Sunday, August 31, 2008

BallAndChain Jewelry

I am in love with Katrina Ballings jewelry creations! Here sterling silver silhouette collection is da BOMB! She makes other types of jewelry as well, another of my favorites being her crocheted chain necklaces. Truly inspired! and inspiring....take a look....

Katrina Balling

Redhook, Brooklyn NY

Business Name
Ballandchain Jewelry

Describe what you sell
I have a variety of jewelry... I will describe it based on the sections in my store:
Kitschy silhouettes- Hand sawn sterling silver silhouette necklaces mostly with a tool or everyday object theme.
Crocheted chain necklaces
Open the door - Necklaces featuring vintage keys, or solid silver castings of my favorite keys.
Casting Call- Jewelry made with the lost wax casting method
Asymmetry- Necklaces made with a focus on asymmetrical design or combinations of chain, stones, and or beads Vintage Reinvented-Vintage findings & parts remade into new jewelry designs Simplicity - Pretty stones or special beads simply on chain Semi Precious earrings Vintage Beads- designs made with a focus on unique & colorful vintage glass beads.
Chunky Chain - simple large bold chain necklaces

What is your real life like?
Job-I do surface design for a home furnishings
I also make oil paintings, and just had a show this
past January in NH. I would have to say after my job,
my painting, jewelry making and Etsy, my hobby is
sewing, though I haven't done that in a long time! I
also like to crochet scarves, and will do that to &
from work on the subway in the winter.
I am happily married to my husband who is also a
painter. We have a cat & dog. We are both originally
from NH, but love our life in Brooklyn & love the

What is your process?

My process is to work on what I am the most interested
in at the time. I suppose I use whatever I need to
realize my ideas. Mostly I have been concentrating on
my hand sawn shapes, but recently I have been
experimenting with the lost wax process. I enjoy
working with the wax-getting back to sculpture, which
I originally went to school for. After learning to
crochet 2 years ago I immediately tried it with chain
& love the result.

Business Goals and Vision...
I love that Etsy gives me an easy to use venue &
presence online. I hope to develop my online presence
more, I think website each for both my painting and my
jewelry are short term goals.
Long term plans, I hope to always be making things and
being creative.

How do you market your business?
I mostly market my business on Etsy itself. I have
images on flicker and indiepublic, but find it hard to
spend time there. I'd rather be in my studio working.
I do have some jewelry in a couple local stores in
Redhook- Atlantis...Found, and at another fellow
Etsian's store: Metal and Thread, and in Philadelphia
at VIX Emporium, another Etsian.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines?
rarebird finds
etsy finds
readymade magazine
otherwise whatever magazine catches my eye on the news
I suppose it may be less business related, more for
researching fashion & trend.

What inspires you?

Color is definitely a huge obsession. I can sit &
play with it forever! I love to see vibrant colors
work together. Color makes me happy. I love to
collect vintage glass beads because of this, and
sometimes find them hard to part with. Also I think
jewelry making satisfies my need to hoard pretty shiny
Also humor, is an inspiration. I find humor in making
images of everyday objects into a piece of adornment.
I wish my work to have a sense of playfulness,
sometimes to actually be a visual joke. Wouldn't it be
funny if...

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
Underpants sterling silver necklace
Milk Jug sterling silver necklace
I suppose I think they are the funniest!

Am a fan of these places...

Find seller at...



Saturday, August 30, 2008

Strategies To Try If Your Crafts Aren't Selling

When a product isn't selling you have three other choices: Stop trying to sell it, change it, or make something else. An here are four ways you can change a product to make it more appealing to buyers:

1. Change your prices

2. Change the materials being used

3. Change your colors or designs

4. Change the name or function of your product

CHANGE YOUR PRICES. The price you place on a product has a great deal to do with whether it will sell or not. Before you even think of lowering the price of a hard-to-sell product, try first to change it in some way to make buyers feel it is worth more to them.

CHANGE MATERIALS. The type and quality of the materials you use in your work automatically determines your market and the prices you can charge for it. Some materials are ordinary or plain, while others are unusual or luxurious. When you elect to work with common materials, buyers may expect your prices to be common as well. When you use luxurious or exotic materials, however, you automatically attract more affluent buyers.

For example, you can either make teddy bears for children, using inexpensive washable furs from your local sewing store, or make designer bears for collectors, using expensive imported fur such as Mohair. Whereas a teddy bear for kids might sell for $15 to $25, collectors will pay ten times this price for a one-of-a-kind bear. If you make furniture or wooden accessories, you can either use a common wood like pine and price it for the general public, or use uncommon or exotic woods that will appeal to buyers with bigger pocketbooks.

CHANGE COLORS OR DESIGNS. Even when you are using the right materials for a product, it may not sell if your colors or designs are wrong for the times. Stay aware of what's hot and what's not where colors are concerned, and strive always for more originality in your designs.

CHANGE PRODUCT NAME OR FUNCTION. What you call your products has a great deal to do with whether they will sell or not, so try calling them something other than what most people might call them. For example, let's assume that you make wheat weavings. They might sell at higher prices if you presented them as "Wheat Art Sculptures" or "WheatArt Collectibles." That's because some people automatically expect to pay more for a product if they feel they are buying "art" instead of "craft." To further illustrate, a wheat weaving affixed to a plaque might be perceived as "craft" while a wheat weaving in a shadow box behind glass might be considered "art." (And the extra benefit is that this product won't be soiled after it has hung on the wall for a couple of years.)

To change the function of a wheat weaving presently being sold as a plaque, consider placing it in a box with a recessed top so the arrangement is permanently preserved under glass. Such a box could be lined in leather or turned into a velvet-lined jewelry box. Now you've not only changed the function, but the name as well. And by adding a high-quality music mechanism that might add less than $10 to your materials cost, you could easily ask four times the price for this product because now the product has become a handcrafted music box.

Wheat weavings also make charming Christmas ornaments. The same people who aren't interested in another picture to hang on the wall may find it hard to resist buying another ornament for their tree. Or, think "jewelry," always of interest to most women. Think "pendants" and "earrings" and "designer pins," and remember that the quality of your metal findings will determine the price you can ask for jewelry. People will always pay more for gold-plated or sterling silver jewelry.

As you can see, price, material, color, design and a product's name and function all work together where sales are concerned. Apply the above logic to your craftwork and see what happens.

MAKE SOMETHING ELSE. Sometimes the only logical solution to sluggish sales is to make something else. Whatever your art or craft, if you're not selling at a profit after a certain length of time, it may be that you're simply in a rut on the wrong road to sales success. Let this be your signal to stop and think about new roads you might explore.

As any successful seller will tell you, changing directions in midstream is all part of the fun of selling what you make. Instead of waiting for a pot of gold that may never appear, make some changes. As someone once said, you cannot expect different results if you keep doing the same thing. Creative ideas will come if you will make the effort to stretch your imagination. To do this, pay attention to what others are doing.

Read. Network. Experiment. Turn left instead of right. Ask "what if?" and "why not?" Dare to be different.

Adapted from

Friday, August 29, 2008

Parisol Supplies

Wendy Doss

Business Name
Parisol (spelled wrong intentionally!)

San Francisco

Describe what you sell
Parisol offers quality supplies:sterling silver and vermeil findings,vintage jewelry components,exquisite gemstones, freshwater pearls, rare beads and eclectic flea market finds. Some items are destash. If I only need a half of a strand of gemstones why not sell the other half...we all save money. Some of my best sellers are sterling silver charms and pendants from Los Angeles, people seem to like angel wings, crowns, skeleton keys and fleur de lys motifs. Sterling and vermeil ball end headpins. Vermeil headpins are on order, I promise!! They sold out very fast this round

How do you market yourself? What is your target market?
On every order, I send out a "thank you" notice, along with shipping tracking info, and an invitation to join my mailing list. I think it's also good idea to add each customer or potential customer as a favorite seller and a favorite piece or two as well. I send out email messages ocassionally, and only when I've acquired some exciting new or popular product. My target market is jewelry designers that use quality or vintage
components in their wares.

What do you offer that sets you apart from the other supply sellers on Etsy?
I've been told that I am the only seller to offer 26 gauge vermeil ball end headpins, which is nice and thin enough to fit through tiny gemstones. As a jewelry designer myself I noticed in my searches a lack of quality sterling silver supplies on Etsy so I thought it would be a good idea to offer some. I'm pretty picky about products and I believe that the goods I choose to sell should be something I love and would use myself. I am always on the hunt for new treasures and unique and special finds for etsy, that's half the fun!

What is your “real” life like?
Let's see, I live in an old victorian dwelling in SF with tons of character with my husband Mark and my two cats Ferdinand and Isadora. For many years I worked full time downtown with the last couple of ye
ars also running an online jewelry business putting in 60+ hours per week, dreaming of the day I can do what I love instead. I eventually decided to try work part time, which was great for a while, until I was layed off. Now, I work full time at maintaining my three etsy shops {antique artisan jewelry, gemstone jewelry & supplies store}, as well as, filling in doing odd jobs, ie. helping friends paint, organize and sometimes gardening. I've been miraculously making it work for about a year now! I also love the movies, entertaining, and am a bit of a foodie.

Any offers you want to give blog readers?
Mention you read about my shop in Debbie's blog and receive free shipping on your first

Find seller at...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

MyLittleOogabooga- Plushs

Danielle Lindqvist

Sydney, Australia

Business Name
My Little Oogabooga

Describe what you sell. Quirky plush toys such as monsters, robots, ninjas and some humans

What is your real life like? I live with my partner of six years in a tiny one bedroom flat. I trained for 5 years as a set/costume designer for theatre and film. Due to a shortage of employment in my field I work in visual merchandising. My Little Ooogabooga was born out of boredom and a need for a creative outlet between jobs. My real dream was to be a production designer/concept artist for film, animation and video games. I love art, theatre, film, fashion, photography, video games, fibre arts & plushies. Music, animation, literature. History, mythology, and good stories. Culture and travel. Vintage and antique furniture/clothes/anything!!- but MUST be authentic. I treasure my 50's Norman Hartnell ball gown. I love playing pool although have become quite rusty.

What is your process?
I free hand draw up a
squiggle on a piece of paper, cut it out and use it as a rough guide - they often change shape as I cut out the shapes. Quite often I just see where my scissors take me, and my mood affects how they turn out, whether they will be cheeky or sweet or even grumpy. I love to see the construction in an object and have a bold, chunky feel to it, so my toys are not meant to be 'perfect' or precisely measured with hidden seams however they are well sewn and very detailed. I spend hours on each one, cutting out bits of felt and fabrics and trying this button and that button. The only tools I use are my favorite little scissors and a needle, measuring tapes only come out for listing on Etsy. My toys are never the same, they may have similiar shapes however I would get terribly bored making identical toys. I try to only use natural materials, the one exception being the buttons. I only use pure wool felt, acrylic felt is scratchy and unsuitable for cuddles. The fabrics I use are cotton, usually quilting fabrics because I need quite small patterns. I'm sure the ladies in my local fabric shop groan when I come in because I usually buy 15 centimetre strips of 50 different fabrics in one go. I apologise profusely. I don't give them a name or create stories for them because I believe that is your job and feel quite passionate about this. I trust that the customer will call them something that is right and sentimental for you. I love to hear back from my customers what they have called them!

Business Goals and Vision...
This is a question I think
about constantly. I would love to grow my business so that I could quit my day job which I hate, but at this stage it is not viable. I doubt it could ever be viable unfortunately, as each toy takes me up to eight hours and I could never justify charging more to make it worthwhile. There are only so many toys I can make outside a full time job, forcing me to be very selective about any reselling offers. I generally don't wholesale as it takes me away from Etsy for too long, and I struggle to get any high levels of stock as it is. At the moment I can only really handle Etsy. People often ask me why I don't take them to China but there are several reasons why I won't do that. Firstly, I believe it's the hand made nature, care and heart I put into them that make them what they are. Secondly I'm a firm believer in the fair trade concept, I couldn't live with myself knowing human beings were been treated unfairly to make my toys. It is a fantastic hobbie that I couldn't live without now, and I make more for the love and therapy of it for myself rather than for the money. In saying that it has made life a little easier to have some extra cash around. So until cloning comes into our daily lives I'll be plugging along the same road.

How do you market your business?
I don't really. Marketing is my downfall, I'm absolutely terrible at self promotion. My idea of marketing is to leave a business card on the bus or in the serviette holder at a cafe. I have been so lucky with people approaching me to feature me on their blogs, and am grateful anyone finds me at all!

What inspires you?

I love putting fabrics and chunks of colours together, that really excites me. The brighter the better. My materials guide me, and noting is more exciting than a fresh piece of bold coloured felt and all the possibilities that my collection of fabrics and threads offer. I adore pop art, artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Strong iconic imagery inspires me dating back to the 50's. Anime and illustration inspire me, etsy artists like Ashleyg. Film directors Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Peter Jackson.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?

I was pretty happy with my first Sumos
(PICTURED), and I also like this robot (also pictured)

Am a fan of these places...


Find seller at...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aria Images and Prettified

Today we talk with Melody from Aria Images and Prettified. She is a multi talented artist with two shops on Etsy. Read on to see what makes this busy mom tick.

Melody Kristensen

Queens, NY (soon to be Charlotte, NC at the end of September)

Business Name
Aria Images / Prettified

Describe what you sell.
Aria Images: I sell photography I have taken depicting mainly architecture, landscape and sculptures on my travels and at home. / Prettified: I create glass pendants, paperweights, brooches and other items featuring vintage prints, photos and japanese washi paper.

What is your real life like?
I am the proud mother of a 6 month old little girl cat named Bella. No real kiddies yet. :) I am also the proud wife of my Swedish prince (well I think he's a prince anyway). We have been married for 4 years next month. Currently my Etsy shops are my main mode of work but I hope to get a part time job so that I can continue my Etsy businesses but help hubby out with the bills a bit more. Before quitting my last job I was a Legal Secretary.

What is your process?
For photography, I use a Canon Rebel XTi. Most of my early work was taken with a point-and-shoot Kodak Easyshare. When I tell people that, they dont believe me. :) But I recently was able to purchase the Canon and I am very happy with it. I also use a professional photo lab to print out my work so that I can ensure the very best of quality/ For my Prettified shop, I use mainly glass tiles. I find really high quality vintage images and Japanese washi paper on and off Etsy and think about what shape and size glass would look good with what image. As a photographer, I am not used to using my hands but the desire was there so I opened this shop and I am so happy I did. Its enormously fun to create.

Business Goals and Vision...
As a photographer, my short term goal would be to start some photography classes after we move to Charlotte. I am completely self taught so it would be nice to have some education under my belt. Especially when it comes to shooting people which I have no experience in. About 10 years ago my dream was to photograph children and I would still very much like to do that. Long term - I would love to be paid to travel the world and take photos. That would be a dream come true. I love history, traveling and photography and to combine them would be amazing. Bit by bit, I plan on making that dream come true. /
As the shop owner of Prettified, I would love to see it take off to where my items are in shops around the country, even around the world. I have new items coming out that I think are pretty unique and Im excited to introduce them soon. I think those two ideas might take off. Well I hope so.

How do you market your business?

I mainly market on Etsy. I recently starting using Craigslist and also utilized plug boards for a while but that can be incredibly time consuming but still worth the effort. Also, my blog ( is a great marketing tool for myself and others. I hope to add trade shows to the list after we move.

What inspires you?
For my photography shop, I am very much inspired by architecture. The lines and angles of it. I don't know where the love of buildings came from but its been there for a very long time. I am also inspired by nature. The colors found in nature and how amazing they are. Even though I was born and raised in NYC, I have always had a huge love of nature, seeing things in a certain way. Wanting to capture that exact moment, the lighting, the breeze, the shadows, is what got me really excited about photography. For my Prettified shop, I have a huge affinity for all things vintage. I always told my mom I was born in the wrong generation. I grew up listening to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and even older music like the Charleston (the 20's). Showing that love through my jewelry is so fun. I also love the Asian cultures and the washi paper is inspiring to use in itself. The colors and textures of it are stunning.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines?
Actually, I find the best advice to be found in the Business Section of Etsy. I have the entrepeuner spirit as we all do but although I initially subscribed to a few business related zines in the beginning, I found the advice at Etsy to be just as if not more value. I highly recommend it to other Etsy and Indie artists.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
From my Aria Images shop: Wait For Me because it evokes that vintage feel and I am super proud of that shot and Ancient Arches because it shows the silent power of the Colosseum. In Prettified, my Japanese Washi Chiyogami Yuzen Paper Paperweights Set and my Shiro - Mini Bauble Japanese Washi Chiyogami Yuzen Paper Ring because they were two ideas I came up with and I really love the way they turned out. :)

Am a fan of these places...
1. Youtube - I am a youtube junkie, especially now that I found out there are tutorials on there. I love to crochet but not good at it so excited to learn new stitches throught the tutorials I find.
2. NetFlix - I love the DVD's you can watch instantly. I watched all of season 1 and 2 of Heroes online. I had never seen it before and now I am hooked!
3. Haunt - Amazing soaps and B&B products!
4. DoubleDippedSweets - Hubby and I are addicted to her goodies.
5. Vintaj - I want everything in that shop

Find Melody at...

But starting in the fall both shops will also be on Lollishops. I am also working on getting my own websites for both shops soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Name Alisa Burke

Location San Diego, CA

Business Name Alisa Burke

Describe what you sell. I am a painter and mixed media artist who recently branched out into creating and selling one of a kind accessories made from canvas paintings and recycled materials.

What is your real life like? I juggle A LOT and often feel like I don’t have a “real life”!!! By day I am the Assistant Director of Print and Brand Marketing at the University of San Diego and the rest of my life is spent working as a painter and mixed media artist. I recently wrote a book titled Canvas Remix so now I can add author to the list of things that I do. When I am not painting and creating I love to spend time outdoors with my husband, traveling and my most recent passion is cooking. I am learning more and more that the key to my survival and sanity is balance and everyday I try to make this my priority!!

What is your process? Since my background is in fine art, so much of my process revolves around drawing and painting and using simple materials- canvas and paint. Typically I will start with yards of unstretched canvas that I treat like a painting or composition- building up layers of painted images, texture and writing. Once I feel that it is complete, I then cut up my canvas painting and transform (usually by sewing) it into something new. Lately I have been using lots of recylced materials and try to take a more “green” approach to the things that I create. Often this means I will sew junk mail, fused plastic bags, and all sorts of materials that may typically get thrown out, into my art. My goals is to push myself to be creative with simple materials and redefine the concept of art.

Business Goals and Vision... Like a lot of creative entrepenuers, I have a long term goal of going completely full time as an artist without the safety net of a day job. Between my book, teaching workshops, wholesale opportunities, gallery exhibits and Etsy – I am finding that I am getting really close to this goal!! But lately I have been trying just appreciate where I am at in the process and working on embracing baby steps.

How do you market your business? Etsy of course!
Teaching is a great marketing tool
boutiques and galleries
The blog world is amazing and free marketing Online networking sites- mycraftivity, myspace, facebook, linkedIn And good ol’ fashion word of mouth!!

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines? I love scouring the blogs and websites for new ideas and business inspiration- a few of my favorites are-

The Boss of You

Naughty Secretary Club-
Jennifer Perkins has great marketing advice!

Art Biz Blog-

A Boutique Industry-

Escape From Corporate America-

Indie Entrepreneur-

What inspires you? I must have music blasting when I am creating and depending on my mood this can range from punk rock to jazz to folk. I am also inspired by street art, graffiti, peeling paint, old wood, layers of time built up on the surface of a brick wall, art history, rebellious women, punk rock culture and travel.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop? The yellow numbers wallet and the floral graffiti clutch.

Am a fan of these places...

Etsy Stores

Monday, August 25, 2008

Redhead Diva's Paper Emporium

Wendy Taylor (a.k.a. Redhea
d Diva)

Northwest Arkansas

Describe what you sell.
Stickers - Etsy Shop Stickers,
Thank You Stickers, Birthday Stickers, Etc.
Business Cards - Custom Designed Business Cards

Custom Rubber Stamps

Kids Stickers - Label all of your kids toys, sippee cups, etc.

Business Name
Redhead Diva's Paper Emporium

What is your real life like?
I have been married for 8 years to a wonderful "computer techie" and we have 2 little Weener dogs or what we refer to as Doxies.

What is your process?
I have been a graphic designer for 10+ years. My computer and my printer are my main tools! I can't live with out them!

Business Goals and Vision...
I have only been open for about a month now so my vision is to grow my business to be a full service shop for everyone. I'd like to make 5-8 sales per day at least. I'd love to make enough to quit my day job at the ad agency I work for but that would mean 20+ orders a day!!! Someday ....

How do you market your business?

just on Etsy

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines?

I subscribe to Package Design
Magazine and AdAge

What inspires you?
I love to visit stationary stores and scrapbook stores. I LOVE paper!

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?

My doxie stickers and my birdie in a tree stickers

Am a fan of these places...
My shop of course! I'm addicted at seeing if I have any convos!
My mother's store at
the promo forum on etsy
I LOVE pounce on etsy
I love shopping at!

Find me at...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Babycheeks - Fun Fashion for Little Ones

The first time I looked at Jen Dimler's Etsy shop I loved that everything matched! Some of my favorites are the Skull collection, the For the Birds collection and the Mod fabric collection! She makes blankies, bibs, burp clothes, onsies, embellished jeans, changing pads and binky/toy clips. Purchase one of each from the same collection and have a matching set! She has obviously put alot of time and thought into her line so I wanted to pick her brain- check it out....

Duxbury, Massachusetts

What is your real life like?
My real life is pretty crazy. I recently went from working a very demanding full time job in consumer products marketing to one of the most challenging jobs in the world: staying home with two small children. I have a very focused and bright 4 year old boy who asks me tons of very detailed philosophical questions and a very active and mischievous 1 year old girl who gets into everything. When I am not hanging out with them, I am working part time for my husband’s law firm as a marketing manager and working on babycheeks in the wee hours of the night.

What is your process?
I like to use bright colored and fun cotton designer fabrics because they are stylish and yet durable and tough--perfect for kids. I also use soft and practical fabrics like minkey and chenille in a lot of my creations too. Absolutely everything has to be 100% washable, durable, practical and safe. And, of course, cool!

What inspires you?
My kids are a big part of my inspiration, along with my own childhood memories. I draw primarily from that. My son is currently into Robots and Cars (hence why I have those collections in my store) and The Daddy Buy Me a Pony collection and What a Doll collection was inspired by my childhood obsession with horses and paper dolls. The We'll Always Have Paris Collection was inspired from my honeymoon and love of all things French.

Business Goals and Vision...
I just opened my shop in mid-June-- it sort of just happened. I plan and think out just about everything I do, so it’s kinda funny that I didn’t really plan this, I just did it! I’m just now thinking out what my short and long term goals and plans are… Short term, I am looking to the holidays and trying to get things ready for my first holiday season on etsy. Long term, I am looking at developing my own website, producing press and sales kits and developing the wholesale portion of the business.

How do you market your business?
I have two target markets: Educated and stylish moms looking for fashion-forward, one-of-a-kind items for their kids and gift givers looking for that special baby gift that is sure to impress. I know this business well, not only because I’m trained in marketing and a mom myself, but because I used to develop mass-market baby products for a very well known baby brand. I go where the expectant and first time moms go. Because babycheeks is still very small and my marketing budget is virtually non-existent, my advertising and promotion has been focused on grass roots mommy sites, blogs and a word-of-mouth campaign. I have to be very creative! Once my website is up and running though, I plan on getting more aggressive with PR and hope to participate in at least one American Baby Faire in 2009 as well.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
Actually, most of my subscriptions are to mommy magazines and websites/blogs. I don't currently subscribe to any business magazines or blogs/e-zines, but I am one of the weirdos that loves the business part of my craft as much as I love the craft itself!

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
This is tough! I guess anything in the What a Doll Collection, especially the jeans. I just love that fabric, and it’s been very popular with my customers as well. I also love the Roll with It Sushi Collection too. It’s just so chic and fun, but unisex too. It has also been very popular.

Am a fan of these places...

Find babycheeks at...

Friday, August 22, 2008

MyFriendRoze - Jewelry Artist

I am pleased to introduce you to the work of Rose from myfriendroze on Etsy. Rose specialized in silver work- making bracelets, necklaces, rings and some other fun things in interesting shaped and textures. She is just getting started on Etsy so check her shop out and add her to your favorites as she is always coming up with new ways to make her craft stand out from the crowd.
Read the interview....

Name Rose Braunstein

Business Name
My jewelry line is called myfriendroze. I got that name from my old life in the music industry. I was making jewelry all the time and one of the famousies I worked for asked for a ring for free. He then promptly lost it, so I made another one- he lost that too. He then asked for another one, and I said "you'll have to buy it like everyone else" he then said "don't you want my publicity for free?" I replied "why yes I do absolutely want your publicity for free---what's my last name?" He had no idea. So I said "what kind of publicity am I getting? do you just say "my friend rose made it?"

Los Angeles CA - specifically Glassel Park/Eagle Rock

Describe what you sell.
Handmade sterling silver and 14k (usually rose colored) gold with semiprecious and precious stones thrown in for good measure.

What is your real life like?
Real life? well for several (I'm too young to say exactly how many) years I did radio promotion in the music industry...until about a year ago, I had it and quit to travel the world (in no particular order I went to Israel, Egypt, Peru, Argentina, Turkey, England, Ireland and Romania -to name a few) to buy crafts, and make jewelry and sculpture. I was always making jewelry in my "spare" time" but never selling it or anything like that. I was a sculpture major at Parsons, but somehow got caught up in music and lost a few years there. So now I sit at home with my female dog George and cat Puppycat and try to create and not worry about bills. (for some reason they keep coming I can't stop them)

What is your process?
Though I was a sculpture major I am self taught in jewelry- so everything is a happy accident. I hope that I can figure things out as I go- many times I cannot and there are piles of wasted lovely materials lying around. Most recently I tried my hand at making a mold for casting... I used plaster and then poured wax into it... it didn't work as well as I had hoped- although I did get a few pieces of "bubblewrap" jewelry out of it.. so I am going to try rubber later in the week.

Business Goals and Vision...
My bubblewrap and I plan to take over the world. Ok well first I hope to make a few sales on Etsy and get into some more brick and mortar stores. I am looking for a rep but don't know how to find one really. I need one that deals with one of a kind items.. I always want to be involved in making the jewelry so although maybe I should want to be in mass merchants I don't know that it will ever be possible since I can't make 400 items a day by myself.

How do you market your business?
Mostly online with social networking sites (and your blog) and through friends in the music industry and word of mouth.

What inspires you?
I'm one of those people that has some version of ADD- though I think that term is overused- for example I'm hammering circles for something and I go to wash my hands and there are bubbles and then I remember bubblewands from when I was a kid and I want to make something that looks like a bubblewand and then I do, and then I think well how can this be a ring too, and then I see mosaic and I think how can I put mosaic in my pieces and then I have to send something and there is bubblewrap and I want to cast it and then I see something orange and I want my displays to be orange and then I get hungry.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I really do love my new bubblewrap pieces if I haven't mentioned that enough and I also love my new bubble mosaic pieces.

Am a fan of these places...
I wish it was Paypal

Find Rose at...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Vandalized Vintage

I am so excited to introduce you to my first ever featured artist. I LOVE her stuff. Her pieces are a winning combination of vintage, word art and edginess. There is something so appealing about the comfort and memories that the vintage prints evoke contrasted with the irreverent words that are featured on some of my favorite pieces. Because they are vintage and hand painted they are all unique. This is a PG rated blog so I can't show you my absolute favorites (those are PG13 and R rated)- visit her shop to see them- you may laugh out loud and hopefully start making a list of girlfriends you would like to gift these to. Read on to read the interview....

Trix-I’m also known as Karen, born on Halloween night

Auckland New Zealand

Describe what you sell.
Reworked vintage china- preloved with added text or drawings in heat fused ceramic paint

What is your real life like?
Mother of two teens, married, one old dog and a cat. I’m a sculptor with a BFA from the late 80s I love comedy and rock n roll, Mexico, old boat sheds, fishing, kayaking and painting.
I also enjoy embroidery.

What is your process?
I uses Pebeo porcelain paint from France and a mapping pen which I learned to use years ago working as a graphic designer. I also use brushes.

Business Goals and Vision...
I always thought what I was doing was a fad or might be hit and miss with no market, so I have been surprised by it’s success so far. I’m completely open to where it will go.

How do you market your business?
I haven’t as yet taken out any adverts as the business/publicity comes to me. I’m probably as busy as I can manage by myself. My daughter helps with my admin to ease the workload.I like to do craft shows, just to meet my audience and get one on one feedback, so I’m involved in local shows every month.

What inspires you?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. People suggest new words all the time. The urban dictionary is great. Assemblage ideas I have come from the vintage plates that turn up.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I’m proud of the the Kills and Ting Tings plates as I really think the bands are great and the hairdos are the most fun to do.

Am a fan of these places...
I was and still am a curster fan-
Also I shop at
I’m keen on many etsians, birdspoke, lusterbunny, scrapatorium, luxford st

Find Trix at... under object art

Etsy Featured Artists

I am happy to announce that I will soon start posting interviews with my favorite Etsy artists. They have mean hand selected and personally invited to participate. I have been a fan of many of these artists and look forward to sharing answers to burning questions about their inspirations and processes. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Alchemy on Etsy- get a special item made or make a special item for someone else

Lately I have been all about the Alchemy page on Etsy. If you still don't know about Etsy- check it out! We are a community of artists selling handmade items. This is a large scale site where you can find artists making almost any type of item you can think of! On the sites Alchemy page you can request to have an item made or you can respond to a request.

How it works... go to and click on the "Alchemy" link on the orange header at the top of the page. You will start to see a running list of requests for items that members would like to have made. Requests range from custom shop logos and avatars to wedding jewelry sets. There are some more unusual requests like grave stones and markers or recently, a reproduction of the dress used by the Chinese women who walked the participating countries out into the forum during the Olympics opening ceremony. One of my recent favorites is a request to have a clay figure made of a cartoon shop logo.

If you would like to add a request you can do so by clicking the green "add request" button at the top of the page there are some guidelines on the right of the page. You will be asked for some general information such as item description, price that you would like to pay and date which you would like to have item complete. To see a detailed item about how the process works for buyers go to

If you are a seller and you would like to respond to a request go to the Alchemy page- view the requests on the Alchemy home page, clicking on headings that you would like to see more off. If there is something that you can make submit a bid- it's easy- just follow the prompts. For more detailed information on how to reply to a request go to

Some alchemy basics- don't request...
• Non-handmade items, including vintage and commercial supplies
• Trades
• Free items
• Services
You can find me on Etsy as well. Go to or click on the banner to the right that shows pictures of my jewelry.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Right Now - Yellow and Grey

On my radar right now is this dress made from a vintage yellow and grey sheet. Since it is vintage- each dress is different. Best part? It's on sale for $29.99.Urban Outfitters

You will be needing a special bag to go with this dress...ummm- something that is just as eco friendly and unique as the dress- and I have found it!

This leather clutch was created by
the talented Annette Florin who sells her goods on Etsy. It is made from a deconstructed vintage black leather coat and reconstructed into this very fun and funky mustard clutch. Buy it for $48.00 at

We are all shoe lovers at heart. This pair has a girly ruffle detail and peep toe. A
steal at $22.49 from my favorite retailer Target

Fun and trendy t-shirt- goes with everything! Rebellious Tattoo T-shirt- $7.99 Wetseal

Mix and match these styles and don't forget to check out my store for silver jewelry that will coordinate well with any of these fashions.
Debbie Gootter Designs

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