Member Feature: CindyBlue Designs

Contributor post by Natalie

Please join us in welcoming CindyBlue Designs, our featured member!

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  • Tell us a bit about yourself

Hello!  My name is Marianne.  I am a 32 year old wife to one and stay-at-home-momma to two…Natalie is six and Eli is three.  I love fall, the smell of rain, and all that my home state of Minnesota has to offer.  I am a born and raised, TRUE….Minnesotan!  Yes…it does get very cold here.

  • When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

I have been “officially” in business on Etsy since September 2012, just over a year.  I run my Etsy shop with my mom.  She is my best friend and all the art- work you see is her design.

She is so talented and I wanted to showcase that somehow.  Etsy seemed the logical step!  I run the business side of things and she is the artist.  I love working with my mom.  She is my best friend and we have very high standards for what we want our business to be!

CindyBlue Designs sells greeting cards, canning labels, gift tags and other paper products and what makes our shop different from the other shops on Etsy, is that nothing is computer generated.  All of our graphics are hand drawn by my mom.  I only scan them into the computer for printing purposes.  We make everything in house and I like to have that control.

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  • Tell us a bit about the products you have available.

As I just mentioned we sell greeting cards, but we are getting away from those and starting to focus more on our canning labels and gift tags.   The labels are becoming quite popular!  My mom has always been a canner and we love to give canned goods as gifts.  Our labels just add that special touch!  We can customize any item in our shop and the canning labels come in sets of 18 for $6 and the gift tags come in sets of 24 for $8.  All labels are self-adhesive and we are willing to ship anywhere!

As of right now, we are working on new labels for Valentines Day and my mom just designed some canning labels for tomatoes!  Every day she brings me new items.  That is the joy of only living 3.5 miles away from each other!

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  • What inspires your work and new products?

As a team, we are inspired by our surroundings.  Especially nature.  We also love to design pictures that my kids will enjoy.  If they like it, we know they will be a hit.  My kids are the best critics!

  • Tell us a bit about your workspace.

Since I am a stay at home mom, I work from home.  I do have a workspace in my basement, but I rarely work out of it.  I love to work where the family is and where the heat is J.  I consider my business family run and the kids and pets add that touch that I need to work (most days)!

  • Do you have a favorite artist/genre or tv show to listen to/watch while you work?

I prefer to listen to music without words when I am home alone.  It helps me focus…anything classical.  If the family is around while I am working, it has to be Curious George!  My mom loves to draw while she watches classic, black and white movies!!

  • Any great stories about being a crafter that you’d like to share?

I always run out of ink at the worse times or my moms colored pencils become stubs and she can’t draw with them and we have a project that needs completion!

  • Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your own work, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores.  

When creating homemade, you truly understand the thought and effort that goes into each item made.  That is so important to me and my mom.   I want someone to buy our labels and appreciate the design just as much as we do.  We took our time choosing that specific design for that specific label.  Anyone can go to Target.

  • What are your future goals for the business this year and in the coming years? What is your dream?

I am a true Optimist!  I want to double my sales from my first year and keep growing my following.  More craft sales, more blog posts, more advertising and continue to try to get our products in shops around our area.

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  • Do you have any advice for someone thinking of opening their own business? Any advice for those wanting to sell on Etsy?  

I think if you want to do it, than go ahead!  What do you have to lose!  You would regret it if you didn’t try.  Trust me, there is a lot less rejection on Etsy, than at a craft sale.

  • Besides your business, what do you like to do with your time?

I love photography and movies.  I love to read and I am slightly addicted to Candy Crush.

  • Where can people find out more about you and your business?

Etsy shop – http://www.etsy.com/shop/CindyBlueDesigns
FB: https://www.facebook.com/CindyBlueDesigns?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarianneBenzen

Some fun questions!

  • What is your dream vacation? I want to go to Maine..Lame?
  • Do you have a favourite Ryan Glosing “hey girl” meme? All of them!
  • What was the last movie you saw in theatres? Planes with my kids
  • Favourite Ice Cream?  Peppermint Bon Bon
  • Coke or Pepsi? Coke…Cherry
  • Game of Thrones or Modern Family? Mad Men
  • Rock, paper, scissors or spock? Rock
  • Urban or suburban? Country
  • Favourite book? Madeline by Roald Dahl.  It has always been my favorite.
  • Tell us something quirky about yourself. I can shoot M&M’s out of my nose
  • Choose your own question to answer.  Something personal? I married my high school sweetheart.  We have been together 13 years.

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If you would like to be featured, please contact admin Natalie at natalie@whenshuttersclick.com. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

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