Member Feature: Accents By Cat

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Cathi of Accents By Cat, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Cathi (Cat) and I have four amazing children ranging in age from 8 to 20. They can keep me pretty busy but I also enjoy doing all sorts of crafts. Besides my jewelry, I also paint and sew. I enjoy going to the Renaissance Fair and have sewn my own clothing to fit the era. I have made some of my jewelry also based on the Renaissance time period.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and it has taken a toll on my health and a lot of my abilities. Even though making jewelry has become somewhat harder for me and takes a little more time than it once did, I still enjoy doing it very much. It makes me feel relaxed when I am in creativity mode and proud when I reach my final product!

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

I opened my shop on June 7th 2014. I had been making jewelry for a while at this point and selling pieces to friends and family. Everyone had encouraged me to open a shop on Etsy so I finally took their advise.

I first started dabbling with making Hemp necklaces and bracelets back in the early 2000’s. I also would make my own beads out of clay. I had stopped until around 2012 when I had found some of my old supplies in my attic and I have been creating new pieces since.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I have found it hard to concentrate on just one style. I love to create new pieces that can be enjoyed by anyone and not limited to just one type of genre. Some of the styles I have worked with would be Vintage, Renaissance, Steampunk and Boho.

I enjoy learning new techniques! I especially enjoy working with wire.

What inspires your work?

There are many different things that inspire my work. I think what inspires me the most is knowing that there are people out there that WANT to wear my jewelry and that it makes them happy and feel good about themselves when they are wearing it. Kind of like when you go out shopping at a store and you see something that you really like and then you put it on and it just completely changes your mood. Makes you feel like you look great and feel great about yourself. Then I think to myself “I made this and people get that same feeling from something that I created!” That is inspiring.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My goals for this year are to try to learn more techniques to better my skills and make my small business more successful! I would love to increase sales and surpass 100 sales before the end of the year.

My dream for my business is to become more established and to maybe find a place that would want to feature some of my pieces in their store or shop.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I do not have a designated work space where I create my jewelry. I have brought supplies with me on the go and worked while parked in my car waiting for school to let out. I have worked at a table next to my boys at their Pokemon league! But mostly, I work at the living room table or sitting on my bedroom floor!

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I think that the biggest things that I have learned since opening my shop that I wish I would have known before hand would be that it is not easy. You don’t just list and sell. You have to put a lot of work into it. Research what it is that you want to sell first! There are a lot of products that are an over saturated market, jewelry being one of them! You need to put a lot of thought into your descriptions and also your titles and tags. And also be prepared to do a TON of marketing and promoting of your items and your shop.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

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Member Feature: GaleriaMarian

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Andreea of GaleriaMarian, our featured member!

GaleriaMarian

Tell us about yourself.

I am Andreea, mom of three, visual artist, passionate about everything that’s beautiful – jewelry making, painting, fashion design.

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

I opened an official busines in 2013, when I officialized my passion for jewellery and I opened a physical store and in short time I opened a store on Etsy.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I started working with sterling silver because it was hard to find good and custom jewelry findings for my creations. First I made them for me, after that for a friend and when I opened the Etsy store, I was thinking to start with this handmade jewelry findings, especially ring blanks. There was a great success, so now, manufacturing ring blanks takes about 80% from my free time and energy. I try to make nice, custom and affordable products, so other artist to freely manifest their gifts. All my findings are made from sterling silver, part of it is recycled silver, as we try to protect our planet resources.

I had another shop for my jewelry, now I am trying to unify them, as becomes harder and harder to manage both of them.

What inspires your work?

For my ring blanks I am looking for innovative models, but wearable and solid the same time.

The inspiration for my jewelry comes from nature, water edges, stones, blossom and trees all this fascinates me.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

This year I want to expand my findings models, to start offering gold plated silver findings and gold findings.

I also hope I will manage to promote my finished jewelry also.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I guess that the fact that I am a small producer, not a factory with lots of employers, makes the communication easier, and being artist too, I speak the same language as my clients.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I had a studio in my physical store, but as we had a new baby, I wasn’t able to spend all day there, so I moved it at home and we are building now a new space to accommodate all our beloved tools.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I had to learn to become organized, even this is the hardest part for an artist.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

I encourage all my friends to sell on Etsy, there is a great visibility and it is a platform very friendly to use.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I am never working, just hobbies and fun!

What is your favorite quote?

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Where can people find out more about your business?

On my site www.galeriamarian.ro, on Facebook Galeria Marian or contact me on Etsy Galeria Marian.

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

Member Feature: HeidisHomemadeSoaps

Contributor post by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Heidi of HeidisHomemadeSoaps, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mother of three children whom I home-school. I take great pride in offering safe and effective products that are environmentally friendly and never tested on animals.

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

I started my business in 2014 and opened my Etsy shop in 2015. I have many of my products in local stores.

I started my business because I began reading all the harmful ingredients that were in the products I was using on myself and my family; and I did not like it. I am passionate about the products I make & sell. My products are made using organic ingredients. They are ALWAYS cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and NEVER tested on animals. Many of my items are also vegan. My soaps are made using hot and cold process. ALL of my products are made with extra care and love.

I truly enjoy hearing the testimonies of my customers who have purchased my products and have fallen in love with them.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I am in business because I want to offer natural and organic options. I believe that what goes ON your body goes IN your body! I use organic ingredients whenever possible. My products are NEVER tested on animals. They are environmentally friendly.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by God first and foremost, and by His beautiful creation. And sometimes by food.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My future goal for this year is to continue making quality products that are safe and organic. I would also like to expand my product just a little more. My dream and long term goal is to open a store and sell my products at a location so customers can come in and sample and smell my products. In doing so, I would like to employ individuals who are in great need of a job such as battered women, sex trafficking victims, and the homeless. My goal isn’t just to make a profit but to touch as many lives as I can while I’m on this earth.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I make a pretty large variety of products. Every item is handmade by me from start to finish. This includes choosing responsible companies to purchase my ingredients from all the way through designing labels and packaging each individual item. I am about quality control and happy customers.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I work out of my home at this point and time.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

That life is a learning process and this is no different. Fortunately, I had some experience running my husband’s business so I was somewhat business savvy. I understand customer service and quality control. But, I am still learning new things every day. I prefer to listen more than I like to speak. One thing I did not realize before I started my business was how much work would be involved. However, I have learned with a lot of work there is great reward.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Networking and advertising are keys to success, but this takes perseverance and patience. Stick with it!

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

My business started out as a hobby and then very quickly grew into a business. I enjoy making products; I find it to be very relaxing. However, when I am not working I like to spend time with my family.

What is your favorite quote?

“Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

Where can people find out more about your business?

My Facebook page and my Etsy site.

Facebook: HeidisHomemadeSoap

Etsy: HeidisHomemadeSoap

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for this opportunity!

 

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

Member Feature: The Sunflower Cupboard

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Patricia Jarrett of The Sunflower Cupboard, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother and a decorative painter.  I have been painting since 1985 and have gone from painting other’s patterns to designing my own patterns.  The majority of my listed painted items now are one-of-a-kind treasures.  I fully appreciate the fact that I have a wonderful art studio that my husband built for me and it is where I can be found most days.  When I am not painting, I am knitting, in the garden, making soap, and spending time with my family and friends.  My favorite things to paint seem to be leaning more toward whimsical designs and I hope this trend continues!

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

I started painting in 1985 when we lived in Wyoming and then moved to Maine where I worked full-time in a medical office and  painted and did many many craft shows.  In 1999 we moved to Cape Cod and then in 2009 moved to Virginia and in 2014 – all the while working as a medical transcriptionist and painting on the side.  After we moved to Minnesota, I started painting as a business and here I am!  The painting has been a big part of my life since 1985 because I LOVE TO PAINT!

Tell us a bit about your products.

I paint on many different surfaces – wood, metal, glass, fabric – probably paint on anything that is stationary. I purchase and paint other artists’ patterns but am pretty busy now creating my own patterns and publishing the patterns in some of the online magazines.  My style is mostly folk art with some prim work but all seem to follow a bit with a whimsical theme.  Recently I have delved a bit into some of the new mixed media items but am still getting “used to them”.  I do try and stretch my talents as a personal challenge from time to time.

What inspires your work?

Life inspires my work.  I buy a lot of re-purposed items and quite frequently I will pick up an item at a thrift shop and have an idea of what to paint on it at that time which makes my life real easy (not always the case though).  My garden inspires my work as it is full of color with perennials.  I loved living in New England as there were so many inspirations – the ocean, local architecture, small quaint villages, etc.  The 4 seasons inspire me with all the designs and colors they provide.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

What are my goals for the business this year?  My main goal is to be happy painting.  I want to continue concentrating on painting for painting’s sake and not being rushed or stressed.  My best work comes out of adhering to these principles.  I want to be as excited about painting as I was back in 1985 and so far, I am still excited!

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I like to to think it is because of the designs, the colors I gravitate to and choose, my use of detail.  My painting is an extension of me and I am a one-of-a-kind!

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I fortunately have a 16 x 12 foot studio that my husband created for me.  I have a bin storage rack on one wall that holds 63 – 58 quart bins of all kinds of surfaces to paint (almost at hoarder stage).  One wall is my business area with computer, printers and binders of stencils, transfer images, collage paper, patterns, etc.  The wall opposite from my shelving unit is my work table with wonderful lighting, large work surface and a TV!  The final wall is shorter as this is the entrance to my studio and it holds wood shelves with more paints, mediums, embellishments and another shelf for more surfaces and larger pieces.  To me it is all eye candy.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I have learned a lot more about taking photos of my items and all that goes into this  – cropping, exposure, framing and putting the best photo out for all to see.  Wish I had known about all the wonderful programs are available for these photos!  Wish I had known more about Etsy at an earlier date.  But, you know what they say, “If wishes were horses.”

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

The easiest advice, is try it.  It is really easy to list on Etsy and is very reasonable!  What do you have to lose?

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

As listed above, I knit, garden, make soap, cook, shop for items to re-purpose, visit with friends and family, and the list goes on.

What is your favorite quote?

Old Scottish saying. “From Ghoulies and Ghosties and long-legged beasties, Good Lord deliver us.

Where can people find out more about your business?

My website – www.thesunflowercupboard.com
A small online shop – www.pfattmarketplace.com – under my shop name The Sunflower Cupboard
Etsy – www.etsy.com/shop/thesunflowercupboard

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share what I do!

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

Member Feature: Vadjutka

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Judit Wild of Vadjutka, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am Judit Wild, a Hungarian jewelry designer, but I wasn’t born as a jewelry designer. I studied photography, journalism and sociology. I was working as a journalist and a market researcher for 15 years in total, and I slowly changed to making and designing jewelry.

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

I opened my Etsy shop 10 years ago, in February, 2008.  At that time I was already making jewelry for 6 years, as a hobby, and I wanted to have a consistent online presence.

 

Tell us a bit about your products.

I design and make jewelry. You can see my sterling silver work in my Etsy shop.  I love to combine all sorts of materials. My newest love is plexiglass, and it goes with sterling silver very well. Back in the time of opening my Etsy shop I was using glass beads, fused glass pendants, later fabric, and then wood.

What inspires your work?

My greatest inspiration is the sea / ocean, and the sky above.  My main aim is to express feelings via my jewelry, so anything can inspire me from food to buildings and nature.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I have a small shop in Budapest (capital of Hungary, my home) and my plan for this year is to have only silver jewelry in my shop. Currently I have the fabric / wooden jewelry as well as the silver ones.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

Honestly, I have no idea. I haven’t seen too many people so far combining sterling silver and plexi.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

Yeah, I have a shop in the heart of Budapest, and I make my jewelry there. For the sterling silver jewelry line I work in a different studio, that is suitable for silver smithing.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

Many-many things. Actually it is a constant learning process. I will try to highlight a few.
1) Being persistent and patient.
2) One should really mind his/her own business, and not look at others too much.
3) Balancing between my own way (artistically) and what people like / want.
4) Listening to my gut feeling. Rational decisions are important, but one cannot neglect the gut feeling.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

I think that being active on 1-2 social platforms is essential for any online businesses. I chose Instagram and Facebook for myself, because they suit me the best. Others may prefer other platforms. The main point is, that the platform you use, suits your skills. (I am strong in photography, but not in 160 characters texts, so Twitter is not for me.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

Photography, dance and cooking.

What is your favorite quote?

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. (Oprah Winfrey)

You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference. (Steve Jobs)

Where can people find out more about your business?

I have a website: http://vadjutka.hu/eng/about-myself/
A Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vadjutka.design/ (mostly in Hungarian)
An Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/vadjutka/ (mostly in English)

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for reading this through!

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

Member Feature: Claudia Marie Felt

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Claudia Marie Lenart of ClaudiaMarieFelt, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am a self taught needle felt fiber artist, children’s book author and illustrator.  My career was as a community journalist, but I always practiced some form of art. I’ve played with watercolor painting, sketching, colored pencil drawing.  I also learned all the handwork arts as a child – embroidery, crochet, knitting, and sewing. When I discovered needle felting, I knew I had found what I was meant to do.

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

Claudia Marie Felt was born in 2012, but I had an Etsy store previously in which I sold vintage and antique picture books. When I started needle felting, it was natural that I would start offering my items for sale. My first pieces were bunnies and flower fairies. I was felting as a hobby back then as I was working full-time as a journalist.

Tell us a bit about your products.

My creations fall into three categories, needle felt animal sculptures, angel and fairy dolls, and wool paintings. My animals are known for their realism and character. I focus a lot of energy on their faces and I use soft fibers like alpaca, cashmere, mohair and yak. My Waldorf angel tree toppers are very beautiful and distinct. My wool paintings are fairy tale interpretations or they show children playing outside in the seasons.  My Waldorf Seasons wool painting actually inspired my book “Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play.” It was illustrated with dreamy wool paintings that show children joyfully playing outside through all four seasons.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by my love of nature and animals. As a young adult, I worked in three national parks out west and observed wildlife up close. Today, I enjoy hiking in the woods with my dog and I often see the regional wildlife – deer, chipmunks, cottontail rabbits, red-tailed hawks and various birds. The animals I see in my backyard tend to be my most popular felted items.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I’d like to grow the print side of my business. I also aim to continue to improve my work and to create some new amazing designs.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

My customers tell me they like how I capture the personality of animals. I spend a lot of time felting the details of the animal’s face, especially the eyes. My angel tree toppers are distinct and customers have told me that they are the most beautiful.

needle

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I have an open floor plan in  my house, so my work space is a corner surrounded by windows, with a couch, a table and a cedar chest overflowing with wool.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

To account for all the costs when pricing an item, the time it takes, the supplies, the fees and even the time you spend marketing. Don’t undersell yourself.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

My advice would be to always do your best work and also always aim to improve. Reply to customers promptly and always be extremely polite.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I like outdoor activities — hiking in the forest preserves and kayaking on the lake. To relax I play guitar and read. My favorite books are novels with a touch or fairy tale.  I also enjoy playing with my dog, gardening and spending time with family.

What is your favorite quote?

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” St. Francis of Assisi

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudiaMarieFelt
Website: http://www.claudiamariefelt.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaMarieFelt
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/claudiamariefelt

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

Member Feature: YEHsProduction

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Adele of YeHsProduction, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Adele. I am a stay at home mom with four little kids. We used to live in California but relocated in 2015. We currently are serving in a missionary school in Taiwan. We enjoy our new chapter here. There is so much to explore and learn from.

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

Everything started when I had my first baby. I was a social worker before being a wife and mom. When I got married and soon got pregnant with my firstborn, I know I had to stay at home. I want to spend every moment with her. That’s my best investment! So I put my professional career aside and picked up my crafty tools.

After my first baby was born, I felt I had endless ideas! I felt like I want to hand make everything I can for her. That’s about the time I knew about ETSY.  In 2011, I opened my first shop!

Tell us a bit about your products.

Originally I only sold kids related items, such as baby hats, hooded cowl, and etc. with some canvas panel works in between. But mostly, they are all kids related items. Then, I got a chance to design some cast iron pot knob covers for my friend. So you can see some of that in my shop too. Until recently, I started to make aroma stone. I like things that smell well. So when I first learned about aroma stones, I just had to try. Now in my shop, you can see aromatherapy home decors, jewelry, car vent diffusers and even wedding favors and place card holders. I am very excited about my new work.

What inspires your work?

I would definitely say, my kids! Just by watching them grow, gave me tons of ideas. I just don’t have enough time to make all of my ideas come to life. Etsy is a way to share my creations with people.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

Moving overseas is definitely a big challenge for my Etsy business. My shop has been very slow since we moved to Taiwan. Many potential buyers would show their interests at first, but decided not to purchase due to the shipping time and many other reasons. This year I am hoping I can win back some people by listing some “ready to ship” items.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I design all my products. From yarn to plaster, from hats to home decor, I made the designs my own. Therefore you can’t find anything like this in other shops. Also, the time I spent in each product and the detail-oriented work is definitely not something you can find anywhere.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I do and I don’t. I have storage with all my craft supplies in my laundry room. But I do most of the work at my dining table.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I had no knowledge of marketing. I remember before I opened my shop, I thought I just have to keep knitting and that is enough. I didn’t know that making my shop seen is even more important! Even now I am still learning how to promote myself via social media. I am definitely not born to be a business woman.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do not be discouraged at first. Build up your inventory and accumulate your ideas and experience. Also observe other Etsy shops, and try to find your own style and pace.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I love to sing, more specifically, harmony. So I would pick up any song and start to harmonize with it. I can sing almost any part. I love doing that.

What is your favorite quote?

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23

Where can people find out more about your business?

You can follow me via Facebook page Yarn and Everything and IG Yarn and Everything 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Do not limit yourself. But also do not be too confident with everything either. Know your inner self, know your limitations, and keep strengthening it. And remember no matter what the result is, keep your eyes on the one above. He will guide you and lead you.

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.