Introduce yourself: Hello! I am Wayne Balion from Saskatoon. I have a degree in Computer Engineering, my day job is web development/programming, and my craft is cross stitching. My awesome wife is very supportive of my craft, primarily assisting me at the various expos and shows that we attend to sell my products.
What's your shop's name? StitchedPixelsEmbr
What do you make/sell? How do you make it? I cross stitch video game and pop culture characters. I sell framed pieces that I’ve completed, as well as selling cross stitching starter packs, cross stitch patterns, and necklaces. I design all of the patterns myself and aim to stay as accurate to the original designs as possible. All of my finished pieces are hand-sewn and can take 20+ hours to complete. The starter packs are also hand-assembled and include everything (except scissors) for anyone to pick up and start cross stitching. I sew all of my designs at least once to verify my colour selections before selling them (either as a pattern or starter pack).
How long has your Etsy shop been open? My shop has been open since May 2012 but has been more active in the last year or so. My early years had very few products available which I have been able to expand in recent years.
How long have you been doing your craft? Hard to say… I want to say about 22 years, as I learned at a young age. I have been doing the current style/designs since 2012.
How did you get started? I started cross stitching as a kid, either learning from summer camp or my grandmother (hard to remember… it was a long time ago). My early work was all traditional Ukrainian designs due to my heritage. I had a bit of a hiatus through high school but picked it up again near the end of my university degree. The idea to cross stitch video game characters came to me while I was working on sewing house rules for web comic artist Danielle Corsetto (Girls With Slingshots). Thinking of how video game sprite pixels would translate well to cross stitches, I designed my first pattern, Charizard, the same day I delivered the house rules to Danielle. After completing Charizard, I continued making Pokemon characters before branching out into other video game characters, mainly from Nintendo games.
Where can people find you online?
What do you like about selling on Etsy? Etsy is a great place to have your products found on a global scale. I often thought about selling directly through my website but I find that people search for my kind of work a lot on Etsy. There is also the community of like-minded crafters that you can ask questions and/or get help with problems if needed. Even though I haven’t directly met anyone yet, I look forward to meeting other members of the Etsy Saskatchewan team!
What brought you to Etsy?
Trying to find an online marketplace for my items, Etsy came to mind and since it was (almost) free, I gave it a shot.
What's been your best Etsy experience?
Selling my items across the world. The first time I got an order from Australia, I nearly jumped in surprise. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been as surprised as it was a digital download of one of my patterns, but still very cool.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself?
I take commission requests, as there are such a variety of game characters I could make and sometimes I have a hard time choosing. Also, I can do custom starter packs for any of my patterns.