Monday, November 8, 2010

Spotlight: girls can tell



"I like putting things out there that make people smile. The world needs more useful, interesting stuff, and less boring, poorly designed crap."

Those are the words of the fabulous Sara Selepouchin of girls can tell, and they couldn't be more true. Sara uses her architectural drafting background to draw diagrammatic illustrations, which she then prints onto useful things like tea towels, lunch bags and coasters. Simple as that. And I guarantee, they will make you smile.

Read on to learn more about how Sara got her start, what her guilty pleasures are what she wants to learn next. You can also enter to win a pack of her floursack towels!


Where are you from originally and where do you currently call home?
I currently live in Philadelphia, and unlike the cast of the terrible mtv show, I grew up on the Jersey shore.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Almost five years! eek!

Do you sell your art full time or do you have a day job?
Selling my line of work is my full time day job.



What, if any, formal training have you had in the arts?
I have a degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia. It's not an arts degree, but it definitely has a strong relationship to what I do now.

What made you decide to open up shop on Etsy?
I was wasting time while working for an architecture firm and found Etsy when it was still super new. And became pretty much obsessed.

How did you come up with your shop name?
It's just the name of the album I listen to most often when printing.



What do you like least about your craft?
Oh gosh, this is a hard one. I find it really hard to strike the balance between making + selling. Not to sound whiny, as I'm grateful that I'm able to do what I do full time but it's a really, really hard way to make a living.

Do you have any advice for other sellers or those thinking about pursuing their craft?
If you're not willing to come up with your own product designs and create something that really stands out and is recognizable, you're sunk.

Five Etsy Shops you love
Off the top of my head? This is hard, but:


Where is the coolest place you have ever been?
I ran a marathon in Alaska in 2005. That was pretty incredible.

What is your favorite leisure time activity?
I love craft beer. I love the community around craft beer, I love the beer itself, and I love trying new types of beer. So good. My favorite leisure activity would have to be any type of craft beer festival.

Share some of your guilty pleasures
Taking a full day off and actually staying off the internet + not checking my email for a full 24 (or at least 12) hours. It's rare, but it feels really good when I'm able to actually do it.


What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
It still amazes me when people I meet in real life tell me they've read my blog. That blows my mind.

Share some of your favorite music
I named my business after a Spoon album, so I suppose you could say I'm a Spoon fan. ;)

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play you?
I'm not sure why, but it'd be fun to see Elizabeth Moss play me in a movie.


What would you like to learn?
I'm a self taught screenprinter, so I'd love to actually learn the "real" way to screenprint. And I would love to take an accounting class (I probably actually will do this in the spring). I'd also love to learn to speak another language fluently (Russian would be awesome!)

What does the future hold for you and your shop?
I can't give away all my secrets! I can say that my business is definitely bursting at the seams, so I'm currently looking to bring in some interns to help with some of the workload. Hopefully then I can make sure things keep moving forward instead of doing all the folding + tying + day to day time consuming stuff myself. I'm daydreaming of a new line to introduce in 2011 (not just diagrams!) and will probably also take on more custom work for events (think girls can tell weddings!)

You can keep up with Sara and her work by visiting her website, girlscantell.com.


GIVEAWAY TIME!
Sara is offering one lucky winner a four pack of floursack towels.

HERE'S HOW TO ENTER:
Please leave a comment on this post with your favorite item from girls can tell along with what new subject matter you would like to see a diagram of.

You may enter once per day with another item you love or another diagram idea.

YOU MUST INCLUDE your first name -AND- etsy username or email address with every entry. (If you are worried about email spam, you can spell out the 'at' and 'dot' rather than using the standard email format.)

Receive additional entries (one each) if you:
Follow or subscribe to this blog, my Twitter or my Facebook
Follow girls can tell on Twitter or Facebook
(You DO NOT need to leave separate comments for each additional entry, just mention which apply)

You have until Sunday, November 14 at 10 pm (est) to enter and I will announce the winner Monday morning. Good luck and thanks for visiting!

122 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favorite item is the Brooklyn Bridge architecture tea towels, and I would love to see something similar for an iconic London landmark. Or, a diagram to do with trains would be cool. I also follow Lillyella on facebook and subscribe to the blog.
Kathy
k a t h y q u i l l i n a n (at) g m a i l (dot) c o m

Amanda said...

I love this artwork the most:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/47328210/terrarium-art-frameable-print-on-a

i'd love to see some botanical sketches, furniture & animals.

I follow this blog.

Andromache said...

I really like the beer glassware tea towels! The antique sewing machine is really neat too. I guess I would like to see more geeky stuff, like a chemistry set, or mathematical equations!
That would be awesome...

Dominique
etsy: DominiqueD

Andromache said...

I follow your blog, twitter and facebook!

Dominique
etsy: DominiqueD

Jingle said...

I really love the gnome home terrarium pocket notebooks! I would like to see a paintbox diagram!

I follow this blog!
I follow you on Twitter1
I follow you on Facebook!
I follow GirlsCanTell on Twitter!
I follow GirlsCanTell on Facebook!

Cary said...

I love the coffee-making diagram at the top of your blog post. And really, I just love what GirlsCanTell is doing, period! Printing the diagrams on so many different surfaces is very effective.
I would like to see a diagram of a sewn dress - showing construction details (pleats, seams, etc).
Thanks!
Etsy: AllUntangled

Linnea said...

really?! You're going to make us pick a favourite...soooo hard. I love the coasters! Somethingabout that color of gray and screen printing ink just makes me smile. I also love the tea towel sets...with instruments and kitchen utensils in particular.

I would love to see a diagram of a work space...like a kitchen, sewing room, or office etc.

Linnea
Etsy: Craftyconfusion

Valerie said...

OK, Marathon and craft beer...this gal rocks! I love the anatomical brain coasters. Anything retro-anatomical like that is cool.

It would be cool to see autocross/car racing diagrams as I'd totally buy something like that for my hard to find-for hubby.

Valerie
etsy:valerietyler

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

love any of the pocket notebooks! i also love the tea diagram - so cute!!!

etsy shop - muchloveilly
email - muchloveilly[at]gmail[dot]com

thanks for introducing me to this cute shop!

Hello, I'm Emily Clare. said...

love the tandem bike lunch bag and coasters! so cute!!
some animal motifs might be fun...
i also follow your blog.
thanks!
emily
lilbikergirl (at) gmail (dot) com

Julia said...

I really like the love of cooking - pots and pans diagram dish towels, and I'd love to see some food diagrams, such as all the different grains, or types of apples.

sugareaterATgmailDOTcom

Anonymous said...

I love the typewriter towels and I would like to see an accordion. I love the work!

Mariah
mgmiller22 at gmail.com

*Evelyn* said...

oh ... I love this shop!!
My fav is
love in paris eiffel tower floursack towel set

would be an idea to see some more cute animal, such as deer, owl, or Christmas theme ... or things vintage
as a typewriter, camera, etc. etc.

xo
Evelyn > sumikoshop

Aljna said...

I really like the "super cozy tea pot coasters - industrial felt, set of four"...I love tea pots!
I'd like to see more fashion stuff, like "how do a bag or a shoe"!

Conatct: Aljna@hotmail.it

Aljna said...

I follow your blog!

Conatct: Aljna@hotmail.it

Summer said...

I love so many...esp. the towels...and esp. the time for tea towel! Summer: ottoman

La Alicia said...

I love the design style of everything in the shop but my current fave is these towels http://www.etsy.com/listing/61285980/love-in-paris-eiffel-tower-floursack

La Alicia said...

I follow you on twitter as @laalicia

laalicia {@} sbcglobal.net

La Alicia said...

now following girlscantell on twitter as @laalicia

laalicia {@} sbcglobal.net

Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara said...

love these: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61285980/love-in-paris-eiffel-tower-floursack... an item that could be added would be clothing.

follow blog
follow you on twitter
follow girlscantell on twitter
follow you on FB

twitter: @curious_kitty
Etsy username: curiouskitty
taraz9 at excite dot com

Hello, I'm Emily Clare. said...

you can never have too many pocket notebooks! i love the garden tools notebook - it would be perfect to take along to the nursery in the spring and jot down all my ideas!
emily
lilbikergirl (at) gmail (dot) com

allison cecil said...

Well I'm a huge fan of Sara's work but I would say my favorite is the heart diagram. I would love to see a diagram that has animals in it, especially dogs!
allison at monkeysalwayslook dot net

Grace said...

I like breath of fresh air with the lungs.

My idea: A "hand" towel with the digram of a human or animal hand!

myyearinhaiku at gmail dot com

Amy said...

There are several I love -- tea time, coffee pots, but i would LOVE to see another wine lovers one on a plain towel!
amylrobinson81 at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

I follow your blog via GFC
amylrobinson81 at yahoo dot com

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marija said...

I like the unicorns magical rainbows and fluffy clouds towel. I would like to see a diagram of the universe! Or our galaxy. Or the solar system. Something space-related!

marija.majerle at gmail dot com

Marija said...

following girlscantell on twitter @mrsclutterbuck

marija.majerle at gmail dot com

Marija said...

following lilyella on twitter @mrsclutterbuck

marija.majerle at gmail dot com

Martha Carolyn said...

My favorite item:

love of cooking - pots and pans diagram dish towel in black ink

I think it would be neat to screenprint a diagram of a mom/wife, or a husband and wife.

Martha, esty: shabbythreads
middle_friddle(at)hotmail(dot)com

Emily said...

I love the vintage typewriter towel. Musical instruments would be a fun addition to your collection.
e.estt[at]yahoo[dot]com

jhitomi said...

I love the anatomical broken heart coasters...the diagram I would like to see is an appliance like the kitchen sink or the washing machine.
jhbalvin at gmail dot com

Kelly Irene said...

Thanks to both of your for taking the time to do this! I really like the Pots and Pans towel set!
IreneDesign
irenedesign at ymail dot com

Elsina said...

My favorite is the love in paris eiffel tower floursack towel set!
I follow this blog!
I follow you on Twitter1
I follow you on Facebook!
I follow GirlsCanTell on Twitter!
I follow GirlsCanTell on Facebook!

Terrell said...

I just love the Brooklyn Bridge towels!! Thank you for the chance to win! *crosses fingers to win*
Thanks!
~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~
froufroudecor.yahoo.com

Callie said...

Oh love these towels---They would be perfect for xmas for my MIL---she is a big tea drinker.

Love the diamond, the grill, and the tandem bike towels.

As for what else you should diagram... that is hard. I'm not very creative... perhaps a dog with their heart showing? Or a hot air balloon.

catherine(dot)alley(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Love the vintage cameras (maybe do a hasselblad?). The city specific stuff is also great for gifts.

jen

jencooks[at]gmail.com

Celeste said...

love all of the camera products!

how about sewing machine diagrams?

celeste@mail4me.com

Celeste said...

blog follower


celeste@mail4me.com

Katie said...

I think that the "Time for Tea perfect tea towel" tea towel is really really cute and so is the Brooklyn bridge lunch bag!

I couple diagram ideas that i think would be cute include:
snowman building
types of mushrooms
sushi
pitching a tent

kshuttle@uoguelph.ca

oona. said...

I love the Summer Living BBQ Floursacks, my husband would FREAK for those (hmmm, Xmas....) I would like to see a diagram of an old camera or radio.
Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

oona. said...

Following you and Girls Can Tell on GFC (oona), following you on Twitter (@glasscastle) also!
Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

Lanny said...

I love the love in paris eiffel tower floursack towel set.

It would be cool to see a diagram of bread baking.

lannywhAThotmailDOTcom

Kendall said...

I love the Reel to Reel projector single floursack towel. super cute :) and i would love to see a diagram of a pocket watch! i didn't see one in the shop, but my apologies if you've already done a diagram of that and i missed it!

kendallcrowgirl(at)gmail(dot)com

Kasie said...

I love the unicorn and tea diagram towels! They are adorable! I would love to see a diagram of purse (like pockets and stuff).

Tannis said...

I like the anatomical heart pocket notebook.
I think some maps would be good, I'm not sure though if you could do a "diagram" of them though!
tannis_z at excite dot com

katevet said...

I adore the love of cooking - pots and pans diagram dish towels. Gorgeous!! A diagram of a cookie jar would be great. You are so talented!

mamipdx said...

i like the magical unicorn lunch bag. i would like to see an octopus or the human skull with pressure points.
shenais
divertida at fastmail dot fm
etsy name is maestramami

mamipdx said...

i gfc follow you = 1
i twitter follow you @mamipdx = 1
i like you on fb (wren nelson) = 1
i twitter follow gct @mamipdx = 1
i like gct on fb (wren nelson) = 1
thank you!
shenais
divertida at fastmail dot fm
etsy name is maestramami

Candy said...

I love these tea towels! I especially like the pinball towel :) Pinball is so much fun!

I'd love to see a diagram of different types of cheeses :)

oohmybento[at]gmail[dot]com
Cherie

Candy said...

I follow your blog via GFC~!
Cherie

oohmybento[at]gmail[dot]com

Candy said...

I follow girls can tell on twitter :)

@ love for dinner
Cherie
oohmybento[at]gmail[dot]com

Amy said...

I love pretty much everything in the shop. How about a diagram of a flower? Or fruit? I don't remember seeing one...

TopHat said...

I love the knitting towels! I would like to see telephone drawings! (TopHat on etsy, hrfarley at gmail dot com)

Mini Baker said...

I love the pots and pans dish towels!
minibakercakes@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

today i like the heart pocket notebook.
shenais
divertida at fastmail dot fm

Polkaostrich said...

Oh! I love the pinball coasters! I also love the holga stuff...how about using stereoscope images?

polkaostrich at gmail dot com

Peach Rainbow said...

I love the "perfect burger tote bag" & I love to see Snowflakes.
I follow your blog.
Sarah - fsarah09 at gmail dot com

sunset studies said...

Hi, my fav item from girls can tell is the "coffee lover floursack tea towel".

I would like to see a diagram of a gorcery shop list!

louise_gillies(at)hotmail dot com

Lisa said...

My favorite item is everything from the shop! The design reminds me of those paper towels that use to have a design that detailed the different types of pastas there were. I especially liked the knitting towels because they taught you how to knit. For boys, what about a towel that outlines the different boy scout knots or types of ties?
the_outsider01AThotmailDOTcom

oksana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oksana said...

I like eiffel tower diagram floursack tea towel!!! And would love to see some orient diagrams in your future works!

ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

oksana said...

Following your blog!

ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

oksana said...

I am already your fan on Facebook!

(oksana vladimirovna)

ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

oksana said...

I Like girls can tell on Facebook!

(oksana vladimirovna)

ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

someone in jogja city said...

i fave this item: set of five kitchen utensil pocket notebooks
maybe a scetch of chidren playin:)
wulanseries at gmail dot com

someone in jogja city said...

"Like" Lillyella on FB
name:Wulan Sari P

Shelby said...

I love the love in paris eiffel tower floursack towel set!

etsy- sweetheart6sr
email - srobinson8561 at student.bryan.edu

Melody said...

Melody.DuVal[at]gmail[dot]com

I like the pinball machine towel set

Small Footprints said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Small Footprints said...

I really like the gardening tools striped towel set - green thumbs for spring. I would suggest a "fine arts" series ... would be kinda fun to have towels, coasters, etc. with fine art on them. :)

I'm Cyndi and my Etsy name is Appealingtou

reducefootprints at gmail dot com

Anna Maria said...

wow, these are super cool :) great ideas! classic holga camera, SLR camera diagram, vintage typewriter and terrarium are my favorites! I would like to see some insects (bumblebee!!) and a laptop diagram oh and a radio maybe :)

stockroomdoko at gmail dot com

Small Footprints said...

I follow both you and girls on twitter (I'm @smallftprints) ... and I follow you both on facebook (I'm Sml Footprints).

I'm Cyndi and my Etsy name is Appealingtou

reducefootprints at gmail dot com

Dita Maulani said...

I love "classic holga camera floursack hand towels - set of two" so much! I love to see more geekery stuffs like computers, gameboy,computer chips!

I'm Dita from Indonesia.
My Etsy username is Maulani.

dita(dot)maulani@gmail(dot)com

Marlowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marlowe said...

I love the pretty flower tea towels!
and I think it would be cool if you had a diagram of the layers of Earth maybe or a sinusoidal map projection...something for us geo nerds :)
My name is Marlowe
you can find me on Etsy under Mropat
and my email is
marloweopat at gmail dot com

Marlowe said...

I follow you on facebook (Marlowe Raye)
My name is Marlowe
Im on Etsy as Mropat
and my email is
marloweopat at gmail dot com

Egle said...

pretty flower tea towels - botanical handprinted towel set is my favorite.

another diagram i would love ... strawberries

egle dot mane at gmail dot com

Inspired Jewels said...

my fav is 'broken heart - anatomical diagram coasters - red'
I have enetered all the ways listed :-)

November Seven said...

I love-
coffee lover floursack tea towels

I would love to see a baking theme.

My name is Tara Lee, my etsy shop cutthecakedesigns, my email is cutthecakedesigns (at) gmail.com

mamipdx said...

today i'm loving the typewriter napkins!
shenais
divertida at fastmail dot fm

jennifer said...

I absolutely love the brooklyn bridge architectural towels

Jennifer
jenniferncox(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber L. said...

I love, love, love the classic holga camera floursack hand towels. It was hard coming up with an idea for another diagram because there were already so many awesome ones. I think a palm reading diagram would be cool.

Amber
appetizerforacraftymind(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amber L. said...

I follow you on twitter @buttonlove

appetizerforacraftymind(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amber L. said...

I'm following Girls Can Tell on twitter @buttonlove

appetizerforacraftymind(at)yahoo(dot)com

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

Ooh, I put two sets of coasters on my xmas wish list last week! I couldn't decide which I liked better - the SLR camera or the wine bottle opener!

RJ
designedbyr [at] gmail [dot] com

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

Following girlscantell on twitter @dsgndbyrj

RJ
designedbyr [at] gmail [dot] com

RJ @ A Life Designed said...

Liked girlscantell on facebook!

RJ
designedbyr [at] gmail [dot] com

Lawn Party... said...

i so so so love all of the prints!

Nupur said...

As a knitting enthusiast, I have to say I love this one the best: the perfect tea towel for your favorite knitter.

A new subject matter I would love to see: spices! A diagram of how the same few spices can be used to make different spice mixes, for instance, or just pictures with spices and their names.

onehotstove AT gmail.com

jenny said...

I love the botanical flower diagram tea towels.

More architecture diagrams would be great, Pyramid, St. Basil's, Parthenon...

I like girls can tell on facebook.

-jenny, mamamfamilias.etsy.com

Homemaker Honey said...

pretty flower tea towels - botanical handprinted towel set

Deborah
homemakerhoney @gmail .com

Homemaker Honey said...

Oops, forgot to tell what I'd like to see the anatomy of . . . .

an apple pie

Deborah
homemakerhoney @gmail .com

Sarah said...

First, I have to say that learning Russian would be awesome. I had a Russian penpal when I was a teenager, and taught myself the whole alphabet and a few words, but I don't remember much now.

As for my favorite from the shop... I'm going to have to say the Eiffel Tower dish towel. Paris = Love.

Sarah
Bannercat at Etsy

PS: I think you should diagram a Parkour move (like a kong vault or a cat). It's a budding sport, and my husband is a Parkour coach, and I'm always trying to find cool Parkour stuff.

Candy said...

I love travel. Maybe a diagram of an airplane?

oohmybento[at]gmail[dot]com
cherie

janil said...

set of 5 clever anatomical brain pocket notebooks are my favourites and I love to see a diagram of birds!!!

thanks !

cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

jen said...

My favorite items are the coffee lover tea towels. really cool!

I think it would be neat to have a diagram of a kitchen floor plan. :)

Really love your shop! :)

jenaissancedesigns at gmail dot com

my etsy user name is Jenaissance.

mamipdx said...

how about a diagram of an airplane (biplane)?
shenais
divertida at fastmail dot fm

Sydney said...

Love the lunch bags! I would love a diagram of the greatest haircut known to man (insert sacarsm please) the MULLET.

I also follow or subscribe to this blog, my Twitter or my Facebook.
Follow girls can tell on Twitter or Facebook

Sydney S
sszumski @ Etsy

Jessica said...

I love this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/59567044/love-of-cooking-pots-and-pans-diagram .

I would love to see books and outer space towels.

jkupc7 at gmail dot com
Jessica

Jessica said...

I forgot to mention that I follow you via GFC. jkupc7

jkupc7 at gmail dot com
Jessica

Oh, My Darling said...

I adore the old school typewriter cloth napkins - set of 4 - last sets. I'd love to see a sewing machine design.

I follow you on twitter @ohmydarlingblog

I follow the shop on twitter, too.

And I'm Melissa. omydarlingblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Leslie R. said...

Love the Holga camera towels!

Thanks!
lesliedoll at hotmail dot com

Lisa said...

I like the archetectural and mechanical (bikes, sewing machine, typewriters, pinball) diagrams you have. The banjo coasters are fun too! I think they would make great wedding favors, especially if the couple had a tie to the building or object.
Having a diagram of the Tokyo or NY subway system would be fun. You could also diagram other mystical creatures besides the unicorn, like the cockatrice, kraken, or the chimera.
the_outsider01AThotmailDOTcom

Pickled Pandas said...

I love the sewing machine design! I'd like to see a sewing notion one to go with it!

Sasparilla Sue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sasparilla Sue said...

Hi, Crystal (generationsatwork on Etsy) here. I personally love the utensils for cooking ecofriendly lunchbag. I have a collection of different types of lunchbags for some unknown reason and I love the print on it. I would love to see a diagram of how to put toilet paper on the toilet paper holder, maybe on a man's tie or handkerchief!

Btw, I follow this blog and girlscantell on facebook!

TZel said...

I love the Holga camera towels but would also like to see more botanical prints or maybe animals. Thank you!

Rachel said...

How could I not show my love for pinballs? I might have to buy it!

rmaslow a@t yahoo d.ot com

Rachel said...

Oh I forgot to add: I think that you should show a diagram of an xbox/ps3/wii. Probably would be a good sell

Also, I like the thought of a whole set of famous landmarks - internationally. I love the eiffel tower, so how about Big Ben (clocks are great for diagrams!), the Colosseum, etc.

rmaslow a@t yahoo d.ot com

Marlowe said...

I follow Girls Can tell on facebook
(Marlowe Raye)
Marloweopat at gmail dot com

Ľubaša said...

my fav item is movie buff reel to reel projector floursack towel set. thanks
lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

Ľubaša said...

I Follow this blog, Twitter and Facebook (Lubka Kotmanikova)
Follow girls can tell on Twitter (Lubaska) and Facebook
Lubica K.
lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

Ladytink_534 said...

My favorite item is the wine lovers striped hand towel. Should do something with a guitar...
Jen
Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm a follower (Google Friend)
Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm a FB fan~ Jennifer L.
Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm a GirlsCanTell FB fan~ Jennifer L.
Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

penelope stitch stop said...

http://www.etsy.com/listing/61481641/anatomical-sweet-heart-floursack-tea
I love the heart and I am a nurse so I would love more medical/anatomical things. nursetoes@gmail.com Penny Powell

penelope stitch stop said...

I follow your blog with google friend connect. nursetoes@gmail.com. penny powell