Member Feature: AlteredEcoDesigns

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Janine of AlteredEcoDesigns, our featured member!

AlteredEcoDesigns

AlteredEcoDesigns

Tell us about yourself.

Wife, mother and about to become a grandmother for the 3rd time! I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State where I lovingly make all my creations.aed1

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

I opened this, my 2nd shop on Etsy in April of 2013. I decided to branch off from my vintage shop Moms Antiques N’ Things because I wanted to separate my handmade art & decorations. Doing so allowed both shops to look more cohesive and since have expanded my line into creating wedding decorations. I’ve actually opened a 3rd shop, Altered Eco 2, to offer my altered art, holiday ornaments & craft supplies there, while keeping Altered Eco Designs strictly wedding & party decor. It’s a lot of work but I love doing what I do, especially working from the comfort of my home.aed2

Tell us a bit about your products.

I offer custom-made decor for weddings, birthdays and generally all occasions. Rustic chic, country chic, romantic prairie, shabby cottage and boho are all style terms I use to describe my products. The main materials I work with are fabric, lace, ribbon wooden dowels, jute and jingle bells. I do have ready-made items as well, but custom work is when I really get to put my creative ideas to work. I’ve even invented items in my shop that started out with no idea what I was going to make, however, through conversations with my customers, stating their needs, together with my ideas, these products were born. One example of this is I once made a life-size Maypole and Maypole cake topper for a child’s birthday party, it was a big hit, so now, I offer those items to anyone.aed3

What inspires your work?

I love nature and therefore am an eco-friendly shop, recycling, lessening waste by using all materials and using items from nature, where I can, is important to me. It’s also important that my customers have the ability to reuse items for other purposes after their event. My garlands are great for parties, but can also be used in the home as window valances, wall hangings or mantle decor. My fairy wands are beloved by kids, both boys & girls have fun reusing them as a cosplay toy they can enjoy for a long time to come.aed4

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

I’ve just started using a new cutting machine which I’m still learning to use and hope to come up with new creations that I can produce more quickly. My dream is to grow my business and hopefully, one day, have my own “successful” website that might even attract wholesale buyers, as well as, wedding/party/event planners.aed5

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

Nothing is more important than excellent customer service and I am proud of the wonderful feedback which reflects the care I put into every item I make. Going the extra mile to make sure my customers have something unique and beautiful. I also cut all my fabrics & lace by hand with a rotary cutter, this allows me to offer customers virtually any variety of colors, themes or patterns they desire, making their decorations more personable. Little touches add so much, like wrapping the dowels on my wands with ribbon, where most wand maker’s leave bare, mine look finished.aed6

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

We are empty nesters now, so I’ve taken over my daughter’s bedrooms for my crafting, photo area & storage. Also we’ve been renovating this old house so I turned one room into my office. Here, I have large industrial shelves to hold my vintage wares and my husband made a counter from oak planks we recycled from the house, refinished and turned into a shipping counter and desk for my computer & cutting machine.aed7

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

I learned that photographs are key to this type of business, so wish I had taken time to learn about and choose better equipment as well as set up an area that would produce better photos. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to take a photography class so I can improve my shop appearance.aed8

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Be patient! Sometimes it takes a long time to build up a following and reputation. If you work hard, work daily and offer quality items, everything will fall into place in due time. You can’t rush success!aed9

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

Family is first and foremost, I love spending time with my children, grandchildren and siblings as often as I can. My hobby is definitely antiquing, thus my vintage business, otherwise I’d be classified a hoarder! My vise……..ok I can’t help it I LOVE to gamble, slots, bingo LOL. Enjoyed going to Vegas a couple of times but if one of the local casino’s in NY offer me a free overnight, I’ll do everything I can to be able to go there!aed10

What is your favorite quote?

Eat, drink and be merry!aed11

Where can people find out more about your business?

On Instagram under the name eventseclectic and Facebook under Momsantiquesnthings. I post shop updates, works in progress and new items there.aed12

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Etsy is such a great community and hope to be here for a long time to come! The Christmas in July team is very supportive and I am very happy to have become a member. Thank you!aed13

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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.

Opportunity – #EtsyCIJ

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

When was the last time you took advantage of an opportunity?

Merriam-Webster defines opportunity as: an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done.

On July 1st, 2016 I offered an opportunity to all Etsy Christmas In July team members.

The opportunity was to be featured here on our blog and on a special Christmas In July Pinterest board – Etsy Christmas In July 2016.

I challenged the the team members to share themselves with us through an item from their shop.

I am a firm believer that taking advantage of an opportunity leads to another opportunity, that leads to another opportunity and so on.

Here are the Etsy Christmas In July team members who took advantage of this opportunity!

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:

Cozy up next to the chimney with us and enjoy a glass of your favorite Christmas spirits with friends, family, and in style! If you are looking for the best combination of quality in both the product you are purchasing and the personalization you are including, look no further. If you are planning a personal gift giving experience or just shopping for yourself, use the Etsy Christmas in July team coupon code offer in our shop for the best offer available all year! We love Christmas and thank you for planning ahead!

At Design’s the Limit, we offer two distinct types of engraving on our glass and crystal products. Our crystal wine & distiller decanters are 100% lead-free crystal and we deep sand-carve them for the best personalization available. This is the most time consuming product to complete in our shop and is not available for Christmas delivery in December without additional fees. We believe that gift cards do not tell a story and that they make gift giving impersonal. Don’t tell your gift recipient that you were obligated to get them a gift. Show your gift recipient’s that they are worth taking the time to design a personalized gift giving experience for. Shop for a keepsake that will be treasured and which can be passed down for generations to come. Please drink responsibly and Merry Christmas in July from Design’s the Limit!

DesignstheLimit

DesignstheLimit

Pam Maggio from PamsPawsJewelry says:

Hi, I am Pam from PamsPawsJewelry

I have been on Etsy as a seller since Feb. 2014. I opened my shop with my handmade gemstone and Sterling Silver jewelry but started to love and look for beautiful Vintage items too!

Everyone knows me as a friendly, crazy, cat mom!

My cats, Moses and Mirri model some of my items and have also modeled for a couple of other teamies’ shops, LOL!

I love animals and nature and recently started donating to causes that help animals.

One was the Shadow Fund in MA which assists people with money for pet emergency health issues who cannot pay up front. www.shadowfundne.org

Two others through Petco are a Cancer research fund and a drive to assist local animal shelters.

I would like to donate to more local shelters and some people related causes too when I get more sales!

Here is a Christmas item that reflects the beauty of nature, animals with the reindeer, Christmas theme and colors, and a Nordic design too!

PamsPawsJewelry

PamsPawsJewelry

Shelly from ShellysSelectSalvage says:

Hello, my name is Shelly and I opened my vintage shop in 2014. I love vintage and antiques.

My absolute favorite piece in my shop is a set of Fostoria Electric Blue Plates. I found these when I picked a man’s storage units. He was downsizing, or trying to, and I got called to pick his units first.

Stuff in there had been there for decades, untouched, and placed haphazardly in boxes or totes. The color drew me instantly to them and I added to my boxes of great finds.

Later when I researched I found they were made by Fostoria in the late 1920’s. Who knows how long he had them. He told me he enjoyed spending his days at yard sales and would pack his finds away.

These appear to have been rarely, if ever, used and still have 8 plates.

ShellysSelectSalvage

ShellysSelectSalvage

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says:

Reading the novel “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey inspired me to this painting with the same title. It’s about a childless couple who is homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness. One day they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone – but a real young girl enters their life. This girl often has a little red fox by her side. It is a beautiful though heart breaking story that occupied my imagination and I felt the urge to paint it.

I chose a wood panel for this painting and used a molding paste for the foundation. I wanted a lot of texture in creating kind of a “rough” painting. This is not a smooth surface – you can not only see this painting, but feel it as well. It represents the harsh Alaskan environment and the dark color in the background is a symbol for the long, dark Northern winter.

This was the first time that a novel or written story inspired me to visualize it in my own way.

CarolaBartz

CarolaBartz

Carla from CarlasCraft says:

This past year had been a bit of a challenge for me, as it has for many of us. I see, for example, the last time I wrote on my blog (clisette.wordpress.com) was 2015 just after my brother passed away from complications of Type 1 Diabetes. Since then, I’ve focused on taking care of myself, because, really, who else is going to do that for me, better than I will? I had a knee replacement and have been doing water aerobics and swimming laps several times a week. What a joy it is to be back in the water (must be the Aquarian in me?)!

Along with improved health, I’ve lit a fire under my creative side and have been happily creating new mixed media projects, many of which you can see in my Etsy online shop and one I am sharing here with you now.

I created this textured canvas using extra coarse pumice gel to cover the wood panel surface. I recycled packaging material cutting it into seed shapes. Once the surface dried, I outlined the kiwi and then adhered the seed shapes using modeling paste. Shades of lime green acrylic paint made the inside of the one kiwi which has been cut in half. Then brown acrylic paint over the coarse pumice created the fuzzy skin of the kiwi fruit and mixing some of the brown with black I painted the outline and the seeds.

The background is a series of colorful complimentary rectangles painted in shades of light yellow, navy blue, lavender, pink, an orangey red, a rusty red, grey and white. Once the piece was finished I felt the background was too bright and distracted from the focus of the mixed media art, which is the kiwi fruit. I tested several shades of paint to tone down the brighter colors in the background until I settled on an Interference Blue, which created a lighter iridescence over the background.

I added a frame and now it is the first of three fruit mixed media pieces available in Carla’s Craft The other two are titled: 3 Little Figs and Ruby Red Grapefruit.

CarlasCraft

CarlasCraft

Susan-Sharon Passmore from MsPDesignsUSA says:

Hi! I’m Sharon from Ms P Designs USA. My sister, Susan, and I have had our Etsy shop since August, 2015, and we design whimsical quilt patterns.

Our most recent endeavor is a line of animal applique patterns in which the animals are all dressed up for Christmas. We chose animals that aren’t normally associated with the holidays, and then had some fun making them “Christmas-y”.

My favorite design in the collection is the happy holiday horse. She’s dressed in her special saddle blanket, and waits beneath the mistletoe for her first Christmas kiss. The Christmas tree is bedecked with sparkly rhinestones.

I created a banner to feature the horse applique and also used several of my favorite piecing techniques to make pinwheels that remind me of Christmas goodies and a row of pieced trees. Since the horse looks so joyful, I added the word “JOY” to the banner.

I love it, and hope that this Christmas banner pattern will bring “JOY” to others as well.

MsPDesignsUSA

MsPDesignsUSA

Jackie Irvin from JackJacksWayart says:

Hi my name is Jackie my shop started out as wood door hanger shop.

I have added jewelry, Jewelry display shelves, chalkboard, sewn items and more.

I love to design my door decor I specializes in custom designs. All I need to know is what you have in mind or what team mascot you would like done.

My passion is painting pastel portraits I love working in pastels.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year.

Here is one of my favorite Snowman door hangers.

JackJacksWayart

JackJacksWayart

Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says:

My mom and I both contribute to my Etsy shop – Nautico Creations. I do all of the floral arrangements and other gifts including holiday ornaments and other items during the holidays, and my mom focuses on quilts and quilted gifts.

I chose to feature this fish wall hanging because it is the most complex piece that was created for the shop. It includes 30 different fabrics all pieced together to make this beautiful work of art.

Since we live in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, fishing is also a very popular past time – in winter and in summer. For a lot of us, summer is a much better time to highlight it though, when we can spend some quality time by the lake.

NauticoCreations

NauticoCreations

Michelle Emma Kay from EmmaKayInks says:

This is the very first drawing that I completed in 2016. It is the very first drawing that I completed after I opened my Etsy shop.

The design is a five pointed star. This signifies the body – two arms, two legs and the head. It also signified the hands in particular – because we have five fingers.

Because it references the body it stands for the boundless possibilities of strength that we hold within us. Because it references the hands, it stands for our creativity and ability to make things that have never existed before.

I penciled in the basic design at the end of 2015. When I returned to complete it, about one week after David Bowie died, it just felt right that it should be dedicated to him. His final album is called Black Star and featured a similar five pointed star on the cover.

I held the legacy of Bowie and his creative exploration, adventure and risk taking in my mind while I chose and laid down the pigment colours for my own Black Star.

EmmaKayInks

EmmaKayInks

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

I chose to feature our Paris Love Locks photograph. These Cadenas Amoureux, or love padlocks have sprung up all over the world, but this photograph was taken from a bridge across the Seine River in Paris. Lovers have been binding their love with a padlock on a bridge and then throwing the key to their hearts into Seine below. Unfortunately, the bridges could not hold the weight of all that love and the padlocks had to be removed. But love lingers on in this golden photograph!

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says:

My daughter and I opened our Etsy Shop last September with some of my mother’s Renwal dollhouse furniture and a few other items.

We were thrilled when we made our first sale a couple weeks later!

It’s nice that we both share the appreciation of vintage items and we enjoy looking for treasures to fill Willow Valley Vintage.

This little dollhouse bed belonged to my mother and we thought it would look sweet on a dressing table repurposed as a jewelry box!

WillowValleyVintage

WillowValleyVintage

Laetitia Hebert from Folkeshi says:

This is a Japanese wooden doll, called Kokeshi (I focused on kokeshi dolls with my vintage shop). These dolls have been handcrafted in Japan for the last 150 years, first as toys for girls, then as local hotspring village souvenirs, then as home decorations or collectibles.

This specific darling is a Sakunami doll, by Suzuki Shoji. Traditional kokeshi dolls are divised in 11 types, and Sakunami is one of them. This type enhances the elegance and shy beauty of northern Japanese girls.

Each kokeshi maker learns his trade along his master, often his father; painfully and slowly learning the lathe secrets, the brushes skills. The apprentice inherits the distinctive patterns or characteristics set by his master, and his own master before that, which means that each doll has a story build through generations.

When moving to Japan, I have fallen in love with these dolls. I like their cuteness, their uniqueness, and the idea of a craft built, taught, and learnt though generations. The wood ages very gracefully, the dyes fade with the years, and make the dolls all the more beautiful!

I go through local markets, antique fair, flea events to find them, select and identify them, and make them available to everyone.

Folkeshi

Folkeshi

Emily D from TwigandPosy says:

Hi there, I’m Em the daughter-half from Twig and Posy. My mother Deb is the other half. Welcome to our shop where vintage design meets Aussie Bush!

Our timeless and unique floral clothes and accessories for girls aged 0-6 years are made to celebrate the wonder of childhood. Sprinkle in a bit of mud and mix in equal parts outdoor adventure, play and party, there is so much to explore and it might as well be done wearing a flower crown!

We love clothing that is girly but does not restrict play, so the designs are simple and practical and can be mixed and matched. We focus on the small details that girls love, whether it be a lace cuff, a heart button, an embroidery panel, or hidden butterfly.

This size 5 (or 5T) dress is one of my favourites as it is an all seasons linen dress which can worn as is in summer or layered with a long top and tights in the winter (for those girls that never take off their dresses no matter how cold!). The dress has been made from a beautiful piece of floral vintage fabric and Deb has made some striking embroidered pockets to match, particularly good for leaf and stone collecting, or storing bits of birthday cake!

TwigandPosy

TwigandPosy

Janine from AlteredEcoDesigns says:

I started making these first as a party favor for my grand-daughter’s 2nd birthday party, it was a woodland theme, so I thought these would make a nice addition. They were such a big hit that I decided to make a few to sell in my shop, not long after introducing them, they were a chosen feature on Emmaline Bride blog. They are still a big hit for brides maids, flower girls or just for home decor, they look fantastic in galvanized vessels!

AlteredEcoDesigns

AlteredEcoDesigns

Take advantage of an opportunity today!