Q&A: Becky Helms of The Pink Samurai

Q: Tell us briefly a little about yourself. What are your interests or your hobbies?

A: I’m a cat lady, a crafter and total nerd.  I live in Austin, TX with Andy, my husband, and our two cats Turks and Sprinkles.  I love drawing, crochet, embroidery and collection super cute stuff.TV-Star

Q: Describe your style in three words or less.

A: Bright, colorful, happy

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Q: On your blog, The Pink Samurai, you feature a different vintage shop for thrifty treasures from the Austin area. What was the inspiration behind this?

A: I grew up thrifting and antiquing with my mom. When I was living on the East Coast I made this giant google doc spreadsheet of all the shops I’d visited and wanted to visit. I started sharing it out with friends and thought more folks besides us might like to see the shops, too. So I started putting them on the blog!

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A cowgirl's paradise!!!! Look at all of these boots!!!

A cowgirl’s paradise!!!! Look at all of these boots!!!

Q: Do you have a favorite place to find your unique antique treasures in the Austin, TX area? What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled for vintage finds?

A: Rave On Vintage is definitely my favorite spot in Austin because they specialize in mid-century goodness. They’ve always got the best stuff!  And I think the furthest I’ve ever traveled was around 3 hours. Andy and I went to The Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA. I’d heard about it from Jenny Mitchell, one of my favorite vintage bloggers and just had to go! It was a gorgeous trip through the mountains of Virginia and turned into a really fun day-trip.

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Q: Your handmade scarves are gorgeous! What was the inspiration behind your Etsy shop, The Pink Samurai?

A: Thank you! The Pink Samurai has worn many hats since opening. I used to sew purses, and design buttons, but after teaching myself to crochet, I decided to take the leap and started selling them. Through all my different offerings, The Pink Samurai has always been a place for bright colors and silliness. I try to bring those elements in with my color palettes and branding.

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Q: You’ve had your Etsy shop since 2006…how have you seen the Etsy community evolve since then? What are some of the trends you see on Etsy?

A: Etsy has changed quite a bit since I first started. But, so has the internet as a whole. I’ve seen the forum switch from being a promotional tool to more of a team setting and there’s a lot more knock-off shops on Etsy then there were in 2006, that’s for sure. With the evolution of twitter, instagram and pinterest, I don’t really spend as much time networking through Etsy anymore. As for trends, I’m seeing a lot of geometric prints and simplified color-blocking in handmade right now. There’s also a lot of really cool laser cut wood designs that are popping up now.

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Q: What are the advantages of shopping on Etsy vs. Ebay for vintage finds?

A: That’s a great question! I think you’ll probably pay a little bit more on Etsy for some vintage finds, but it’s a much better experience. You’re working with a seller who specializes in vintage and curates their shop very carefully. Ebay can be hit-or-miss. If you’re looking for something specific, I would check both. But if you’re just browsing for a hidden treasure, Etsy is the way to go.

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Q: Besides crocheting beautiful scarves, you also create the loveliest illustrations. I read on your blog that you hosted a “crafternoon” at your house…could you share with my readers what that is?

A:  Crafternoon was a really fun event that I hosted to get some crafty locals together to make stuff and swap supplies. I had special embroidery patterns we all worked on and we traded supplies and had a great time visiting and talking about making stuff. It  was so fun and I’m hoping to do another in the summer!

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Special thanks to Becky Helms for taking the time to do this interview! Be sure to check out her blog, The Pink Samurai.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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