Member Feature: SightStraps

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Please join us in welcoming Susanne of SightStraps Eyewear Accessories, our featured member!

SightStraps Eyewear Accessories

Tell us about yourself.

I have always been interested in the arts and self employment.  I have formally been trained in the culinary arts and worked many years in this field until my employer closed the kitchen.  Having enjoyed working with my hands and a love for animals, I went back to school and became professionally trained as a groomer operating my own mobile dog grooming business. Sadly I wasn’t able to continue working in this field due to a back injury. Needing to keep busy and enjoying being creative, I picked up some jewelry making tools, wire, semi precious gemstones and beads and started designing accessories.

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

I opened my business in 2014 on Etsy with my shop BeachandButterfly listing a small collection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. I started making eyeglass lanyards because I was at that lovely age now where I was starting to need readers.  I kept losing them and thought to myself, there must be something out there that I could wear that will keep them always handy.  I searched the internet but I found nothing that caught my eye and was quite what I was looking for.  I started creating some designs and tested them on friends and family, finally listing them in the shop. The lanyards started selling really well and so I decided to work on building a new line and branding.  I opened a new shop in 2016 – SightStraps Eyewear Accessories that now offers unique high quality eyeglass lanyards, chains and necklaces for men and women.

Tell us a bit about your products.

My eye wear lanyards are made with high quality materials.  I use premium Greek leather certified lead free and enjoy designing with copper, silver, brass, pearls and gemstones.  The lanyards are in styles ranging from modern to rustic and most are adjustable in length and versatile to wear as a stand alone necklace or to hang your readers or sunglasses on. Every order is sent in lovely packaging ready to receive as a gift.

What inspires your work?

My inspiration comes from all around me.  I enjoy spending my time outside hiking and camping and find I am drawn to rustic colors found in nature.  I also enjoy vintage styles, textures and time-worn patina on metals and draw inspiration from these too.

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

My goals this year is to expand my product line to include vegan faux leather and more one of a kind pieces.  I also would like to see my brand expand into gift shops and boutiques.

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

I feel my brand of artisan handcrafted eyewear accessories are very affordable and versatile making them unique gifts for both women and men. I also strive for excellent customer service and have had many happy customers who return to buy these lanyards from me as gifts for friends.

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

My studio work area is located in my home in a small corner of my dining room.  I have a beautiful old solid wood desk that I work on and some shelving and storage located nearby.

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

What I have learned since opening my business is that I wish I could have started sooner.  I absolutely love what I do.  Since starting the jewelry design business I have taken a few workshops on silver-smithing as well as Lapidary.  I hope to add more metalsmithing courses in the near future.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Don’t wait !  Open up a shop and start.  The old saying stands true…”Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life” It is so rewarding when you hear positive feedback that your jewelry design has been noticed and appreciated by someone.

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

When I am not working I love to spend time with my fiancee and our two fur babies, Annie a miniature poodle and Zoey a border collie puppy going for nice long walks.  I also enjoy gardening, photography, road trips, camping, hiking, rockhounding and riding our dirt bikes and atv’s

What is your favorite quote?

My favourite quote is “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”

Where can people find out more about your business?

I can be found on Etsy using this link:  https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SightStraps

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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.

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Items Of The Week: Southwestern

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign 

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Sargasso Sea – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Color trends are a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons!

According to Pantone one of the top colors for Fall 2018 is Sargasso Sea.

PANTONE 19-4031
Sargasso Sea
Boundless and fathomless blue mooring the palette.

SargassoSea

Members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team have been inspired by the color Sargasso Sea! They have created items in their shops reflecting this inspiration! Here are a few!

Margie Sarrao from ZenCatPottery says:

Sargasso Sea is a gorgeous deep navy. I have used the ceramic technique known as “sgraffito” to decorate this spoon rest. Sgraffito is scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color. In this case I scratched through a layer of dark blue slip (liquid clay) to reveal the white clay beneath.

Sgraffito has been used on walls in Europe since classical times and was popularized in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries. It can even be found in African art! Sgraffito is my favorite technique for decorating pottery because I love color and because it gives me a chance to draw freely, without following/tracing a pattern.

ZenCatPottery

zizzybob from zizzybob says:

A very popular thing to do when in Key West Florida is to take a sunset cruise. This card represents that. It would also make a great card for any sailing fans.

zizzybob

mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 says:

This fat quarter embodies the essence of Sargasso Sea, with it’s boundless blue! Use this fabric for quilting, doll making, general sewing, or kids crafts.

carolinagirlz2

Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says:

EponasCrystals

If you’re on Pinterest here is the Sargasso Sea – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018 board!

While you’re on Pinterest please follow the Etsy Christmas In July team!

Member Feature: ClaireMcCallArt

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Please join us in welcoming Claire of ClaireMcCallArt, our featured member!

ClaireMcCallArt

Tell us about yourself.

I am a modern impressionist painter specializing in figurative work and light-filled beach scenes. I paint mostly with a palette knife rather than a brush. Originally, I picked up the palette knife to loosen my painting technique. With a brush in hand, I was often tempted to agonize over the detail. I actually love the loss of control that the knife provides and the application of oil paint with its buttery texture.

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

It was the exhibition of one artist that flicked the artistic switch for me in my early thirties. Fifteen years on there have been many painting miles refining my skills with varied and bold brush strokes to give my works visual texture.

Tell us a bit about your products.

In my Etsy shop, I offer giclee art prints on 100% cotton rag paper, ready to hang canvas prints and original paintings. You have to be quick to snap up an original…fortunately they are in high demand and the reproductions provide the opportunity to own a piece close to the real thing for a much smaller investment. I also offer commission paintings which gives my customers the chance to create their own family masterpiece. Just send me your photos..it’s a simple process.

What inspires your work?

There have been no formal art lessons in my time as a painter, only a few demonstration workshops by a select few painting heroes of mine, but my greatest teachers have been the actual artworks of the impressionist masters of yesterday and today. As a visual learner, the written word has meant very little in my journey but the images of bold impressionist strokes, rich colour and bright lights have been everything.

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

My dream is to gainer wider exposure for my art and achieve greater recognition of my very distinct painting style. I hope that others can enjoy my works as much as I enjoy creating them and maybe one day I will be the inspiration for another to immerse their artistic self in a love for painting.

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

A bold approach to painting makes my work distinctive.
Abstract or impressionistic backgrounds applied with a palette knife
are combined with realistic subjects detailed in textured brushstrokes.
My work captures everyday moments in time.Typically, a figure turned away
from the viewer in a candid pose.
The viewer is invited to complete the story..to fill in the blanks about
time, place, thoughts and emotion.

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

I have an art studio attached to my house which enables me to create a mess and not have to clean it up straight away.

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

I never realised what an impact that art can have on people’s emotions, especially custom work featuring their loved ones. I would have offered personalised commissions earlier in my career had I known this..it is very satisfying to bring such joy to someone’s life.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Persistence is the key, adding new product consistently and engaging in promotional activity will keep attention coming to your shop.

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

I’m lucky as painting is my happy place – it is my unwind amidst a busy family life.

What is your favorite quote?

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Edgar Degas

Where can people find out more about your business?

My website at www.clairemccallartist.com

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

The greatest compliment someone can pay me is to genuinely stop in their tracks. They may want to take the time to study the range of values and textures of my paintings. Or they study the drama of abstraction vs realism that is my style. Or perhaps just because it captures their eye and holds their attention. This is when I feel that I have really made an impact on the viewer.

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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.

Items Of The Week: Hollywood Glam

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

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Quetzal Green – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Color trends are a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons!

According to Pantone one of the top colors for Fall 2018 is Quetzal Green.

PANTONE #18-5025
Quetzal Green
A deep elegant blue-green hue suggestive of rich plumage.

Members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team have been inspired by the color Quetzal Green! They have created items in their shops reflecting this inspiration! Here are a few!

mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 says this Creative Cuts Tote Kit features the color Quetzal Green.

carolinagirlz2

Frances from supplysideeconomics said here are vintage buttons in Quetzal Green.

supplysideeconomics

Margie from ZenCatPottery states the vintage African trade beads in this earring are fabulous Quetzal Green (which I would call teal)! I had 2 of these FABULOUS authentic African trade beads left and I wanted to make earrings that were a bit “ethnic” looking but that also had great sway and movement. I think earrings should move when you walk, don’t you?!?

I love true vintage trade beads because of their history. Between the 15th and 20th centuries, as new trade routes were established between Africa and Europe, trade beads were used as currency. Most were glass and made in Italy. 1,000s of trade beads would act as a ballast for ships on their way to Africa, and the African goods did the same on the return trip!

 

ZenCatPottery

Karen from timetalentjewels says when I made this necklace I already knew the name because of the beads “Quetzal Green”. Beautiful beads of Moss Agate, New Jade, Blue Calsilica Jasper, Teal Lava Rocks just whispered the name. Such an interesting array of colors.

timetalentjewels

Nancy from EponasCrystals said apatite and teal agate both mimic the colors of Quetzal Green. Matte Pacific Blue Apatite, aqua glass beads and teal banded agate beads are hand strung and knotted. The silk tassel is a luscious ocean blue color. Guess you can tell what my favorite color is!

EponasCrystals

If you’re on Pinterest here is the Quetzal Green board!

While you’re on Pinterest please follow the Etsy Christmas In July team!

Member Feature: Heartfelt Giver

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Please join us in welcoming Christine of Heartfelt Giver, our featured member!

Heartfelt Giver

Tell us about yourself.

Small business owner, wife and mother of 4 beautiful girls. I am just an easy going person with a lot of hopes and dreams like most people.  

 

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

We opened Heartfelt Giver in 2006.  It started off as a hobby business to sell my stained glass and etched glass items.   I had a custom ask me how I made my etched glass and I explained I used vinyl as the template.  She asked me to cut a piece of wood and add wording to the sign for her.  She received the sign and loved it.  She told me to stop making glass and sell signs.  We have been selling signs ever since.

 

Tell us a bit about your products.

We make interior and exterior wood signs for homes and businesses.  Our exterior signs are made using pine boards that are primed and painted with a quality exterior grade house paint.  The vinyl lettering we use is also of outdoor quality.  Per the vinyl manufacture the vinyl has an outdoor life of 5 to 7 years.  Exterior vinyl is used on boats, cars, trucks, buildings and store windows to name a few.

What inspires your work?

I think signs are a great way to express one self.  Interior signs show the person’s sense of style and belief.  Exterior signs are used to help provide direction, warning and/or express a concern as well as relay a message when the home owner is not around.  Business signs also provide a message whether it be direction or to just let the customer know that someone will be with them shortly, puts one at ease. Signs with a purpose.

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

We are lucky, each year our business has been growing.  Growing a slow steady manageable pace. So the bigger and better is always our goal.  Currently, we make more exterior signs than interior signs.  In 2019 we look to expand on our interior signs portfolio.  Wish this we hope to get the attention of more people to our shop.  Our long term dream is to grow the business to were we can hire staff and expand into the wholesale market.

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

The quality of the materials we use.  The exterior paint, the exterior vinyl and the fiberglass rods all are key to a long lasting sign.

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

We use two areas of our home. We are working towards building a work space that will allow us to combine both spaces into one outside of the home.

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

Patience… like anything else things only grow with time.  I wish I got started with social media a lot sooner.  Etsy helps but you still have to market yourself.  Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all good sources to use for marketing.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Make sure you start off with 40 items to sell and market through social media.

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

We still make it a point to have dinner together and ask each other about their day.  Sharing time with family no matter how small. I still enjoy working with glass.

What is your favorite quote?

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Where can people find out more about your business?

Our website heartfeltgiver.com or on etsy www.etsy.com/shop/heartfeltgiver

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We are a hard-working family that brings handmade items to you.  The shapes we use are hand cut and no CNC used.
No matter who you purchase from this season make sure it is handmade.  You help small businesses grow and we thank you for that.  We would also like to thank CIJ for allowing us to share our story with their viewers.

Best Wishes to Everyone

________

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.