Designer of the Week - My Room Design

This week meet Beth Falk of My Room Design. She lives in Just outside of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters: Sarah, 4 ½, and Heather, 19 months.

See Beth's current eBay auctions: My Room Designs and add My Room Designs to your favorite eBay sellers list: Click Here:

JM: Beth, when did your interest in painting and working with room decor start?

BETH: I’ve always enjoyed crafts, and when I was a teenager I spent a lot of time in the art room at school. My mom still has two of my high school paintings displayed in her house (much to my embarrassment – they’re not exactly masterpieces). I started painting kids’ décor when we decorated my first daughter’s “big girl” room and I did a mural for her wall. My husband suggested that I try to paint some furniture for her, and it took off from there. Once I did a few pieces as gifts, and people actually seemed to like them, I thought I might be able to sell some of my work.

JM: Are there other artists that inspire you?

BETH: Actually, I take much of my inspiration from fabric designers. I like bold graphic patterns, and when I see a fabric that I like, I sometimes try to recreate the feel in a pattern I paint. Many of my pieces feature geometric shapes and abstract designs, both because I like that look and because I think those patterns hold children’s interest longer than animated characters or animal designs. I love the fabrics designed by Kaffe Fassett, Charles and Ray Eames, and many Marimekko prints

JM: When did you start selling your designs on eBay? Do you sell anywhere else besides eBay?

BETH: I sold a few pieces on eBay in 2004, before I became pregnant with Heather, then took a break and started up again last November. I have a web site – http://www.myroomdesigns.com, and I’m hoping to expand direct sales from the site. I have started placing some of my work in local boutiques, but I really enjoy being in contact with the customers myself so that I can add personal touches when I know what they want, so I prefer to sell my furniture directly.

JM: Do you remember the first item you sold on eBay? How much did it sell for?

BETH: I think the first handpainted item I sold on eBay was a personalized piggy bank, back in February of 2004. I don’t remember the price, but it sold for something around $10. The first piece I sold when I came “back” to eBay last fall was one of my purple bubble dot step stools, which sold, I believe, for $35

JM: How did come up with your name, My Room Designs?

BETH:When I did the painting for Sarah’s new bedroom, she spent a lot of time talking proudly about “MY room!” Her pride in having something that was hers reminded me how important it is for young children to have their own space and to feel a connection with it. I want kids to think of the furniture I paint for them as something that was made specifically for them, both because it’s their size and because it looks the way they want it to. And so “My Room” seemed like a natural choice for the business name.

JM: Do you belong to any boutique group?

BETH: I belong to Crayon Soup, which I started a few months ago with two close friends I met through an online pregnancy chat board in 2001…we’re still part of that online group five years later, and as we’ve developed our craft businesses, we thought it would be nice to support and promote each other. Crayon Soup is an all-accessory group for now, and we’re slowly adding new members who share our no-nonsense philosophy. It’s wonderful to have found a new way to work with some old friends!

I’ve also recently joined Boutique KR, a group of room décor designers, and that gives me the opportunity to share ideas with other women whose work is in my line.

JM: What is your favorite thing to paint?

BETH: I love to paint kid’s table and chair sets. They take a lot of time and work, but the finished result is the most dramatic of all my work, and I can play with lots of different ideas. And kids just love to have their own space to use for meals and art projects. It’s so much fun to see kids sitting at my tables!

JM: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?

BETH: I’d like to learn how to do all kinds of needlecraft. I can sew only the most basic straight seams, and I’ve never learned to knit or crochet. I see some of the beautiful work that eBay clothing designers do and wish I could manage something half as complicated.

JM: What was your first job? How much did you earn?

BETH: When I was in high school and college, I spent my summers working as an usher for the Philadelphia Phillies at the old Veterans’ Stadium in Philadelphia. It was a nice benefit to be paid for being at baseball games I’d have watched anyway. I didn’t have too many embarrassing experiences, but every now and then a very young child would ask for my autograph, which always made me smile.

JM: What other things do you enjoy besides painting?

BETH:I love to cook, and now that Sarah is getting old enough to really help in the kitchen I enjoy cooking with her. I also used to be a voracious reader, and some day when my kids are old enough, I may have more than 10 uninterrupted minutes to sit down with a book again. ;)

JM: Anything else you would like to add?

BETH:Thanks so much for this feature, Amy, and for all you to do help promote boutique sellers. It’s fascinating to me to watch the way these small mom-based businesses can expand and thrive. And special thanks to Pam (blacksheepdesigns) and Kristin (choochoo_creations), my co-founders in Crayon Soup and dear friends who have worked so hard to support and encourage me in this work.

Do you have a question that you are dying to ask Beth? Comment about something she said or designed? Post it here and she will answer it!

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Comments

Sherrill | Wednesday, July 12, 2006 10:02 PM | flag
Way to go Beth!

Mrs Hattery | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:08 PM | flag
Your talent absolutely astounds me! Beautiful products!!!

Viki | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 3:38 PM | flag
YOU GO GIRL!

Kimber | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:14 PM | flag
Congratulations Beth! I commend you for getting back into something you found you loved as a teen! Your creativity is inspiring and I'm so glad to have "met" you almost 5 years ago!! You Go Girl!!

Traci | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:30 AM | flag
Beth! I am so proud of you! Taking an interest and making it into such a great thing. As always, I love your designs, but you're also a wonderful role model for mothers! Congrats Girl!

Yvette | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:54 AM | flag
Beth - you are so talented and I'm lucky to have you as a friend! I have a cute step stool that Beth made a couple of years ago - with ladybugs, and personalized with my daughter's name. She loves that stool and uses it EVERY day! When people come over and see it, they always comment on it and ask "Where did you get that adorable stool?" Your work is top notch!

| Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:11 AM | flag
Beth, Once again I am in aww with all that you do. You are an amazing and talented person. I cant wait to have a place big enough so that Noah can own one of your table and chair sets.

Kristin | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 5:51 AM | flag
Beth, your items are wonderful! I love your use of color and the great designs you come up with! Congrats on the feature!

Katie | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 5:34 AM | flag
Beth, your stuff is so creative and beautiful. Congrats on getting featured here. Hope more people will see your beautiful work!

Pam | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 5:10 AM | flag
Beth, I am so thrilled to see you featured! Your work is creative and delightful - Maddie loves all of the special pieces you've designed for her. Not only are you a talented artist, but you're also a devoted mother and a wonderful friend. :) I can't wait to see what creations you'll dream up next!

Some past My Room Designs

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