Man Made

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

We usually want to know about handmade items, as this is a site where handmade tends to rule (with a few exceptions), but this blog post is all about men. Yes men!

If you are a male #EtsyCIJ seller/creator we want to know about you, your shop and a few things about what got you started.
For example:
1. Was it a hobby that turned into a job?
2. How did you get started on etsy?
3. How did you discover your passion for the craft,etc?
and so on……………..

Bevan Blackshaw from TimberDimensions says my furniture / homewares making business grew from an opportunity and has developed into a passion for both the materials I work with as well as the design process. It all started from a humble timber bathmat. I made one, from material that would otherwise ended up in landfill. I got asked to make another, then another and soon I was making and selling the product at weekend markets. 20 years later, I still attend markets as I so enjoy the interaction with customers.

Selling on Etsy came about as a result of reading a newspaper article and I decided to open a shop and see how it would go. It has taken some time to develop products that are best suited to online global trading, and I still have more work to do in that regard.

My true passion for what I do came about from browsing design references at the library and coming across a design for a folding stool. I made one, saw that there were inherent flaws in the design, but loved the product. It then became my personal mission to resolve the design. Many prototypes later I have a unique design for a folding stool / side table that is functional, strong, unique, versatile, and most importantly stunningly beautiful. Simplicity in appearance, but technically difficult to easily replicate. The devil is indeed in the detail.

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Folding stool or side table

Member Feature: Grabacoffee

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Eszter of grabacoffee, our featured member!

grabacoffee

grabacoffee

Tell us about yourself.       

I’ve been an artist since I was born. With my mom, we always created something… I have learnt to sew, embroider, or bead work when I learnt to speak or walk! I always wanted to create perfect things, so I have stopped everything… but when my son born, somehow I taken back my creativity. I’ve started to make jewelry first, but what I really love is making kids happy with my cute, crazy, and sometimes beautiful felt ornaments!g

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

I have opened my shop on Etsy in 2012. – After all of my friends and family members had enough felt ornaments and jewelry, they convinced me to show them to the world.g1

Tell us a bit about your products.           

I am making ornaments for every occasion – and the main priority is Christmas! Also, people asking me to create hanging ornaments for baby showers or as nursery decoration as well. I love to make custom things, like crazy colored animals, or funny figures!g2

What inspires your work?           

I would say everything around me! Sometimes I look out of my window and see something what helps to make something new … sometimes a book with fairy tales. I am getting requests from my son also! Inspiration is everywhere!g3

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

I am so happy what I have accomplished already. I would like to get as much happy feedback from my customers as last year. My big dream this year is to get featured in a magazine.g4

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

I have a wide range of designs, and color combinations. You can ask me for custom design, and also embroidered items. I am proud of the quality I can provide, and great customer service.g5

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

I don’t have separate place – in most of the times, I am sitting at my desk in front of my computer. But anywhere I am going, I bring my sewing kit! I am sewing where I have my coffee!g6

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

Well… the power of social media is a must to know. I had less products listed before, but I was working with the same quality of materials, and most of my designs are coming from my first drawings. My shop has started to grow when I have learn how to use social media to show my products to my audience.g7

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Create everything with love, make perfect products, good and light photos, long descriptions, and have passion to keep all of these all through the year!g8

What is your favorite quote?

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Where can people find out more about your business?  

Etsy: grabacoffee
Facebook: grabacoffee
Instagram: grab_a_coffee
Website: craftingwithfeltg9

  Is there anything else you’d like to share?         

Do more what makes you happy! – and if it’s a piece of Art, show it to the World!g10

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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.

Wedding Party Gifts

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

When you are getting married you have so much to plan and so many people needed to help you get it together. There are caterers,photographers and more, but some of the most special people helping you will be your “wedding party”.

For being right there with you, most couples buy their special people gifts or tokens of remembrance of the day. These could be anything personalized, glassware, candy, apparel, jewelry and more.

Here at CIJ we want to know what “wedding party” gifts do you have and to tell us something about them.

Joanna Marzec from PaintingsGallery says I love the idea of having a painting or a print which feature where the couple was married. It would brings back this special memories from the wedding day every time they look at it.

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Scottish Island Art

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint said I’ve made up personalized cuff links for the wedding party before – sometimes just as a special gift to groom from the bride, and sometimes for the whole party – groom, fathers, ushers, as a lovely memento of the day.

They are all individually packaged with labels with the initials of each on.

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Personalized wooden letter tile cuff link

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter states that this is a pair of vintage earrings that would be great for the Bride if she is going for a Vintage look OR for either of the Mothers in the wedding party. A great gift for a mom to give her daughter that is being married OR for a daughter to give her mom to wear at her wedding.

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Vintage gold rhinestone earrings

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says we offer a number of gifts and favors for weddings and create personalized toasting and ceremony sets for the bride and groom. Our personalized stemless champagne flutes are one of our most popular items and we are now offering the additional option of having the bottom sand-frosted as well! We are a Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award Winner again in 2017 and have four sections of our shop devoted to Weddings for the Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Registry Gifts, & Ceremony Essentials @DesignstheLimit

Frosted stemless champagne glass

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said sweet and whimsical bridal cards to ask those near and dear to be a part of the wedding party. fun interactive mirror cards for bridesmaids, maid and matron of honor, flower girl, and ring bearer.

Will you be my bridesmaid card set

Show Us Your Workspace : Oppning

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Today we visit the workspace of oppning from oppning who stocks vintage & home decor. Please visit her shop and favourite some items, maybe even buy something!!

Here’s what Oppning has to say about her workspace:

Our Studio is a small desk in our living room, close to the window where we can enjoy the view when working.

We installed our photography studio on the sideboard next to it. Most of the time we can use the window light for photos

I really love working here because it is a big and bright room
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Social Media

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Social media marketing has become the way to retain existing and bring in new clients to your business. There are so many different sites and they all have their own target markets. Which site(s) you use depends on who you are looking to bring in to your business.

Here at  CIJ we want to know what is your favorite social media to use for your business? Why is it your favorite? What about it helps your business,etc?

Mrs.A. from 2aEmporium says this is a hard one. I’ve increased my social media presence with several new-to-me social media venues.. The main venue I have been using is tried and true, but I have begun another one recently that I believe is increasing my Google hits. So….it has increased my sales.

The envelope please…Google+.

Google+ is my new favorite social media. It is much like Pinterest in that you can make collections. People can follow you or follow certain collections you have made. You comment, like and repost items…again very similar to Pinterest. I also like that the pictures are large. It appears you can put anything on Google+ because all you have to do is copy and paste the link into a post. But what I like most is posting on Google+ appears to give my shop an increased Google presence, and therefore, more sales.

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Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said We Heart It is one of my favorite social media platforms.
It is geared toward a younger audience and is very visual.
It is easy to post on We Heart it right from Etsy.
I usually get Etsy views from We heart It.

I think it’s important to try out different platforms and then pick a few to concentrate on because it can get overwhelming. But don’t delete or abandon the other platforms. You might want to try them out later. And by opening an account in your shop name, you are reserving your shop presence on that platform: no one else can open an IG or Pinterest account or any other.

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Diana from joliefemmebydiana states that I like all the SM mentioned above and do wish to try We Heart It.

I want to talk about Wanelo. I have been on there for a long time and it started to seem a waste when they stopped posting to FB and stopped allowing us to make stories.

However, it is easy to post Polyvore collages to Wanelo instead of stories and it works well with Google+. I have been able to post my Wanelo collections there and get some shop views from it too.

I use Wanelo every day to promote my shop and my fellow etsians and there is also the capability to sell straight from the site too. I have many connections on Wanelo and that is the key to getting more exposure. You have to follow more people and post regularly.

I like the large format of the images and you can add hashtags in the comments. It’s very easy to click from Wanelo to Etsy to shop too. I’m going to stick with it for a while longer.

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spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt says as one of the team leaders on Twitter, I’ll talk about why I like being on Twitter!

I got into Twitter because a team that I was a member of had Twitter parties … I thought it would be a great way to be social with other team mates and followers. And it was!

I not only got to tweet my own items and have them retweeted by others, but also retweet others’ items as well. During the Twitter parties, there was a lot of chit chat, and it was a great way to meet other team members and followers from around the globe.

I really enjoyed the fun and engaging conversation that is afforded via the Twitter parties!

The Secret Gardener

Contributor Post by Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady

The Secret Gardener

Spring, flowers and planting/garden time.. will be here before we know it! Of all the seasons I think Spring is my favorite, the new flowers and grass – the birds singing in the trees, but planting and gardening can go on year round.

What kind of idea’s – gifts for others or yourself – does this topic bring to mind? It can be indoor gardening as well.

Practical, whimsical, down and dirty (in the dirt planting), or garden design, while wearing your favorite white outfit? I’d love to hear your thoughts and see your items.

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says

 Here in Michigan, spring is a welcome season! We have many gardens and a fish pond in our yard to enjoy. I can’t wait for the bulbs to bloom, signaling the end of winter.

A fairy garden in my kitchen window brings a pop of green to our dreary landscape. We have many tiny items in our Shop that are perfectly sized for fairy gardens.

This little bird bath is one of them:

Birdbath Dollhouse Miniature Fountain Toy "Plasco" Cherub with Fish Fairy Garden Art Vintage 40s Collectible Doll Patio Decor Bird Bath Gift

Birdhouse Dollhouse Miniature Fountain

Susan-Sharon Passmore from MsPDesignsUSA says

 Spring is a noisy time of the year in our garden. The birds are competing for mates, building nests, and raising babies. The bees are buzzing in the flowers, and the frogs are singing their croaking chorus in the evening. We love to sit outdoors in the cool evening, enjoying the sights and sounds of Nature!

Our downloadable quilt block pattern features a little frog who isn’t quite sure whether the bumblebee is tasty or dangerous. This would be a fun decoration for a kitchen towel, mug rug, or spring wall hanging.

Frog or toad PDF applique quilt block pattern; North American forest woodland or swamp animal quilt; kid's or baby boy quilt block pattern

Frog PDF Quilt Pattern

Barbara from MermaidsHatbox says

 Secret Garden

I love the spring season in my garden, when all plants grow up and every day we discover something new.
This year will be the third year in which I will be working intensively on a vegetable garden to provide ourselves with the whole year.
I look forward to do this.
I spend much time in my garden, and love to protect myself with one of my Sun Hats.

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Summer hat-Garden Hat

Linda from LazyYVintage says

 I’m knee-deep in seed catalogs and writing in my garden journal. In addition to my vegetable garden, we plant Impatiens, vinca, geraniums, and other annuals in colorful and vintage pots. My perennial gardens are full of wildflowers that run the gamut of color and height. Butterfly gardens full of bergamot, sawtooth sunflower, shooting stars, turk cap lilies, day lilies, Easter lilies, bearded iris, and on and on.

Gardening to me is about feeding us and creating a beautiful peaceful place to relax and reconnect with yourself and your spiritual guide.

Maple Syrup Sap Bucket Tin Garden Decor Sap Bucket Yard and Garden Art Rustic Farmhouse Home Decor Rusty Decoration Gardens

Garden Decor Sap Bucket

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

 My mother was an award-winning rose gardener. The photo below was taken in her garden a year before she passed away. I’ve always wanted to grow the abundant, fragrant and colorful roses she tended in our garden growing up. I have given in to the fact that mine will never be like hers! Not enough time and too many garden animals. I want to devote more time to an edible garden. We have gorgeous wild roses growing in our garden, along with a good amount of other forest greenery that provide food for wild animals. I’m hoping that will be enough to distract them from eating the edible garden for MY table. Even with fences, though, I’m not too confident. With more than a foot of snow on the ground now in February, the deer and rabbits and fox and woodchucks will be hungry this spring.
Pink roses photograph, pastel floral photography, nature wall art for her, girls dorm apartment decor, Mother's Day gift feminine art

Pink Rose Photograph

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says

 Unfortunately I have no garden, since l live in a building.

But, as l love gardening anyway, each one of the four balconies of my home is full of plants.

On the kitchen balcony l have aromatic plants, herbs, used for cooking and seasoning: basil, peppermint, parsley, rosemary, and so on.

On the other ones, a wonderful hibiscus and many succulents, as in South Italy there is always enough sun for them, even in winter.

So, to celebrate mine passion and the next spring coming, l created a wreath, completely dedicated to gardening lovers.
Hope you enjoy it!

Gardener wreath, gardener gift idea, green thumb friend gift, backyard wreath, garden themed wreath, garden themed decor, backyard decor

Gardener Wreath

Simone aka Rose from RosesFeltWorkshop says

 I adore the small spring bulbs, whether growing wild, in a garden, or even in a window-box. Snowdrops and crocuses bring such a joyful splash of colour after the dark monochrome of winter.

By creating flowers from felt I allow small reminders of that joyful moment to be kept through the year.

Snowdrops purse felt flowers green makeup bag phone case clutch bag

Felt Flowers Snowdrops Purse

Mrs. A. from 2aEmporium says

 I love springtime! Everything is fresh and new. I like the green grass and trees and all the colorful flowers…and they always look the prettiest against the blue skies of a Oklahoma day. Sadly, my nose and eyes don’t share in this enjoyment! So I celebrate springtime inside.

We made this whimsical floral pillow cover with spring in mind. The pink and yellow flowers are just so “happy”. Our pillow cover would fit perfectly in just about any home decor setting.

Whimsical Floral Pillow Cover, Duck Cloth Fabric, Upcyled Table Linen, White, Yellow, Pink, Cottage Home Decor, Modern Home Decor, Gift Idea

Whimsical Floral Pillow Cover

Candy Rauber from WickedlyCreative says

 Here in Orlando, the seasons are not as defined by weather as they are in other parts of the country. You have to depend on decor to help your mind get into the spirit of the season. I created this hand embroidered Spring ornament to celebrate the flowers and birds that best represent Spring.
Spring Hand Embroidered Ornament, Prim Spring Decoration, Colorful Door Hanger, Blue Bird, Bird House, Woodland, Garden Flowers decor

Spring Hand Embroidered Pillow Ornament

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 Whether you love to garden indoors or out, this adorable little water spike will help out with the amount of water needed in your house plants! We love collecting these little critters and have found them in lots of different shapes. This little guy is just in time for Easter and Spring – an adorable bunny rabbit who would like to help with your watering instead of eating your plants!
Ceramic Bunny Rabbit Watering Soaker House Plants Spike - Plant Irrigation - Gardening - Hand Painted Lil Squirt Watering Spike - Gift

Ceramic Bunny Water Soaker

Pam Maggio from PamsPawsJewelry says

I really love Spring with its promise of new life both in the plant world and in the animal kingdom!

It is such a joy to see all of the beautiful and colorful flowers growing and the leaves coming back on the trees!

Gardening indoors and out is one of my favorite things to do and I enjoy planting all manner of flowers, veggies, and small ornamental trees!

It refreshes your spirit, is good exercise, and beautifies your surroundings.

Outside of a small apartment out in the country, in Lancaster, MA, I had 3 gardens which were all different color schemes!

My neighbors loved them and my pots of pansies, golden chain and weeping Japanese ornamental trees!

I used to do experiments with growing and pollinating, and even had a corn-stalk in the house!

One garden was all peach and white, another purples and blues, and the third was red, orange, and yellow.

It was so much fun planting unique varieties of roses, tulips, irises, lilies, hyacinths, phlox, Alaskan poppies, and lots more with various natural stone garden decorations!

It is definitely something I look forward to through the long Winters in the Northeast!

Happy Gardening!

Gardening Angel Brooch Cherub Angel Watering Flowers Pin Vintage AJC Gardening Club Enthusiasts Gift Angel Tending Garden Lovers Jewelry

Gardening Angel Brooch

Jerry and Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady says

 Thank you everyone for your wonderful submissions! I love them all.

To me outside gardening is more for my husband but I love flowers, colors and all things springtime. I made outdoor birdhouses this month, of course, with owl lady owls hand painted on them.

Springtime and gardens are so lovely! When I worked at a local college back in my teaching days, I would visit the student gardens and spend my breaks they’re walking amidst the blooms.

Birdhouse Outdoor BirdHouse Redwood Owl Yard Art Outdoor Owl Spring Owl Decor Owl Whimsical Decor Wooden Owl Yard Art Outdoor Owl Gifts

Outdoor Spring Owls Theme Birdhouse

 

Member Feature: KayLaneSisters

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Regina of KayLaneSisters, our featured member!

KayLaneSisters

KayLaneSisters

Tell us about yourself.       

It was my daughter’s future that inspired me to join the Etsy Marketplace.  As a single mother on one, I needed to be able to earn enough extra income to send her to college one day.  I was introduced to Etsy about 10 years ago and immediately fell in love with the idea of turning my love for crafting into a  small-business of my own.k

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

I opened my store in 2011, it took a full year before I was able to create a single pair of tiny baby booties that I felt were truly perfect.   Every year that went by I continued to change the way I was making them, trying to complete with a store-bought pair of shoes.  While there were so many frustrations along the way, I couldn’t bring myself to give up.  I knew that the shoes I offered were going to be incredibly special to so many families and it was important to me that I pushed myself to make sure our personalized baby shoes became a reality.  I quickly became very busy with my shoes and loved every minute.k1

Tell us a bit about your products.           

My personalized, monogrammed baby booties are made for your Little Prince and Princess and these shoes are a beautiful keepsake for families to have years to come.  Each pair is hand-made from a bolt of fabric, no pre-made shoes here.  I created these shoes with care and tons of love.k2

What inspires your work?           

My daughter is my biggest inspiration for my shop.  Even now as she has becomes a young lady I consider her being where she is today as a direct result of my passion and commitment to my Etsy Shop.  It wasn’t easy but I’m so proud of my daughter and her accomplishments in school, and now a Senior in college, I can’t even believe how fast the time goes by.k3

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

My goals for the future of KayLaneSisters is to be the best I can be, and enjoy every single pair of shoes I make.  I often dream of doing this business full-time, I have an amazing support system in place and one day with will be my sole income.

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

Our shoes are hard to duplicate, I see others try, but the secret ingredient in our process helps keep us heads and shoulders above our competition.  I offer a wide range of customizing options, to colors and fonts and most of the new ideas you see in my shop comes directly from my customers, wanting to order a pair they don’t see in my shop. I had a customer want a pair of baby shoes covered in little pearls and I thought, I had not seen that before but i would love the challenge.k4

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

I do have a separate studio where I do all my brain storming and production.  It’s a great to have a little space of my own to get lost in the moment, knowing that a sweet little baby will soon be wearing my shoes on their special day.

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

I have learned so much since opening my Etsy shop.  Mostly how to be inviting thru emails and communications with potential customers.  With an online business you have to learn to put your personality down on paper.  Your customers can’t see how excited you are when you get their order, so it’s up to you to convey that to them.  I wish I knew all the little ticks of the online business trade before I started.  I think I would have been a lot further along than where I am today.  I do try to offer up anything information that I come across and share that in the Etsy forums.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Advice for anyone thinking of opening a Shop on Etsy… do it and do it now.  Pick a craft that you love, and your business will flourish.  I have encouraged 5 of my friends to start their own shops on Etsy.  With me giving each of them as much knowledge as I have to give, they are all doing very well.  I tell them, it’s all about promoting, promoting and promoting.

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

When I’m not working on my baby shoes, I love to be with family and friends.  My hobby is my sewing, and I really enjoy making money doing what i love…and that is sewing. Creating is such a wonderful outlet for stress.k7

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote or saying is: Challenge yourself everyday to do better and be better.  Remember, growth starts with a decision to  beyond your present circumstances.

Life doesn’t always turn out like you would want it to, but it turns out like it’s supposed too …and once we accept that, life moves in a direction that makes sense.

Where can people find out more about your business?  

Everything you need to know and more can be found in my shop on Etsy.com  KayLaneSisters.k5

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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.