An Eclectic Spirit

An Eclectic Store


Monday Etsy Interview with Crystal Beaded Designs
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This week I'm interviewing Crystal Beaded Designs who makes beautiful jewelry and accessories plus a bit of extra awesome thrown in on the side.  If you go by her shop, make sure to check out the sale section where many wonderful items are 50% off right now!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/CrystalBeadedDesigns

Visit Crystal's FACEBOOK page at:
http://www.facebook.com/CrystalBeadedDesigns









1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your Etsy shop?

I am a Registered Nurse, and work part time. I am married and have 2 sons. I live in Long Island, New York.



2. What came first for you, your desire to be an artist, or your knowledge of the materials you work with?

I guess that the knowledge of the materials that I work with came first. I enjoyed wearing beaded jewelry, and I thought it would be fun to make. I began learning how to make jewelry , and started to get better at it with practice. At first it was just a fun hobby, but as I started getting better at it, people were starting to notice my jewelry and asking if I could make them an item. That was when I realized that maybe I was good enough to start selling my jewelry.


3. Can you share with us a bit about your artistic process? How do you do what you do?

Making beaded jewelry is not all that difficult, once you know the basics, and have the proper supplies needed. It is a process of learning with practice. My earlier jewelry pieces were not very good, but they got better with practice. I have found that I love creating jewelry. When I am creating jewelry I have a design in mind when I start, but sometimes I change it as I go along into something entirely different than I originally planned. I just let my creativity take over, and trust my instincts. If something doesn’t look right to me, I may redo it before I am happy with it.

 This image was chosen to be featured in Bird Talk Magazine!

4. What's playing in the background (music/tv/other) when you create?

I usually don’t have anything playing in the background when I create. I get so involved in the creative process, that I really am not focusing on anything in the background. A lot of times I sit outside on my deck and make jewelry, so sometimes I am just listening to the birds chirping. When indoors, I am probably listening to my son playing video games, or playing his guitar.I am a bit of a night owl,so sometimes I am up late at night creating jewelry while everyone else is asleep.



5. You've been kidnapped by pirates who want to make you their captain. What do you name your new ship and what kind of pirate are you?

My new ship would be called Crystal’s Ship and I would be a Swarovski Crystal and Gemstone pirate.

6. There are supplies in your store as well as handmade jewelry. Do you find this helps or hinders your business?

No, if anything, it helps my business. I think that the more items that you have in your shop, the better chance someone has of seeing your shop. There is so much competition as far as jewelry sellers on Etsy, so a big part of being successful is to be found. I try to have a variety of different items for the same reason mentioned. I sell minicards, beaded watches, candles, key chains, vintage items, anklets, and more, just so that I can have a variety of items that people may be looking to buy. I also get bored making just one type of thing, so this way I never get bored. I am always trying to come up with new ideas for things to make for my shop.




7. I've met you in the Etsy Chat Featured Seller room. Can you tell my readers what this room is about, and why they should join in on the fun?

I love the etsy Chat featured seller room! That is where I have made many friends, and have made most of my sales.

The Etsy Chat Featured Seller Room is a great chat room to go to if you want to connect with other sellers, make sales and have fun in the process. What it is is that the featured seller gets to have a turn for 5 minutes. Everyone in the chat room focuses on the featured seller’s shop for 5 minute, by posting items from their shop, commenting about their shop, and promoting their shop. The first person that buys from the featured seller gets to have their turn next. If there are no sales, then the featured seller gets to pick someone, or can ask a trivia question. The game can last all day, but it usually gets the most busy in the evenings. It is a great way to sell your items. I have had as many as 4 sales at a time during time as featured seller. I think the record was 11 sales during the featured sellers time.

8. There is a debate raging on about free shipping being key in making sales. What is your opinion on this matter?

I do not offer free shipping. I could offer it I suppose if I raised the prices of my items. I would rather charge for shipping and keep my prices reasonable. People do not realize that between etsy fees, paypal fees, shipping charges, packing materials, and supplies needed for making an item, there really is not much profit made in handmade items. Not to mention the time it takes to make the item, photograph the item, list the item, and sell the item. I mostly sell jewelry and other items as a hobby, and not as an income. In reality, I probably spend more than I make. But I enjoy creating, and get much satisfaction from it, so it is worth it to me.



9. If you could sit down with anybody (alive or dead) and ask them one question, who would it be and what would the question be?

Does God count? If not, then I guess I would say President Obama. I would ask him how he planned to fix all the problems our country is facing.

10. When you turn off your computer and join the world outside, what are we most often likely to find you doing? 

 When I am not doing crafts, or working, I try spending time with my family, visiting family, seeing friends, going shopping and eating out. In the summer I like going to spend time outdoors, and love to be by the sea shore, which I find very relaxing.

 Thank you Crystal Beaded Designs for taking time out of your creative schedule to talk with us!  Happy crafting and all the best for the future!  - Jodi

Monday Etsy Interview with HBPhotographs
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This Monday I have the pleasure of interviewing Hildi of HBPhotographs -beautiful photography and other related products (calendars, cards) available at http://hbphotographys.etsy.com



1) A bit about my work and Etsy shop:
My work is primarily nature, landscape and flower photography. I am a freelance photographer and do portraits on occasion, but my passion is nature. My Etsy shop portrays my love of nature. If my work gives joy to others, I have accomplished my goal.




2)Where did you grow up and what did you like best about it?
I grew up in Teaneck, NJ, which is in Bergen County, and have never left the area. I do travel quite extensively, but always have a little tug at my heart when it is time to come home. I think the stability of living in the same home for all of my life (before marriage) has kept me grounded. My mom, who is 92, still lives in that house.

3) Where do you live and what is the best part of living there?
I now live in River Vale, still Bergen County. It is familiar, it is home.



4) How did you begin with this creative process and how does it add to your life?
I began taking pictures as a teenager. I loved to capture my friends enjoying each other's company and documenting everything we all did togehter. Then, as time progressed, I began capturing the beauty of my surroundings and found what gave me peace. THe appreciation of nature as added so much serenity to my life and has taught me that all things, even dirt or weeds, have their own inherent beauty and should be appreciated for what they are. It has transcended to how I interact with people. Everyone has an inner beauty all their own and everyone is to be respected for who they are.

5) Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artists are split between Man Ray and Ansel Adams. Both are polar opposites in terms of their vision, and both had the ability to inspire emotion through their work.



6) When you have a quiet moment to indulge yourself and there’s no one around to bother you, what is it you like to do best?
In quiet times I enjoy being in a natural environment, be it in a botanical garden or at the beach, anywhere natural, and having my camera ready to take whatever inspires me.

7) What, if anything, do you consistently draw inspiration from?
I consistently draw inspiration form anything that is found in nature. Mountains, plants, lakes, flowers, anything....manmade things just don't have the same appeal to me.

8) What are your goals as an artist?
My goals as an artist are to share the peace and serenity that is all around us - to make people realize that they are free to enjoy and recognize the beauty of everything that is just THERE...



9) In what ways do you stretch yourself to make your work grow?
I take classes in photography and attend seminars to learn different ways of seeing things. We all can look at a cloud, some see nothing but a puff of white, while I will see a bird in flight, the shape of an animal, mountains, or ......

10) You've got this question to impart something witty or inspiring you wish to tell others. What is it?
Look to nature for answers. If you sit amoung the beauty of nature long enough, you will come away with a new outlook on everything in your life. Mundane tasks will take on a different meaning..you will learn to appreciate your environment. Embrace the serentity!

Thank you Hildi for this inspiring interview!  There were so many beautiful photographs it was hard for me to choose which ones to feature.  Make sure to check out hbphotographs on Etsy for more beatuy and inspiration!

Canada Day!
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July 1st - Canada Day

 
July 1st is Canada Day!  In honor of this I present some great Etsy finds with Canada (red/white) as the theme!  All picks are from my friends at Oh Canada Team!  Support Canadian artisans.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrincessGraceBow
http://www.etsy.com/shop/sagescupboard
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LeanneDesigns








http:/

/www.etsy.com/shop/LeahJaneDesigns














http://www.etsy.com/shop/nancywallisdesigns






http://www.etsy.com/shop/TresBelleKnits  











Happy Birthday Canada!

Monday Etsy Interview - Details Girl
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Welcome to the Monday Etsy Interview!  This week I interview Details Girl and expose her wonderful creations to the world!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?

I’m a person who loves to laugh and I think my work reflects that. I hand knit, crochet and sew. My favorite things to make are dolls, but I really love anything that gives me a spark and keeps my hands and mind busy. I live in Brooklyn, New York and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my beloved dog, Clark W. Griswold Serbousek (he has been living with my mother while I moved).

2. Pop culture and comics seem to be a big influence. Can you share with us just how much and why?

I think what people like is fascinating. It is such a reflection on human beings as a whole that somehow without common language or religion the most recognizable things on the planet are symbols of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and the Superman shield. Why? It says a lot about marketing, but even with great marketing you can’t force people to like something and give it that status (Pepsi Clear anyone?)…so what is it that we are drawn to? These are items and celebrity that we have been sold, but you can’t keep selling a product without people to buy it – why do we keep buying? And then you come to Superman. That’s an ideal. It is what we all want to be. The selling point of comics is the human ideals. We wish we were so noble and handsome and strong; the list goes on and on. The evil in comics reflects what we fear in each other and ourselves. There has always been something to like in the Joker and maybe that is something we see in ourselves. I like that my work taps into that feeling of something universally known while still being unique, creative and beautiful.

3. What do you do when you aren't working on your art?

I’m a New York City based improviser in two performance groups. Aww, Shucks is an all girl group that presents The Horoscope in which we perform one audience member’s future after a brief interview. Til, Death is a duo that performs monoscenes where we fight to the death (not really, but it sounds more fun that way). I’m also a writer working on various projects, including a young adult novel.

4. Who or what has been your biggest influence to create?

As a child, I always struggled with expressing myself. I would have these grand pictures in my head that I wasn’t able to draw or paint or songs that I didn’t have the skill to write. Even in conversation I felt limited so I would read dictionaries and write stories. I think it is all that first frustration in life that pushes me to keep writing and creating now. Fiber arts are especially gratifying because I can eventually hold what I saw in my mind’s eye and it alleviates that sense of being unable to articulate feelings and ideas.

5. What came first for you, your desire to be an artist, or your knowledge of the materials you work with? 

I’ve always wanted to be an artist—always. I don’t remember anything else. The medium of my choosing has shifted over the years, but the goals are the same. As for knitting and crochet, it was definitely desire over knowledge. I knew how to hand sew and embroider because of a beloved childhood neighbor who taught me, but I hadn’t done any of that in years when I had a dream I was knitting. I woke up and the dream had cured the worst case of writer’s block I’d ever had. I thought that was a sign I should learn, so I taught myself.

6. Your sock dogs are really just the most adorable things I've ever seen. Can you tell us a bit about when you first started making them and how they have done for you?

I started making them about two years ago. I made one as a Christmas present and I wanted really unique socks so I went to Sock Man in the Village. There I found skull and crossbone socks. Everyone at work loved that so much that I made more as gifts. Sock dogs aren’t unique to me (the pattern is readily available online), but what I love is creating different breeds rather than the staple Dachshund. I love giving them Boston terrier faces or little French Bull Dog bodies. So far I haven’t made any etsy sales of sock dogs, but I am going to make more using Sports Team socks, so hopefully some Arkansas Razorback or Nebraska Husker (you can tell where my heart lies, but of course they can be done for any team as a custom order) fans will be interested.

7. If you were to share a piece of advice to a newbie on Etsy or another craft site, what would it be?

Stick to it. This is like any art, you have to keep practicing and auditioning. You are auditioning your work to sellers. If people quote a specific problem with your work more than once, go back to your process, rethink, make changes and audition it again. BE NICE. That’s also the most important thing in life and etsy. When you are out in public making friends or hanging out, recognize opportunities to promote yourself and be nice. People will remember you and respect you. If your work is small enough to travel around with you, take examples everywhere you go, you never know who you may bump into. I met then President of DC Comics, Paul Levitz, at a party and I had my DC Dolls with me, he loved them so much it led to book deal negotiations. You never know where opportunity will knock.

8. Let's say there's a bunch of us coming down to visit you in your town. Where do you take us to party and why?

I love good food, so I would take you to eat first…So many choices! I love Momofuku. It is a wonderful noodle bar in the East Village. Then to the Chinese Ice Cream Factory in Chinatown…the best red bean ice cream anywhere. After that, we would head to the Upright Citizens Brigade to catch a house team improv performance.

9. Ok, I have to ask, what's your favorite comic and why? :D

I love me some Wonder Woman. She has such a funny and strange history. She was created by the man who invented the lie detector. He was married, but he and his wife had an open marriage and mutual lover. He was into BDSM. He believed these were progressive feminist ideas and wanted to promote women as strong leaders and decision makers. The first issues of Wonder Woman depict progressive ideas along with, what we would consider now, very sexist images of women bound and gagged as well as racist depictions of minorities. From these beginnings emerges a character who takes the pulse on American feminism and civil rights. At one point she gives up her powers to become a dress shop owner causing Gloria Steinem to write an article in the very first Ms. Magazine asking where has Wonder Woman gone. In the 80’s Wonder Woman worked at a fast food taco stand and formed close relationships with inner city, minority women and helped resolve the problems of single mothers and women in trouble with crime bosses. And now, she is the only female character considered powerful enough to challenge Superman and Batman. I love the camp, I love the history lessons, I stay for the sexy fighting.

10. Thanks for the interview. Before I go, is there anything surprising about you that our readers might not guess?

Two of my top travel destinations I have yet to visit are Richard Simmons’ Cruise to Lose (my Richard Simmons doll was my first sale) and Dollywood. I’m going to Dollywood in just a few weeks, so dreams do come true!


Tips and Tricks for working conventions
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5 Tips to stand out and rock the sales at a convention!

After working conventions for many years and attending them as a potential buyer here are a few tips I would like to pass on to those "behind the booths". These tips can work at trade shows, craft shows, anime conventions - whatever! I have ALWAYS made a profit at shows - whether for myself or hocking my bosses' wares. These tips are why.

#1) Be approachable

Sitting behind your table hid by a wall of art or your knitted bags is no way to go. Stand up! (unless some physical injury prevents you to do so)

Standing gives the impression that you are ready to sell, that people can approach you and ask questions about you and your work. People are more likely to buy if they can meet the artist behind the work!

Sitting gives the impression that you are busy and cannot be approached or worse - that you don't care!

#2) Smile!!!!

I can't tell you how many booths I have passed by when the person behind is frowning, drinking a coffee and staring into space, or worse - ignoring people all together.

If you build a wall around yourself, people are less likely to stop. If you are smiling then you open yourself up for potential buyers to feel comfortable at your booth.

#3) Be ready to SELL YOURSELF!

When someone asks why they should by X from you rather than X from that other guy, sell yourself! What do you do differently? What are your strong points? What does your work offer this customer?

Smile, be sincere, and by all means, be confident! If you don't love your work, they won't either.

#4) GRAB their attention!

Scenario: A local craft show. You are selling your jewelry. You are standing and smiling and doing all of the above, but no one is stopping.

A girl walks by with a hideous but colorful bag.

You say "Excuse me, that's a bright and uplifting bag there, wherever did you get it?"

The girl turns around and tells you a story. Take part in the conversation. Smile a lot.

People love to talk about themselves. Get them to stand at your booth and do so. The longer they are there the more their eye wanders over your products and the higher the chance they will buy something!

#5) It's all in the Display/Just touch it

Are all the tables in the room covered in black table cloths? Make yours red! Does everyone just use the traditional glass case displays? Do something different - use an old fireplace cover or a screen door painted funky colors! Clear and well written signage is also important.

I realize that we are all worried about theft. I will be posting a thread about theft prevention another time. :) However, touching = buying.

Do you sell plush? If they feel the soft, they'll want the soft. This also goes for scarves and such!

People are afraid to touch things, I've found, at many shows. Have a few samples ready to hand to them to feel and try on. If someone is looking at something, put it in their hands! It's an old retail technique, if they are holding it the chance they will buy it increases tenfold.

I hope this has helped anyone just starting out at conventions. Please feel free to ask me any questions, or if you have something to add please do!

Tips and Techniques to PREVENT THEFT at a Convention/Show

Working these shows I have also learned a thing or two about theft prevention. Here are my tips and tricks for this topic!

#1) Watch out for touchers! Yes, I know I said to let customers "touch" things, but there is a difference.

If they are walking by your table, sliding their hands lightly over EVERYTHING they can, touching EVERYTHING they can without picking anything up, or without chatting - Beware! This is a good indication that they are going to steal something!

Easiest way to make them go away? Say "Hi there, can I help you find anything?" or some other such chatty question. The ones trying to steal will usually scurry under a friendly greeting - they know you are watching.

#2) Watch out for sliders!

Do you put your small and easily "slid off of the table" items up front? Don't! Or if you do, have them attached to something large.

Some thieves will walk by and "slide" an item off of the table into their open bag just under the table's ridge.

Easiest way to prevent this is put items you don't care about losing, or larger hard to "slide" items up front. Or decorate it with non-sale items like signs and pretty flowers.

#3) The Drop and Go

Ever see someone holding several items at once? That's also an indicator that they may be trying this technique - the drop and go.

They came up to your table with a large open bag of some sort that they set on the ground.

They pick up three or four items, chat, look around a bit more, then decide not to get any of them.

Watch what they picked up and what they put down!

They will put three or the items back on the table, but drop the fourth into their bag.

#4) You talk, I'll steal

They get a friend to chat your ear off, hoping you will do the polite thing and listen. While he/she does the other friend is quietly putting your items in her pocket.

Sneaky eh?

#5) Customer Service is Prevention

Offer to hold the customer's pile of things they have already picked up for them as they continue to shop.

Smile, talk, but only make eye contact every once in awhile. They won't notice, but your eyes should be watching hands and fingers for the most part.

Don't serve more people than you are comfortable with. If there are seven people at your booth and you are the only one on - don't panic! Simply acknowledge everyone but serve one or two at a time.

Don't turn around!! Is your money in a box under or away from you?? Turning around opens you up to theft like nothing else! In the minute you look away, several things may walk away.

Put your money box on your chair (cause you are standing, right?) or someplace close to you but in front of you.

Expensive items? Put them under glass!!!
This also makes them look extra fancy and expensive.

There are other ways to prevent, but I've found these to work especially well at conventions/shows.

If you are standing and smiling and acknowledging your customers, I don't see much walking away. The thieves will see you "paying attention" and not even dare.

And if theft happens....

Shrug it off. You will have something stolen. It's hard, but true. If you know what it was, write it down and next con put it further away from hands. If you don't - don't focus on it! Think about all the other SALES you made. :D

Working a bit of loss into your budget will keep you on track, and prevent "panic and anger" moments.

Monday Etsy Interview - Sarah In Florida
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This week I'm interviewing Sarah In Florida, a beautiful Etsy shop full of the most wonderful jewelry and destash!  Let me share her Bio for your enjoyment (it made me smile)

"I chose the user name "sarahinflorida" for two reason's

1. My name is Sarah


2. I live in Florida!


Actually I am a British transplant having moved here 12 years ago and thinking at the time it was really cool to live right near Disney and have year round sunshine and work on my tan. Of course I arrived in the Winter, come summer I realised I would have to find something to keep me busy INSIDE for some of the day and away from my sunbaked garden. That's when I realized that designing and creating jewelry is as much fun as digging ditches, pulling weeds and spreading manure. Who knew?


I have sold items all over the world and have many repeat customers. Everyone is so friendly and nice. Now I have discoverd Etsy and I am really excited!!!
"




1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your Etsy shop?

According to my business cards I am a “Drummer, Knitter, Metal smith” but I think that is just t he tip of the iceberg. I was born with the need to be constantly busy so I always keep my hands occupied creating something, whether tangible or musical.
I stumbled across Etsy in September 2007 and immediately loved the idea of a venue for selling handmade items. I set up my store and soon after the sister store http.theknitbrit.etsy.com and the rest, as they say, is history!



2. What came first for you, your desire to be an artist, or your knowledge of the materials you work with?

Growing up my Dad was a carpenter so to me tools were toys and as such I always felt comfortable wielding a hammer or a drill. When I was 16 I left high school and became employed with the Ministry of Defense in England and there began my love of fire, chemicals and metals. Over the next fours years I obtained my Chemistry degree while obtaining “hands on” experience working full time in a number of laboratories. A few years ago I took a class in beading and wire wrapping and it quickly became apparent that I loved the wire more than the beads. I enrolled in a local community collage to study to be a certified jeweler. After 2 years the class was canceled but by then I was up and running with newly learned skills and a workshop of my own. My chemistry knowledge has proved invaluable when enameling and working with patinas.

3.in what ways do you stretch yourself to make your work grow?

I constantly look for opportunities for further education and new techniques to master. Metal stamping has become the latest addition to my arsenal.

4. Can you share with us a bit about your artistic process? How do you do what you do?
I am a compulsive doodle and constantly sketch out shapes, designs and ideas. In my workshop I usually try out my designs on scrap metal to fine tune my pieces.

5. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your Etsy shop?

I spend a lot of time in the Etsy threads and promote my store. I wear my jewelry and hand out business cards when I get compliments. Recently my aunt wore a knitted wire and glass choker I made her to a gallery in Denver and I got 2 orders from people she met! I also have a banner with my store name on the back of my car.


6. Hand stamping is something I'm unfamiliar with. Can you share a bit about this particular process?

I love the idea of totally customizable pieces and this is a great way to achieve that. I hand cut all my metal shapes from sheet metal, drill the holes and file the edges to make them completely smooth. I have a number of different metal stamp sets I can choose from. Basically I take the stamp, position it on the metal and hit it with a big hammer to emboss the design! I then pickle the piece to remove any oxidation and tumble it for a lovely shine. I them spray with clear coat to protect the finish.

7. Have you ever had an experience on Etsy, good or bad, that sticks out to you? Would you share it with us?

My best experiences on Etsy have been meeting all my new talented, supportive and knowledgeable friends on the threads. They have a wealth of experience and are so willing to share that with me.

8. You've won a trip anywhere in the world, all expenses paid. Where do you go, why, and what do you do there?

I have traveled the world so at this point in my life it’s more about what I can learn than what I can see. Therefore I would have to say I would love to spend a month here, https://www.folkschool.org/ . I had the opportunity to spend a week there last year taking a metal smithing class and it is an awesome and creative environment.

9. What do you see yourself doing in the future with regards to your jewelry? Do you hope to still be an Etsian, or do you see something lesser/greater?
I would like to be able to quit my “square day job” and devote myself to the jewelry full time. I hope to be able to move more towards precious metals and fine gem stones. Art shows will be in my future and definitely Etsy!

10. Before you go, can you share a little advice for others hoping to tread the same path as you as an artist? What do you wish you'd known when you began?

I would say the most important thing is to buy the best camera you can afford and take great pictures of your work. It makes all the difference to your work looking professional. This is my goal for this year to improve the quality of my pictures.

Also don’t get discouraged if things are slow to take off, keep promoting and you will find your niche if you stay true to doing what you love!

 You can visit Sarah In Florida at her Etsy Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/sarahinflorida

Summer Sale - Summer Solstice Sale
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http://paradog.etsy.com
http://aneclecticspirit.etsy.com

I'm having my first ever sale at both of my Etsy shops!

Thanks to the Pagans of Etsy Team for setting up this wonderful sale.  Looking for other good deals?  Search "summersale" or "summersolsticesale" on Etsy!

My sale:

Buy one item at regular price, get the next (of equal or lesser value) for 50% off! 

The amount is either refunded by paypal, or message me with what you'd like and I'll set up a special listing just for you!

This is for EVERYTHING in both of my shops!  Even the original artwork!

Enjoy!

Here are a few of my new items:


Monday Etsy Interview - Randumosity
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This week I'm interviewing Jami of Randumosity.  She creates something I think is very important - re usable pads!  As any woman knows, we go through many tampons and pads in our lifetime - so these are comfortable alternatives that are good for the environment!  As a customer I can attest, they are worth every penny, and knowing I'm doing something good for the world makes my period that much better.  Plus the fabrics make me giggle.  But I'll let Jami tell you more in this week's Etsy Interview!


Name: Jami
Occupations: Randumosity
Married/Children/Pets: Married for 10 years, raising his teenage daughter
Important Links: randumosity.etsy.com
facebook.com/randumosity

1.Can you start by giving us a run down of what you offer in your Etsy shop?

Randumosity offer a variety of environmentally friendly, reusable products. Nursing pads, wet bags, flaxseed pads and, of course, menstrual pads.


Jami offers starter sets and will walk newbies through the process - even offering special orders!


2.Being environmentally friendly is important to many people. Other than that though, what benefits do we gain from using your reusable products? Are there any things we should consider before buying reusable pads?

Cloth pads are soft, breathable and comfortable. They reduce the scent of menstrual blood. Since they are more breathable they carry less odor. The cloth fabric allows for more air flow and inhibits fungal and bacteria growth that cause irritation and infection. And since cloth pads are not made from any synthetic material there is less irritation and they are less likely to cause rashes, contact dermatitis and certain types of vaginitis. Women with sensitive skin and allergies may find cloth pads to be more comfortable against their skin. Also, women can experience shortened periods and have reduced PMS symptoms.

As for economical benefits, the average women goes through about $150 - $200 worth of menstrual products a year and tosses between 10,000 and 15,000 tampons, pads, and applicators in her lifetime. Cloth menstrual pads can be reused for around 5-6 years. And even longer if you take care of them!


3.What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations with your Etsy shop?

My goal for Randumosity is to grow as a brand enough to be able to stay home full time.


4.You offer a wide range of colors and patterns for your pads. Do you find that this is a deal maker when people consider purchase? Why do you think they enjoy the different looks?

I do believe the colors and patterns I offer is the main reason people purchase at first. The second reason being quality. I make sure that quality is my top priority. But, They have to be cute!! And who doesn’t need a little fun during that time of the month?

Just a couple of the fun patterns!  

6.What do you believe sets you apart from others creating the same type of product? Quality? Fun? Customer Service?

I think the patterns I use and the quality of my products makes Randumosity stand out. I try to keep it fun and I take enormous pride in creating the products. I believe that if you truly enjoy what you are creating it will show in the end. And I LOVE my job!


Nursing pads and wet bags are just two more adorably fun products offered by Jami!

7.What's something surprising our readers may not know about you?

I was an Ophthalmic Technician for 10 years. I assisted a Glaucoma surgeon for the first 5 then ran an optometry office. I know ALOT about eyes!


8.How did you begin with this creative process and how does it add to your life?

I began Randumosity about 5 years ago after my Husband had an accident that left him disabled. We needed to supplement our income. So, I started making and selling bags on Ebay and Etsy. During his recovery we decided to find ways to simplify and “green” our lives more. I came across cloth pads online and thought “I can make those” and I wouldn’t have to buy any from the store!! With two women in the house we were always buying them. So, I started making them for me, my step-daughter and other family and friends. Everyone fell in love with them, so I decided to put them in my Etsy shop. And the rest is history.
Working from home has made life so much easier and I would love to keep it that way. I love being able to take care of the hubby and maybe have another little one around here.

9.When you have a quiet moment to indulge yourself and there’s no one around to bother you, what is it you like to do best?

READ! I am a book-a-holic. I have been known to lock myself in the bathroom so I can escape and have quiet time to finish a book.

10.What is one piece of advice you would offer new people wishing to sell on Etsy and other places online? (For example what would you have done differently when you first started?)

Persistence and patience. Don’t give up! Be patient and find your niche. It will come. I was not very patient to begin with.

Thank you Jami, for an interesting interview, and a great product!  I encourage any woman reading this to check out her shop!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Randumosity

Interview with Mea Culpa Body and Bath
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http://www.etsy.com/shop/MeaCulpaBodyandBath

Greetings!  I had the pleasure to meet and interview the creator and owner of the sinfully delicious Mea Culpa Body and Bath. Jasmina Radosavac, a  stay at home mommy with 2 girls, took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about herself, her life, and her products.


Where did you grow up and what did you like best about it?

I grew up in Skopje, Macedonia. I loved the mountains that surrounded my city. It’s a wonderful feeling waking up, looking outside and seeing the snow covered mountain peeks (even in summer). Loved to see people moving around outside at all times of the day and in any season - grandparents with their grandchildren, moms and dads hurrying to catch the bus for work etc...

Pictured - BUTTERFLY ORCHID Goats Milk Soap
Where do you live and what is the best part of living there?

Now I am in Metro Detroit Area. I never thought that so many different nationalities can live together and actually get along! I am thrilled to be a part of that and to learn many new things about all kinds of cultures around the world.

Is there a particular secret about where you live that only the locals know?

Not that I know of :-)

What term would you use to describe your creative talent: artist/craftsman(woman)/creator/other. Why is it you see yourself in this way?

Huh....I never really thought about this. I don’t know how I can call myself. Probably a creator - because almost every day I am researching how I can make better and better soaps and creams that would benefit the skin even more than they do now.

How did you begin with this creative process and how does it add to your life?

It started few years ago when my younger child kept on waking up at night vomiting because of the phlegm. I then talked to my Reiki Master and she recommended eucalyptus oil for her. It worked. From there on, I never stopped researching the benefits of essential oils (even if I carry more fragrance oils in my store than essential).

Pictured - KISS MY TATTOO healing balm for fresh tattoos with Unrefined Shea Mango Butters and Rose Absolute Essential Oil and Calendula and Carrot Seed

What inspires you to create new scents? Can you describe the creative process from idea to final product?

Now I rarely sit down to mix oils together. I did though. I made a custom horoscope sign scent once. I was looking up which oils coincide with the zodiac sign and tried to mix them together until it smelled good. It’s a lot of work though - constantly adding few drops here and there, sometimes spilling everything out because I have added something that just ruined the aroma.

When I try to make a cream, I am looking up the properties of the butters, oils and extracts that I have and I try to mix them together so they can add a little more than only moisturizing :-)

I notice you have everything from Sandalwood to Twilight inspired scents. What age group do you think you create for the most?

Well, I am hoping for everyone. From 15 to 50 and up.

Pictured - VANILLA LACE (Victorias Secret Type) Night Cream with Mowrah Butter and Seaweed

What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations with your Etsy shop?

My dream is to be able to make enough so that I can always stay at home with my girls and raise them the way I want. But, I don’t want to be so busy that I wouldn’t be able to pay attention to them and spend time with them. Hope this makes sense :-)

You mention in your store info that you are very green oriented. Other than your products, how do you live this in your daily life?

I recycle and try to buy recycled products. The plastic containers that come with cream cheese, yogurt etc, I wash them and use them for other things. If I take plastic bags from a store - I return them to be recycled (I hope that they follow through too). I can’t always afford to buy organic, but in summer I grow my own vegetables.

What advice would you give to new Etsians or creative people looking to sell their work?


Stay true to yourself. Don’t worry so much if everyone is going to like your creativity. Not everyone is same. Someone out there will and will appreciate it. We as artists usually are....how can I say.....romantics? Not in the love sense...lol...but I can’t think of a better word for it (english is not my first language)....we kinda tend to forget that it’s a dog eat dog world out there - well, don’t forget it! Go out there and fight for everyone to see what beautiful things you can do :-)

 

 
You have a day all to yourself to do whatever you wish. What do you do?

I would like to think that I would sit down and read. But I know what always happens - I go and make more soap..lol...its addiction :-)

What's something surprising our readers may not know about you?

Nothing much really, so far my life is just ordinary :-)

This interview is being conducted on behalf of the Pagans of Etsy Team. What would you like to say to the readers, Pagan to Pagan?

Only one thing that I have learned - be patient. It comes very hard for me too, but I have to tell myself that nothing can be rushed - knowledge, experience, my spiritual journey and growth....I always have had a nagging thought in my head that I won’t have enough time in this life to learn everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. The thought of maybe not being able to remember what I know now in my next life is scaring me. But, just remember that everything will come to you in its own time.

Let me take this moment to thank you immensely for being a part of this interview product. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors!

Pictured - CHERRRY BLOSSOM Body Mist 2oz

You can find Mea Culpa Body and Bath and Jasmina at the following links:

http://www.facebook.com/JasminaRadosavac?ref=profile#!/MeaCulpaBodyandBath?ref=mf

www.MeaCulpaBodyandBath.etsy.com

www.MeaCulpaBodyandBath.artfire.com

 


Monday's Etsy Seller of the Week - And a New Store for Me!
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Welcome dear Readers to another installment of Etsy Sellers of the Week!

This week I have two very different but very talented Etsians.  So without further ado:

HBPhotography - http://www.etsy.com/shop/hbphotographs

I was immediately struck by this artist's photography.  The intense colors.  The unusual compositions.  The eye for beauty in everything around them. 

I usually don't appreciate photography like I should.  It's not that easy to "just take a cool picture".  I've tried.

Here are my favorite pictures from HBPhotograpy for your enjoyment:
 This is an orchid.  I just love the "alien" feeling of such a common flower!
















someday I would love to own a print of either of these three beautiful photographs.  Though I just can't get over the ghostly orchid!

And now for the second seller of the week, this is a store I've actually ordered and received something from!
 
Solstice Scents - http://www.etsy.com/shop/solsticescents 
 
A long time ago I ordered from Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab an Anubis perfume oil.  While browsing Etsy and "Anubis" I happened upon Solstice Scents' version.  So I ordered it.
 
It's not the same scent but....it's just as good!  A sweet and spicy fragrance that leaves a bit of a "kick" in your nose.  
 
Sent in a beautiful roll-on container, this wonderful product captured my senses.

Not to mention I got everything wrapped in some delightful colored packaging and three sample scents!  Each one a new and exciting scent for my dog-weary nose.  I recommend this shop for scents hands down. 
 
Here are my picks from the store:
 
Spellbound Woods is one of the samples I received.  It's just as described:

A soft, incensy blend of vanilla, sandalwood, cedar and amber

 

 

 

ASTRAL TEMPLE Body Ganache Body Butter - Sensual Amber, Ginger, Orange and Clove will have you soaring to view your Akashic Records 4 oz. VEGAN

 Yet another scent I received, not for me but I could see a witch using it just before ritual!

 

 

 

HARVEST MOON Perfume - Apples, Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Roasted Chestnuts, Spices

Now this sounds like one I'll be trying next!

 

 

 

 

Solstice Scents does much more than perfume, and most creams and such are Vegan to boot.  Stop by the store and have a look yourself, you won't be disappointed!


And now it's time to plug myself:

Last night, as I couldn't sleep again, I spent the time opening my second shop.

 An Eclectic Spirit is for all the 3D artwork I will be doing, such as necklaces (I love making glass pendants), coasters, light switch plates, and so on.  The only 3D work that will remain on Paradog is my Acrylic painted plates, as I classify those as "paintings" not "glassware".

Here are some items showing up at An Eclectic Spirit soon! http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnEclecticSpirit 


 

Have a good day everyone, stay artsy, stay crafty and stay tuned!

I'm interviewing a store for the Pagans of Etsy street team!  I'll post the interview here as well as having it on their blogs!


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