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Shop Spotlight: You Are What You Love

Our very first shop to be featured is You Are What You Love. The shop is owned by Aprile Elcich and she makes beautiful collages out of vintage books and paper from her home in Toronto, Canada. I sent Aprile a bunch of questions for the Q&A and I enjoyed her candid answers. For such a young age, I admire her sense of creativity and boldness in launching her own home business. Let’s get to know Aprile a little bit more:

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?
You Are What You Love is actually a song by Jenny Lewis, one of my favourite musicians. I just think it’s an amazing quote and it makes you think about what you love the most. I love collage and making art, and so it seemed to me like a natural match. It might not be the most catchy, but I still like it!

April Elciche workspace
Aprile’s work desk

How old is your shop?
Hmm, Etsy says I joined in 2007 but I think there was a lot of procrastinating along the way. It was probably late in 2008 that I actually started selling my work, which was also the same time I started to concentrate on my collages more seriously.

What inspired you to start your own home business?
I’ve always been inspired to start my own business, I don’t even know where it came from! I was always that kid who had a lemonade stand, or sold jewelry or whatever I could find. While other kids dreamed of being veterinarians or ballet dancers, I had dreams of opening art galleries, restaurants, or retail stores. It helps that I feel more comfortable being in charge, haha.

April Elciche of You are What You Love
Aprile, dry and warm beneath her boothe’s umbrella for Toronto’s Big on Bloor street festival

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?
Luckily, I haven’t had any major challenges. The most challenging thing is to keep yourself working towards a goal every time. The thing with artist-types sometimes is that we get into these lulls, where we lack inspiration and feel like everything we make isn’t good enough. It’s a challenge to get over this and continue doing what you love to do.

How did you get over it?
I stopped making excuses and thinking about what I would “rather be doing.” The bottom line is always that when I get into making my collages, I love every minute of it! Voila, no more road blocks.

You are What You Love oh sweet woods
Please Name. . .

the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop:

I’m really boring, haha: Reading my RSS feeds, “window shopping” online, reading (non-fiction usually), going to the market, relaxing at home…

stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without:

Believe it or not my bag is always nearly empty. My wallet, business cards, a pen and my day planner.

You are What You Love packages

You are What You Love workdesk

your favorite shops:

Online shops? There are too many! These are shops I visit often:

somethingshidinghere.etsy.com
fieldguided.etsy.com
enhabiten.etsy.com
BROOKLYNrehab.etsy.com
funiscool.etsy.com
forestbound.etsy.com

your top 3 favorite picks from your shop:

Naturally my brand new mini-book:

Oh Sweet Woods mini book
My favourite collage right now:

You are What You Love collage
My favourite from the Language of Flowers series:

Language of Flowers

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?
Don’t ever get discouraged, and make sure you are always surrounding yourself with inspiring people and ideas. And of course, never run out of ideas.

Wasn’t that a great interview? Don’t forget to visit Aprile’s Etsy shop and her website to see more of her work. Aprile is having a shop sale this week and she’s giving away one set of these lovely plant markers. Hop over her blog today to know more:

You are What You Love plant markers

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