Pieces of Home Mosaics Shop

Friday, January 4, 2013

Today's Featured Artist is
Lori Howard

Lori has a beautiful shop! I can't wait for you to get to know her and see her creativity at work!

Q. What do you sell?

My Etsy shop has been stocked with wreaths... Christmas wreaths, fall wreaths, Halloween wreaths, mesh wreaths, fruit wreaths... lots and lots of wreaths! I also created some Christmas garland and topiary. A good catch all would be home decor! In 2013 I plan to add some different home decor items. I am itching to experiment

Source: etsy.com via Kate on Pinterest

Q.  How did you get started with Etsy?

In 2011 I found myself in a bit of a crisis. My son started school and I was lost! My background is personal finance and before we adopted our son I worked in the banking industry. The possibility of heading out into the "banking" workforce was not something I really wanted to do again. My husband and I also own a network consulting business but honestly, that is "his" thing. I am the person behind the invoicing, contracts, and emails. He and I sat down one day to talk about my future since our little bird was taking his first little flight outside the family nest. My husband shocked me. This... all of this... was his idea! I don't think he envisioned me going after it with such gusto! I dove head first and never looked back.

Q.  When did you get interested in making your Art/Craft?

  Wow... that is a hard one to pin point. I have always had an artistic heart and mind. I love to draw, write, and create. I feel lost when I don't have some "outlet" to get all these ideas bouncing around inside my head out. One of my very first arts and crafts memories was making a decoupage Christmas ornament in kindergarten using an ostrich egg. I was bitten by the bug that early on! Through the years things just grew! My love of art and literature... this insane need to create... It's no longer an extension. It is me. It's in my blood!

Q.  Where does your inspiration come from?

  This may sound cliche but some of my inspiration comes from my son. Children are not fettered by an adults thought processes. He will see something and he wants to know if I can make something from it. He loves trains. It is an obsession in the Howard Home. Not just Thomas but real, honest to goodness trains. And he'll ask "Mama, can you make me a train wreath". Why yes! Yes, I can! We also live in the south where snow is almost as alien as E.T. We have "flurries" maybe once a decade. He wanted a snowman for Christmas and I figured out how to give him a snowman. A lot of my inspiration comes from nature... a piece of fruit, a bird, the color of fresh cut wood. I love those things and want to replicate nature... capture a bit of it to bring into my home. Of course my customers are a never ending well of inspiration. You want a wreath 50 inches long... well let me think on it for a bit but I promise I will find a way! All in all, life is my inspiration!

Q.  Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?

   I think some people are just more creative than others just like some people are better at math or more out going. It's just there for me. I can't paint though I have tried and tried. Drawing and sketching run in my family. It didn't come easily and it is something I still work with. But floral and home decor... it is like having a sixth sense. It's just there... racing through my blood. Give me flowers and I can arrange them. Give me ribbon and I can make a bow. Show me colors and I will pick out what I think goes well together. I had some not too successful endeavours and I love to experiment. Even with a failed attempt you learn and grow! 

Q.  Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?

  Hopefully I will have a brick and mortar shop! It is one of my long term goals. I want to try new mediums. I am currently researching wood veneers and I am extremely excited by the results. I'm also going to start a children's line of home decor... DyZZy Designs. This... well this will be something super special. The inspiration comes from my son Dylan and my niece Isabelle who we called affectionately Izzy Bug. She passed away January 2012 at the age of three. Isabelle was born a special needs child. At birth she was diagnosed with 18p deletion, holoprosencephaly, and agenesis of the corpus callosum. She was a miracle... a one in a million, both literally and figuratively. With each item sold, a portion of the sales will go to a charity which touched our lives and research for chromosomal abnormalities. She changed our life and for that I am thankful. Hopefully I, in turn, can help to change some ones life.

Q.  How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?

  Separating work and home can be tough when you do your work at home. I try to do the majority of my work when my son is at school and my husband is at work. That is when I create. Then after my son goes to bed is when I catch up on emails and orders... getting everything ready to be shipped out or delivered the next morning. Christmas threw my schedule off. My husband even volunteered to help out where he could which was amazing. I had a lot of late nights. The orders I received on Etsy was a fraction of my over all orders. My local customer base is phenomenal. It was a learning experience.

Q.  Is this a hobby, part-time job, or full-time job?

   I want this to be my career. It has been tough and even scary but this is the happiest I have ever been when it comes to work. I think I have been exceptionally lucky for my first year and I want to build on that.

Q.  Do you make or stock items you love, or what will sell?

  Both... though I do enjoy making the items I love far more than what will sell. But customers' tastes run all types of ways. There is a definite market for all of it. When I started DyJo designs I did it to sell wreaths but I wanted to create something different. Not just any old wreath or wreaths for Christmas. I wanted to create something special... something anyone would love to display in their home whether their decor is contemporary, cottage, or country kitsch. Slowly I am getting there but if a customer wants something different than my vision I will do it in a heart beat. We wouldn't be able to do this without our customers.

Q.  Where else can we find you online?

Q.  Any other thoughts you want to share with us?

   Utilize social media! If you aren't familiar with facebook, twitter, pinterest, and all the other free social media sites out there set aside time to learn. It is free marketing! You are in control of it all. It is a great way to interact with customers and potential customers. I enjoy posting photos of the materials I plan to use then the finished product. And if you feel like you are drowning take a deep breath.

More of Lori's Shop!
Please come by my shop for a visit!


  1. Thank you Kate! Etsy is such a wonderful home for DyJo Designs! The combined talent is amazing! Having a home to sell my items is wonderful but having virtual neighbors like you and Pieces Of Home Mosaics is phenomenal!!! Thank you so much! I hope 2013 is filled with wonder for you and all my fellow Etsians!

  2. I love her wreathes. So many different varieties and colors!


  3. DyJo Designs has such stunning wreaths. The lemon ones are oyur favorites! Looking forward to seeing more of Lori's designs for the upcoming holidays throughout the year!

  4. What a GREAT feature!! Very informative! Thank you!!

    Found you via Etsy Blogging Buddies!


  5. Thanks, Kate, for introducing us to Lori and her Etsy shop. Great interview.

  6. Wonderful! I'm in love with that lemon and lime wreath!