Friday, February 15, 2013

Paper Finch Design-Etsy Shop Feature

This is later than usual, as my day escaped me. Here is Amy from Paper Finch Design! Thank you for sharing with us!

Hi there! I’m Amy, the designer behind PaperFinch Design. I’m also a wife, a southern gal, and a lover of cheese. Mostly the dairy kind, but also the bad-pun kind. I live just north of Atlanta, Georgia on the Chattahoochee River. If any of y’all have ever heard the song, then you’re well aware that down here it gets hotter than a hoochee coochee. And yes, I say y’all. A lot.

I also have two kitties, have an affinity for 80s sitcoms, and a lot (I mean, a LOT) of books.

PaperFinch design started a couple of years ago when I was sitting under a tree and an apple fell on my head, causing me to realize that I just wasn’t doing what I wanted to do in life. Okay, the apple part isn’t exactly true…but the sudden realization that I didn’t want to work as a secretary/waitress/bartender for the rest of my life? That part’s true. So I went back to school (art school, in fact) and learned all about graphic design. I already had two degrees - one in Theater and one in English… I guess you can add school to the list of things that I like to do.

I had been scrapbooking for years, but never thought I could be an (ahem) artist…simply because I can’t draw very well! But I learned a couple of things at art school: One, people in art school are weird. True story. And also, that I can draw better than I thought! And that, with the magic of a computer, you don’t really have to be able to draw perfectly, per se, as long as you know how to manipulate your horrid stick figure drawing into something beautiful and wonderful and fully realized on the computer! And so, ta da, I became a graphic designer!

The road was still a little bumpy, though, and I started out designing mainly vintage-inspired invitations. I still have some of those invites up in my shop (and they still sell!), but I discovered along the way that my true love lies in home décor. In art school, I always got in trouble for too much decoration. Translation, I liked to just make my projects ‘pretty’ and not ‘informative’. Well, blah, blah, blah – now I get to just make ‘pretty’ all I want! My current favorite ‘pretty’ is probably my “Home is Wherever I’m With You” print. I just really love how it turned out…and I love that song! Have y’all heard that song? By Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes? It’s fantastic. And also in commercials, so I’m sure you have actually heard it.

As for my workspace, it’s not very exciting. Since 99.9% of my work is done on the computer, my workspace consists of a desk, a bunch of drawers holding my current inventory, a cat (or two), and, most likely, a day old empty coffee cup. And sticky notes everywhere.

But I don’t spend ALL my time at the computer! No sir! I also like to play tennis (a new hobby of mine), read all those books I mentioned earlier, and dream about decorating my house. Which I don’t ever actually do. ☺ I’m too busy doing laundry.

For all you new crafting entrepreneurs out there, I have a few little tidbits of advice. One, do what you love! That’s the easy one. But after that comes two, three, and four, which are – work, work, work! You’d be amazed at how much work it takes to keep your Etsy shop up and running. You can’t just list your fabulous creations and sit and wait for people to find you. In the past two years I learned all about Liking and Tweeting and Pinning and Following and Stumbling and you get the picture. (Full disclosure: I DID already know about Facebook because, duh.) But, as much as you’d be amazed at how much time it takes to get your shop moving, you’d also be amazed at how great it feels once you do!

All the places to find me:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Etsy Shop Feature CCARIA Jewelry

Cari is such a wonderful person to talk to! I love her jewelry! She has a whole section just for diabetes awareness. Such a neat story:

Start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself. - When I start talking there is nothing 'little' about it. I like to I'll keep it brief, sort of.  I started making jewelry about 4 yrs ago when my son (only child) and my husband started to bond over video games. That left me to my own devices. Weeks prior my best friend asked me to help her make some stretchy bracelets to raise money for her Breast cancer walk. I had so much fun making them but realized that I wanted to do more than that. So I did what I always do, I researched stuff on the internet, planned on what materials I needed and went on a shopping trip. I never start out small, and next thing I know I'm over run with pieces that I had been creating. I started to give them to my friends and family, when someone suggest I try to sell them. So back to researching again, then a friend recommended Etsy to me. And the rest is history (that is if I want to keep this short) if you want to know more of my story you can see it here in my "About" page

Do you have a favorite piece that you have made? I have many several pieces. But I think one of my favorite is my very first WDD (World Diabetes Day). My son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 5 years ago (this month). I joined Twitter and made a lot of friends with parents with kids with Diabetes and Diabetics themselves. One person asked me if I could make a necklace for her, and this is the result. That trigger all sorts of pieces to my Diabetes Awareness Line  all my proceeds are donated to JDRF.   
I'm also starting a new line for children/tween, those pieces can be seen here

Describe your workspace... (include a pic if you'd like) My workspace is 'cluttered' but I seem to thrive in that. I have a HUGE work space and yet I'm still very cluttered. So no picture included here HA

When you are not working on your crafts, what else do you like to do? When I'm not working on my crafts, I'm working full time (I am a Finance/Associate Executive Director for a Non for Profit) or spending time with my family golfing (in the spring/summer/fall) and just hanging out in general with them.

Lastly, do you have any advice for fellow crafters/entrepreneurs just starting out? My advice would be to do your research. I researched how to make the jewelry and pricing and all that good stuff, but I didn't research enough on how to market it. My first few years on Etsy were sort of a 'throw away' I didn't know what I was doing. It was and still is a hobby to me, but I realized that I needed to put much more effort into it. Just posting it doesn't mean it will sell. So do your homework, join teams, promote and tell everyone you can about your products.  Don't be afraid to give your products to people to promote for you, whether it's for fundraisers,  or blog or on your own social media giveaways. The more you get your product out there, the better shot you have of selling it.

Feel free to include any blog links you have, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lemon Salad Dressing Recipe

A Yummy Recipe for Lemon Salad Dressing:

1 Lemon, juiced
Lemon Zest (Zest before juicing)
1/3 C. Oil (light flavor light texture light testure olive oil)
1/3 C. Sugar
1 tsp Mustard Seed

Mix and refrigerate. Enjoy! :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

StarlightWoods-Etsy shop Feature

Starlight Woods, such a perfect name!! I absolutely LOVE this shop. What an amazing story and way to use her talents. I love everything in her shop.  Here is her story:

My name is Lisa and I am the mother of 2 girls, 17 and 11. We started Starlight woods sort of on a whim. We are always looking for items to repurpose and create art projects from, the storms of 2011 were crazy, they ripped trees out of the ground and left yards full of limbs. What better material to repurpose!

My favorite piece, well that kind of changes with my moods, some days I crave a big sparkly ring, other days I simply love my minimal studs, if I really had to pick one piece, I think I always do fall back on the big sparkly ring- in light green, it makes me feel happy:)

One similar to this, in light green

My work space...oh boy, well it's a work in progress, I really need more room to bring my ultimate work space to life. Right now it consists of a table with all of my art supplies and outside I have a big shed where I store and cut my wood. My dream is to put a small room onto my house dedicated to my shop :)

The Wood Pile

When I am not working on my shop, I try to work out just a bit to keep in shape and the rest of my time is dedicated to my children and their schedule of activities! There's not much down time but when I do find some, a glass of Pinot noir and some comfy pj's is my heaven!

My advice to anyone starting out is simple, don't give up. If you believe in your vision, work your butt off, research, ask questions and follow your heart.

Some more items from her shop: