friend from work saw my wife's headdress and ordered one for her medieval handfasting (wedding). Then people saw my stuff at the wedding and asked her where she got it! Kinda a big word of mouth thing.... By then I was hooked on maille, and how can you buy more supplies if you don't sell something once in a while? :D I started in 1999 and have been going strong ever since!

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

Having people you've never even met want your handmade work is really exciting to me. And being able to work with people and make their dreams come true with a customized piece just for them is a lot of fun too. It's like they have the only piece like it in the world! Oh yeah, getting paid is nice, too..... :P

3. How did you find out about your selling venue and why did you start selling there?

At first it was just my website in '93, then later I started hearing about selling venues like Etsy and artfire. I sell on multiple venues, just getting my name out there as much as possible. I even had limited success on Ebay for a while, I've tried quite a few....I still use quite a few!

4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop or you dislike the most about selling online?

Getting your name out there! It's a never ending thing, trying to advertise on every pertinent space about your product. It seems to be working, and it seems the longer I've been on the web, the more people are able to find me. Maybe it's working? I always get that little twinge of fear when I send something out to a person I've never really met or even seen, hoping the size is right, or that the piece is everything the customer hoped it would be. Actually I think that helps me, I pay extra attention to little details, I want everything to be perfect for the person receiving my wares.

5. Do you rely on your selling venue to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun; extra spending money?

It helps pay the bills, but mostly it feeds my addiction! (my chain maille, silly!)

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than your selling venue; why?

Yes, I do a few art shows and faires every year, some in spring and some in fall. I had a lot of my stuff in a local shop (with a nice fan base too!), but unfortunately with the recent economy troubles, they had to close thier doors.
I enjoy both for different reasons, I'm really not sure if I enjoy one more than the other, though? I love offline selling to see how my things look on many different people, the smiling faces, shaking hands with someone after a sale, the kids (and adults) that say 'You made that? Wow!'. On the other hand, I can't imagine another way to get my jewelry and items into the hands of someone in Alaska, or Utah, or Paris, London, or Germany than online. The internet just opens so many doors that aren't available otherwise.

7. Where else can you be found online?

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