Saturday, August 7, 2010


If you're following along with my ambitious August schedule, you know that today is supposed to be about Design - and it is. However, it's not the normal Design D'jour post you can expect. No, today is about someone else's design; namely Olga. You might remember when I posted about Sarah's House looks for less, I sent many of you over to Olga and her etsy site: Elegant Touch for designer pillow covers for less. MUCH less. Olga was so happy to have the traffic, that she agreed to do a giveaway of one of her fantastic pillow covers right here on the blog. Olga's pillows (and I know from experience) are absolutely flawless. The closure is tight and the zipper hidden. The fabric is clean, and beautiful, and her taste fits perfectly into any home - no matter the style. But you don't have to take just my word for it - check out her 100% POSITIVE feedback on Etsy! I did a bit of an interview with Olga, and found her to be amazingly interesting.

Read on about Olga, her drive and ambition, and take a look at some of her amazing pillows along the way. (All pictures are clickable to her Etsy site for purchase!)

AV: How long have you been tailoring home decor?
I was fortunate to have my grandma's influence in learning to create beautiful things for the home that are handmade. I was probably one of the last generations to take a "mandatory" home economics class. Back then I didn't think it would help me in my life tremendously. I thought these are skills every woman should have. It was so easy for me to put things together. I thought I had a good eye on colors. I enjoyed art classes and had only A's. My first project was my own room where I put all my imagination into actions. I spent several years of my career working in the education system. I thought I enjoyed what I was doing until 2003 when I moved to America and start my new life in this country. Originally I am from Russia. I moved to America in 2003 where I now reside in South Carolina with my husband and two children. I earned a Bachelor Degree in English and English literature back in Russia. I immediately, I realized how much this country has to offer. I discovered that besides sewing I enjoy working with flowers and making flower arrangements. I took some art classes and really enjoy painting. This is my second passion after sewing. The concepts of Elegant touch was born alongside my son in 2005. As a mother I decided to trade in my career to enjoy motherhood and just "simple life". I've attended certified interior decorating courses along with professional classes in soft home furnishings at Custom Home Furnishings academy in Charlotte NC. Custom Home Furnishings Academy is the only teaching facility of its kind dedicated to educating people with professional skills necessary to home decor industry. I started my business in 2006 and work mostly for designers.

AV: I'm so impressed with the quality of your work, Olga. You really think of every detail. How long does it take you to create your typical pillow cover?
OT: It depends. I pay a lot of attention to every detail. First I have to think about the pattern placement. I can't just simply cut the fabric and make a pillow. It is a creative process. My husband thinks I am very picky. Well, maybe I am but I want to offer a good quality product and it is not a quick process. I have the right tools that I use such as pillow template that helps me to see the fabric through so I can see where the pattern lays. Also I have to decide which fabric I will use at the back of the pillow. I try to coordinate the front and the back as well. There are some professional standards of how to create a custom made pillow. I would say it takes 30-40 minutes to make a regular pillow without any embellishments such as adding cording, ruffles or etc.

AV: How has using etsy increased your business?
OT: Tremendously!!!It's been a great experience for me. My business was slow last year due to our economy so I tried to find some ways to find new clients. A friend of mine mentioned about Etsy and I decided to give it a try. It worked! I had my first sale in a day after I listed my items. I did a lot of research though about what customers would like to buy. I started my Etsy shop in January 2005 and since then I have been pretty successful. I have never been so busy in my life! My Etsy business is growing every day. I have a dream to create a line for the custom made pillows and bedding. I would love to run a world-class business while being completely available to my family. In march I decide to put all my efforts to my Etsy store.

AV: Will you do custom orders for clients?
OT: I am very open to doing custom orders. If there is something specific that you would like, I will be happy to assist you. Just email me with your specifications.

AV: How can people reach you, or buy your work?
OT: They can buy from Etsy shop or contact me directly at It is my great pleasure to fill your orders and know that my pillows adorn some of the finest homes of every major city in America.

AV: Lastly, Olga - describe the joy you have in your work:
OT: I can't even describe my joy because It is my life right now. I have been engaged in sewing since my childhood and just can't imagine my life without designing, creating and being inspired. I love shopping for different fabrics. I constantly try to add some new colors and patterns to my shop. What brings me joy the most is my customers. Sometimes it seems all your work is worthless until you get a nice message from a customer saying how happy my pillows made them. It brightens my day and brings joy and perseverance to create more.

So there you have it - all about Olga! I told you she was interesting. WOW! And just look at those pillow covers! I know you all could use one or two or ten, right? Well, today - thanks to Olga, and me, You can take some of Olga's work into your own home.

Olga has graciously provided Color Outside the Lines with this 16x 16 pillow cover, and I will provide the winner with the 90/10 down insert. What do you have to do? Head over to Olga's ETSY site: Elegant Touch, and pick your favorite. Then comment back with the particular pillow of your choice on this post for your chance to win. It's that simple. I'll use to pick a winner on Monday - giving you today and tomorrow to enter!