Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gnome Clothes

Name
Michelle McKeon

Location
Right now we are living in West Lafayette, IN while my husband finishes his PhD program at Purdue. We have lived many places including Long Beach and Napa, California, Fort Collins, Colorado and Eugene, Oregon.

Business Name
gnomeclothes

Describe what you sell.
My items include Reusable Cloth Sandwich Wraps, Cloth Baggies, Cloth
Napkins, Cloth Snack Bags and Cloth Produce Bags. In my "spare" time I enjoy making fun and unique play dresses and skirts for imaginative little girls. I sell these at a local craft boutique.

Sandwich Wraps- 100% Double-layer Soft Cotton Flannel with a Velcro closure- use in place of plastic baggies to wrap up your sandwich for lunchtime- doubles as a placemat when it's time to eat.
Baggies- 100% Double Layer Soft Cotton Flannel- Flip-top style (think of the old style plastic bags sans ziplock). Use instead of plastic baggies to hold sandwiches, snacks, crayons, toys…you name it.
Napkins- 100% Single Layer Soft Cotton Flannel -Reusable/ Machine Washable- Fun prints, small size perfect for children and/or your lunchtime needs. Use in place of paper napkins and/or paper towels.
Snack Bags- 100% Cotton- Easy Velcro closure Handy carrying handle- Use them for
• snacks, fruit
• toys,

• gym tote, ID, Money holder
• ipod, cell phone
• wristlet,
• cards,

• art supplies,
• make-up,
• anything that you or your child needs to securely and stylishly tote around.
Produce Bags- Reusable- Drawstring closure, see-through for easy scanning. Use at the supermarket and/or farmers market in place of the plastic produce bags.

What is your real life like?
I am a SAHM. I have a very loving and supportive husband, two crazy little girls (my gnomes) who are 5 and 2 and one black lab/mix dog. We moved from CA to IN last year so that my husband could reacquaint himself with the academic world. My first winter in Indiana is what really kicked my sewing butt into gear. I have recently signed up to attend two Craft venues this year. The Strange Folk Festival in O'Fallon, IL coming right up at the end of September and a local High School Booster Club fair in November. Needless to say I have simply been sewing like a mad woman….you know, in my "spare" time.

What is your process?
I have chosen to use only 100% cotton and Organic Cottons in my lunch accessory items. I don't want to have to worry about poly or vinyl coatings, just keep it simple. When I make my play dresses and skirts, I try to keep an open mind to what little girls find "beautiful", colors, textures, sparkles, shiny, furry, all the things that make fabric fun. The "Spin Factor" plays a big role in it as well. I try not to get too technical, just mix, match and have fun with it.

Business Goals and Vision...
I "officially" started this business last February when I listed my first items on Etsy. I have sold over 800 items since then. Honestly though, I have been sewing for my girls since my first one was a baby. Once their closets began overflowing, I thought it was time for others to enjoy our fun as well. I would like to say that I see my business expanding, but really….I only have so much "extra" time, so what I really would like to see in my business is more focus on inspiration, creativity and imaginative play. I simply do this for fun, so I want to have fun doing it.

How do you market your business?
I don't do much marketing. Sometimes I search around forums and find people who are looking for items such as mine. Most of my business comes by word of mouth, my customers are GREAT advertisers. Many have recommended me or even bought items for their friends and/or relatives.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I am always keeping an eye on "green" mommy blogs.

What inspires you?
I am most inspired by those little things that you walk by every day. Angles, textures, colors…when you really stop to look around, there are so many exciting aspects
to the world. I do confess that much of the reason I even stop to look is because I see
my daughters' reactions to the simplest pleasures. Looking through others eyes keeps the scenery "fresh".

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?

This Rainbow Snack Bag…I just LOVE the Colors and the Boldness of the pattern (5th picture from top)

Also, My Organic Cotton Line of Sandwich Wraps, Baggies and Snack Bags…Love them…(last picture on the right)


Am a fan of these places...
Paintandink-
– she makes the most WONDERFUL detailed fantasy realm maps

olivestar7 I LOVE these baby cocoons -so soft and snuggly
Elfland- I enjoy her creativity
Matt Beard- One of my good friends and stellar artist from Northern California

thedreamygiraffe- hmmm…found one that kind of reminds me of my gnome…


Find seller at..
.
www.gnomeclothes.etsy.com
http://www.gnomeclothes.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

MetalSugar


Another Monday - I love Mondays- we get to see the beautiful work of a jewelry designer every Monday and today we have the spectacular Melissa Cohen of Metal Sugar Designs in Brooklyn, NY. Metal Sugar is exactly what it sounds like: hard and soft, tough and sweet jewelry with a dash of flair, humor, and class to meet the needs of any buyer. All handmade by me and full of personality!

What is your "real" life like?
I live in a one
bedroom apt with my boyfriend, my dog bosco, my cat isaiah and my boyfriend's cat Kanji. It's a zoo but I wouldn't trade it for the world. We watch Netflix movies more than I'd like to admit and I'm obsessed with Project Runway. I stay home alot and work on jewelry and try to get out of the house as much as possible to connect with my friends and to eat at all of the delicious restaurants in NY.

What is your process?
I mainly work with
sterling silver, but like to work with gold. I also am beginning to incorporate technology into my work-by using illustrator for laser cutting and soon will be working on making pieces that light up and move. My process is sometimes planned and sometimes random. I have sketchbooks and try bringing one in my purse so whenever I think of something, I can draw it out. These often transform into pieces later. Many times I just sit down with my metal and make a piece in the moment. I have come up with some really interesting pieces this way-those are probably my favorite.


What are your goals and vision for your business?
My goals are to continue expanding and growing,
learning constantly-I would like to get into more stores, get on more blogs, be part of more interviews, get noticed by magazines, press, anything to get my name out there. My goal long term is to do this for a living, have a cute studio to call my own, where I work in the back, teach small classes, and have a shop in the front where I sell my work as well as hand-picked items that I love from other artists.. This is my dream and I hope to see it come true one day :-)

How and where do you market your business?
I keep my business cards in different stores, I put my
products on flickr, myspace, and facebook. I send out updates via email to my list of contacts that I've made at craft fairs or just through networking. I also get blogged about from time to time which helps get my name out there. I'm also part of a great collective of artists on my Etsy Street Team and we promote one another and are almost finished with a catalogue featuring many of these amazing crafters. I haven't put enough time and money into my marketing, but I'm working on it!

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I have a Bust subscription, often buy jewelry magazines, and
subscribe to many blogs that feature handmade artists.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by so
much-animals, Japanese toys and candy, simple lines and textures, and taking the humor in the world and making it pretty when possible.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
The Cupcake Signet Ring (second picture) and my new Duckie Jewelry (third picture)



I am a Fan of...
NOTCOT
Cake Spy
Fred Flare
fromjapanwithlove.etsy.com
http://glassfiction.blogspot.com/

Find Seller....
www.metalsugar.com
metalsugar.etsy.com,

http://metalsugar.supermarkethq.com, stars and infinite darkness and more to come!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fancy Tiger Crafts


Name
Amber Corcoran and Jaime Jennings

Business Name
Fancy Tiger Crafts

Location
Denver CO

Describe what you sell
We are a retail store in Denver that sells craft supplies for knitting, crochet, sewing, felting and spinning. We make some craft supplies, including kits for needlefelting, which we sell on etsy. We like to make crafting accessible to everyone, so our kits are easy and make excellent introductions to the world of needle felting.

What are the best sellers in your shop?
Our needlefelting kits so far the Owl and Robin are our best selling kits.

What is your target market?
We mostly focus on marketing our brick and mortar store in Denver. Our target market is crafty types who are looking for supplies that are more modern and sophisticated than they might find at your traditional fabric or yarn store. We like to make everyone feel welcome in our store no matter what their skill level is.

What do you offer that sets you apart from the other supply sellers on Etsy?
Our kits are super-adorable and hard to resist!

What is your real life like?
We are super lucky and get to do crafts all the time. We are surrounded by yarns and fabrics all day long and get to craft sometimes at work and during the various community craft nights that we host here in Denver. We are both 30 somethings without kids but with cats. Amber enjoys making music, baking, and cooking Chinese food. Jaime enjoys riding bikes, studying herbs and great coffee.

Where can we find you on the web?
www.fancytiger.com
www.fancytiger.etsy.com

Any offers you want to give blog readers?
15% discount on your order through Friday, October 3rd just leave a note in the message to seller box at checkout and we will send you an invoice with the updated total.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Throw Me A Bone

Name
Doc Martin

Location
Laguna Beach, CA (yes, that same place where those bratty gumsnappers from the MTV show hail from).

Business Name
"Throw Me A Bone" - A Pixel Pet Design Studio

Describe what you sell.
Well, Throw Me A Bone is a weeee little Pixel Pet Design Studio with BIG IDEAS. It is where you will find a husband and wife team creating digital works of art with a unique flair of "Man's Best Friend". We produce modern, original, digital pet portraits, boutique style pet apparel, note cards, and people apparel.

What is your real life like?
Obsessed!....or maybe Possessed!...or maybe just passionate? My wife is always reminding me to "prioritize my obsessions" because there seems to be no limit to the things I want to accomplish on a daily basis. I have been quite fortunate really that I am able to "be creative" for a living. In my day job, I am the art director and all around "Jack of All" for an automotive design firm. I have been with this company for 10 years now and on any given day you will find me doing design for automotive after market accessories like custom wheels, auto gauges, and even watches. In addition I also design mens and womens apparel, hot rod and car culture collectables, auto graphics and custom paint schemes. I am also the companies photographer, web designer, and graphic artist!(whew....I am tired just thinking about all of that.) So needless to say, there is quite a bit of creative energy expended during the day.
So, my obsessions tend to drift away from the technical side of things when I am away from the office. My wife keeps me really grounded and she has been a huge part of my exploring other avenues for my creativity. She is the main inspiration for all of our pet accessories and has been a the driving force for opening up this whole world to me. Because being an artist is such a solitary occupation much of the time, we created "Throw Me A Bone" as a way for my wife and I to combine our talents and work together. It has been fun and we are both pretty happy with where it has taken us so far and the response we have been getting is really positive!

What is your process?
Because there are soooooo many breeds to choose from, the inspiration is never ending. But once I decide on the next breed, I do spend quite a bit of time trying to find just the right image of that particular breed to capture the one characteristic that makes them unique! Once that is accomplished, its pretty much a flurry of activity on the old mac until its complete. My tools of choice are my Canon Rebel camera, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop on my mac.

Business Goals and Vision...
Because there are soooooo many breeds to choose from, the inspiration is never ending. But once I decide on the next breed, I do spend quite a bit of time trying to find just the right image of that particular breed to capture the one characteristic that makes them unique! Once that is accomplished, its pretty much a flurry of activity on the old mac until its complete. My tools of choice are my Canon Rebel camera, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop on my mac.

What are your goals and vision for your business- short and long term:
Our short term goal would be to finish rounding out our product line with a full selection of pet portraits, note cards, ACEO's, pet apparel, and finally people apparel. Once that is firmly established, we would like to expand our brick and mortar presence to at least 100 stores in the next 36 months.

How and where do you market your business- We currently have been mostly focused on getting everything up and going online. We have our own website that we market our pet apparel through and we have been really pleased with our recent expansion to etsy. But on the whole, I would have to say this is the one area we really look to improve on in the next year. Our word of mouth advertising has been working well during our startup phase the last few months, but we would really like to have a larger presence next year at pet expos, more brick and mortar stores, and create a cohesive ad campaign.

How do you market your business?
We currently have been mostly focused on getting everything up and going online. We have our own website that we market our pet apparel through and we have been really pleased with our recent expansion to etsy. But on the whole, I would have to say this is the one area we really look to improve on in the next year. Our word of mouth advertising has been working well during our startup phase the last few months, but we would really like to have a larger presence next year at pet expos, more brick and mortar stores, and create a cohesive ad campaign.

What inspires you?
First and foremost - great artists inspire me and my work. Obviously a pets character will always kind of give me a direction to go in. Their personality helps me set the mood of the piece with my colors and style. But I gotta say, right now, more then anything I am truly inspired by so many of the new breed of graphic, lowbrow, and urban/street artists. The bombastic color schemes that they use have inspired most of my dog prints. I thought it would be fun to offer a new kind of "pet portrait" that is inspired by so much of this graffiti style artwork.



Am a fan of these places...
www.obeygiant.com
www.gigposters.com
flickr
google

Find seller at...
www.throwmeabonestore.com
www.throwmeabone.etsy.com
www.saintsandsinners.etsy.com
www.barneysbarkery.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

EandHDesigns

Introducing Maryann Lo Duca-Peik of E and H Designs. She lives in San Diego, California and she is new to Etsy. She has some wonderful painted wood items in her shop- would make a unique gift for a new baby or for your own child's room. Check it out....

Business Name
E and H Designs-- I have two daughters named Emma and Hannah-- E and H!

Describe what you sell.
I sell personalized wooden decor; mostly for children's rooms, but I also have some seasonal items. From wall letters personalized to coordinate with your baby's nursery, to A to Z Bookends-- anything can be personalized!!

What is your real life like?
I am a wife and stay at home mama to two beautiful girls. Emma is 6 months old and Hannah is 4 years old. Hannah is in pre-school and dance, so that keeps Emma and I busy during the day. We also have 3 dogs; Woodrow (Giant Schnauzer), Sydney (German Shepard Mix) and Allie (Border Collie Mix).

I love photography and gardening, spending time with my family, and working on my painted creations for my Etsy shop!


What is your process?
Basically, if something strikes me at the craft store or online at the many craft web sites I visit, I gain inspiration. Mostly, the pieces that I choose to paint are made from wood, but I would to venture outside the wooden realm and try canvas. We'll see!

The paints I use are typically Apple Barrel Gloss acrylic paints. I love to use stencils or even decopage techniques. A lot of times though, I simply free-hand it. I painted both my daughters rooms simply by eye. Hannah's room is based off of The Little Mermaid, complete with fish, seaweed, and a ceiling full of stars. Emma's room is a bit more girly. I painted an indoor garden for her with Sweet Peas and Sunflowers climbing a picket fence and birds flying into a painted wooden birdhouse (I sell painted birdhouses in my Etsy shop!).


Business Goals and Vision...
I would LOVE to be able to create beautiful things for children! Just thinking about how my creations could be something that a baby boy or girl could grow up with on their wall makes me smile and so proud!

Long term, I would love to see me business grow; perhaps expand and do some craft shows or even have my goods in some stores located across the country. That would be really exciting!

How do you market your business?
www.indiepublic.com

http://groups.yahoo.com


What inspires you?
My children-- they are my inspiration! It's amazing to see their little personalities grow and become more developed. The colors or fabrics they love, all bring me inspiration!
I love looking through fabric stores for new prints or designs to mimic. Just the other day Hannah had a shirt on it with monkey faces on it-- that's my nest design-- letters with monkey faces!

Who is your favorite musical artist? (click to link to a video)

Shooter Jennings "4th of July"

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
The "NOEL" letters just in time for Christmas. They just came out so cute- love them! (pictured to the right)
and my "A to Z" Bookends. I have seen these used with a child's initials, and thought they would be super cute with an A and Z! These can be personalized with a certain color or design too!


Am a fan of these places...

I just love this shop... The items is this store are all so beautifully made! Just gorgeous handmade goods! www.allthenumbers.etsy.com

Fertility Friend... I had some trouble conceiving my second daughter and this website really helped a lot. Talking to other women going through some of the same fertility issues was so therapeutic. www.fertilityfriend.com

www.craigslist.com I love, love the stuff you can find locally on this site! Amazing -- and it changes by the minute!

The following sites are for traveling- I love to try to find bargains out there in the travel world! Especially kid-friendly travel!
www.travelzoo.com

www.tripadvisor.com

www.indiepublic.com This
site is great to meet other artists or bloggers interested in promoting their ideas and goods! It has been so helpful in setting up my store sites!


Find seller at...
www.eandhdesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BMTyson



















Today my choice is BMTyson from Murfreesboro, TN- Brian does w
onderful original mixed media collage artworks and paintings. He has many interesting things to say about his art and process, please read on....

What is your "real" life like?
Real life is a total blessing right now. My days are spent working on art (collage, painting, doodling), freelance graphic design work, walking the dog & hanging out with my wife of 3 years. In my free time I love playing golf & tennis, eating out, and checking out real estate.

What is your process?
My process (if you can call it that) is pretty loose & improvisational. I begin a piece by perusing through my ephemera collections or thumbing through magazines looking for colors, textures, words, or parts of whole - something to "float my boat" and get the creative flame ignited. I then prepare my support, and start the collage process - arranging and fitting the "puzzle pieces" together into a pleasing composition and attaching them to the support. Next, I add acrylics in successive layers and then photo collage transfers, all the while working in an intuitive manner until the work "feels" done to me.

What are your goals and vision for your business?
In the short term, I am working towards creating large scale collages in the same style of my small scale ones and offering those for sale. I am also working to expand the online a
nd word of mouth exposure of my Etsy shop and my blog/website. Long term, I want to show my work in galleries and slowly/steadily expand to where I can support my family solely through my art income (what artist doesn't want that). Also, I am passionate about giving to missions/social causes from the income obtained from my art - and would love to see those proceeds increase & expand.

How and where do you market your business?
Currently I market through Etsy, my personal website & blog (www.bmtyson.com), and word of mouth.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, ezines or magazines?
I float around the web, the blogosphere, & the magazine rack at Barnes & Noble fairly often - I love to see all the wonderful art & design out there. But I don't really subscribe
to much. I find it's important for me to try and stay isolated to some degree so I can keep my personal vision and aesthetic intact. It's easy for me to get distracted by other's art & success.

What inspires you?
There's a lot that inspires me: minimal/clean design & illustration, old illustrations & diagrams (especially of animals & nature), the colors and shapes of nature, color in general, texture (visual &
tactile), and words/typography all inspire me to create. Also, as a musician, music is a huge inspiration for me. I often find myself trying to recreate the emotion and energy that I feel in certain songs visually in my art.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
Honestly, there are way to many to pick a favorite. Some of those in the upper echelon include: U2, Eric Clapton, Coldplay, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Miles Davis, John Coletrain, M
ark Knopfler, Santana, & Michael Franks.

Right now I'm really into Jeff Buckley, especially "Last Goodbye"

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
"Bound for Beauty" - Framed Triptych Collage
"Subdivisions" - 6" x 6" Mixed Media Collage

I like to visit:
www.papierscolles.com
www.illustrationfriday.com
http://artbackwash.blogspot.com
http://acollageaday.blogspot.com
Etsy homepage

Find Me:
http://bmtyson.etsy.com

www.bmtyson.com
www.bmtyson.com/blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

West Corinth Studio

It's Tuesday and I am excited to introduce you to another "earth-friendly" seller- Heidi Shaulis and Issac Willis of West Corinth Studio. They reside in the same house and virtual shop -even though they work with different mediums they both keep it green in art and life....

Name
Isaac Willis and Heidi Shaulis


Location
Corinth
, Vermont


Business Name
West Corinth
Studio

Describe what you sell.
Folk art. Heidi produces mainly oil on canvas original paintings, and various
reproductions of her images on recycled and hemp papers. Isaac is a woodworker, and buildseverything from jewelry boxes to electric guitars.

What is your real life like?
We live in a tiny little house on top of a hill surrounded by very wild woods. We get lots of organic produce from our garden and pick gallons of berries in the summer.
Winter is harsh, with lots of shoveling, but as long as the power doesn't go out we have DSL and Direct TV. Isaac and the boys play guitar and Heidi devotes much time to her dog, Bea and her 6 cats.

What is your process?
Isaac does pretty much everything by hand. He uses only
sustainably harvested north american species of wood and lots of salvagedand/or recycled material. Finishes are organic and everything is a one of a kind.

Business Goals and Vision...
Right now, all energy is focused on finishing Heidi's painting studio.
It is a passive solar design and we've made it a priority to use as many recycled and sustainable products where possible and within our tight budget. ( Pictures of the studio progress can be seen on Heidi's blog; http://heidishaulis.blogspot.com.) Having a dedicated workspace will enhance her ability to produce a variety of new products. Isaac will be building more guitars as well as guitar stands and related gear shortly.

How do you market your business?
We are currently marketing exclusively on Etsy, but we do have many wonderful, regular customers who have been with us for years.


What inspires you?
Most of our inspiration comes from the natural world. Our favorite place has always been Vermont, mostly for it's natural setting. On our little hill inspiration abounds.


What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
Isaac's favorite is Eat Your Heart Out, semi hollow electric guitar (first picture)

Heidi's is The Sheep Next Door, framed original oil painting. (second picture)


Am a fan of these places...
Hinessight.com for current news

We check daily http://forecast.weather.gov; the National Weather Service we
bsite, so we can plan our outdoor work/activity
RedRiverPaper.com for 100% recycled Greenpix paper

Greenfieldpaper.com for hemp paper

There are too many great stores on Etsy to narrow down to any favorites...we lo
ve the whole site and also the forums are fun.

Find seller at...
Our work is for sale in our etsy shop; www.westcorinthstudio.etsy.com, and we also have an informational website at www.westcorinthstudio.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sprout Jewelry

Name
Krista DeJoseph

Location
New York, NY

Business Name
Sprout Jewelry

Describe what you sell.
Handcrafted jewelry. I describe my style as “Industrial Organic,” because it’s a fusion of sleek lines and natural shapes. I use very few stones or gems in my work; instead I try to create visual interest by mixing metals and multi-dimensional shapes.

What is your real life like?
Hmmm. Well, no kids, no pets. I live in an apartment with two roommates, an ever-rotating cast of house guests, friends that live in the apartment above us, and both of my brothers live a few blocks away. Ultimately, I feel like my life is a circus of friends, family, and jewelry making! Jewelry is my full time job, though I also work one or two days a week as an academic advisor at a local University. I’m always busy with jewelry, but I definitely make traveling and seeing live music priorities too. I spent most of August in Morocco, and I’m already plotting my next journey!

What is your process?
Well, my creative process is usually born out of procrastination. If I’m not feeling motivated to fill orders, I’ll usually start messing around with some scraps and sometimes something cool comes out of it. As for my tools, well, as any jewelry designer will attest, buying jewelry tools is truly addictive! I have to be careful about acquiring too many, since my work space is so cramped. But I do love my torch and my dremel!

Business Goals and Vision...
Ha ha, well, my vision for the business is always changing. Sometimes I feel like my newer pieces have evolved beyond what are considered the “signature” style of Sprout Jewelry, so from time to time, I consider producing my newer, more industrial pieces as a separate line under a different name. But then I worry about saddling myself with the added responsibility of juggling two lines, two marketing concepts… two of everything! So that’s something that I need to resolve. Also, I need to start making bigger investments in the business, beyond materials and such. I hired a graphic designer a few months ago, and that was scary! I was entrusting her to shape the look of my business. But she has really done some great work, so the investment proved to be well worth it.

How do you market your business?
Ads in magazines like Bust, Venus and Craft. Lots of promotion on Etsy. A mailing list. Business cards. A customer appreciation program. Word of mouth is huge too. Whenever someone emails me to tell me they love their new Sprout piece, I tell them the best way that they can thank me is to pass on my website to their friends.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs,zines or magazines?
I read Accessory Magazine. And I’ve been trying to read a lot of books and online articles about marketing and graphic design, to help me improve the “business” aspect of my business!

What inspires you?
I love light fixtures! I’m forever photographing lights in NYC. I really love light bulb encased in cages of metal. I’m working on a new line that is inspired by these shapes!

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I love the Paloma necklace (first picture) – visually, the shape is just very unique, and the touch of copper that I incorporated is a fun twist. And the Cleo bracelet;(last picture) making it was truly a labor of love, but it came out so well in the end.

Am a fan of these places...
Aside from the obvious (email, etsy, and facebook) I always check the Onion, NYTimes.com, and Feministing.com. Oh, and Perezhilton.com, though I feel guilty admitting it!

Find seller at...
I have a website: www.sproutjewelry.net which will link you to my blog: www.sproutjewelry.blogspot.com and my etsy page: www.sproutonline.etsy.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Find a Graphic Designer on Etsy on Your Budget

I was first introduced to Gabbie (MissEvilKitty) through IndiePublic
If you are not familiar with Indie Public- have a look...it's a place where Indie artists meet and network. Gabbie has her own group called "How to Get Yourself Out There" she often posts articles that are helpful to Indie business owners. I am very impressed with her advice and am pleased to have her writing for me on Sunday's. Show her some love and leave her a comment here, visit her website which is linked throughout this article or visit her Etsy shop- click on her Etsy mini to the right.


Your image as a shop?

As a graphic designer what grabs my attention is simple NOT over the top design/s .
I know A LOT of people always say I don’t have the money to hire a graphic designer.
You do only you don’t want to get out of your “comfy” zone. Am I right?

I have matured with my designs over the years my latest work at Missevilkitty.com Has to be the best I done this year or the past six years I been online as a tiny shop.
My image right now is simple , vintage inspired and young . Am a young designer am 24 so my “branding image” grabs your attention it looks like i paid good money to get my look. but in reality it took me 30 mins to 1-2 hours to get my look!

Gabbie, how do I find a graphic designer I can afford ?
Etsy has TONS of designers go to etsy.com and then:
Home > Buy > Categories > everything else > graphic design
On the left you well see:
avatar,banner,business cards,logo design,web design
If you need a template look for
Say : business card template .
A lot of shops sell premade packages some vary in the price range of $12-60. Most shops well let you add more items for a small fee make sure to shop around.


Gabbie what should I check for when am graphic designer shopping?
1. Is the design style they offer like yours ?
2. Feedback and sales how long have then been on etsy?
3. Do I get the copyright of the design once I buy it ?
4. Do they offer printed items like business cards , labels and such?
5. Customer service ! send them a convo and see how long they take to get back to you.

Other tips:
Some shops wont re design a design they sold in the past for you so when you convo to request a design make sure to be clear as to what you want .( I had more then 10 customers ask me this and i have to simple say i cant redo that design)

Read shop policies, check to see what kind of payment they accept, how long the turnaround ..
Most places are 1-2 days


- Gabbie designs for three websites which are her own and designs for her Etsy & DaWanda shops. Gabbie enjoys working with people to get that new look. You can find Gabbie's work on Etsy at Missevilkitty2.etsy.com and Missevilkitty.com

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jennifer Love Beads



Name
Jennifer Mu

Location
JenniferLoveBeads

Business Name Santa Clara, CA
Describe what you sell.
Semi-Precious Beads

What are the best sellers in your shop?
Tourmaline, Topa
z, Apatite

How do you market yourself?
What is your target market? My target market is individual
jewelry artisan

What do you offer that sets you apart from the other supply sellers on Etsy?
I sell high quality and unique beads that are hard to find
anywhere else

What is your “real” life like- kids- animals- job-hobbies- interests:
I work for a financial service company as a software
engineer. Married about 5 years ago and no kid yet. I like hiking, travling, BBQ, and play Texas hold'em

Where can we find you on the web?
I have a store named jennifertuzi in eBay
and an online store www.jenniferlovebeads.com ( still in construction)

Any offers you want to give blog readers?
I would like to provide free shipping for blog readers with order more than $100.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lil Cubby

Name
Mary Ayres

Business Name
Lil Cubby

Describe what you sell.
My daughter Sara and I sell handcrafted items for babies and toddlers. I am the designer and create all the items we sell. My daughter takes care of everything else. We embellish onesies, t-shirts, tank tops, diaper covers, burp cloths, and bibs with our original designs and we also make booties - lots of booties!

What is your real life like?
My kids are grown. My parents live with my husband and I. We live in the country. It’s very beautiful here. My hobbies are sewing and crafting. I have a small room that has floor to ceiling cabinets that are filled almost every craft material available and even some that are no longer available. I love old vintage items, especially buttons, ribbon and lace. I have many jars of old buttons. I just can’t resist them.

What is your process?
I love monotone print fabrics that look like solids. I consider them to be like paint. I have all the colors. When the fabrics are appliqu├ęd on the baby items, they have so much more texture and life than solid fabrics. I’m a big fan of rick rack. I’ve always loved rick rack, even when it wasn’t fashionable. Maybe it’s still not fashionable but I think it’s fun. I use little bits of rick rack in my designs whenever I can. I also like to add pieces of ribbon, buttons and hand embroidery. The finished designs have more of a three dimensional look with all the different textures of the materials. The booties are made from wool felt, fabric and ribbon. I like to find fabrics that have a different look, like a leopard print, or skull and crossbones - something unexpected. But I also love traditional fabrics, like linen and chenille.

Business Goals and Vision...
My daughter and I want to keep our business small and personal. We love the interaction with our customers, trying to create something special for each person. My short term goal would be to continue spreading the word about our designs to increase our sales. My long term goal would be to do this full time. We want the business to grow but not too much.

How do you market your business?
An article about www.lilcubby.com was featured in our local newspaper. We currently have a two page spread in Crafts ‘n Things magazine. The article is called “Turn Your Passion Into Profit”. We have a shop on Etsy and that’s where we have gotten the best response about our business. You’ll find us there at www.lilcubby.etsy.com. A few people have put links to our Etsy shop on their blogs and we’ve participated in a couple of give-aways on blogs.
Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I subscribe to Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion magazine. They feature artists and their homes. It’s always full of unique, very creative people.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by almost everything. I love to go through catalogs that come in the mail. I’m always tearing out little pieces of catalogs and magazines and I keep them in my idea box. Whenever I need some inspiration, I go to the idea box. I can always find something interesting there.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
One of my favorite things in our shop is the monkey birthday shirt. It’s simple and fun. You can find all of our birthday shirts at http://www.lilcubby.com/birthday.htm. My second favorite would be all the booties. When I look at new fabrics now, I contemplate whether or not it would look good as booties. I guess if I really have to pick, my absolute favorite booties are the white chenille ones. I love the nubby texture. They have a vintage look to them. You can find our booties at http://www.lilcubby.com/babybooties.htm.

Am a fan of these places...
The websites that I frequent most are www.reprodepot.com (they have wonderful fabrics that you don’t see other places), www.paperaddict.com. (I love Basic Grey papers - the textures are great!), www.purlsoho.com (more great fabrics but these are more contemporary), www.blueridgemist.com (wonderful natural scents), and www.yourATCstore.com (interesting little finds).

Find seller at...
You can find my daughter and I at www.lilcubby.com and www.lilcubby.etsy.com. Please come visit us.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

NinjaPrints- Welcome to Etsy

Name
Henry Clayton

Location
London, UK


Business Name

Ninjaprints

Describe what you sell.
I generally focus on photographic prints and canvas works, preffering animal and
landscape pictures over anything else.

What is your real life like?
Real life eh? Well currently living a relaxed and totally skint life looking for a new job having recently been laid off. I live with my girlfriend of 3 and a half years in London along with a few friends and my miniature zoo.. Pets, well theres the two black cats, two Yemen chameleons with the attitude of a disgruntled pensioner, two smaller Pygmy chameleons, two leopard geckos who are rather friendly, three little tree frogs and a giant millipede.Hobbi
es are mostly based around the animals and photography to be honest, though we do often go to festivals. At some point I would like to drop last Christmas' belly and get back into Taekwon-do which I have practiced for the last 17 years! Other than that I did spend a year as a volunteer working at London Zoo in the invertibrate conservation unit, which was a total blast.

What is your process?
Main tool is an Olympus E-500 digital SLR and some cheap macro filters from E-bay, though some co-operative pets does help a little as well.

Business Goals and Vision...
My business has literally just started up and is proving to be very hard for me to make any progress with, though now certain works have started selling which has been a real confidence boost (not on Etsy though so far) In the long term I would ideally like the business to pay me a full time wage and allow me to purchase new kit for my camera, decent printers and perhaps even a trip out to Madagascar.


How do you market your business?

So far I have simply run off a few hundred post cards with some nice pictures on and some business cards and dropped them through peoples letter boxes, the can then use the post cards if they want. Further than that a few forum signatures is as far as I have got. Perhaps if funds ever come rolling in I will be able to push the marketing out a little.

I will hopefully have some works up for display shortly in Brixton, there are four places asking me to display work there at the present, now its just a matter of covering the cost of prints and frames etc..

What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration is quite simply the bizzare wonders that nature can put together, lizards, frogs, insects and wonderful landscapes. It has always been that way for me for some reason, but I have no complaints.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
My current favorite works are a collection of three pictures taken through a rather dusty sunset a few weeks ago in Portugal at Boom festival, the sunset was so hazy and the rays of light really caught themselves in the dust, the hippys wondering in a dazed state gave the overall picture a very zombie holocaust feel. This picture collection I am selling as a limited edition of only 10 prints in each colour (black and white or sepia). So far I have had a few orders placed for these and only have a few remaining, hopefully I will see some of the cash soon (hint hint). But overall I love the shot myself and hope to have 1 left over for myself! (top picture)

My next favourite is the Portrait of a Dragon, I was very pleased at how this picture caught the contrast and showed up the detail of my Chameleon, not so sure she liked the camera though! I am going to be editing the sale of this one soon as I found it looks great on a big canvas, hopefully people will want one for themselves. (second picture)

Who is your favorite musical artist?
I have been listening to a lot of different music recently, though usually I end up listening to the "Empire of Cat" or "Sublime". I am not really tied to any specific genre though I usually hate most pop music and R & B.. old stuff is good ;)


Am a fan of these places...
In regards to Etsy I love my friend Heidi's work: www.
heidiburton.etsy.com she has a real talent for very quirky cards and pictures, having received some at Christmas before I can vouch for them being brilliant! Most of the rest of my internet efforts are spent looking through www.deviantart.com my various reptile and praying mantis forums and caught in the evil webb of facebook.. Etsy does however have a superb collection of art and I enjoy looking through it when I have the time.

Find seller at...

www.ninjaprints.etsy.com

You can find my online shop and gallery at www.ninjaprints.com although regretably Paypal broke my shop recently and it is not currently working, so if you see anything you like just drop me an email! Otherwise if your a local Londener I will be displaying works in Brixton over the next few months, details of where on my website in the near future!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beautiful Bridget


Name
Kim Ferrugia

Location

Springfield, MO

Business Name

Beautiful.Bridget

Describe what you sell. handcrafts bright and colorful crochet items such as pure cotton scrubbies, apple jackets, coffee cozies, iPod pockets, scarves, and washcloth and dishcloth sets.

What is your real life like?
My hubby and I have been selling online across many venues for over 9 years now. I'll never forget the day we both got to give our notices at our jobs....it was so exciting but SO scary also! We had no idea what was going to happen and really took a step out in faith that everything would work out and it did. One of the greatest blessings was that we've been able to be at home with our children while they've grown up. At the time we quit our jobs and started our home business I had just had a baby about 5 months before and it was such a joy to be able to be home with both her and my older daughter. Now everything has grown into such a smooth routine and I have been able to free up time for myself to run my business on Etsy as well.


What is your process?
As you may have guessed, I absolutely LOVE to create! My hands are always busy...if I don't have something to occupy my hands, I will fall asleep in 15 minutes...so I make things ;) My creative genius (am I allowed to call it that?) usually comes out late in the evenings while my oldest daughter (missindie on Etsy) and I get together to watch our favorite reality TV shows...our "mother and daughter" time which I cherish more than anything else in life. My primary craft is crocheting, I've enjoyed doing it since my Mom taught it to me when I was a young girl and now as an adult I get ideas that pop into my head for new creations or I see things that I like and make my own crochet versions of them. There is nothing that feels better than hearing how someone else is enjoying something you created!


Business Goals and Vision...
Right now I'm still just a small potato on Etsy and so I am hoping to make it through the holiday season with plenty of orders and plenty of time to get them made. In the long term my dream is that my daughter (who is missindie on Etsy) and I can grow our businesses together and really get this thing off the ground!

How do you market your business?
I've mostly been relying on word of mouth for advertisement. I do try to participate alot in the forums and have joined many street teams on Etsy such as Etsyhookers, EtsyMoms, Christian Artists Street Team, Trade-a-Holics to name a few. I also try to leave my business cards wherever I can and use my products out in the public so that people can see them and inquire about them.

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

Not yet but I do try to learn as much about business and my brain is constantly running trying to come up with new inventive ways of running my business.


What inspires you?
Let's see, what inspires me....my family of course, a quiet room, soft music, bright colors, the changing of the seasons, the holidays....I pretty much find inspiration in everything. I love going to my favorite craft stores and feeling and touching all of the different yarns...like I said, inspiration lies in everything.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I think my two favorite things are my apple jackets: (top picture)
and my coffee cozies: (second picture)

Am a fan of these places...
www.GudonyaToo.etsy.com


Find seller at...
www.beautifulbridget.etsy.com
www.beautifulbridget.com
 

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