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Meet Sara Martinez

December 23, 2008 in News

www.savegocco.com &  www.saraprettyfun.com

Sara Martinez has always been an independent and creative woman … so it’s only natural that she would teach herself how to sew. In less than a year – with a little ingenuity and a whole lot of talent – she has already made a name for herself in the online crafting community and the art fair circuit with Pretty Fun, her own line of unique and affordable purses and other colorful accessories.

Why Pretty Fun? According to Sara, these adorable purses wristlets and messenger bags are as fun to sew as they are to wear.

“I love being able to imagine something and actually turn it into something tangible and show it off,” she explains.

Sara has always been artistic, a trait she picked up from her mother and grandmother – both avid sewers. As a child, she loved to make necklaces and other crafts but never took the time to learn sewing until recently, when she found herself in a department store with a pocket full of birthday money. She bought a sewing machine and started sewing right away.

“It was hard at first because I didn’t know a lot of the basic steps,” says Sara. She taught herself mostly using sewing patterns and “a LOT of trial and error. In the beginning, everything took a little bit of work.”

Sara originally began exploring sewing because she wanted to make skirts. “I wanted to make them my own way, so they wouldn’t be like the clothes that everyone else has.”

However, after attempting to make a purse, Sara discovered her passion. With all the different possibilities of fabrics and embellishments, she started devoting all of her free time to sewing. After mastering her purse designs, she began adding her own touch to purses and accessories with beads, buttons and more – she even taught herself hand embroidery!

Soon it only took her an hour to make a purse, and her closet began to fill up with all of her creations. “I had a big pile of them,” Sara says. She decided to share her purses with her friends and other fashionistas. Plus, ” I needed money for more fabric!” she laughs.

Pretty Fun began with the same D-I-Y mindset that Sara used to learn sewing. Rather than start with the traditional avenue of craft shows and art fairs, she decided to create her own virtual shop at saraprettyfun.com. She and her husband Dave used a simple Yahoo site builder to create it.

“It was a lot of fun, even though it took some time. I’m not super computer savvy, so if I can do it, anyone can,” says Sara. Plus, “you can control the way it looks and works, which is great.”

Pretty Fun’s popularity skyrocketed right away, and she began to meet other sewers in the online crafting community, especially fellow merchants at etsy.com, a handmade haven where Pretty Fun customers place their orders.

“It’s a great way to network and connect with people… and it’s a support system where you can bounce ideas back and forth,” she says. “People reach out through emails and cheer each other on.”

Sara says she has formed strong friendships with artists that she has met through Etsy. What’s more, all of her online networking has led to opportunities to sell her purses at art shows. “Those shows can be hard to find, so meeting people through Etsy has been a big help.”

In addition to networking, Sara’s online friendships have helped her discover new ways to make her purses unique, such as Japanese crafting. “I had actually discovered it by reading a blog from a crafter in England,” she says. “My favorite Japanese trend that I just recently discovered is called Gocco. It’s a way of screen printing onto fabric that produces a great handmade result.”

One thing Sara loves the most about her fellow crafting friends is that they inspire each other. When it comes to new ideas and techniques, there’s no end in sight. Currently, she’s been exploring embroidery possibilities on her new Baby Lock Ellure. “I’ve used so many of the built-in designs and I’m already like, ‚ÄòI want more!'”

And talk about inspiration – Pretty Fun is proof that your passion may be somewhere unexpected, and with a little imagination and determination, there’s no limit to how far you can go.

No matter how much Pretty Fun grows, however, Sara’s ultimate goal is to keep Pretty Fun just that – an enjoyable outlet for creativity and meeting people. “I have so much fun with it, and that really is the most important part.”

Pretty Great Advice From Pretty Fun

  • If you’d like to sell things online, have nice pictures that are eye-catching and highlight your work. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t sell right away.
  • If you’re learning a new technique, step away when you get stuck and come back to it later. Don’t give up if you have to set something aside for a while. Just have fun and enjoy what you are doing!

www.savegocco.com &  www.saraprettyfun.com

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