Today I'd like to introduce you to another one of my sponsors (keep reading, because she's got a great giveaway going on just for you)! Jen, from Desert Rose Knit Shop is one of the nicest girls you'll ever meet; she's a soft spoken soul with a kindness that can be felt from a mile away. She is presently working on a custom piece for me and has been so patient while I send her on a wild-goose-chase for the ever-elusive pattern I envision. I hope you'll stick around to check out her Etsy shop and blog and maybe take the time to say hello!
LA: What is the meaning behind your Etsy shop name?
Jen: I started using the Desert Rose name probably 10-12 years ago when I heard it in the Sting song of the same name. I fell in love with the concept of beauty blooming in the desert, and that idea has been my muse ever since!
LA: Tell us something about you (or your shop) that we should know.
Jen: I love using classic patterns in bold, beautiful colors. Cables are especially fun for me to knit, so I try to incorporate those in a lot of my pieces.
LA: You have some really beautiful pieces available on Etsy! Do you have any plans to expand your inventory beyond hats and scarves to maybe sweaters/gloves?
Jen: Though I've been knitting since I was about 8, I still get frustrated knitting a project that takes more than a few hours. I think it's probably just a mental thing, but I start to get antsy to start something new and can't stand to be stuck on a larger project!
Hats seem to suit my style well enough though, because it's gives me a chance to try new styles and colors without too much investment. I may look for a new challenge some day, but for now I'm happy to keep making hats!
LA: Where do you find the inspiration to create the pieces in your shop? Are you influenced by any shop(s) or designer(s) in particular?
Jen: I really try to listen to my inner muse when creating my hats. I like browsing patterns on Ravelry and Etsy and see what strikes my fancy. Some hats are taken from patterns (used with permission) that I've bought, and others are my own versions of things I've seen.
I'm also inspired by the bohemian chic culture that I see on shows like Gossip Girl and companies like Anthropologie. I strive to embody a classic, yet updated look, with clean lines and bold colors.
LA: Do you have other creative outlets in addition to knitting? What are they?
Jen: Currently I'm in school to become a graphic designer. Previous to this, I've studied music (mainly choir and some classical piano) and photography. It's amazing to me how much all the different art forms have in common. Color, composition, expression... it's all so inspiring and invigorating.
Art and music, to me, are a way to honor God, my Savior. He is the ultimate Creator, and it blesses my soul to be able to create even a little bit! A lot of my photography is of God's nature, which constantly surprises me in it's complexity and simplicity. Nature also inspires a lot of my graphic design work.
LA: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those words be?
Jen: Daydreamer, Intuitive, Introvert
LA: What is one of your goals (personally or professionally) for 2012?
Jen: I'd love to have 500 sales on Etsy! Haha!! We'll see if that happens. After quite a busy Christmas season, I feel like I know more what I'm doing now though, so maybe it will be possible!
I also hope to complete the first year in my graphic design program. I've been learning so much and it's been such a relief to be pursuing a creative career after being a general office worker for so long!
OK friends, here's the part I know you'll love: Jen has generously offered a giveaway of a cabled beanie of YOUR choice (pick your favorite color)! The giveaway runs until Monday, January 23rd and you have SIX possible ways to enter. Visit her blog entry for the details...but don't wait too long because Monday is right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to score one of her stylish beanies for winter!