I became acquainted with Allison through the Etsy Cleveland Handmade team and was instantly intrigued by her lovely, natural photography. Poking around on her blog I was even more intrigued by her earthy lifestyle, her love of nature, and support of local farming (as well as involvement in farming!) Allison lives on a 5.5 acre farm, is currently trying her hand at apple farming, is involved in animal rescue, takes care of horses….and if you can believe it still has another job! (I seriously do not know how she does it all)Regardless, I had to include her in my artist interview series as she has a great perspective of life on a farm and life combined with nature. Enjoy!
When and how did you begin your business?
My Photography in my Etsy shop is very new! I just started it about a month ago. Our orchard is new too! Last year was our first year in production 🙂 Well…the trees have produced for years, but last year was our first year farming them!
I’d imagine living on a farm makes your day really busy and interesting. What is a typical working day like? Well…weekends vary and can be crazy hectic, but on weeknights, we are pretty much on a routine. My husband and I get up at 6am to dogs licking our faces in anticipation for the alarm to go off. One of us feeds them and walks them and one of us feeds the horses. We usually take turns on who does what. I also have one messy gal in the barn so I clean her stall before work in addition to the evening so that she stays a tad cleaner! Then we get ourselves ready for work and out the door we go. When we come home, it is the same thing we did in the morning. Dogs fed and walked, horses fed/stalls cleaned/ groomed or worked or turned out in the pasture – that just depends on the season! THEN, if it spring, summer or fall, we are working in the orchard and gardens. If it’s winter, we go in to feed ourselves dinner! Our dinner is usually last on the priority line. And this example is just on the rare occasion that we don’t have some crazy wrench thrown into the plan….like our donkey getting loose and running down the road or me finding stray kittens that need rescued……you get the idea
How do you balance everything?
What’s balance?! My mother says I never have a game plan and fly by the seat of my pants 😉
What do you enjoy the most and what do you enjoy the least?
In relation to my photography and selling on Etsy I most enjoy making people say “WOW” when they look at one of my photos. I least enjoy second & third guessing myself on my photos and thinking people will look at them and think I am nuts or that my idea of ‘a photograph’ is crazy!!
In relation to the farm, I most enjoy walking out the back door to the smell of horses in my back yard and Apollo with his head out the window calling for me. I least enjoy pruning the fruit trees (it’s so tedious!) and frozen water buckets. Oh yeah….and flooded barns and mud in the spring
Where do you get your inspiration?
From my childhood dreams!
Are there any must-haves that you could not run your business without?
My husband! He’s the workhorse on the farm and my toughest critic with my art!
What are some of your favorite shops and items on Etsy?
Well I adore the Clover Leaf Feeds Hand Bag by ObjetAdapte and I am trying to save up some extra cash so I can purchase it. I have SO many favorites; everything is so wonderful on Etsy! I love the work by our own Cleveland Handmade Team Member LazyT! And I also like The Ruby Needle and the hats by Pixiebell. Bomobob and Judemcconkey have awesome photography! I love the scents at PosionApplePotions and on my wish list is also a bag by myfreerein made with recycled horse tack!! And I love Turquoise jewelry so naturally I love your Turquoise Teardrop Lariat that you just listed!! Should I keep going………..
What fashion accessory or wardrobe item is your absolute favorite and you cannot live without?
Hmmmm, well, chapstick isn’t a fashion accessory [editor’s note: sure it is, I couldn’t live without mine!]or wardrobe item so I guess I am gonna have to go with a bag! I am a sucker for large purses/bags/totes! I always have to be carrying one that weighs at least as much as a bag of horse feed
Which of your farm animals is your absolute favorite and why?
WOW – this is hard! I’d feel like a bad mother if I answered this! They are all my favorites in their own ways….but Apollo holds that special place in my heart. I have had him the longest. I adopted him in 2005 and he came from a rough past. We learned and grew together. (You can read our whole sob story on my blog!) I have a bond with him that is truly a once in a lifetime feeling; and he is the most ornery Arabian filled with attitude you will ever meet…but he’s my bud and I love him!
You can find Allison on twitter,@apollosonacres or you can read all about in her own words “my crazy life” on the farm at http://www.novicelife.blogspot.com You can also visit her shop on Etsy to check out her photography