Etsy and All

I started selling on Etsy for a couple reasons.

  1. I needed a job that allowed me the greatest flexibility possible.  Gabrielle graduated high school last summer and I couldn’t leave her alone for several hours a day while I worked.  Well, I could have, but the results would have been catastrophic.  (recently I heard it takes 7 disasters to make a catastrophe.  Hence, my daily life is a catastrophe.  That makes me feel sort of accomplished in a sick sort of way.)
  2.  I have flooded the market.  My kids have flat out asked me to STOP making them things.  My family has wall to wall Shannon and I don’t have that many friends.  I mean I have a lot of friends, but you know, postage gets expensive after a while and well, I have been making stuff for a really long time and hence they are sort of hand-made out too.
  3.  My habit/ hobby is pricey.  Especially the glass.  Also, when making things I end up with a tremendous amount of excess supplies.  A lot of scrap glass.  Like entire file cabinets full of scrap glass.  So I started making the chimes and other such things.

Basically, lack of storage, lack of funds and lack of friends.  It sounds like I am a hermit that is poor and lives in a shack.  I swear that is not the case, but at some point something had to give and hence Etsy.

I really truly love to make things and every single day makes me smile.  Just knowing that I get to do this and there is a PURPOSE behind it.  I don’t have to justify it any more.  It’s my JOB.  How freaking lucky am I?  I remember as a kid saying I wanted to be an artist- not really realizing that being an artist could be and was a million different things.  I also remember being told that they are called “starving artists” for a reason.  But look at this.  Here I am and I can call myself an artist.  Of course, I can also call myself a doctor, but that doesn’t mean that I am.  However, I won’t get arrested for impersonating an artist because my art isn’t likely to kill anyone.  At least not directly.

So in my great Etsy adventure I have come across some really, really remarkable people.  Customers, fellow sellers and also and most importantly, my friends that also sell on Etsy.  I wanted to mention them here.  When shopping for a gift Etsy is my first stop ALWAYS.  (I know, I know, yes, I actually shop for gifts.  I told you I already flooded the market with my stuff.)  I want to support the other creators and artists and makers and crafters out there.  I hope you all will do the same – to the extent that you are able.  Here are some shops that I love.  They are some that I have bought from repeatedly and found completely by chance and there are some that are run by people I know personally and some by people I have gotten to know from the Etsy Community. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.  I won’t advise AGAINST any sellers, but I also won’t promote or recommend any sellers I can’t be sure will live up to your expectations.

I can promise you that every one of these sellers is ethical, takes great pride in his or her work, produces quality and conversation starting (in the good way- not the “oh my God who let her leave the house wearing that.” way.) gifts and items.  I can attest that the prices are fair, the service is excellent and the items they are selling are made with their heart and soul as well as their hands.

Drum Roll Please.

This is my friend Karyn.  She was mentioned in a previous post as my brilliant and long suffering high school friend.  In addition to being brilliant and having a huge heart and empathy to spare she is also a very talented artist, and she always was.  Check out her beautiful creations.  I bought mugs from her at Christmas time and they are far prettier than I could have imagined.

Meet Kitty Dune aka Kristen Dressler.

I went to high school with Kristen and I don’t think she and I ever exchanged a word.  Not because we disliked one another- we were intimidated by one another.  Typical stupid teenage girls.  Well, now we are all growed up and we have found our passion for art and craft and making and creating in common.  We talk ( text) every single day and have for years now.  We exchange patterns, advice, links, questions, wise ass remarks, ideas and products.  Kristen sent me a hat that she made for Brian.  He has worn it every day between October and May for the last 2 or 3 years when he drives to and from work in his Jeep.  It has been stuffed in gym bags, pockets and left for months at a time in the disgusting abyss known as his vehicle.  It has been washed, dried, stretched, lost, found and slept in.  You would never know it wasn’t brand new.  She is ten times the knitter that I am (I am more of a crochet kinda gal) and I know the cost of her yarn and the amount of time it takes.  I can honestly say her prices are more than fair, her shipping is spot on and quick and the product is outstanding.

It’s hard shopping for guys, don’t you think?  Well, Christopher  Dressler (long suffering and over worked husband of Kristen Dressler) makes it a little easier.  I ordered two sets of leather coasters from him for Christmas gifts this year.  At the last minute I might add.  I had a little bit of an IN – you know- being friends with his wife and all.  He made them, he wrapped them up really nicely (Shocking.  Absolutely shocking.  I thought for sure Kristen did that, but no, it was all him) and got them to my father in Syracuse and to me to give as a gift JUST IN TIME.  I wasn’t able to see my father open his, but I was able to watch my brother in law open HIS and well received is an under statement.  They were passed around and drooled over.  They are great quality and they look amazing on the bar.  Check him out (but not like that.  Don’t like “check him out” check out his shop.  Kristen will be PISSED if I am advertising her husband like he is some sort of giggilo or escort or something.  Cause he isn’t- don’t get the wrong idea.  He is just a nice guy that works hard and makes awesome stuff.  I swear.)

Kim!  I met Kim on an etsy board on facebook and she is a delight.  Her shop has nearly 400 sales and a perfect 5 star rating.  Kim does the selling, listing and other such things and she uses her mother as slave labor to make the items.  It isn’t child labor, but I wonder if that qualifies as like a sweat shop situation now that I think about it…(I’m kidding, it is actually a perfect partnership letting each of them focus on their strengths.)  In the shop you will find all sorts of household awesomeness.Every day, Birthday, Seasonal and Holiday Table runners,place mats and aprons as well as NFL towels and accessories.

Linda is a go getter.  She is tireless and she is creative and funny.  She is personable and she is a perfectionist.  I ordered a sign from her for Brian for Christmas.  It is the Preamble of the Constitution and it is far nicer than I expected.  It’s a wooden sign, but not flat, it is almost like a wooden canvas actually so it is easy to hang.  It is painted black with painted white lettering and it is perfect.  It’s sturdy, packed exceptionally well and over all excellent quality.  Her signs are funny, quirky, sentimental, personalized, spiritual and traditional.  Yup, all of those things, and more.  Her turn around time is outstanding.  Order one day, it’s made and shipped the next.

I have known Michelle for longer than I care to discuss.  I worked with her at Barnes and Noble at one point as her manager although that is sort of a joke. There was NO QUESTION in the world who ran that show.  I will give you a hint:It wasn’t me. We were known by the other workers there as the dream team.

Michelle is a hard worker, she busts her ass and absolutely everything she does is done to the very best of her ability.

She is incredibly talented. She sews and quilts and her quilts are gorgeous. I am the proud owner of one.  I am picky when it comes to sewing because, well, I sew.  I am critical of myself and I look at things on other’s creations that anyone that doesn’t sew would never notice.  Michelle passed the test with flying colors and made me feel pretty well, sub par by comparison.  I can tell you, anything you order from Michelle will be something that can be used for years and then handed down and used for more years.

This is Jennifer.  She has the biggest heart and the sweetest personality.  I know Jennifer personally.  I tell people I met her in my psychiatrist’s office.  My mother LOVES when I say things like that.  Except I was a patient and Jennifer worked there.  So it’s all good, it wasn’t a case of too loonies finding kindred spirits in other another.  Oh, well, yeah, actually it was exactly that.  But different kinds of loonies.  I could say that I taught Jennifer everything she knows, but that would be a vicious lie.  Jennifer is creative in the extreme, she is a problem solver and she is a perfectionist.  You won’t get anything from Jennifer that she isn’t 100% proud of.  I have given things that she has made as gifts and have received things that she has made as gifts and I can’t say enough about them.  Sports teams cuff links, tie clips, necklaces, earrings as well as sparkle and shimmer and girlieness galore is what you will find in this shop.

Jennifer T.  is the creative force behind this shop.  She specializes in all things bridal: Accessories, bouquets, crowns and head bands.  Just to name a few.  I met her as a customer of mine and she and I became friends.  She is a joy to chat with and she is dedicated to making her shop work for her.  That dedication translates into a dedication to make sure the products she makes for her customers are exactly what they want for their big day.  I give Jennifer a lot of credit.  I have worked with brides in various situations.  I have done hair and I have worked for a bridal photographer.  Brides are NOT easy to deal with.  In fact, I sort of avoid the whole wedding stuff myself because of that.  You could take a perfectly lovely young lady and the second she is talking about her wedding she turns into a creature even her own mother wouldn’t recognize.  Jennifer apparently has a knack for cutting through that nonsense and finding the sweet woman that is there at the core and working with her to make her day absolutely beautiful.  She loves custom orders.

The owner and creative genius behind this shop is Izzy Brown.  She describes her shop like this:
“Wordtangles are a musical artist’s face made from his song titles, a genius mathematician created from digits of pi, or a movie star’s image including titles of her movies. I have created this art business as a unique way to pay tribute to various artists and famous personalities. Custom artwork is always an option. If you can dream it, I can draw it.”

Yup, she can. I have seen it with my own two eyes.

Izzy opened her shop in 2013 at the ripe old age of 14.  Yes,  14.  as in One Four.  She is an IB( that’s the really smart kids.) student that is in my daughter Eve’s class.  Last I checked she was second in her class for GPA.  She is an artist, a dancer, a business owner, a remarkable student,and a personable and lovely young lady.  I have ordered countless items from Izzy and have never been disappointed.  She never ceases to amaze me.  I don’t know how she finds the time to be outstanding in so many areas.  She doesn’t just meet expectations she far exceeds them and that is certainly the case for her Etsy shop as well.

Everyone I mentioned here is talented and hard working.  They have all earned there place on this page (ok, yeah, well, that isn’t saying much I realize.  It’s not like this is Forbes or written by someone important or widely read, but let them bask in the glow for a minute would you?  Cripes.  So what, 5 people read this.  Someday maybe 6 will. > you never know.)





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