Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seller Spotlight: Pragmatic Effects | The Fashion Dungjen

"Everyone has a story. It's fun to know you are helping out a stay-at-home mom, a college student or a starving artist."
-Hilary Wiezbenski

My parents think it’s really funny that I can’t tell time. Seriously, parents, it’s not that funny. I don’t know what keeps me from being able to read an analogue clock , but I just cannot do it. Some neuron in my brain doesn’t fire when I look up to the two black hands pointing to numbers. Thank goodness for cell phones and digital clocks.

For others, you know you’re really good at telling time when you can make time. And by making time, I don’t mean you’re a fabulous planner – though you may be – or that you get everything done on the never-ending To-do list, I mean, actually make time. Like clocks.

Hilary Wiezbenski – try saying that last name three times fast – is the woman behind Pragmatic Effects on

After attending the University of Cincinnati for a quarter, she realized it just wasn’t for her. Now, Hilary, 27, is a stay-at-home mom who uses melting clocks to supplement an income.

“In my early 20s I started doing artwork that worried my parents,” Hilary said.

They kept worrying until they visited the Dali museum in Florida and realized their daughter wasn’t crazy, just working in a different art genre, surrealism.

“The [melting clock] idea of course was Salvador Dali’s, and I never for a minute pretend that I came up with the melting clock concept,” Hilary said. “My melting clocks are unique in that they are completely hand crafted. Try as I might, I haven’t found any others like mine.”

Hilary has been on Etsy for nearly two years – her shop opened in February, 2007. Since opening up for business, business has been steady and Hilary has – get this – clocks in 17 countries around the globe. (Everywhere from Latvia to North Korea.)

Despite her impressive sales to customers in other countries, she hasn’t had as much support locally.

“I had two of my clocks and a butterfly headboard in a store called Originalities in Hyde Park Square last year for a few months,” Hilary said. “After no sales and no responses I took them out of the store and both clocks sold the very next day online.”

Though the market for melting clocks isn’t as big in Cincinnati as it is in other places, it doesn’t mean there isn’t interest.

Hilary has sent photos of her work to the Salvador Dali Museum in Florida. Though the museum is in the middle of relocating, they have said her work is outstanding. It is not yet known whether her work will be carried at the museum.

Hilary’s love for painting and art has made her a successful artist and business woman.

“I am successful with my clocks because I found a niche,” Hilary said. “Don’t go into unnecessary debt for your business. I got an e-mail from a lady who told me she was $10,000 in debt and wasn’t selling anything. With a little research she could have avoided that.”

Hilary accepts orders for custom clocks in addition to the ready-made clocks in her Etsy shop.

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