Member Feature: Farrally Manmade

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Josh of FarrallyManmade, our featured member!



Tell us about yourself.       

I’m a veteran married to an Air Force Pilot.  We have 2 beautiful children, a daughter that is 2 years old and a son who is 4 months old.  Due to my wife’s career choice, I have chosen to be a stay-at-home dad to take care of our children and the household.  I enjoy spending the days with my kids.  And unlike some men, I have no issues with my wife being the provider for our family.

However, I still wanted a way to make some extra money to help out.  A little extra cash could provide extracurricular activities for the kiddos.  So, Farrally Manmade was created.  I still enjoy spending time with my kids, wife, dog and gaming and hanging out with friends.

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

I opened shop March of this year.  And as mentioned above, I wanted a way to help out by making a little extra cash.  My wife and I thought long and hard about what I could bring to the table.  She also sells on Etsy so she automatically went to that and asked about hobbies or anything I might like to create.  I remembered making paracord bracelets back in Basic Training.  So, we decided I could try that out and that we’ll expand into the leather cord fashion eventually as well.  Though, my initial intent was to gear my pieces towards men, I have expanded products to women, children and pets.FarrallyManMade1

Tell us a bit about your products.

Currently I sell paracord survival bracelets.  They’re not only fashionable, but also functional.  550 Paracord has a strength of 550lbs and contains 7 inner strands.  Paracord was used by the military in parachutes in World War 2 and used to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.  It is still a favorite among military professionals and outdoorsmen.  It can be used to repair equipment, set traps, build shelter and more.  The inner strands can be used as fishing line or dental floss.  We have expanded our paracord products into various designs to match all types of personality.  There’s something for the hipster, urban, preppy, survivalist, hunter, military, girly and more.  We plan to open up into the Leather Cord fashion industry soon as well, which will include necklaces for men, and leather wrap bracelets for all.

What inspires your work? 

I make bracelets for my daughter, so I have to say she’s a part of my inspiration!  My wife also likes to come up with ideas for the more girly type bracelets.  Then, the rest of my creativity comes from ideas I have seen online or in stores.  A lot of the times, while trying to make a piece, it’ll take a different turn in the making.  The ideas just come to me while I’m in creating mode.FarrallyManMade2

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

I plan to open up my product line to include leather cord necklaces and wrap bracelets.  This should be added real soon.  I’m also looking to expand into the physical world by renting space in a handmade shop.

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

I make sure our customer service excels.  I ensure quality materials.  And, I am constantly striving to come up with new, fresh ideas that could appeal to my customers.  I like to listen to what my customers want.

By purchasing my products at wholesale, I’m able to also provide competitive pricing.FarrallyManMade3

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

I currently don’t have a studio.  My wife actually has the studio and maybe someday she’ll give me a section of her space for me.  I currently store all my materials in a closet and work from the couch where I can watch my kids play and still tend to them as needed.  We have a large table set out that I use as needed.  We’re hoping to build up our studio space when we move into our next house.

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

I wish I had planned out certain color combos first.  My first order of paracord was literally every color I could find at that moment because I hadn’t decided what colors I would want to use or what I wanted to create at first.

Now, I have some I haven’t touched yet.  I’m sure I’ll come up with ideas for them eventually.  And, its nice to have them on hand for custom orders.  I also wish I knew more about purchasing beads and such when I made that first order.  I didn’t think about hole size or planning a design either.  I guess you could say I was impulse buying!  So, I’ve had to list some supplies on my store that wasn’t going to work for me after I received them.

But, now I have huge wholesale lots of these items, that I can’t use!FarrallyManMade5

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Well, don’t be an impulse buyer like I was on your initial material orders! LOL  On a serious note, plan out what you want to sell, figure out your audience, plan out some pieces and start creating.  I made sure I had 10 items ready to list before I listed anything in my shop.  I wanted people who came to my store-front to see that I was serious about my store and that they can expect to see items added on a regular basis.  I know I’m more reluctant to buy from a shop that only has a couple of items listed because I’m not sure if they’re still running, if they’re serious about their business or if it’s an actual working store!  Also, be able to adjust.  I started off my store with a certain audience in mind, but it’s since change and grown.  So, I had to adjust my marketing.  Try to keep your store cohesive and provide GOOD QUALITY PHOTOS!  I messed up on my first few photos (you can probably pick out which ones these were when viewing my store!).  So, they’ve thrown off my cohesiveness some.  Also, customer service is important.

Customers want someone who is approachable, works with them, and is friendly.

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

My hobbies are hanging out with my children, family and friends.  I also like to game at night when the family is in bed.  We watch movies and tv shows.  And, every once in a while I’ll find a book that catches my attention.FarrallyManMade4

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t really know what my “Favorite” quote is…but this one is good…

“Faith is like Wi-Fi, it’s invisible but it has the power to connect you to what you need.”

Where can people find out more about your business?

Right now, my etsy store and my social media outlets are the main places to find out information about my business.  We’re working on a website and blog that will open maybe later this year.


Is there anything else you’d like to share?

One of my favorite parts of the job, are custom orders! I like to see what people come up with.


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.

International Day of Friendship – July 30th

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

International Day of Friendship is July 30th, and I asked the Etsy Christmas in July team if they had any items in their shops that would make a great gift for this special day…. these are the responses I received from team members:

Joshua Farrally from FarrallyManMade says friendship is something that can last a lifetime. Friends are people you lean on during the good and bad times. They have your back but can also call you out when you need to be called out on something.

I have several friendship bracelets in various styles in my shop. Friendship bracelets are a sign or symbol of friendship. Traditionally friendship bracelets are bracelets given to you by a friend. Traditionally, a friend would tie a bracelet onto your wrist while making a wish and it was to be worn until it fell off, which means the wish was to come true at that moment.

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says I love this quote about friendship:
“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know they’re always there”
Christy EvansFriends come in all shapes and sizes. These two ladies go everywhere together; you never see one without the other.

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says this is what friendship is all about: getting out there and having fun!

It’s a universal, international way to make and keep friends!

Ina from InaSudjana says friendship to me means standing by my side; whether I’m happy or sad, whatever my situation is. A true friend is someone I’m fully comfortable with, even when there isn’t anything to talk about. I don’t think we have to talk all the time; we just enjoy each other’s company even in silence!My heart shaped bookmark reflects this perfectly.
Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says friendship to me is knowing that you can live worlds apart and as soon as you’re back together you can pick up no matter how long it’s been. These are the people you get to choose to be part of your family.
Sandra crochet from Ankleknits says for me FRIENDSHIP especially International friendship means a lot! Friends are like two socks or a paire of glove: together and never appart or close in my heart but to far in a life.
My childhood friend who is the best friend ever, very kind and supportive lives in my birth country Latvia. Her name is Dace. Now when we cannot meet as often as used to, we chitchat or talk on phone and internet. But when we go to Latvia we always meet together and have fun. Even our children are friends now and they have fun together.

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says let me start with a different take about international friendship. I grew up in Germany (lived there for 40 years) and during my teen years pen friendships were encouraged in school. I signed up and got my first pen pal at 13 – she was from Cardiff in Wales, UK. She was the first of many penpals from all over the world I had over the years. Some of them I met in person, and with some of them I still keep in touch. Two of them I actually met last year again when I was in Europe. Today we’re mainly keeping in touch via Facebook which I think is a great platform for (international) friendship. I often write about friendship on my blog – and I also have people in the blogosphere that I consider friends even though I haven’t met them in person (yet).

The words of a song on this Girl Scout Brownie mini journal say it all:
“Make new friends,
but keep the old,
one is silver
and the other is gold.”

Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns says friendship is about sharing good times with family and friends and what better way to do this than with food and wine!!

When celebrating with friends, or just getting together for the fun of it, I love to present food to share in individual eclectic handmade bowls and plates …. this adds a touch of intimacy and caring to the gathering and makes it special.

When I was younger I had a pen friend who lived on the other side of the world. We would often write to each other about what we had been up to. One day she travelled to Australia and I was able to meet her for the first time which was very exciting! This set of envelopes would be lovely to send a friend or pen pal a letter!

So, celebrate International Friendship Day with a great gift from a member of the Christmas in July Team!



Colour and Creativity

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

I asked Christmas in July teamies what their favourite colour is, and how this influenced their creativity…. the question received a huge response, and all their secrets are revealed below ~~~~ grab a coffee and some cake, and put your feet up!!

My favourite colour is purple and whenever I see purple paper I want to buy it! I love this retro purple paper and decided to make some small card sets with it. I made them with thank you notes in mind.

Ivory is my fav as it reminds me of pureness, clearness, happiness, optimistic, freedom


I’m a full time farmer and I enjoy winter on the farm – even going out to the barn for chores my camera is often in tow. Winter White brings a beautiful calm to the landscape and helps me see nature in a different light.

This was the first snow fall of the winter

Blue, any shade of it.

I’m a big fan of the seaside and so blue is a very obvious choice for me. The aqua blues and then darker blues of the ocean against the lighter blues of the sky make me feel happy and relaxed. I often use blue in my prints as I always associate the colour with the feelings of happiness and freedom.

I’m a sucker for rainbows. A beautiful end to a fierce storm, the full rainbow makes its way into my work at every opportunity. When you can’t choose just one colour, choose them all!

Gosh, it’s hard to choose ONE color because I love so many in all their hues and tones
I suppose purple is probably the one I like most, followed closely by blue and I was able to combine the two in this card, using an Italian paper that featured little lilac flowers with a rich blue card stock at the bottom. To tie the two together I used white lace.

The card is a birthday card and pokes gentle fun at forgetful memories of what we might have done before

G R E E N is my ultimate favourite colour. It has inspired me with so many product designs in my shop.

My favourite item is my Christmas Advent Calendar as so much time, creativity & love go into them. This one here is the very first one I made for my son.

Green and Blue are my absolute favourite colours.

If I had to separate them, my answer would be different each time! Tonight, I’d choose GREEN but ask me tomorrow and it could well be BLUE.

I find them equally beautiful, refreshing, enlivening and soulful.

For these reasons, I adore the peacock irridesence (perfect marriage of Green and Blue) of Paua Shell / Abalone and seek Vintage Jewellery Items in this glorious natural material.

well a deep teal light the twilight sky is my usual fav but latley I’m obsessed with coral!

Not for the shy!

Purple, always end up back at purple……the yarn is different in that it has to be beautiful, yet practical.

Purple and green is my favorite color combination. When I found this beautiful pansy fabric, I knew it was the perfect accent and I decided to incorporate it in this quilted centerpiece.

My favorite color is green…all shades! My line of art may not feature one color over another, but I would say my Fresh Alphabet Art is pretty green…both in the actual color and in the fresh sense of the word. In creating this alphabet, I knew I wanted fresh produce, but I also wanted vibrant greens. My favorite are the leafy stalks on the leeks!

My favorite color is blue. I love it because there are so many shades and nuances to it. It reminds me of sky, water, peace, and tranquility. I chose the beads in this ornament for that very reason. Peace and tranquility during the holiday hustle and bustle.

My favorite colour is purple …what’s not to like about it? There are so many beautiful shades to choose from and it goes really well with black which is also another favorite.

I love pink, it is soft, gentle and pretty. I love pink flowers which inspires many of my cards I make, this one is a Thinking of You card.

My favourite colour is blue and always has been. It is tranquil and calming. It is a large part of nature – the sky and the ocean.

My favourite colour is yellow. It reminds me of bumble bees and daisies and all things summer. I have a wall in my house painted ‘crazy daisy’ so even on a cold rainy day it cheers me up. I thought I needed to make something cute that gives a nice warm feeling with this little daisy print fabric, so I made a wee kitten.

Amath from Gomis says

Nothing beats Bold Gold!!!!

Gold has a universal, luxurious, and fundamental appeal. Having a gold colored item brightens my day, and those of the wearer!

Blue –

I love blue in any shade, if a take a look onto my shop, there can it been seen. From childhood I preferred blue colored clothing. It remembers me on blue summer sky, blue, wonderful Latvian sea and it also symbolizes hope, what we all need.

Wendy Joy from wjoydesigns says

I LOVE anything that is iridescent and especially in greens and purple! This piece was my first try at mosaic. I have been making stained glass for 15 years and had so much beautiful leftover art glass. I am a huge advocate for recycling in any and every form.I never wanted to part with the beautiful bits of leftover glass. I wanted to put them to good use! So in this piece, I made use of the scraps in a most beautiful way! Recycling at it’s finest!!

I love turquoise a lot, and especially in combination with bright colors like prange or a beautiful deep yellow. I also love birds, so I brought all of this together in this mixed media painting. These colors are happy colors for me, they put a smile on my face and make me feel better. I hope that others feel the same when they look at this painting.

Pink !

Anything girly and feminine , it has to be pink.

My latest design , is lovely in all shades of pink with a touch of maroons and greens

I say green is my absolute favorite color, however, as of late, I’ve been loving this turquoise color in a lot of my designs. It just looks so trendy and works with so many different color combos.

Well said, Katrina from BygoneAllure! I have more greens and blues in my personal fabric stash than any other color. Peacock blue or green attracts me, every time.

“Plume” is one of my fabric offerings that is viewed the most on Etsy:

As a jewelry designer, it’s no surprise that my favorite color is gold. Just the rich tone of gold, 14 karats or not, evokes a sense of elegance and class. That quality is essential to me as a creator of upcycled jewelry because it adds sophistication to an amalgamation of broken pieces.

Below is a great example of how luxurious the color gold is especially when paired with pearls and rhinestones. The Belle Bracelet was made with vintage scraps, but it looks unbelievably chic.

My absolute favorite color has got to be Pink! Pink reminds me of Flamingo’s which makes me think “Fun!” So, for me – Any fabric which involves pink somewhere in it and is fun… Let’s just say that get’s me every time! And if I have to be doing computer work – I might as well have a “Fun” pattern in my Wrist Pillows for Keyboard & Mouse Comfort. I choose to have 2 coordinating patterns with this set, so if your tired with one – Just flip in over or Mix & Match.

Vanilla White is my favorite color because it makes me feel calm and gives me clarity.

Blue, blue, blue. In any shade. Even my house is blue. The ocean is a big part of my life and a big part of my Etsy store.

My favorite color is this stunning sea green. I spent my entire childhood begging my parents to take me to the beach and, on those rare occasions we got to go, I loved the green reflecting off the sea foam. It makes me happy every time I see this color.

Carrie from madcapz says

My favorite color has always been blue but of late I am partial to purple. I find purple to be such a calming yet regal color. I like the softer shades of purple over the darker ones. I used pastel purple in this item:

Ioana from Soutacherie says

I love ALL colours and you can see that throughout the shop. If I were to choose, I’d choose the combination of orange and blue. A bit bold and unusual but very spectacular, cold and warm at the same time, serious and playful.

My favorite color is PINK. It’s soft, it’s feminine and joyful!

Christmas Stockings in any color you want. I do not discriminate with over 50 colors and patterns!

Green is my favorite color and I really like the color combo of my latest bracelet. It doesn’t really match anything I own, but I don’t care!

My favorite color is teal! It tends to appear in a lot of my work, sometimes totally unintentionally. I particularly love the fresh clean combo of teal and white in interior decor!

My favourite colour is teal, its not a colour I have stocked before in my shop but I love this pom pom hat.

The colors of the rainbow have a special meaning for me, every time I see one it’s like a sign from above that everything is going to be allright. My littlest son is undergoing leukemia treatment, and all the knots in my bracelets made during this hard period symbolise a prayer, and the rainbow is the good period that will come after the storm.

Ina from InaSudjana says

Praying for your little one and your family too Andrea – I DO LOVE rainbow myself. It is indeed a sign of hope.

I love my primary colours; blue mainly. But I also love all the red, yellow and green. A rainbow person I am.

My most favorite color is dark purple – the color of royalty. I looked up the significance of the color purple and found that it really did match my personality. It said that the people who like the color purple are sensitive, compassionate, understanding a supportive, peaceful and tranquil, introverted, creative, inspire others with their creative thinking, are intuitive and quite psychic.

I grew out of pink for a while, but now I think it’s safe to say it’s back on top for me! I think, growing up, I was limited in my idea of what you could really do with pink, but the newer trends of pairing shades of pink with shades of grey really inspired me with this piece. I think it softens the harshness pink can have sometimes, while also bringing that fantastic pop of colour that I’ve always loved pink for!

My favorite colors are blends of purples and greens. I look for yarns that allow me to blend these two color…when it works….it like magic…For me, that blend looks like the mountains of southeastern Kentucky where I grew up.

My “favorite” color tends to change with my mood (human mood ring?), but I always seem to come back to purple. I used a lavender shade for this batch of soap to match the scent, but also because I find lavender (both color and flower) soothing.

Love green and red and somehow keep buying beads in those colors. Bright greens and deep greens are tops on my list. Bit I also love black/white/gray combos.

Design’s the Limit from DesignstheLimit says

If clear is a color, it is my favorite. People have always said they can see right through me and I wear my heart on my sleeve. It is never too early to start designing your custom ornaments and we proudly offer Christmas ornaments year round!

Dina StyleKnits from DinaStyleKnits say

 my favorite color is pink. It’s a color of love, beauty, charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity, and the romantic. I used pink yarn in my knitting very often.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I reckon the winners were purple, blue and pink!!

Be sure to check out these great stores for some wonderful Christmas in July specials and start your Christmas shopping early!

My favorite color is green but I noticed that there is a lot of blues in my shop. Not to mention my shop name is Gigi’s Blue Rose. Well, this is a lovely blanket I made with turquoise. I just might have to change my favorite color. But honestly, I think calming colors are my favorite, colors that remind me of flowers, the ocean, sand, the sky, trees, etc. and this blanket is full of flowers with a hint of bright (like the sun).

My favourite colour… hmm… I like green, but even more I love BLUE! It’s the colour of the sky, it has hundreds of shades and it’s the colour of labradorite “flame”, which is absolutely amazing! That’s why I love using labradorites in my works!

I Love all shades of blue but especially the blues of the ocean. Water has always inspired me and I am drawn to it for its restorative powers and sense of peace and beauty. Water is essential to life.

So, what a fantastic collection of teamies and how colour informs their creativity!! Be sure to visit the stores & take advantage of the Christmas in July sales in their stores!