Treasury Challenge Winner June – ShopOfCraftsByMyrna

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised  of 16 items from any shop.  Most of the time they are done by theme, color or anything you can imagine.

The Christmas in July team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.

The June winner is Myrna of ShopsOfCraftsByMyrna.

Myrna has a love of Garden markers, pillows and other such crafts.

What made you decide to open your shop?

I went through a very rough time in my life when my parents passed away. My mother passed from a medical accident and my dad from a stroke, I do believe his heart was broken. They both were so much a part of my life. We were so close and I missed them horribly and I still do. I sat for a year just sad, going to work and just reliving all that had changed. My daughter and my husband did what they could but I was so depressed. I had a sewing room full of material and crafts from years when I did create and make things.
One day it hit me……I wanted to get in that room and start doing what I had done from the age of 7 when I got my first sewing machine. My mom & dad always complimented my creations and encouraged me to make more. I loved sewing and creating and that is what I whated to do again! Once I started I could not stop. I had came out of the depression full of ideas. I decided to open my Etsy shop after I had made many items and I could not find anywhere that I felt comfortable selling them. I could not find a way to promote what I had, so I was not selling much at all. My house was beginning to fill up (I call myself a sophisticated hoarder) I never throw material or buttons away. I also enjoyed the relaxation of making things again like I used to when I was younger. Working a full time stressful job and being having a lot a spare time (my daughter got married and my husband travels) I needed to do something that I loved and creating was it.


What got you into making pillows and other crafts?

When I first starting sewing as a little girl I made pillows and dolls. My Grandma Wilson taught me how to make patterns from newspapers creating whatever designs I wanted. The dolls were simple made out of white cotton (my mother could not keep white pillow cases in the house…they would disappear) and yarn hair. As I look back they were not very pretty but I was so proud of them…I feel bad for the cousins and friends that I gave those little dolls to.
I love all types of pillows. They can brighten or enhance any room. I love making them and making each side contrasting in design or color.


What is your favorite thing about etsy?

I love Etsy because I was able to go into it selling my things. Etsy’s directions on setting up my shop was so simple. I was able to display everything that I make or want to sell in a wonderful format that people all over the world have an opportunity to see. One great feature was that Etsy notifies me of my sales, take care of collecting the funds for what I was sell and sending it to my bank…What could be easier!
Another great feature is all the wonderful friends I have made on Etsy. I have met so many great people on the teams that I have joined. We help promote each other and appreciate what each of us are doing.

What do you love about summer most?

I believe I love summer because of all the beautiful colors from the grass to the sky. I love the just sitting and looking at the clouds, stars, moon and of course the warm sunshine. I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables and most of all the summer thunderstorm, the smell of the rain.


What is your advice to a new shop owner?

My advice is to not give up…Most people I have met have had to work at what they have accomplished with Etsy. I have spent many many days promoting team members items because I was obligated to instead of promoting my own. Keep up on your promises with your Etsy friends. The hard work will pay off. Take a little time each day to promote yourself too. Make quality items to sell. Most of all enjoy yourself. Do not go into it thinking you will make tons of money quickly…It takes time and it takes “you” enjoying what you are doing.

Myrna has an eclectic mix of home decor and other such home crafts. If you are looking for something to refresh your home, check out her shop!

Treasury Challenge Winner November – BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised of 16 items from any shop. Most of the time they are done by theme, color or anything you can imagine.

The ChristmasInJuly team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.

The winner of the November challenge was CIJ Leader Amy Spock of BeadsandThreadsbyAmy.

She is an outgoing, fun type who loves embroidery and beading.

I sat down and asked her how she got started on Etsy and she said:

I started on Etsy in March 2013. I originally started on Ebay, but stumbled upon Etsy as a way to sell in a venue specializing in handmade and vintage. When I started, I listed the oodles of beaded Christmas ornament skirts I have made over the years. Gradually, I added embroidery items to my shop.


I wondered how did she learn her craft and she told me:

My friend Nancy taught me how to bead. Quickly, I found my favorite thing to bead is the ornament skirts. No two ever turn out the same. I enjoy mixing different colors and trying conventional and non-conventional color combinations.

My friend Velda dragged me, kicking and screaming, to a quilting class. I say kicking and screaming because I have never, much to my mother’s dismay, been able to sew a straight line with a sewing machine. I was hooked! I quickly had several quilts pieced together, and purchased a new machine with an embroidery unit. Hence, the embroidery side of my shop was born. I can’t figure out how to part with any of my quilts, as it takes me weeks and weeks to complete them (and I still dread binding them!). I can, however, sew in a straight line (well, with the quilting foot on, anyway!)


Seeing as how she has a good many sales, I was curious how social media helped her sell:

I get about the same number of views from Pinterest and from Facebook. I work on Pinterest, posting things from my shop and other’s shops, about once a month. I post to Facebook bi-weekly, and try to include postings other than just new items to my shop. I have found success posting treasuries, cleaning tips, and pet care tips on Facebook.

In order to sell you must have an inspiring work space right?

My craft space, at the moment, is still an absolute disaster from the holiday rush. However, it is in the sunniest room in the house. I have decorated it with pictures that inspire me. When it is all organized and put away, all the colors of thread on my thread rack are also inspiring to me.


I asked what new ideas or projects she had in the works:

I just returned from Joann’s and purchased some adorable material to make Personalized Travel Pet Beds. I am hoping to work on one next week, and get it listed in the next couple of weeks. I am also working on a small monogrammed purse to list, though that project is taking some time to get just right. I also have some new patterns for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Mother’s Day, as well.

I cannot wait to see what Amy comes up with next!