As one half of the crafty-duo My Paper Craze, Becky truly found her passion in teaching and helping others join in the adventure of all things Silhouette. Starting as a beginner herself almost four years ago, she has worked her way from a self-taught papercrafter to an overall Silhouette Enthusiast and self-proclaimed Creative Mastermind.
Becky specializes in helping beginners learn the basics through her blog, local in-person classes and as an instructor at national Silhouette conferences! After launching her craft-baby, the Silhouette Life Inspiration Box, Becky bolted from the corporate world to spend her days obsessing about boxes, but still finds time to wrangle around with three kids and drive her (very supportive) husband crazy.
- What is Silhouette and how did you get started?
Silhouette is an amazing (and life changing) craft cutting machine for materials such as vinyl, cardstock and rhinestones. We got started with Silhouette when my mom won a machine in a blog giveaway and it's been a crazy ride ever since!
- What does crafting mean to you? How does it blend into your lifestyle?
I actually didn't start crafting until my daughter was born almost 4 years ago, it was a tutu hair bow holder --- but it has quickly consumed my life. I used to joke that crafting was my alter ego because I had a boring day job in the corporate world. Luckily I've been able to leave the boring life behind and work for myself through the subscription boxes, which is much more fulfilling.
- What should people know about silhouette?
Silhouette is a highly-addicting and highly-rewarding investment in yourself. It is definitely an everyday machine that anyone can learn, regardless of age or skill and it is for both hobbyist, side jobs or small businesses.
- Share some of your crafting experiences.
My favorite crafting experiences have been making things for my family. My husband is a volunteer firefighter and they always need new shirts. I have two sons and a daughter and while they don't always appreciate my craftiness, they sure know where to come when they need something made for themselves or their school. And of course, I love teaching others the joys of using their Silhouette and meeting like enthusiasts at the Silhouette conferences.
- What is one craft that you would like to learn?
I've always envied seamstresses and embroiders. After spending a fortune on custom outfits for my daughter, I bought a sewing machine, but it's still in the box after two years!
- Tell us about your subscription box in terms of what it is, who it's for and so on?
The Silhouette Life Inspiration Box is basically an extension of my two loves: Silhouette and teaching. I found my passion for spreading the Silhouette addiction and while I love teaching in person, the subscription box allows me to reach Silhouette enthusiasts on their terms, at their homes and on their schedule.
The ideal subscriber is a new Silhouette user because we provide our favorite products and resources, then pair them up with online tutorials and videos on how to use these products with their machines. But truly, all experience levels can sign on and enjoy the boxes each and every month, because who doesn't love getting a surprise gift delivered to your door?
Silhouette Life Inspiration Box
- What's your favorite type of DIY Jewelry and why?
My only jewelry experience has been with hand-stamped jewelry, which I have only dabbled in. However, after eyeing Crafty Hands Club, I'm quickly realizing I'm missing a whole new world that would be very complementary to things I already do with the Silhouette! I'd love to learn to make custom jewelry to pair with things I make for my daughter and myself, not to mention the gift potential!
- Share any information that you would like for readers to know.
Even if you don't subscribe to the box, don't be afraid to put your Silhouette (or other crafty skills) to good use! Break out of your comfort zone and try new things, and don't be afraid to make mistakes!
- For those who haven't heard of silhouette, what's the best way to get started? Is it cost effective? What should they expect?
The best way to get started is to jump in lol. By the time most people discover the Silhouette, it's because they have been inspired to seek it out by a project that they have seen, and most are crafty people by nature (although that's not a requirement). You can certainly find a friend who has a Silhouette or attend a class to try the machine out before you buy, and you can download the software for free at www.SilhouetteAmerica.com before you even have a machine.This would help you to determine if the Silhouette is right for you.
Cost effective? Not really, not at first. It's a big investment and you'll continue to have to invest in yourself before you get off the ground. Some purchase it as a business investment to make extra money for their family and some purchase it as a hobby, neither is wrong. With any type of investment, it'll take time before you see a return on the initial purchases. After the machine, you still have supplies and additional tools to purchase, and next thing you know you're in for hundreds of dollars. BUT, is it worth it? YES, 100% worth it as long as you are willing to invest your time in learning how to use it properly.
- What has been one of your biggest accomplishments in silhouette crafting?
My biggest accomplishment by far has been the successful launch of the subscription box. It has been the most fulfilling work of my life, and I'm enthused to be able to bring Silhouette to so many crafters who are afraid of their machine or haven't been inspired to use it yet.
- What are some of the challenges you've faced in teaching crafts?
The hardest part of teaching is bringing the computer to the front of everyone's mind. With the Silhouette, so much is based on the skill you have in applying your computer to the machine. That's not to say that you have to be especially tech savvy, just that you have to understand that the machine will only do what you tell it to do via the software. Us crafters tend to think with our hands and throwing technology into the mix can be difficult. But again, once you invest the time to learn it, you can then apply those skills to all of your Silhouette projects.
12. What are some of your accomplishments as a teacher?My accomplishments as a teacher are the same as any teacher really --- seeing my students succeed! I love when I get late night questions via email or Facebook because someone is working on a project, because it means they are using the tools that they learned in class and applying them when they get home. I love seeing their finished projects, even the ones that aren't perfect. I also love when they start passing their knowledge back to me and to other Silhouette users. We are all constantly learning and to know that I was able to give them that little nudge and watch as it comes back to me, I know that we are all building a community of learning together.