SHERI STRANGER OF BLUE ROCKET GIFTS
Tell us about you + your handmade small business!
I am a Canadian-born artist and designer who seeks to delight, engage and entertain with my series of playful and cheeky greeting cards. I hope that my funny cards remind us to notice life’s simple pleasures, such as the joy of a good pun or play on words!
I live and work in my rural home and studio space located just outside of Markham, Ontario, and share a household with a cheeky black cat, two sweet, goofy dogs and my partner Richard. I enjoy travelling, meeting and learning from the world’s cultures, and have climbed not one, but two actual mountains!
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I started to flex my entrepreneurial muscle around the age of about 6 or 7. I spent summers with my grandparents. I’d take their knickknacks and set up a “store” where I would invite them to come shop and I’d sell them back their items. I moved on to selling my clothes to friends in high school and then to having a variety of businesses throughout the years.
How did you get interested in becoming a maker? What do you love about it?
My Granny was the one who got me interested in becoming a maker. I loved watching her knit; the speed at which her fingers moved, the sound of the needles clicking together and the magic that unfurled from them.
I love the sense of accomplishment. Hearing people laugh at my cards makes it all worthwhile!
What do you specialize in within the crafting/handmade goods world?
For the past 3 years I’ve specialized in making funny cards, prints and mugs.
Describe your artistic community and how you think people in your community see you...
My artistic community is filled with folks from all walks all life. They range from musicians to dancers, visual artists to wordsmiths, and filmmakers to actors. There are many that don’t even realize they’re artists. It’s around these souls that I feel the most comfortable and welcomed. I hope they see me as upbeat, personable and hardworking.
What stories do you have or struggles have you overcome that will encourage the development and strengthen the identity of the Canadian-crafted industry?
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that if something is no longer working for you it’s ok to let it go and move on. As a maker, I’ve gone down many paths and not every one has led to the success I’ve been looking for. I once thought of letting go and moving on as quitting or failure. Once I was able to change this perspective (and, no, it wasn’t easy-- I worked with a business coach to get past that doozy!) and see each path as a learning experience to enjoy instead of a pass/fail test I began to find the success I had been looking for all along. Now I believe that being a maker and an entrepreneur is all about finding your fit and being open to change.
// LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUE ROCKET GIFTS! //
Shop BLUE ROCKET GIFTS at the following stores:
The Nooks Toronto @ 2038 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON
The Nooks Port Hope @ 94 Walton St. (COMING SEPTEMBER 2018)
Beach Market @ 1936 Queen St, E., Toronto, ON
Arts Market @ 846 College St., Toronto, ON, 1114 Queen St. E, Toronto, ON + 790 Queen St. E, Toronto, ON
Oakhill Marketplace @ 649 Colborne St. West, Brantford, ON
The Country Market @ 17680 Leslie St., Newmarket ON
The Shop In Princeton @ 686995 Hwy#2, Princeton, ON
Harry Ten Shilling @ Shakespeare, ON
Moonflower's Store @ 5710 Main St, Lower Level, Stouffville, ON