I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Mack about her shop, Rotten Cupcakes and we delved into some other topics as well. The interview speaks for itself, so we’ll get right to it…
-How did you get started with Rotten Cupcakes?
Last winter, I was working on a hat for my little sister Emily””she’s a freshman now in college””and I wanted to give her something that would she would love. That’s how the Original Twisted Thistle beret was born. I found that the pattern I had written worked well with a variety of yarns and needles sizes & couldn’t stop knitting the things! It just kept rolling from there.
I originally began rottencupcakes.com as a portfolio site for my graphic design work. The site has gone through a variety of iterations that never quite hit the right note for me until I began using it as a blog and a daily motivator for me to create. As for the etsy shop, it’s an embodiment of rottencupcakes: I’ve always been a maker of stuff. And I’m sure that as any crafty person could tell you, you end up with a lot of stuff. I wanted to share what I had made & send it along to others that would enjoy it.
Constantly evolving. Style doesn’t stagnate; it grows with you. That said, at the moment it’s quirky/casual. I love bold patterns & bright colors with more simple shapes and silhouettes. I really love a lot of basics and making them look less-than-basic by mixing them together in different ways.
-Do you feel that your personal style trickles in to the fashion accessories and artwork that you create?
Most certainly! My personal style is definitely infused into each & every piece I create””that’s part of the beauty of handmade, you get a little part of the artist in the object. The knitted items in particular are descendants of my own style. I wouldn’t knit it if I wouldn’t wear it!
-Is Rotten Cupcakes your full time job? If it is not, how do you balance both?
I wish rottencupcakes was my full time job! For my nine-to-five (or six or seven), I am a graphic designer. I’m usually home by 7ish and my husband & I eat dinner together and hang out for about an hour or so before I start doing anything else. I usually prep my blog postings the night before and use most of my evenings knitting or making things in front of the television, either watching shows with my husband or watching him play video games with good story lines (no Halo, please!).
-You work in a variety of mediums: paint, ceramics, and yarn (knitting). Which do you favor and why?
I don’t know if I have a favorite! It really depends on what’s inspiring at that moment in time. I’ve been doing a ton of knitting lately but have picked up a little bit of embroidery recently and am also diving back into illustration. I guess my hands like to keep busy!
-What advice would you give to others who are looking to start a craft business? Any tips you can share?
Do what you love. And do it well. If you really love something, you’ll make it as perfect as possible before sending it off into the world. My only other tip would be: make something every day. The act of creation itself only feeds that creative spark; it certainly doesn’t wear it out!
-Anything else you would like to share with us?
Thank you for taking the time to interview me! & I really hope that everyone loves the shop & blog. <3 <3 <3
Thanks so much for the interview Julie!