Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Interview with Alison Kurek of Silent Mylo Studio

This week Alison from Silent Mylo Studio joins us!

Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm an artist since birth and I think it's in my blood.  I tried to make it go away more than once (I have a BS in Business!) but it just keeps coming back!  I've been selling at art shows for about 20 years now and have recently decided to try to make a go of being "almost" completely self employed. I'll let you know how it goes :-)
What do you create?
I have a pretty wide range of items -- from large, mixed media paintings, to prints, to small gift items like magnets and ornaments. 

 How did you come up with your store name?
My original Etsy shop name was AlisonEKurek. I changed it to SilentMyloStudio a couple of years ago. I have a bratty tuxedo cat named Mylo who is the model for my cat paintings. He seems to have acquired a bit of a cult following (I sell a LOT of cat prints :-) so, when Etsy gave us the chance to change our shops names I choose SilentMyloStudio. 

How does Buffalo influence your work?
I’ve joked that the long Buffalo winters force us to be creative and I really do think that’s true .In addition to that, Buffalo has a VERY strong arts community. We have a world class art museum in the Albright Knox, a fabulous resource in the Burchfield Penny, local galleries and groups such as 464 and WNYAG, regionally know and well attended art festivals and shops that want to sell the work of local artists. We're pretty lucky to have all of that -- not all cities do.

What is the best thing about having a etsy shop? 
The wide geographical reach. I’ve had a handful of local sales, but the majority of my sales go out of the area -- quite a few to California and Texas -- and even a few to Australia, England, Finland, Germany and Israel.

How do you promote your work to the world? 
About 80% of my sales come from direct, face to face sales at festivals. Another 15% comes from shops and galleries. My online sales last year were only about 5% of total sales -- a number I am working to increase! I'll be the first to admit that my marketing skills are lacking! My big marketing plan of last year was to hand out flyers at shows that listed all of my online contacts. It worked to some extent. I made a few online sales and gained a number of Facebook followers -- but I know I can't stop there. I've been making more of an effort with my Facebook Pages the last couple of months and have noticed increased activity on them -- more Likes, more views, and comments -- and will continue to build on that.

What is the hardest part about selling online?
What's probably bothering me the most these days is the inconsistency of views and sales. I had a very good (well -- very good for me :-) start to 2013. January 2013 was was up 300% from January 2012 -- and February was okay too. But then if just stopped! My views plummeted and I went from every other days sales to NOTHING for the month of March. It's like my shop dropped into a black hole! Ha ha! Can you tell I'm a bit frustrated?

Where can your work be found locally?
Village Artisans on Main Street in Williamsville carries a large selection of my work -- and you can find some of my items at 464 Gallery (Amherst Street, Buffalo) and the TR Inaugural Site (Delaware Avenue, Buffalo) as well.

Do you have any up and coming art shows/craft shows that you would like us to know about?
Yes! I'll be at the Small Press Book Fair on Saturday, April 6th at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 453 Porter Avenue in Buffalo as well as the Artists in Buffalo Spring Gift Show at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Friday and Saturday, April 26 & 27, Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo

Do you have any advise or suggestions for new sellers to etsy?
Keep on plugging away! Post good photos; use Etsy resources to learn about tags and titles, and find ways to promote yourself and your shop beyond Etsy.

Where can you be found online? 

*next week we get a chance to catch up Erica from P&E Collectibles!


  1. I love Alison's work. So fun and whimsical.

    I love love love the farmer dogs. The one looks like Luke, my coonhound who loves to jump on Alison.

  2. Thank you for posting this Nicole. Ha ha - I'll have to come over and get more inspiration from Luke :-)

  3. Mylo is destined to be one of the most famous muses in art history!

    Great interview!

    1. Ha Ha Carla! I know HE thinks that's true :-)

  4. Great interview! It took me a couple looks to notice the "catsup" bottle :)