Monday, April 27, 2009

From the SF Bazaar Bizarre Blog: "pillow talk with eleen" - an interview

The following interview was originally posted in the SF Bazaar Bizarre Blog on April 26, 2009. HTML links have been added where relevant, otherwise all content is the same as the original.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.

I run an online shop over at where I sell a smart, fresh and playful collection of carefully constructed, limited run bags, pouches, pillows and more. I made the leap to pursue this business full-time about a year ago and it’s been an amazingly fun and challenging experience. I have an undergrad business degree from Cal and have spent most of my professional career as a web project manager. I loved the dotcom/technology scene but realized how much I’d love being in the world of handmade for a living when I took 3 months off to plan our handmade wedding in Berkeley last year.

How did you first get involved with crafting?
My mom taught me how to sew when I was really young, and my dad was always doing some kind of DIY project around the house that I’d occasionally help him out with. They taught me to love making and figuring things out on my own, and I spent countless hours poring through just about every single how-to book in our local libraries and crafting up a storm, either with friends or on my own.

What are your favorite materials to work with? Do you have a favorite color palette?
I mostly work with printed cotton fabrics, colorful felts and vinyl and have an obsession with “stocking up” on them (which is really just an excuse to buy cool fabric). Earth tones attract me the most: shades of browns, blues and greens with splashes of bright happy colors like raspberry red or bright orange.

What are your inspirations in your art and in life?

I love to surround myself with things that make me feel like I’m flitting through the woods, hence the growing selection of faux bois and leaf-appliqued items in my collection. Like a lot of other crafters, it’s the lush greenery and cool little details of the outdoors that inspire me the most. Most of the fabrics I pick have a feeling of that sort — lots have cool animals, trees, leaves or flowers in them — and they inspire me to turn them into fun yet useful creations like organizer pouches, zipper wallets and pillows that are cool to look at but also serve a purpose. In life, I’m inspired by that and more — the amazing spirit and stories of friends, family and other people around me in addition to the beauty, majesty and mystery of nature.

What is your favorite song or album to listen to while working?

It depends, and my mix of songs is pretty random. But lately I’ve been gravitating to a lot of old school Michael Jackson, some Scissor Sisters, some Postal Service and of course one of my all-time faves, Rogue Wave.

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
I love the metal-smithed jewelry by Figs & Ginger and am a proud owner of their adorable Fawn in the Forest necklace. I’m also on a team called Full Time Etsy Crafters whose members, as the name suggests, all make and sell handmade items full-time (or are well on their way towards that) and I have my eye on a lot of their products, like mudpuppy’s mini ceramic mushrooms and Mu-Yin Jewelry’s breathtaking Gardenia Blossom ring.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business?
I’ve got lots of goals for the year, but two that I’m most excited about right now are coming out with sewing patterns of my designs for sale, and connecting more with the crafting community by posting a lot more cool handmade/DIY projects on my blog. Other than that, I’m just looking forward to growth, growth and more growth! Baz Biz at Maker Faire is something I’ve dreamed of doing for awhile now, and I’m so excited to actually being a part of it this year!

You can find out more about eleen and her products the following websites:
:: shop ::
:: blog ::
:: tweet ::

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jewelry Display Techniques from The Crafts Report

The June 2009 issue of The Crafts Report features a great article offering jewelry sellers creative ways to display their jewelry and set them apart from the competition. We thought it had some great tips as well as helpful photos and wanted to share it with others!

Look Inside;
June 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Member Profile-Nicholas and Felice

Business Name: Nicholas and Felice ( Etsy ID:nicholasandfelice)
Category: Jewelry
Specialty: Nicholas and felice have been making and selling their jewelry for over 20 years, specializing in sterling silver and aluminum wirework with a celtic influence.They also have several lines of sterling silver stamped and engraved jewely that run the range of
geeky /science to japanese kanji and other asian characters including animals, flowers and other designs. One of their most popular products are their aluminum wire celtic influenced shawl pins.This shop also offers hanging vases.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Member Profile-Marla J Designs

Shop name: Marla J Designs (Etsy ID: marlajdesigns)
Category: weddings & jewelry
Speciality: Marla enjoys custom designs of Veils, Jewelry, hair combs, hair pins, and Fascinators. If a buyer has a different twist on an item Marla will work with the buyer to create it!
Special offer: blog readers and team members will receive 20% discount

Friday, April 17, 2009

Member Profile--Earmark

Shop name(Etsy ID) Earmark & Earmark Gatherings
Category: Paper, stationery, weddings, decorations
Specialty: Earmark is a full service paper studio, specializing in
custom wedding invitations and stationery. We offer everything from pencils to party banners to Elite, high end letterpress wedding invitations. If it has to do with paper, we can make it happen. Earmark is a husband and wife team and we truly love what we do and
hope that it shows through in our work and in our service.
Special offer:mention FTEC upon checkout and receive a free card of your choice, up to $4.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Giveaway at Daisycakessoap

Love soaps?
What about lavender?
What about some free lavender soaps?
If you answered yes to all of the above questions, you would love to hear this...

Our team member Daisycakessoap is holding a givaway!

Here are the details:
If you love lavender, or know someone who does, here is a chance to
win a gift set from her Etsy shop!

The set includes:
1 bar of Lavender Oatmeal soap
1 5ml pot of lavender shea butter solid perfume
1 1 oz lavender massage oil
1 drawstring bag with lavender embroidery

How to enter:

Visit Daisycakessoap's Etsy shop and choose a favorite item and
go to her blog and leave a comment about it. Please leave your email address for winning notification purposes!

Bonus Entry! If you help spread the word by mentioning this giveaway
on your blog, and comment about it on her blog, you'll be entered in the
giveaway twice!

Must be 18 years of age, be US or Canada residents to participate in
this giveaway. Ends midnight 4/24/09. Good luck and thanks for

Monday, April 13, 2009

Member Profile--Annie Howes

Shop name: Annie Howes Keepsakes (Etsy ID: AnnieHowes)
Category: jewelry craft kits, supplies
specialty: Innovator of DIY Craft kits, tutorials, and maker of handmade glass

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Member Profile - Daisycakes Soap, LLC

Business Name: Daisycakes Soap LLC (Etsy ID:daisycakessoap)
Category: Bath&Beauty
Specialty: Daisycakes specializes in handmaking soap from scratch with ingredients like velvety olive oil, rich cocoa butter, smooth coconut oil and pure essential oils. This shop also offers unique glycerin bars, fresh lip balms, huge bath bombs & shea butter perfumes!
Special offers for team members:
Gift wrapped box of 3 cold process soap $10 (25+ varieties to choose from)
For Blog readers:
Free solid perfume with purchase (15+ varieties to choose from)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Member Profile -- Mu-Yin Jewelry

Shop name: Mu-Yin Jewelry (Etsy ID: muyinmolly)
Category: jewelry
specialty: Mu-Yin Jewelry specializes in custom wire wrapped jewelry made with high quality colorful freshwater pearls and natural gemstones.
All items are made to order to fit customers’ size, be it a ring,
necklace, or bracelet. Many designs are limited editions featuring
rare colored freshwater pearls and natural gemstones collected by the
designer from all over the world.
Molly's Designs are noted for their vibrant colors, often simple yet
meticulous construction and the delicate balance between the wire and
pearls/gemstones. They are girly, sweet, sexy and easy to wear.
Molly’s Designs are never overwhelming — they are simply addictive as
that chocolate which makes you want to have one after another!
Special offers: Muyinmolly offers 5% to all FTEC blog readers. Use code FTEC at checkout to receive 5% paypal rebate. FTEC Team members receives 10% off on all orders.

You can also find Mu-Yin Jewelry on


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Member Profile -- Eleen :: Good Stuff * Hand Made

Shop name
: eleen :: good stuff * hand made (etsy ID: eleen) Category: bags & purses, home accessories
Specialty: carries a smart, fresh and playful collection of carefully constructed, limited run handbags, pouches and home accessories made of high quality designer cottons, felts and vinyls. You'll find items in her shop that will add a skip to your step and give you a stylish way to stash -- and strut -- your stuff!
Special offers for blog readers and/or team members: For the month of April 2009, eleen is offering a 5% discount to all FTEC blog readers. Use the code "FTEC" in the Comments field at checkout, and you'll receive your 5% rebate in PayPal after your payment is complete. FTEC team members will receive 10% off in April by entering "FTEC-10".

Friday, April 3, 2009

Member Profile-- Pink Quartz Minerals

Shop name: Pink Quartz Minerals (etsy ID pinkquartzminerals)
Category: bath and beauty
Specialty: Pink Quartz Minerals is your source for vegan custom mineral makeup. Customer care comes first. If PQM does not have your foundation shade, they will handcraft it from scratch to your exact
skin tone match! From eye shadow to bronzers to blush, PQM is happy to
customize a color or kit just for you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Member Profile--Wren

Shop name: WREN (Etsy ID:thewren)
Category: Bags and purses
Specialty: Wren bags are built on the principles of sustainability and are inspired by nature in every way possible. Everything is supremely hand-crafted (by Wendren and with help from the local community) ensuring that high quality is assured. The fabrics are individually selected for quality, colour or print by Wendren and the way these are paired together and complimented by colour is a unique characteristic of Wren designs. On the note of uniqueness it must be said that no two bags are ever the same becuase afterall, every person is unique and
thus, needs something special.
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