Indie Interview with Devin Wais

11:41 AM

This month's featured artist for the series, Indie Interview, is Devin Wais with OooohStitchy. This monthly Q & A session creates an opportunity for independent artists to connect, share stories of their creative ventures, and to promote their amazing art work.   

Devin resides in Chesapeake, Virginia. If you have done an Etsy search for embroidery or have been on Pinterest since early 2012, images of her work have probably ranked high in the search results. 

Pop culture in a hoop. Devin's embroidery is edgy, witty, and each piece serves as a public service reminder to lighten up!


Her Q& A interview is as follows: 

1. How long have you been doing embroidery and what lead you to it?

I’ve only been embroidering for less a year. I got kind of burned out with my jewelry shop (OooohShiny) and needed something to keep me busy. A few of my friends are amazing embroiderers, so I decided to try it out. I started with basic embroidery and cross-stitch, enjoyed it, and then it kind of spiraled out of control.

2. You utilize pop culture in many of your pieces. The first piece that lead me to your shop was the "shark week" quote. Do you keep a notebook handy at all times while you are watching tv or do you tend to set down and do brainstorming sessions before you begin pattern making?

I have a little moleskine notebook that I keep with me that’s full of ideas. Some come from when I’m actually watching TV but most of the time, someone will say something which will remind me of a quote, which will remind me of 14 other quotes from that particular show or movie. I have way more ideas than I have time for, which probably says a lot about my tv-watching habits. I also get a lot of ideas from friends, which is awesome because they’ll bring up something I haven’t thought about in years – like the “you’re a virgin who can’t drive” Clueless hoop (

3. Do you make your own heat press patterns or do you free hand your designs? 

I have pretty awful handwriting and since most of my hoops are text, I usually use patterns. I’ve been experimenting with different transfer methods (carbon paper, heat transfer paper & pens, Sulky water-dissolvable stabilizer). I only have one hoop in my shop that’s my own handwriting and keep thinking about changing it to a font, but people keep buying it, so I guess it’s not as bad as I thought!

4. Do you have a studio or a particular room in your home where you prefer to stitch? If so, please describe the space. Are you a mobile stitcher that carriers a project around at all times? 

I live in an apartment with my boyfriend so my studio space is relegated to the couch and the surrounding floor area. We’re looking at houses and one of our requirements is a three-bedroom place so we can each have a space of our own. I’m really excited about the idea of having a studio space (even if I have to share it with the guest bed). I currently have all my supplies in various train cases and organizers which are lined against the wall. All my shipping supplies are on a table in the corner of the living room. It’s kind of a 

5. Regarding stitching text and words, some embroidery artists have a love/hate relationship with appear to have mastered the art! Do you enjoy stitching text more than images or do you have a preference? 
I don’t mind text for the most part, but I kind of hate specific font types, like serif fonts – there’s just too many little lines and I’m a perfectionist. And it’s so tedious! Script is so much easier. I think the most frustrating part of my relationship with text is trying to determine the perfect style or font that will work with whatever quote I’m going to use, but overall, I like it. 

6. What are your goals for your Etsy shop and your embroidery work? 
I’d love to be able to discover my own style – like Danielle at The Merriweather Council or Sarah at Sometimes I Swirl – but right now I’m enjoying bringing some of my favorite quotes to life, so to speak. I’m setting goals for the shop bit by bit – right now it’s to hit 100 sales by my 6 months anniversary (August 13). I’d also like to expand my reach and bring in new folks to the shop and to Etsy itself.

7. Do you sell your items on Etsy and if so are you on any Etsy teams? Tell me more about where you market your items. 

I currently don’t sell anywhere other than Etsy. I have a full-time job that I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon, so my free time to embroider is fairly limited. I just don’t have the time to make product to sell in brick & mortar shops. So right now I’m relying on word of mouth to get people in the Etsy shop. I’m a big twitterer and am dipping my toe into blog advertisements, but that’s about it for now. I’m very involved on Etsy. I’m on a few teams, mostly treasury teams. I’m a leader of one of them and a member of several others. I think my teams have been absolutely essential in helping me promote the shop not only through treasuries, but even making connections with other Etsy sellers.

8. Is there anything else that you would like to mention about your awesome embroidery art?

I’m so happy that people seem to enjoy this shop – I love getting feedback from friends and strangers. When I receive one of those “I love your shop!” convos, I genuinely appreciate the time that person took to send me a compliment. I think people like the fact that my hoops aren’t serious – I enjoy bringing a smile to people’s faces.

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  1. Hey, awesome interview! I am the proud owner of an OooohStitchy hoop, myself. ('Crazy Cat Lady,' as it were...what a proclamation!) Devin's such a dear, and her shop and cheeky style have me rollicking and LOLing constantly! Tickled to know more about 'the girl behind the hoop.' =)

    Dianna | soft gold studio

  2. Thanks Dianna! I have my eye on a few pieces as well. Deciding which one is the hard part! :)

  3. Thanks so much for the feature, Kristen :) I was honored to be asked!



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