Meet Linda Peterson, 47, from Southern Missouri, who is the wonderfully creative mind behind Linda Peterson Designs, where she shares mixed media craft tutorials, how-to videos and polymer crafts. She is a mom, a grandma and a crafter from an early age.
My mom said I was always busy with my hands and if she gave me playdough, I’d play for hours so she could get her housework done.
She continued creating throughout her life, and did a lot of painting and sewing when she had little kids. Her creativity turned out to be a big help when her daughter Mariah was diagnosed with cancer, and Linda crafted in the hospital room to ease her anxiety.
At the time Mariah was born I was busy making rag jackets and when she was born, I was making onesies out of little boys t-shirts and decorating them on the front. This is what I took with me to the hospital when Mariah was little. I crafted in her room – alot!
She never saw herself as professional artist or designer, but that all changed when she started selling her work to the nurses and Hospital staff. Linda says that necessity was the major push for starting her creative business, since Mariah was in out and out of the Hospital and they lived three hours away. It was at this time that a Nurse urged her to sell at craft shows.
I took literally the last $500 we had to our name, booked a show, bought supplies and did the show. I made $1500 on that weekend and I was hooked into making and selling. It was the perfect “job” for me at the time because it allowed me to be flexible and work on my own schedule which was very important considering Mariah’s frequent illnesses and hospital stays.
Linda admits that starting her creative business was not easy in the beginning – she had a lot of self-doubt, and her first husband did not have faith in her business. She continued selling at trade shows for about five years and in 2001, she finally felt successful.
I empowered myself to not let anyone drag me down and I became ever more determined. Once I did that, I found success in writing books, guest appearing on TV shows and traveling around to tradeshows for manufactures and teaching all over the world.
Linda saw that all of her creative friends were blogging, and she decided to give it a whirl. It started as an online journal where she wrote about what she was doing at the time. She started posting tutorials and things that she was interested in, and it evolved from there.
Linda credits Polymer clay artist Donna Kato as her first mentor. She worked with Donna at trade shows and soaked up a lot of her helpful advice. Donna then introduced her to Carol Duvall and Linda was on the The Carol Duvall Show on HGTV for several years. When Linda met Tiffany Windsor from Cool2Craft five years ago, they became instant friends.
Her knowledge of the craft industry, she really gave me the swift kick I really needed to boost my business. I owe her alot!!!
Anything from something in a magazine to something on the side of the road can inspire Linda to create. She also gets inspiration from her favorite crafters and bloggers, like A Gilded Life, Where Women Create, Spellbinders, Cool2Craft and Funky Junk.
My personal style is vintage with a rustic edge – kinda funky junky and I have a fondness for rusted metal. I try to follow a variety of styles to keep up with trends.
Linda is now focusing on her own line of products and consumer goods. She is working with a major paper craft company and producing how-to videos and product development. As if that’s not enough, she is also writing a couple books, too.
My work is very diverse, sometimes I’m producing how-to videos (being the producer, director, on camera host and the project creator), other times I’m in front of the computer all day in the video edit bay or writing project instructions. I write books as well, so when those deadlines are approaching, I’m busy designing projects. A creative day is never the same, which is good, because I’d get bored! I work just about every day of the year on something – it’s okay – I love it!
She also makes clothes for her granddaughter Carlee Jane, who is almost seven months old. But as we all know, babies grow fast and it’s hard to keep up! Linda says that she is just focusing on enjoying her, and being the best grandma she can be.
Linda says that she enjoys the flexibility of running her own business, but admits that it’s scary to constantly worry about whether or not you will have a job. “It’s feast of famine,” she says. When I asked her if she had any advice for people who are just starting their own businesses, she had this to say:
Do what you can to promote your business by way of a blog, social media and mailing lists. Toot your own horn and share with others. Celebrate one another’s triumphs. It’s all about team work and generally the crafts industry is a pretty happy place to be.
And when it comes to taking advice?
Be willing to accept “CONSTRUCTIVE” criticism and learn from it. (notice I said, constructive, not de-structive). If you are creative you are always working – even if you’re not in the studio actually making something. Stay on trend. And be willing to accept a lot of NO’s before you get that one YES! Don’t let anyone rain on your party!
You can visit Linda on her website, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. If you know anyone who would be a good fit on Yo Momma Monday – including yourself – please post in the comments and share more on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #yomommamonday. Find more awesome maker mommas on my Pinterest!