Interview with MTCoffinz

Some may think that tutus are only for ballerinas and little girls. Those people would be wrong! MTCoffinz is one of etsy's prolific tutu makers, but what really makes her tick? Not only tutus, but she creates a whole bunch more between her two shops (here and here). Read on and find out!

My name is Jinx, most people know me as the coffee Fueled Sewing Robot. I live in Connecticut… not by choice. I love Giant Sized Dogs. We only have two right now. They are Great Danes and they weigh 165 and 140. We don’t have to worry about Home-Invasion too much! Someday I will have more. Maybe I will start a shelter for abandoned large breeds when I retire. The rest of my life still revolves around sewing. I still make all of my items by hand. This takes about 16 hours per day…every day. I need a vacation!

How did you find Etsy? How long have you been selling on Etsy?

I heard about Etsy when it was just starting out. At that time, there were lots of companies starting out. All of them were trying to be the “NEW EBAY” so I didn’t pay too much attention. Unfortunately, I waited and got into Etsy a few years later. It has taken off faster than I could have hoped.

How would you describe your style? Has any other artists etc influenced your style?
It’s hard to describe my style or try to limit myself to just one style. I try to make as much stuff as I can. Sometimes it’s really Gothic; sometimes it’s Candy Store Neon colors…who knows what it will be tomorrow. I get influenced from lots of places and materials. Not other clothing designs so much, but more from imagination and my own disturbed thoughts.

How long have you been creating?
I have always been crafty. Even as a little girl, I always made my own jewelry and clothes. Then I started making my dance team’s outfits, then it really took off as a business.

Have you had any mentors, or are you self taught?

Mostly self-taught. I have worked with people who were formally trained and that type of education sometimes places more boundaries to creativity. If you don’t know that you have limits, you can create truly inspired stuff.

Do you sell more at one time of year than others?
Halloween is always a very busy time of year. When we first started, it was crazy and our sales would spike by 400% for about three weeks. Now that we offer more style our sales have leveled out and it stays pretty busy all year long. We did have a slow week in March! But I don’t think that’s going to happen this year. Our wholesale customers keep us busy because they sell globally to lots of different people for different reasons.

What is one thing about your creative process that you think most people don’t know?

COFFEE, OK, most people know that I love coffee. But they probably don’t know that I grind my own beans and we have a coffee of the week program here. It keeps it fun! Also, I always come up with my best ideas around 3:00am. Then I just sleep in a little more in the morning.

What kind of custom work do you do most often? What has been your favorite custom order?
Our most popular request is just for color substitutions. That’s why we have started offering many “Choose Your Own” type of listing. It saves a lot of back and forth emails. People can just order exactly what they want. My favorite type of order is when a great photographer has a brilliant idea and they need something special for a concept piece.

Do you have a favorite item you have made?
Nope, that’s like Sophie’s Choice. They all have a favorite part about them. There are some colors that I like better, Black, the ones with Black, and items that are made from Black.

What is the best reaction you have gotten from one of your pieces?
I have two that are memorable!

1. This one young lady purchased a TuTu for some special party that she was going to. She loved it and apparently all of her friends loved it also. She said that she never had more compliments. Then she wrote back a week later and drafted me to do her whole wedding party. Wedding Dress, Veils, Trane, Bridesmaids… It was a huge project and it was a fantastic compliment.
2. The Tranny Ms. Pac-Man TuTu- I was commissioned by an off-Broadway stage show where they needed a pink tutu for a 6 foot tall transsexual who was doing a show as Ms. Pac-Man. We were in the credits for the show as costume designer. It was great working with this group. No one else would work with them, but they were super cool. It has led to a great connection with the Theatrical crowd in NYC.