Member Feature: postcardsintheattic

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Colleen of postcardsintheattic, our featured member!

postcardsintheattic

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up a Midwest farm girl from Wisconsin but through a series of moments of self discovery I have since moved to California and live the city life in Palm Springs. I live in a beautiful contemporary home where my husband and I have designed a small but very beautiful Japanese Garden.

Unfortunately, though, the contemporary look does not blend with my passion for vintage and antique Victorian froufrou. So I have created for myself a virtual world with my shops. I welcome you to my attic filled with all the treasures found and creations made especially for you.

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

I opened my business 2011.  I have had a dream to sell vintage postcards since I was a small child.  At the time my mother informed me that it would never happen because no one would ever pay more than a few cents for the cards I collected.  I guess she was mistaken!

Now that I am a photographer I also have a passion to create my own postcards.  One of my favorite things to do is recreate the types of vintage cards that were popular in the early 20th century.  Big Letter, Tall Tale and night scenes are a few that I have dabbled in.  Of course it is much easier now since I have the advantage of digital art vs having to manipulate plates and film.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I sell almost any type of vintage postcard but at least half of the vintage postcards I sell are over 100 years old.  I have a love for anything that is paper and withstand years and years of handling.  To me it is amazing to see something that age in such great condition.  Sadly there are some that have not been able to survive fully intact but often I use those for digital art where I restore the card to a new state.

I sell my digital work on Sellfy under the same name.  I also create clip art from the designs to use for digital papers, gift tags and art.

More common are the Linen cards from about the 30’s and 40’s but while these are not rare I love the bright vivid colors that the linen paper creates.  The ink soaked in creating supernatural tones. Plus this is a period where the fun Tall Tale, Big Letter and Night Scene postcards popped.  The intense colors is almost like looking at the world through rose colored glass.  Everything in these images are vivid and exciting.

I carry a small number of recent vintage cards from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  While these often do not catch my eye I have found several political and advertising cards that are quite intriguing.

What inspires your work

I work in images.  As a photographer my style is macrophotography and closeups so I see the world slightly different.  I relate to my environment through imagery so collecting and selling vintage images is right up my alley.  In fact often seeing something in a postcard will dictate a trip or even a move.

In fact one of the reasons for me to move out West was due to the postcards from Arizona and the deserts that my grandparents sent to me.  These amazing images were such a contrast to what I seen in Wisconsin that I would spend hours daydreaming of what it would be like to visit the desert.  Now I live in the desert of the Coachella Valley.  And it is even more beautiful than those vintage images from my childhood.

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

My goal this year is to increase sales in my Postcards In The Attic shop (sure that is everyone’s goal)  My long-term goals are to build a self sustaining shop that generates enough income that it can contribute significantly to my income.  I have designed my own website from my photography www.butterflysattic.com; my long-term goal for this shop is to earn enough to use this as my primary income.  I would also like to be featured locally in either a gallery or a similar forum.

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

My Postcards In The Attic stands out visually because of my professional and creative branding and banners.  Aside from appearances; my prices are competitive, I provide excellent customer service along with free US shipping.  I also include a depth of information for most of my cards that exceeds many of my competitors.  I also take the time to research each card, what the publisher was, printer, date etc. so that the information is as accurate as it can be.

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

No but since I am photographer my work space is the whole world.

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

I had been selling vintage in general and included everything from ephemera to knickknacks, books to jewelry which took up a lot of space and time.  I also sold handmade crafted items (which part of me still loves) but this made my stores too wide spread and not specialized in anything.

I have not focused Postcard In the Attic strictly on ephemera and Butterfly In The Attic Photography on just that photography.  While I am still trying to reduce my original inventory on Bonanza I must admit it is neglected and I will be glad when I can just focus on the two.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do not over estimate the time you have for your shops.  I often do this but with working more than full-time for my day job it leaves very few hours left in the day aside from sleep and eating.  there is only so many hours in the day no matter how much we try to make it stretch.

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

I have many hobbies that includes: travel, playing the piano, photography, writing, and spending time with my 4 children and 6 grandchildren.  We live quite a ways from each of them so we are not able see each other frequently but when we can this is my favorite way of spending my free time.

What is your favorite quote?

“God would not have put the dream in your heart if he had not already given you everything you need to fulfill it” Joel Osteen

Where can people find out more about your business?

I have two blogs one on my new website www.ButterflysAttic.com and a long established blog www.ButterflyInTheAttic.com.  On the latter site I spend a lot of time promoting not just my self but others.

I am also available on facebook at www.facebook.com/PostcardsInTheAttic and www.facebook.com/ButterflysAttic
Twitter www.twitter.com/ButterflysAttic and many others social media venues that are interlinked once you find my blog.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My shops have been slow starters and have been reshapened many times over the years trying to find what fits for my life and helps me balance my work and my business.

I think one take away is that I refuse to give up on my dream.

________

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.

Advertisements

Member Feature: ClarityArtDesign

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Stephanie of ClarityArtDesign, our featured member!

ClarityArtDesign

Tell us about yourself.

I am a life loving person who adores creating. I can’t stop making things. I also love to sell things and can’t help but try to make more things that I can sell. I love living a life that isn’t completely dependent on the office life. A life that can one day travel the country freely.

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

My business was very gradual. I first started with a painting of my own pet, Deja around 12 years ago. I then started selling paintings on Ebay and at craft fairs. I actually was on Etsy long ago, but didn’t invest the time into learning the nuances of the platform. In 2013 I resigned from my full time job as a legal secretary to jump into the world of selling on Etsy. Prior to that I had mostly sold from word of mouth. From there, I learned everything I could about Etsy to start myself off. This proved to be a wonderful experience and the sales and my shop have been growing ever since. I have also now just opened another Etsy shop for resin jewelry which is in its very beginnings.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I hand draw and paint each one of my pieces. My work focuses mostly on creating custom pet portraits using photographs provided by clients. Sometimes the artwork is a very straightforward replication of a photo provided and sometimes I really have to get creative with the pictures I’m given to produce a scene of multiple pets together or just go off of a really fun idea a client has. I spend hours upon hours creating each piece.

What inspires your work

My clients inspire my work! I love hearing their ideas, seeing their pictures and working with them to create something specific for either themselves or someone they love.

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

My goal for my business is to grow it to the point where I can travel eventually while still creating art. I want to build it to a point where it supports me anywhere I want to go and I don’t need to supplement with part-time income.

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

I think that us pet portrait artists all have something to contribute. My style focuses more on realism, but I think it’s just a personal preference to what a client wants. I really try to work with my clients so that everyone is completely satisfied before shipment even takes place. So far this has been a success.

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

I have a large living room that I place my studio in. I like being a part of the every day life of our home and not secluding myself into a separate studio. I’ve always lived apartment life so this to me is very normal. I actually use the desk I had as an elementary school child. When I was little my mom found it at a garage sale and sanded it and stained it for me. It’s held up for 30 years!

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

I wish I had focused on Etsy way back when it first opened. There was less competition then. I have learned though that there are plenty of customers for us all. You just need to grab their attention.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do it! Why not? I do think you need to be honest with yourself about your product though. You must have a good product. You must have good photographs and you must take the time to learn about the platform and understand that it takes time like building any other business. If you have realistic expectations, obtain the correct knowledge and work hard (as well as have a great product), then I see no reason why you won’t be successful.

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

Actually when I’m not working, I tend to make other things (to sell!). I started my resin jewelry business out of my free time. I also really love hanging out with my nieces and nephews and traveling, hiking and hanging out with dogs.

Where can people find out more about your business?

I’m on Facebook, www.facebook.com/clarityartdesign; I’m on Instagram, @clarityartdesign; Twitter, @stephclarityart and of course my Etsy shop, ClarityArtDesign.

________

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: LilacHouseFlorals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Stacey of LilacHouseFlorals, our featured member!

LilacHouseFlorals

LilacHouseFlorals

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Stacey and I have been a crafter since my grandmother taught me to cross stitch as a child. I was an avid sewer for a long time but found floral design eight years ago and I have never looked back! Initially, I took a beginner class and have since completed a professional program to learn the art. I continue to work every week to learn new methods and to grow as a designer. I am also a wife and a proud mother of three!

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

I opened my business in April of 2016. I had made as many silk floral arrangements as I could for myself and others so I decided to give my designs a try on Etsy. I love creating pieces that add beauty to a home on a daily basis.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I create original, good quality silk floral arrangements, wreaths and faux succulents. I can do any style arrangement from traditional to modern. Regardless of the style, I try to design arrangements that have a lot of texture and visual interest while incorporating beautiful blooms of flowers. All of my pieces are meant to add that “special touch” to a room or space in one’s home.

What inspires your work

I am mostly inspired by combinations of fresh flowers that I have worked with or see in gardens, nature etc. I work to create that “fresh flower” feel into a silk floral arrangement that can be displayed at home. I love the texture and interest of succulents so I like to work with those a lot too.

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

My goal for this year is to become more established on Etsy and to continue to grow my customer base. My dream has always been to own my own business so I will keep working on it!

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

I offer many different styles of arrangements and wreaths as well as color combinations while providing the best quality and customer service possible. Also, I work hard to meet the requests of customers and give them exactly what they want when working with them on custom orders.

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

I am in the process of clearing out a room to serve as a studio for Lilac House. In the meantime, I have a small space in the kitchen.

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

I wish that I had more knowledge about SEO and how to take good product pictures. I have spent a lot of time trying to improve in these areas!

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Yes, give it a try if you are passionate about something that you create. Also, give a lot of thought to what you want to communicate about your product to your customers.

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

I love to take walks with my two dogs and I always look forward to spending time with the family.

What is your favorite quote?

“Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – Unknown

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy – LilacHouseFlorals
Instagram – lilachouseflorals
Facebook – lilachouseflorals

________

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: zouzousbasement

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Susannah of zouzousbasement, and ZouZousBasementToo our featured member!

zouzousbasement

zouzousbasement

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mom of two boys, wife, art instructor, artist, animal lover, sister, daughter — who lives in a 100+year old house in Richmond, Virginia. I love the history of my family (French Huguenot) and the history of my neighborhood (Ginter Park), as well as what the future holds for my boys and my family. I live with a chronic illness that I do not let define me. I teach art to Dementia patients and am very aware of the cycle of life and not wasting a minute of it.

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

I have been creative and making things my entire life, largely self-taught, but had never really thought of myself as an artist, my creativity has always just been me. About twenty five years ago I discovered hundreds of terra cotta flower pots in my grandmother’s basement and was encouraged to take a bunch home. I started painting on them and giving them as gifts. Soon people were asking where they could buy them, and that was the beginning of my business. I have explored different media but always return to the same subject matter: gardens, desserts, animals, and ancestors; and color is always my first artistic decision. I now have a large studio in my home (in the attic, not the basement) where I focus on paintings, collages, note cards, and other paper/paint related products.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I make a lot of original paintings and collages, some of which I have scanned. The scanned pieces become limited edition prints after I sell the original piece, as well as note cards. I also make other note cards using paper, photos, and letters from books, all of which I cut and paste by hand, and then have printed.

What inspires your work

Color, first and foremost. I wrote my senior thesis on the effect of color on our psyches, and the moods derived from certain colors have always been magical for me. I use bright and happy combinations of colors, often on grey which makes them pop even more. I am constantly inspired by the life around me: flowers and nature, desserts and sweets, and animals of all kinds although I’m partial to dogs, and have been for my entire life.

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

I just held my first opening at my home for my paintings — removing all of the pieces on our walls and putting my pieces up. I was stepping out of my comfort zone and had no expectations, but it far exceeded anything I could have imagined, with close to 100 people showing up and about 27 paintings sold. I hope to make this an annual event. I would love to do more wholesale business on the national level. I hope to be mentioned or introduced by a few bloggers to get my name out there and get more traffic to my sites. I would love to tip the scales to spend more time creating and less time marketing. I hope to continue to grow my business each year and continue to find new venues for my work.

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

My animal collages have been really popular and one of the best things I did was to make prints of some of them, to offer a big range of price points — there is something for everyone. The addition of paper and unusual color combinations have also made them stand out. As humans we all seem to relate to animals so matter how different we are from one another, and I believe I have been able, in some cases, to capture that feeling of connection.

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

My studio is in the walk up attic — the largest and messiest place in our house. Friend and visitors love to go up there. It’s chock full of paper and paint, ribbon, tape, glue, scissors, prints, and cards. But also walls painted by various art students, funny and inspirational quotes, old hats and ephemera from my grandmother, candy, music, and tons of half finished projects.

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

I started a Daily Painting habit about a year and a half ago and it has helped in so many ways — I get ideas out or started that I’ve been thinking about, I practice more, I’m less detail oriented and thus a faster painter. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment at the beginning of the day — by 7 am I have already made a painting, and sort of gets rid of that urge for a few hours. I have also learned to reduce the
quantity of items I am having printed. I am still learning new things every day, even after all of these years in this business. Variables change all the time and I know I have to change too, to keep up.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Post each day. Join teams. Like other people’s stuff. Blog mentions help a lot.

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

Any hobbies? Too many. Yoga, cooking, reading, gardening, writing, walking, hanging with my family-friends-dog, reading magazines, napping, hanging out at bookstores, skimming Pinterest, illustration, house DIY projects, drinking wine, buying shoes. Truthfully, owning a business that is open 24/7 makes it hard to unwind. I am trying to take one day a week away from the computer and any work things to get a fresh perspective.

What is your favorite quote?

Cultivate your garden — (Voltaire)
or
Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment — (Monet)

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy: zouzousbasement
Website: zouzousbasement
Blog: susannah-zouzousbasement
Facebook: zouzousbasement
Instagram: zouzousbasement
Pinterest: zoub

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’ve taught children, especially teenagers, for a long time. My advice to them, or anyone, is:

Find your passion, nurture it, and keep practicing. Practice is really the only way to get better at anything. Malcolm Gladwell said that you have to practice something for 10,000 hours before you become an expert at it.

________

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: chapelviewcrafts

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Cheryl of chapelviewcrafts, our featured member!

chapelviewcrafts

chapelviewcrafts

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Cheryl Cunliffe and I am the the owner, designer, maker and tea drinker at Chapel View Crafts. I have always liked food and started working with polymer clay 15 years ago and love recreating cakes and foods in miniature.

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

It started as a hobby making dollhouse miniature food which I still make to a lesser degree. As I grew in skills and confidence I then started selling on the internet. Since 2014 I have been selling on Etsy and this has allowed me to sell to people all over the world.

Tell us a bit about your products.

There is a strong food theme running through my products. Mainly cakes and biscuits made in polymer clay which are textured and then turned into jewellery, sewing accessories, planner accessories and other polymer clay gifts. I also continue to make dollhouse miniatures but the craft based items are my focus at the moment.

What inspires your work

Colour and texture tend to inspire my work. I love making something look like it could be picked up and eaten, I like looking in cake shops and bakeries and thinking that I could recreate that.

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

My goals for the business are for it to continue to grow, slowly adding to my product lines and being a success in what I do. This year I am actively taking part in some craft fairs to go out and meet people rather than selling over the internet and I hope this experience will give me ideas of where to take me in the future.

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

It’s the attention to detail I believe that make my products stand out. I spend a lot of time behind the scenes mixing clay, practicing techniques and improving my skills. I think my background as a miniaturist gives me an eye to look at the small things and be as accurate as I can in my reproductions.

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

I have two rooms in my home I use for work. One is a studio space and one is a storage and packing area. I am lucky that I have this space to work in, I can walk into the room in the morning to work and then shut the door when I am finished for the day.

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

Let customers help you decide the direction of your business. I started in one area food jewellery but in the past 6 months the business has started going in a different direction which came from a customer request and has proved one of my most popular items and sales to date. This new direction of needle minders and knitting charms is where my current focus lies but would never have thought of it before.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Read up on how etsy works in terms of search etc and then keep learning. Have fun customers on Etsy really appreciated the personal touch many sellers give as it’s not another auction site with massed produced items it is a collection of unique products made by unique people.

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

I knit and crochet and currently I am working on a cross stitch sampler.

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t really have a favourite quote but I have a favourite word – serendipity which means the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way, which describes my life perfectly.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy – chapelviewcrafts
Etsy – chapelviewminiatures
Facebook – chapelviewcrafts
Instagram – chapelviewcrafts

____________

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: SovietWatches

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Alex of SovietWatches, our featured member!

SovietWatches

SovietWatches

Tell us about yourself.

My Mission : Give New Life To Vintage Watches.

We restore and repair watches and they keep their original form. My team has mastered the method of vintage watches restoration! We remove the top layer of the watch case and putting a layer of gold.

As a result – the new watch case, which will serve a long time. And the mechanism remains vintage.

I always loved mechanical watches, it is some kind of magic when one complicated mechanism
consists of many small parts and gears, which are working together.

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

I have collected watches for a while, but in 2012 I decided to open an Etsy shop. At first it was small, it was some kind of hobby for me. But step by step it grows and now my shop is my full time job.

Often watches which I find at flea markets are in very poor condition, but I think my mission is to help them keep alive, so in 2014 I opened another Etsy shop with restored vintage watches, and you are welcome to visit it!
TickTackShop

Tell us a bit about your products.

Vintage watches and clocks from USSR.

What inspires your work

Love to the technique.

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

Make my own trademark with unique stone watches.

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

I have a unique stone watches and a watch with a dial that is hand-painted.

Experience, a large assortment, a thorough check before shipping and the ability to return the order.

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

Yes.

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

About promotion.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Great place.

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

Yoga. Sauna.

What is your favorite quote?

Best is better.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Instagram: SovietWatches

________

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.

New Team Members: October

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming the new Etsy Christmas In July team members who joined in October! Take a moment to check out their shops, and share on social media using the hashtag #EtsyCIJ! Thank you!

Atmosfere from AtmosfereJewelry says:

Hello everybody, we’re a team of Italian young creatives and our creations are inspired by our main passions: art, music, trips, nature and science. We employ high quality materials, like precious and semi-precious stones, natural pearls, crystals and nacre. Every piece is unique and unrepeatable. Every item is handmade in Italy with the utmost care. We put the customer satisfaction first, that’s why we accept custom orders, according to the customer’s preferences and colors and material availability.

Our social media sites:
www.facebook.com/AtmosfereHandmadeGifts/
atmosferehandmadegifts.wordpress.com/
it.pinterest.com/atmosferehandmadegifts/

This precious Christmas ornament is made up with high quality Italian trimmings. The golden flowers in tulle and the fabric roses give this Christmas ball an elegant and refined look. It’s the perfect gift to wish a Happy Christmas to the ones you love!

AtmosfereJewelry

AtmosfereJewelry

Missy Jo and Erica from BeKindCreativeDesign says:

Hello everyone! We are an artistic mother-daughter duo who have a creative background and passion for art. Together we have experiences such as floral design, teaching children’s art classes and visual/fashion merchandising. Our shop is Be Kind Creative Designs. We are now open in Wilmington, NC at Blue Moon Gift Shops and are looking to expand through Etsy.

We chose to feature this 3 piece set of wood blocks with a Tree, Star & Twine. This piece is a good representation of what our shop consists of – lots of reclaimed wood and a variety of materials. It is a subtle piece of holiday décor that is cute and unique!

BeKindCreativeDesign

Loranesss from TurquoiseNature says:

Good afternoon friends! I was excited to see this group and really happy the members joined me to your splendid creative group!

I’ve been living in amazing Ukraine since my childhood. I went to China 2 years ago and started my career as an artist and designer. I was decorating Chinese restaurants and kindergartens there. Now I came back to my family and created this shop.

This is our family business. Everyone of us makes some unique products which can help you to find unique wreaths.

TurquoiseNature