1. Your name, nickname and a little about who you are.
My given name is Linda and I'm the only member of the Hearts and Hands United Team that's living in Stockholm, Sweden. On the internet I'm mostly known as Marlan - a nickname I took many years ago and have kind of grown into. Marlan Heavy Ind. is my shop on Etsy. I'm a 31 year old undergraduate on a master program in library and information services at Uppsala University, north of Stockholm. The goal is to become a librarian. When I don't study or do etsy stuff I work at The Library for Economic Sciences, also in Uppsala.
2. Surprise us with something about you that you think will shock us. I got a small tattoo of a gecko on my wrist in the back of a van during one of my solitary travels to Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. I wasn't drunk nor "under the influence". I just felt like I wanted to carve the memory of my trip into my skin, since the trip meant much to me on an emotional level. Note that I don't recommend anyone jumping in the back of a van to get a tattoo by some strange tattoo artist in Bangkok.
3. What is your main craft/art/collectible? Yarn! I'm a one-person.knit-and-crochet-factory. I mostly crochet though. I'm always experimenting with new techniques and yarns in colorful shades. Sadly studies take lots of my time and energy away from this interest. I also make stitch markers (that's commonly used for knitting) and bookmarks (I am a literature geek) out of glass beads
4. How did you start with Etsy? Actually it was my partner who introduced me to Etsy last year. He gave me the idea that I should open up a shop and try to sell some of my items there. So I thought I might as well try it out. Having a shop on Etsy (for me, at least) is not only about selling my stuff, but it's rather a place where I can share my creativity and a place where my creations can be seen by other talented crafters (and others too, of course). I get amazed by all the creative people who's out there on Etsy, making these wonderful things with their hands and minds.
5. Any secrets to share for success? or What tool do you use to track your success?
I network a lot. Then I mean a lot. I try to build relations with people both on the internet and IRL. I use online tools like Twitter, Facebook and a blog, I fix hand out cards and spread them wherever I can. I also submit my items to various online galleries.
A good advice that I got from a dear friend is to never leave the house without wearing at least one of my items. You yourself is the best advertising space.
6. Hobbies or pastime when you are not doing Etsy. When I'm not doing Etsy stuff or studies I like to read a lot (especially in the hammock on the balcony, in the summer), write (little observations and shorter stories, though I write way to littlel) drink tasty expensive beer, watch films and slay monsters on my xbox 360. To stay fit I like to swim, take walks or run. It's good for both body and soul.
7. Where would your dream vacation be? and why When I travel I like to explore things and gain new knowledge. To just lie down on a beach for a week is not vacation for me. I can do it for a day or two, but that's enough.
No, my dream vacation would be to visit McMurdo Station in Antarctica (mainly because of an amazing documentary I saw about the people working and living there, called Encounters At The End Of The World by German film maker Werner Herzog) or maybe the Galápagos Islands, because of its marine wildlife. Nature, environment and animals are very dear to me.
8. What do you hope to contribute and gain from Hearts and Hands United?By participating in the HHU Team? I've won a bunch of good friends. I've been on the team from the start - about a year by now. And even though these friends are on the other side of the pond and our time zones often don't match I know they're there to help out and give me honest tips and ideas of things I wonder about. And of course, I help out too, whenever needed. My main contributions is helping out on the Team blog every two weeks - I write the Challenge features of the team members. It's a fun thing to do since we have so many talented members!
9.Your shop address http://marlan.etsy.com
Blog Address http://marlanetsy.tumblr.com Facebook address http://facebook.com/marlanheavyind Twitter http://twitter.com/inbunden Flickr address: http://www.flickr.com/photos/postpretto/
10. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Your strength? Inspiration often comes to me in that absolute calmness prior to falling asleep. Also I get inspired by children's picture books, music, literature (of course).
My strength comes from a loving partner and caring friends and of course from the HHU Team. Without these lovely people I wouldn't last long on Etsy.
Also strength comes from doing what I love i.e. work at the library and study to become a librarian and through spread the message of democracy and the will to learn via the library as a knowledge institution.
11. Free writing anything you want to say I've learned that if someone has said something better than you could yourself you should quote that person. Therefore I'll finish with a quote from one of my favorite authors - Chuck Palahniuk:
"The first step - especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money - the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art."