April is here already Sweet Shoppers, and we can hardly believe how fast this year is flying by! Our new designers are making themselves comfy in the community and we’re putting one of our amazing veterans in the spotlight for the next couple of weeks. Melissa Bennett has been making her mark on our shoppers since 2008 and I have been a huge fan of her designs since day 1. She has a great eye for color, her kits are full of whimsy and playfulness and they’re always packed with goodies and exploding with flowers which I love. She does wonderful things with a theme and we are so grateful to have her sweet stuff in the shoppe week after week. Her Featured Designer kit, Carolina Chic, is your gift FREE with any $10 purchase in the shoppe between now and April 15th, so be sure head over there to grab it once you’re done reading our interview with her below.
Just The Basics
Do you have a nickname?
My family calls me Lissa but most of the designers call me Mel now. When I was very little my parents called me Missy and I tried to say it and ended up calling myself Messy.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Fort St. John, BC, Canada and my family moved to the states when I was 4 years old. My dad moved a lot when I was growing up but mostly I grew up in California, Utah and Washington State.
Where do you live now?
I currently live in Summerville, South Carolina thanks to the US Air Force!
Do you have any tattoos?
Yes, sadly, one very pathetic looking heart tattoo on my left arm.
What’s your favorite holiday?
Well, this should be an easy guess, lol, Christmas!! I absolutely LOVE to decorate my house for that time of year and go ALL out for it. I love everything about the season and the joy it brings.
Besides scrapbooking, what other hobbies do you have?
I sew, do woodworking, painting, stamping, paper scrapping, well, just about any kind of crafts. I used to have a craft business for many years before becoming a digital scrapbook designer. I traveled to different craft shows and sold in some craft stores. Sometimes I really miss doing crafts like that.
Have you ever met a celebrity?
Um, yes, met the Beastie Boys *le sigh* at their concert in Seattle way back in 1987 and danced with them on stage.
Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Pepsi *makes my life complete*
Early bird or night owl?
Have been a night owl my whole life. Drives my hubby crazy. LOL!
Cats or Dogs?
I love both, but I am allergic to cats so only dogs in my house.
Inside The Artist’s Studio
When and how did you get started as a digital designer?
In 2006 my SIL was talking to me about digital scrapbooking and at that time I was an avid paper scrapper and vowed I would never go digital. In June of that year I checked out some sites for digital scrapbooking just out of curiosity and thought it looked pretty cool so I tried it and well, became instantly hooked. I started designing in August of 2006 and absolutely loved creating and was selling in my first store by October of 2006. I started out originally working in Paint Shop Pro and quickly moved to Photoshop Elements and finally graduated to Photoshop and Illustrator.
How do you feel about how far you’ve come as a designer?
Boy this is tough. I am probably my worst critic. I know I have come a long way in my designing and I see improvement but I look at my stuff and still see HUGE room for improvement. There is still so much I want and need to learn, and I try to remind myself of all that progress I have made and all the things I have learned along the way. I guess, if I ever think there is nothing I need to improve on, then I probably should not be doing this.
What’s your best selling kit ever?
Dear Santa has been my best selling kit.
What’s it really like being a Sweet Shoppe Designer?
It’s a dream come true for me! I still have to pinch myself from time to time that I am really part of this amazing team. Everyone is so amazing to work with and I feel so honored to be working with so many talented ladies.
What’s your favorite thing about being a digital scrapbook designer?
I love having the flexibility to create what I want, when I want. Having that creative freedom is just incredible!
Food For Thought
What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
Progression not perfection! Love this saying so I can remember as long as I am moving ahead I don’t need to worry about trying to be perfect.
Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Never trying, hands down. There is so much to learn from trying even if it sometimes results in failure.
What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
Music, music, music! I could bury myself in loud music! Of course singing loudly to it also helps me.
If you had the chance to go back in time and change one thing would you do it?
Knowing the consequences of that decision and how it would affect not only my life but others, yes, in a heart beat I would.
What makes you weird?
Well my love of music makes me weird, I think. I love blasting my music, whether at home or driving down the road and singing loudly to it. If the beat is good gotta break out in dance too. Think my kids may need some serious therapy after seeing their mom do the Humpty Dance! Yep, sitting here jamming while I am typing this up!
Now that you’ve gotten to know Melissa a bit better, take a peek at some of her favorite products, and don’t forget you can pick up her incredible and exclusive limited edition kit, Carolina Chic, FREE with ANY $10 purchase made in the shoppe between now and April 15th!