Sunday, December 30, 2007

Meet Etsy Artist: exquisitecanvas


Thankfully the talented Cindy Conners recently broke her 25 year hiatus from painting and has since created a myriad of ethereal Asian inspired pieces. Now she paints every weekend and in the evenings as a hobby. "I'm finding that painting has been a great way to escape the stresses of my job during the day," she confesses. Like me, she is inspired by the arts and people of the Far East - and shares my infatuation with Buddhas. Her paintings are deeply textured and often incorporate pearl pigments or gold and copper leafing, which creates a mesmerizing effect. She found out about Etsy from a fellow artist and soon sold one of her favorite paintings in her first shop, which was dedicated to fine silver jewelry (cincin47.etsy.com). Please visit her shops: http://exquisitecanvas.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: prairiejeweler


Michele is proud to call herself "a home grown country girl from Kansas." Not surprisingly her pieces are often inspired by her rustic surroundings, love of antiques, and anything "junk-tastic." She has never liked anything mass produced or "off the rack" and blames Molly Ringwold in Pretty In Pink for that. She describes her style as "gypsy-cowgirl-esque" - and it certainly reflects her love of horses, rodeos, and "anything rusty, crusty and old." She even admits that "Junk-tiquing" is one of her favorite pastimes.

This spring will ring in the 7th year for The Prairie Jeweler, which is her passion. "It's what I love and what I hope to be able to do until my eyesight fails me... or arthritis sets in," she declares. She'd love to eventually reach customers in all 50 states, but admits she has a way to go. "BE PATIENT and promote," she advises her fellow Etsians. "As long as you have a quality product that is unique and true to who you are you will do fine. In the jewelry category it is really tough and there are tons of extremely talented Etsians out there, but as long as you have confidence in your design and your vision you can only go up!" Please check out her shop: http://prairiejeweler.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Artist:Madelaine


She may only be sixteen, but Madelaine is already an accomplished self-representing digital artist and photographer. Born in Alberta, Canada in 1991, she currently resides in Thomas, West Virginia with her family, where the population is barely 500. Her boyfriend Critter "often stays with us in our little home here in the mountains." She doesn't drive yet, but is saving for a car with her Etsy earnings. Currently she attends Davis and Elkins College part-time, but hopes to be able to afford art school in the future.

Madelaine finds her inspiration for her dark, haunting style in words. "Always, always words. In any shape or form, as well; conversations, poetry, songs, books, letters. I can take an entire paragraph or a short line, and transform it into something visual in my mind, and then I go from there." She began her love affair with photography in the Spring of 2005, and soon started to digitally manipulate her photos into surreal works of art. "My art has evolved immensely," she admits.

Aside from Etsy Madelaine is also an assistant medic at a ski resort. "I can’t be a real one until I’m 18," she acknowledges, which means she doesn't get paid. Etsy is her only source of income. "With it, however, I am able to help support my family, so that works out great. I would really really love to be able to live on selling my art for the rest of my life, but I suppose only time will tell." She hopes to have 500 sales by her Etsy anniversary (September of 2008). "It might be a rather optimistic outlook, but I plan on introducing two new lines of smaller goods, so that might help reach more customers."

As a photographer, she knows the importance of good pictures. "There is nothing that will make me click away from an Etsy shop faster than bad photographs." She also warns her fellow sellers to account for all costs. "If you underprice in hopes of increasing sales, you’re screwing yourself over. People pay for quality on Etsy."

Please check out her shop: http://madelaine.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: Annilys


The talent behind Annilys is also a clinical massage therapist living in northern California, but it's her part-time antique dealing that sparked her Etsy career. She has been "enthralled with jewelry since childhood, (and) channels that creative drive into (her) handcrafted adorments." She's driven to unearth treasures on what she calls her "constant search for relics from the past." She also enjoys period films and finds herselff absorbed in the jewelry, costumes, and sets. "I pore over books of antique and ancient jewelry spanning back to the dawn of civilization, and I find them to be rich sources of inspiration and information," she admits. "I'm also inspired by avant garde high-fashion, as well as art, especially Art Nouveau and the Symbolists. Alphonse Mucha and Gustave Moreau are my heroes." Her love of their decadant Victorian style reflects in her ecclectic jewelry designs.

She is too passionate about her art to consider it a hobby. "I used to do this full-time for years, but that was before my little guy came along." Although her curious toddler limits her time in her home-based studio, she'd eventually like to devote more time to establishing her brand through Etsy and forge new bonds with other artisans. "Persistence is key," she advises. "Even if you don't have an abundance of time to invest in your shop, or it seems like the buyers aren't coming, don't give up. Have faith in yourself and your dream. Just keep believing!" Please check out her shop: http://annilys.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Seamstress: monsterbugblankets


Jennifer is the hardworking Mom and talent behind MonsterBugBlankets. She has been married for 11 years and has two children —Bug, 3, and Monster, 1. Although she just started sewing in 2000 when her husband bought her a sewing machine, she fell in love with the craft quickly. She started out making skirts for herself and soon progressed into costumes for the kindergarten class she taught. When she learned she was expecting her first child she looked for the perfect bedding. "I searched high and low, and nothing was right for me. So I made (Bug) a quilt," she explains. Then it was onto flannel blankets and what she calls "Tag Blankets." She soon began making blankets for friends' babies and by the time Monster arrived she was hooked. Her ecclectic style has been a Godsend for parents. "I like making blankets that are a bit different than what everyone else has. Not all pink and blue, with teddy bears and bunnies...I figure I can't be the only one who gets tired of all the pastels and primary colors not working with the décor of their home." Thus MonsterBug Blankets was born.
Other creative people inspire Jennifer in her craft. "Their ideas are so amazing. I think about the details of their work, and often new, lovely thoughts come into my head for items I can make," she confesses. "Their creativity fuels my creativity."
Etsy is a hobby for the busy homemaker - she makes her family her priority. "MonsterBug Blankets is a creative outlet for me." She hopes to make enough sales through Etsy and craft shows to afford an embroidery machine. She realizes that in order for Etsy to be lucrative it takes a lot of time, effort, money, and hard work - often more than expected. "Promote on AND OFF Etsy," she advises.

Please check out her Etsy shop: http://monsterbugblankets.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Meet Etsy Artists: LazyCat


The artists behind LazyCat met at the University of Michigan - two are medical doctors and the third has her PhD. At a young age they learned how to crochet from their grandmothers and began making scarves from unusual yarns. They soon progressed into wire and beads, "because (they) like to push what (they) can do with crochet." Each of their designs is something they would personally wear, which means each piece is inspired by current fashions. They successfully combine crochet with modern styles, which is expertly displayed in their wire and beaded jewelry. Please check out their shop: http://lazycat.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: VintageInspirations


With a shop name like Vintage Inspirations, it's no wonder Jennifer is interested in a bygone era. "I find a ton of inspiration from flea markets and tag sales. I find myself inspired by old costume jewelry or even an old tattered letter," she confesses. Her designs are usually delicate and classy - something any Victorian aristocrat would enjoy. "Occasionally I might design something big and bold just to change things up, but for the most part I like to create things that really make my customers feel like a girl," she explains. Even her pieces with a modern edge reflect vintage sophistication. Her work has a timeless appeal and can be worn with jeans or evening attire. She started out drawing in elementary school and later tried her hand at soap and candle making, has focussed on jewelry designing for the last four years. Right now Etsy is just a hobby, but she's working very hard to development her art into a business. "I take what I do very seriously and I take a lot of pride in my work. I think that being a part of Etsy has really helped me grow as an artist," she admits. She advises her fellow Etsians to keep doing what they love. "I didn't sell anything my first few months on Etsy because I was under the assumption that posting my items once was enough. Once I started spending time in the forums and re-listing items everyday I found that things really started to pick up for me. I have found that Etsy only gives me what I am willing to put into it and I think that that is a very valuable lesson to anyone selling here." Please check out her Etsy shop: http://vintageinspirations.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Artist: SofiaMasri/Poopsie


29 year old Sofia Masri makes victorian inspired porcelain jewelry while going to college full time as a Biology student. "Needless to say, my life is a non-stop circus," she jokes. Her vintage designs reflect her love of antiques, history, mythology, and ancient civilizations. "For my namesake Etsy shop I channel the vintage and antique loving, romantic part of me. I strive to recreate that feeling of holding an object from a bygone era." She has another Etsy shop by the name of Poopsie that shows off a more whimsical aesthetic. "There's a part of me that will never grow up, and I fully embrace it," she admits. "My craft is my therapy. Despite the fact that porcelain can be quite temperamental, I find a great deal of serenity in the process." Ever since she was a child she's been creating, doodling in her Sesame Street story books. "I loved to get messy with art supplies when I was younger, but I was also a perfectionist. I remember being accused of having my mom help me with my art homework in kindergarten. I've always been aware of the meticulous care you have to take in order to create something thoughtful, meaningful, and worthwhile." Her attention to detail is evident today in her master craftsmanship, which she successfully turned into a career this year. "I think it's important to make each and every item as if you were making it for a loved one of discriminating taste," she advises. "In other words, put 200% into your work, hold it to a high degree of scrutiny and quality." Please visit her Etsy shop: http://sofiamasri.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Meet Etsy Card Maker: QuirkynBerkeley


QuirkynBerkeley is a freelance writer by day - and an eclectic card maker by night. "Rosie the WonderDog" and "Twink the Monster Kitten" keep her company in her Berkeley, CA studio, which is brimming with colorful paper and supplies. "I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of color and space, and inspired by the human ability to take disparate elements and put them together in wholly unique and original ways." She enjoys experimenting with new techniques and admits the only constants in her designs are the materials. "I love rubber stamps," she confesses. She's also interested in origami and would like to try her hand at kurigami. Then there's the new gocco machine - "I can't wait to use, but I've got a lot of other projects I'm working on first." She began making cards as a little girl in Texas out of pressed mimosa blossoms. In the last three years she has created over 800 unique cards, but jokes "this a hobby according to the IRS." She hopes become a constructive member of the Etsy community and continually learn from her fellow artists, whom she admires. Every day she features a new Etsy shop on her blog. She advises her fellow sellers to "help as many people as you can, give other people the benefit of the doubt, learn as much as you can, work as hard as you can at your own craft and at making this a community that you're proud to be a part of. Treat your customers like gold, give the best customer service you can imagine, and then keep your mind open for new techniques to improve on that." Please check out her shop: http://quirkynberkeley.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, December 14, 2007

Meets Etsy Artist: Newdaycrochet

Sherryl Day is the prolific knitter behind Newdaycrochet. She began sewing at the tender age of six, using scraps of cloth from her grandmother, and progressed to quilting and embroidery. "I really enjoyed mymother's quilts when I began to sew. In each quilt there was a piece of me and my life." In highschool she moved on to crochet. "It started one morning when a neighbor and myself caught the bus to school. She taught me (to crochet) and I've been at it off and on ever since." When she's not persuing her love of sewing, she's crocheting. "Got to do something to keep the hands and brain active," she jokes. She gives her mother credit for allowing her to persue her creative talents. "Even though she is no longerwith us, she is still alive in the work I do." Although she admits the younger generation may think her craft is somewhat "old school," she brings a modern element to her designs, "doing more than a traditional afghan or doilies."

In fact, Sherryl has her own aversion to doilies. "I remember my Mom had these large doilies all over the house. They were pretty, but I didn't like them. She would wash, starch them - and I had to iron them. I felt likeI was being punished." Needless to say, she doesn't do doilies. Etsy is currently a hobby for Sherryl, and she hopes it never turns into a job. "I love and enjoy what I do. If it ever turns into a job, I'd stop doing (it)." She reccomends fellow artists do what they enjoy, regardless of the outcome. "Don't turn it into a job. Then it becomesa drudgery, a resentment. Keep it FUN, keep it LIGHT, keep it HAPPY." Please visit her Etsy shop: http://newdaycrochet.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Fiber Artist: blondechicken


Tenesee transplant Tara (of BlondeChicken) earned a degree in French Literature in hopes of becoming a professor, but soon realized she needed something more creative. "I managed a small business for 2 years and that gave me the confidence to pursue my dream," she explains. "Right now I work as a web content manager in Human Resources and in turn receive free tuition. I plan on starting an MBA program next fall…all the while running Blonde Chicken Boutique." As busy as she is, she makes a point to find time for her artistic outlet. "I think about colors and fibers constantly, jotting down new ideas." She finds inspiration in nature, dark chocolate, the perfect cup of coffee, and "the pursuit of authenticity." While she admits she is still developing her style, she acknowledges that one defining characteristic of her work is that she only uses eco-friendly fiber and yarn. "Everything is either recycled, mill-ends (reducing and reusing!), organic and cruelty-free." This brings a natural, earthy, lived-in feel to her yarns.

Etsy may be her hobby, but Tara treats it with the professionalism and detail that befits a career. "It's relaxing, fun - and a necessary creative outlet," she admits. "I use colors I love, I spin the type of yarn that feels right, I name the products silly names! I don't EVER think about if something will sell, because I'm creating for the joy of creating. That's imperative to my sanity." She advises artists that care about the environment to get together. "Join forums, groups, whatever, just go get to know (each other) and let them get to know you!" Please check out her shop: http://blondechicken.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: nicholsforpennies


Joan is a yoga teacher and artist, living in upstate New York. She enjoys vintage items and is "what you would consider a 'Throw Back' in terms of philosophy." Her favorite author is Jane Austen and she is inspired by Victoriana. She creates "meaningful jewelry out of silver, gemstones, pearls, and leather" with a classic style. "I am graphic designer by trade and schooling and have continued my education to learn the bases in silversmithing. I have taught myself the rest and continue to try new methods." Etsy began as a hobby, but she plans to turn it into a small business. "My Etsy goals are to reach as many people as possible, let people know about Etsy, so more folks can buy handmade," she explains. "And, God willing, (to) sell lots of items, so I can afford to continue to create, which for me, is a fundamental need." She advises fellow artists to be persistent. "When one door closes keep your eyes open for the doors that open." Please visit her shop: http://nicholsforpennies.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: MeghanBoyer


Aside from being an extraordinary artist, Meghan Boyer works full time at a non-profit agency for organ and tissue donation in the state of Maryland. Not surprisingly she finds inspiration in peoples' triumphs through tragedy.
Meghan's classic jewelry reflects her love of colors and textures. "I love all things beautiful and delicate, AND I love a big chunky (things) put together correctly." She also admires other artists - and feels very strongly about the handmade movement. "When I sell (one of my pieces) I know that someone out there is wearing something I put so much thought into - and that's kinda cool." She began making jewelry in college when she "was too poor to buy any" and soon realized she could make her own.
Etsy is a hobby and an addiction for Meghan - and right now she hopes to "make enough money on the side to support (her) habbit." She originally joined Etsy on a whim after her sister reccomended she look into it. She had no idea what to expect, but made a sale on her second day. "I flipped! Then came the panic. I had no boxes, shipping supplies, what the heck was I thinking!" She still feels like a rookie (August, 2008 will be her first Etsyversary), but advises everyone to keep creating. "(Etsy) really is an awesome site and there are incredibly talented people on it. If you don't make any money, who cares! Keep making things that make you happy because SOMEONE will be made happy by it, too." Please check out her Etsy shop: http://meghanboyer.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: SleepingCatBeads


Heather, a Philidelphia resident and 37 year old homemaker, is the creative jewelry artist behind SleepingCatBeads. She lives in a "wonderful old steel town that's going through a 'revival'" with her husband, two young sons, and three cats. She is also heavily involved in her Unitarian Universalist congregation as a leader of the youth spirit program.

Heather first found inspiration in nature. "There's something special about wearing a piece of the earth, whether it's a stone or a metal, that's very grounding." Sometimes it's just the beauty of an object that speaks to her. "I no longer only use stones and metals, but will put together anything I think is pretty. I guess the quest for beauty, and sharing that beauty, is what inspires me now," she expalins. Her gorgeous, earthy pices are often reminiscent of her old home of Santa Fe. "The turquoise, coral, and silver always brings me back (to home)." She tends to create her designs simply by rearranging beads until she finds a perfect "fit...sort of like a puzzle." She is a very tactile person and enjoys working with beads of different textures and shapes. The outcome? A unique earthy style that is "a bit eclectic, but always noticeable."

Heather has always been a creative soul, but only began beading a few years ago. "I started really getting obsessed with it last spring," she admits, "and when I could no longer justify buying so many beads to 'play' with I started selling." Her unbelievable talent has helped her turn her addiction into a career. "I have invested too much time and money for it to be just a hobby. But it's hard to see as a job sometimes, because I enjoy it so much." She plans to promote more and create a blog next year. "List often and don't get discouraged," she advises. "If possible, wear your creations and when someone compliments it, hand her your card. Take good pictures (still working on that myself!). And above all, have fun! If you start to feel too negative take a break for a while. The most important thing here is to enjoy what you're doing." Please check out her shop: http://sleepingcatbeads.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Painter & Artist: MWiebe


Michelle Wiebe is the astonishing talent behind MWeibe. She has only recently made a point to paint every day and build her business "as opposed to consigning (her work) for someone else to sell." She is a busy stay-at-home Mom of three and admits every Etsy sale helps her family. "My husband pays the bills and I pay for the icing on the cake," she explains.

She often finds inspiration in music. "Sometimes I'll put on something and my heart just soars. Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead, Nick Cave - those usually put me in the mood to paint." She also enjoys other atrists' work - and reading their blogs. She describes her style as impressionist "because (she) really likes to catch the realism of an object or scene without the stuffiness that can so easily happen when you get really technical."
As a child her parents encouraged her creative spirit. "My dad used to bring home reams and reams of old dot matrix computer paper. I would hide out in my room and draw for hours. I absolutely loved that. Once I picked up a paintbrush and really got into it, I knew that I was most definitely a painter." She has been nurturing her talent for fifteen years.

Michelle plans to turn her talent into a full time job within two years, so that she'll be financially set when her youngest starts school. Eventually she hopes to become fully integrated with the Etsy community. "Selling is one thing, having a group of artists and artisans with whom you can talk shop with and share tips is priceless." When time allows she visits the forums and acknlowledges how important it is to build solid friendships with her fellow Etsians. "Make friends, comment on stuff, heart stuff, most importantly look at stuff. We have such a great site here and by telling all our friends and family about it, we can all keep each other in business." She cautions that quality is key "even if it means asking a bit more for your item. Unlike other sites where auction mentality = low ball bargains, etsy customers are, for the most part, willing to take a second look your unique piece even if it costs more than a mass produced item. We have something special here with the buy handmade mentality." Please visit her shop: http://mwiebe.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Artists: ThisIsIt

Dan and Jodi are a husband and wife artistic duo, who "dreamed of creating together while working from home." They started their endeavor in 2005 and named it "This Is IT" becuase "it’s how we felt about each other from the moment we met." Dan is currently in the middle of graduate school for creative writing, so Jodi is focussing on the business until he graduates next year. "My mom also helps us with the journals, which we so appreciate!" Their eclectic handmade gifts range from photo albums, journals, greeting cards, and jewelry. "We are both huge animal lovers and vegan, and we donate 5% of our profits to animal-welfare groups. The charities that we currently support are: Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Farming Association, The Jane Goodall Institute, and The Anti-Vivisection Society." They also share a love of the environment. "I really feel that the world consciousness is changing with regard to the environment and sustainable living –and it’s very exciting to be a part of this change. Dan and I use recycled boards for our journals and cardstock. All of our journal paper is handmade and environmentally friendly. We will continue to move more and more in this direction because I feel that it’s so important for our planet.We cherish mindful living, Buddhist philosophies, and contributing creatively to the world, but leaving as small a mark while doing so." Often times inspiration strikes them just before bed or when they first wake up, so they keep an "idea book" close at hand. "I just sketch it out and then the idea gets put into fruition. I love anything that has Asian influences. I love Jackson Pollock and many other abstract artists. I love Buddhist art and statues. I love the colors of India. I feel like there are so many ideas in my mind—and I just need to find the time to sit down and create them all." Their art definitely shows an open-minded, worldly influence. In some form or another they have always been creative. "When I was small I was the one making cards for anyone I could think of for any holiday I could invent," Jodi explains. "A friend of mine made jewelry, which I thought looked like a lot of fun…she taught me and here I am." Dan and Jodi feel blessed that their artistic passion has turned into a full time job. "(We) will never take that for granted." Fairly new to Etsy, they plan to learn more about the site and the community every day - and "keep making products that (we are)proud of." They advise their fellow Etsy sellers to list often. "I notice on days when I am busy with other things and don’t list frequently, the sales go down. I think it’s so important to have good customer service—follow through with what you say you are going to do. Make as many treasuries as you can. Post often in the forums. Network as much as you can. This is such a great community, and I am so proud to be a part of it!" Please check out her shop: http://thisisit.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Bath & Body Artist: AJsCountryCottage

The artist behind AJsCountryCottage finds her inspiration in nature. A simple walk in the country could spark the idea for a new scent. "Somehow the combination of fresh air, nature, exercise, and solitude gets my creative juices flowing," she explains. Her earthy products are fun, yet practical - and wonderfully arommatic. "I don't just want functional; I want my fragrant creations to look nice, to be interesting and colorful, and most of all, to help create a comforting ambience -- a haven of rest in our often busy and stressful world." Ever since she can remember she's been experimenting with all sorts of creative mediums. She poured her first candles when she was 13 and has been working to perfect the technique ever since. She makes all of her soaps from scratch and "loves coming up with new ideas for scents, for color combinations, for textures, and for new techniques that make my soaps not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well." Being a creator and an entrepreneur, Etsy is both her job and her hobby. "I create so I can sell; I sell so I can create more. But even if I couldn't have this as my job, I'd still be creating. It's in my genes." She hopes to meet new friends through Etsy and to "find some great handcrafted items for myself and my friends & family." She's worked very hard to establish herself as a trustworthy artisan and seller. "Do your homework and research thoroughly," she advises. "Then practice, practice, and practice some more. Most learning comes through experience. Persevere and be patient. It takes time to make great things and to establish yourself in business; there really are no shortcuts. Be friendly, kind, and helpful to others. Network!" Please visit her shop: http://ajscountrycottage.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Meet Etsy Artist & Painter: canvasworks


The artist behind Canvasworks has been living in her quaint Vermont house for 13 years. "My husband, daughter, and I moved here in search of a quiet life where I could create, paint and sit quietly," she says of her small-town paradise. She finds inspiration in the beautiful surrounding countryside. "Moose, deer, herons, foxes, and turkeys entertain me." She describes her whimsical style as "folk art with a geometric twist." She is drawn to natural, earthy colors such as the historical palette used in her 200 year old home. Although she has been creating since she was a kid, she narrowed her business down to floor cloths and folk art in the last 14 years. "I would love to see my Etsy shop take me to a looser style. I see my Etsy shop full of fun paintings that make people smile, or relax, or a little of both." Please check out her Etsy shop: http://canvasworks.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Artist & Painter: gigibutterfly


Canadian painter Gigi Butterfly lives in the closeknit art community of Halfmoon Bay in British Columbia. "It is very artistic here, and it's wonderful to be around so many like minded artisans, which is why I love Etsy so much," she admits. Like me, Gigi finds inspiration in exotic cultures and faiths. "I Love to travel. I go to places that are rich in color and culture, like India, Morocco, (and) Vietnam. There is so much to learn from their cultures - I like to infuse what I learn while traveling into my own life." She finds beauty in everything and always has her camera in hand to capture it, so she can paint it later. "I was painting away, and one day, had a brilliant idea of painting one flower on one giant canvas. Suddenly everyone was comparing me to Georgia O'Keefe." Her contemporary style wasn't always encouraged, though. "I went into the world of business and was miserable. I decided to pack up my life, became a scuba instructor and got a job in Trinidad and Tobago. From there I backpacked in South America for 14 months and when I returned in 1999 I stomped my feet on the ground, like a kid having a tantrum, and advised my family that I was going to be an artist and that was that. And that's what I've been doing ever since." She has successfully turned her art into what she calls a "gratifying and enjoyable job." She strives to be appreciated by fellow artisans. "I want my artwork to bring happiness into peoples lives. Vancouver can be so dreary in the winter, grey and rainy, so to bring a flower painting into a persons home can really brighten it up." She advises her fellow Etsy artists to keep at it. "Don't quit, don't give up. It's not necessarily about the sales. Follow your passion." Please visit her Etsy shop://http://gigibutterfly.etsy.com

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

My other passion: Portraits











While I focus on jewelry in my Etsy shop I have two other passions: writing on my fictional novel about a medevac helicopter crew in the Vietnam War - and pencil portrats. I have never persued it professionaly, but I wanted to share my work with my friends...These are some of my favorite pieces...
-Wendy Baylis

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: sherrytruitt

Jewelry designer and metalsmith Sherry Truitt lives in a 1918 craftsman bungalow with her husband, son, and jack russell terrier Zorro. They have painstakingly restored the house to it's original stature - and, being a vegetarian, she has also planted an extensive garden. Sherry finds inspiration in the art of Thomas Mann, the writings of Alice Hoffman, the concept of wabi-sabi, and the love and support of her family. She works expertly in sterling silver, copper, enamel, and aluminum, creating jewelry in her modern yet classic style. "I also love fine silver, PMC," she admits. "It's an excellent medium for small sculpture." She has also recently tried her hand at felting and plans to incorporate the two mediums in future pieces. "Some of my earliest memories are of making things," she recalls. "But I always mixed sets together, like tinker toys and erector sets. I was destined to be an artist." Although Sherry works at her craft full time, she doesn't think of it as a job - it's her passion. "I think the concept of a site for just handmade (products) is inspiring, but as Etsy grows I hope they can stay true to that mission." She enjoys the community of fellow artists, but cautions, "it's important for an artist in business to never put all your eggs in one basket." Sherry currently sells her work on three on-line sites, a gallery, and two seasonal resort shops. Please check out her Etsy shop: http://sherrytruitt.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: emmylouhelmuth

Aside from creating beautiful jewelry for her Etsy shop, Emmy Lou Helmuth is a full time volunteer with the Immigration Resource Center in San Luis Valley, Colorado (her husband also offers his services full time for Habitat For Humanity). She has always been creative, but her current loves are knitting and cooking. She finds her inspiration in nature. "I love the colors, textures, and the intricate simplicity." Sometimes it is even pure necessity that drives her artistic vision. "It is so great to see a need for something and figure out how (to) create what is needed." Emmy Lou's husband describes her as "a closest hippie," but she also enjoys elements of classic beauty. The unique combination comes across very well in her jewelry designs, and can be dressed up for a night on the town - or dressed down with Danskos and jeans (my personal favorite). For now Etsy is her hobby and she plans to enjoy her shop and "make enough sales to fund (her) continued crafting and Etsy purchases." She advises her fellow artists to "take the time to learn something new. I recently started working with a sewing machine and the old beast is rather inspiring." Please check out her shop: http://emmylouhelmuth.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Meet Etsy Artist: Ainsmar

Ainsley Yeager, the young talent behind Ainsmar, is currently a sophomore in college, majoring in art design, "which is basically graphic design and illustration combined." She is only 19, "making (her) a fairly young person to be selling." At the moment she feels that her age and schooling are a disadvantage. "Since I'm in school I have little to no money, I can't afford a bigger place where I have room for crafting and I certainly do not have the following other people do." Her hard work and innovative designs will more than likely pay off in the near future. "I don't know why, but after I hear a really good story I normally want to draw and make stuff," she says of her inspiration. "Normally it isn't even related to the story, but I just get more creative energy after it." She's been developing her unique style her entire life. "When I was younger I liked drawing in the Disney style, then I got tired of that and tried to draw more of a superhero DC kind of style." But that didn't fulfill her inner creativity. "When I was around 14 I started making my own style and I threw in inspiration from a lot of other alternative comic artists. I've played with it for a good five years now and I think that I'm getting my own unique 'flavor'." She admits her craft is continuously evolving, encompasing her drawing and painting skills. Currently she specializes in minicomics, cards, and ACEOs, but hopes to explore the fields of sculpting and block printing. Although she has always been creative, she's only been serious about her craft in the last year. "Right now I'd call it a hobby. I hardly spend enough time on crafting to call this a job, but in the future I hope it will be." Still, she plans to promote herself seriously and make her pressence known. "If you want to make money off of what you love then you have to be a part of the Etsy community. Post in the forums, buy from others and go in the chat room," she advises.

Please visit her shop: http://ainsmar.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Meet Etsy Mixed Media & Collage Artist: Vintagesnapsandscrap


Kathy is the dedicated and creative artist behind Vintagesnapsandscrap. "I stay at home right now in an effort to get my business going." She finds her inspiration from vintage photographs and "other artists, many whom (she has) posted on (her) blog." She has been creating her mixed media pieces for two years, feauturing elements of vintage and altered art. It began as a hobby, but she is thankful to have turned it into her job. She strives to offer excellent customer service and "to make people happy with the things (she) creates. " She advises other Etsians to "take it day by day, stay positive, treat others like YOU want to be treated, list often and promote." Please check out her shop: http://vintagesnapsandscrap.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Knitter: TABIHATS


Nikki Means is the prolific knitter behind TABIHATS (Toddler And Baby Inc. Hats). She enjoys "bringing to life something beautiful with my hands that started merely as a thought in my mind." She has been creating her unique toddler knits for two years as a hobby. "I began knitting the hats when (I) became a caregiver for my (96 year old) grandmother. She has dementia and many other physical ailments that require 24 hour care." Being a full time caregiver she became housebound and "as a result...(I) developed cabin fever." She soon realized that indulging her creative side brought her great joy and relieved some of the stress. Etsy has become her "personal paradise." She hopes to sell her whimsical pieces to "people who appreciate handmade items created with love." She'd like to remind her fellow Etsy artists to "never stifle (their) creativity; it is a God-given gift." Please check out her shop: http:TABIHATS.etsy.com
For more information on dementia care please check out http://www.dementia-thoughts.blogspot.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, December 7, 2007

Meet Etsy Clothing Designer & Artist: Bonzie

The young talent behind Bonzie feels most at home working in her "quaint wooden studio in the sunny South East of Ireland." Aside from Etsy she also does custum work through private commissions, creating some of the most beautiful handmade and upcycled clothing with a victorian vibe. "I am always attracted to things of an antique nature," she admits. "I love deconstructed, frayed, textiles; I always feel like it has more character. If I have to work on a piece of new fabric, I usually end up manipulating it to look like something out of the famine!" She describes her style as "a blend of steampunk, romantic, vintage, gothic, baroque, venetian -basically anything which will allow me to indulge in my love of old!" A stickler for details, she is "allergic to anything of a plain nature." She has been a creative soul from the very beginning. "I can remember my nan entertaining me with an old cornflake box and some crayons. (Creating) was all I wanted to do when I was young (and funnily now that I'm older too!) Creating for me is not a luxury, its part of who I am and I must do it for sanity." Her art is her passion, and although she's managed to make a success of her Etsy shop, she also works in other art related jobs "as a means of subsidising (her) ability to continue with (her) craft." For Bonzie Etsy is a means to indulge in her passion and reach a wider audience. "It is a real high to know that somebody in Canada, America, Australia, etc., is wandering around in one of my pieces." She attributes her success to her involvement in the Etsy community. "Most of my successes have been as a direct result of making many fabulous friends on Etsy. They are my support group, from pimping me in the forums to adding me in there treasurys, we all look out for each other." Please check out her shop: http://Bonzie.etsy.com
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Meet Etsy Polymer Clay Artist: LunaMom


Diana, a busy 50 year old mother and grandmother, is the creative spirit behind LunaMom. "If an art or craft form interests me I pursue it," she admits. Her whimsical clay creations are lighthearted and fun, and "invite people to touch (them)." She values the enjoyment people get from her work as much or more than creating it. "My first memory is of playing with earth clay that had been a Christmas gift to my siblings and me. Mom was a crafter and encouraged us to explore many mediums. Each type of craft that I have attempted has been brought to the rest of the art forms I love." Right now Etsy is both a hobby and job for Diana. "I try to find a balance where creating is still fun, but the process of conducting business is still done as professoinally as possible." Her Etsy goal is "to become known as one of the polyclay artists to come to when you need something unique and fun made." Please check out her shop: http://lunamom.etsy.com/


-Wendy Baylis


Dharma Designs


http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Jewelry Artist: DesignedByLucinda


The creative talent behind DesignedByLucinda has been "doing jewelry ever since (she) was kicked out of (her) 7th grade 'sketch' class." She immediately started selling long term at a local jewelry store where she learned valuable business skills and was able to hone her craft. Her unique style allows for dressing pieces up or down and she describes it as "classic, trying for elegant, (and) not afraid to get silly." Lucinda has been perfecting her art for 35 years. "Oh my, I feel old," she jokes. I think wise is a much better word for it. Her experience and sage advice has helped many a fellow Etsian improve, myself included.

Lucinda has been lucky enough - and talented enough - to turn her passion into a career. She'd like to go even further and one day sell enough to "enable (her) to hire other people to take photos, promote, ship and leave (her) free to buy beads and create." She advises her fellow Etsians, "Open a REAL shop somewhere, get your own URL and promote YOUR SHOP, YOUR BRAND, YOUR STYLE everywhere...If you have the cajones to list on Etsy, you have the cajones to keep believing in yourself. Keep visualizing being a bigger name than Martha Stewart (without the jail time)."
Please check out her shop: http://designedbylucinda.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Meet Etsy Artist: COooLaLa


The artist behind COooLaLa is a self taught painter that specializes in acrylics. "I do a lot of free hand painting and really like flowers," she says. "I'm a retired, so have a lots of time." She has been a crafter most of her life, dabbling in painting, sewing, 3D decopauge, and crochet. She aims to make a small business out of her talent, but admits she has "never sold much, just some Christmas balls at a small hospital (she) once worked at." She marvels at the talent on Etsy and hopes to follow in her fellow artists' successful path. Please check out her shop: http://cooolala.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: 47bonanza


Ann, the artist behind 47bonanza, enjoys seeing the "passions, feelings and the life experiences of other artists come through in their work." Her unique designs designs are almost autobiographical - each of her pieces has a special memory and story behind it. "I have created charm bracelets in memory of my dogs and filled them with the colors of my dogs and things that remind me of them. Other pieces are reminiscent of a vacation or a photograph that I took." She almost explicitly uses natural stone "because (she) loves nature and natural things."

Ann graduated from college with a BFA degree in graphic design and photography and has been working in her field for twenty years. Jewelry designing is her newest passion. "The physical skills to create jewelry are really not difficult at all," she admits. "The talent lies in choosing how to combine different shapes, colors, textures, materials, metals, sizes, etc. adding the 'passion' to the piece to make it unique and different." She never makes two of the same necklace or bracelet, so her customers always get an original piece of art. Although she has only been selling jewelry on line since January, she loves the fact that with the internet "you can reach the entire world." Her art is her life, but she maintains a day job that pays the bills. "I plan to make jewelry design a full time job. My two year goal on Etsy is 1500 sales." She advises her fellow Etsians "to look inside yourself, realize what you love in life and pursue it with all the energy and passion that you have - you will succeed and be happy. And if you are going to sell anything by just a photo, make it a good one!" Please check out her shop: http://47bonanza.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Artist: Leatherpedia


Wayne Samples is the talented craftsman behind Etsy shop Leatherpedia. "I really enjoy hearing that people like my creations and enjoy using them," the Knoxville, TN resident admits. "Leathercraft is a hobby I have enjoyed for fifty years on and off." He likes traditional designs as well as creating his own. "I like to make things out of leather and that led me to make a leather rose." He took off from there, creating wallets and - most recently - portraits on leather. "I have been thinking about offering that on my Etsy site. Etsy gives me an outlet for my items as does shops around my area." He reccomends fellow sellers "give honest descriptions of your items and keep your quality high." Please check out his shop: http://leatherpedia.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Collage Artist: tcatalano


Besides being an Etsy Artist, Tara Catalano is a "feisty Mom of a crazy two year old and a proud wife." She is "eager to crush the cliché 'starving artist.'" Last January she stumbled upon the movie "The Secret" and it touched her so deeply it changed her life, opening her soul to an artistic path. "It sparked a fuse that has been inside me forever. I always wanted to pursue an artist career, but never had the ingenuity. Now, I am addicted." Her other addictions include chocolate, coffee, Kombucha tea, and sushi.

"It's quite difficult to describe my paintings or style, mostly because it comes from within," she admits. "I call it 'Art from the Inner Spirit' or 'Yoga for the Eyes.'" She is deeply influenced by Buddhism and Eastern philosophies and her spirituality and inner soul transcends each of her ethereal pieces. "My application of the acrylic paint is whimsical, abstract, colorful and full of texture and emotion." She has been blessed with her gift her entire life, but admits can sometimes be a curse. "Even as a kid, I could spend hours drawing, cutting, pasting, sewing, or designing. However, just recently I have overcome my inhibitions and started selling my creations." Her work is not just a job or hobby, but her passion. "Unfortunately, money makes the world go around, so I hope to prosper from my PASSION every day. Also, I have this rebellious side of me because so many people within my inner circle advised me that you can't prosper from art! My mission is to prove them wrong....and decorate the world." When she first joined Etsy her only aspiration was to obtain a treasury and and sell one thing. "When someone would send me positive feedback, I would seriously get tears in my eyes." Her goals later shifted to building a regular clientele and keeping her shop on the cutting edge. "Selling high quality paintings and having perfect customer service are my priorities." She is also relentless when it comes to more exposure. Although she feels as though she is just an Etsy "rookie," she has sound advice to offer. "Artists are a quirky, small network and we should all stick together. Believe in your craft! If you seek advice, feedback or questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime. Also, watch 'The Secret.'" It may unlock your inner path as well.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Meet Etsy Bath & Body Artist: DvineBody


Janice is the bath & body artist behind Etsy shop DvineBody. She works from home, managing her husband's business and her own web design business. She studied aromatology and has been creating her exotic blends for three years. She developed the idea for D'vine Body when her sister reccomended fragrance oils instead of essential oils. "I resisted very much at first, but realized that most people who are aware of how valuable essentials oils are make them for themselves. Many people just won't pay the higher prices.... so D'vine Body meets the needs of those who want a quality product at an affordable price."

"Just recently I decided to give back to the many amazing crafters I met on the internet by developing an online Craft Mall and Auction. As a web designer I am aware of the start up costs for people who want to have an online store where they can sell their items and also realize that with a store of their own it will take many months before they are recognized in the search engines and may not get the ROI they are expecting. At http://wwcrafters.com/ they can list their beautiful handmade items with No membership fees, No Signup Costs and No Commissions taken out at the end of a sale. I don't know many places you can actually get all those great features. I also have a blog attached to my mall where I feature amazing artisans from around the world http://wwcrafters.com/serendipity.com ."

She describes her craft as "creating skincare and body products that are blended fresh using only the highest quality ingredients I can find. Every single item that I list in my stores I use for myself and my family and because we have sensitive skin it works out to be a wonderful perk."

Creating her wonderful products isn't just a hobby - or even a job for DvineBody; it's her life. "I've been creating homemade remedies for years with my aromatology and have a website I would say it's my lifestyle. I have been putting alot of time and energy into my Mall but once I have some time I will blend up some new goodies!" She hopes to have 100 sales by her first Etsy anniversary (May, 2008 ). "There are just so many in my category who are wonderful bath and body crafters." She reccomends renewing items daily to get exposure. "If your items sit there chances are you are not going to sell much unless you have an outside following. Also peek into the forums and promote a bit... or at least let yourself be seen, so other members can be exposed to your store.... I've found many wonderful people on the forums."

Please check out her shop: http://dvinebody.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: kriaytions


"I just started making jewelry and scarves a little over a year ago, although I have always seemed to have some sort of craft project going on in my life. I think it was my mom's accessories that started me down this path. One day she was wearing a really pretty and unique bracelet with stones dangling from a chain. I decided right there that I wanted to make one myself-next thing I know I was at a craft store buying beads. I made a few things, and a friend liked them so much she suggested I make them and sell them. I have been finishing up my dissertation this past year and I was in dire need of a creative outlet to relieve some stress... so I think the timing of her comment was perfect. Next thing I know, I'm doing a craft fair and beads have taken over my office space...and maybe I spend too much time creating when I should be working on my dissertation research. I guess my style comes from spending most of my life in Orange County and Los Angeles. I'm a bit of a beach girl who loves the outdoors and plantlife. I like things that are classy and naturally beautiful, like stones, crystal and shell, but I like things to have a little bit of a fun element to them. I often get inspiration for color pallettes from things like a fabric print, a tree with turning leaves, or a flower arrangement. I love combining various shades of similar and complementary colors with different textures in such that you can build outfits around them. I don't wear very many prints, so I add to my wardrobe with my accessories. A friend of mine first introduced me to Etsy. I really wanted to join just so I had a place to send my friends or any other people that complimented me on a piece I was wearing. I would love to eventually make enough money to actually cover my expenses (who wouldn't love a free hobby). As for advice, I think I could still use some myself. I haven't sold too many things from my website, but I have at least gotten other profitable attention from it such as parties/boutiques and custom items for aquaintances. I think the most important thing for fellow Etsians is to have a great main picture; that initial posting seems to be what catches peoples eyes and gets you a fair amount of views. A colored background complemetary to your piece makes it stand out from the other pictures. I like to use props to add interest, and I try to vary the composition of each posting to make my site look more appealing. My biggest tip to improve the quality of your pictures is to take you pictures outside on a sunny day in the shade (I know thats a lot easier in CA than some other places). I don't have a very good camera, so this little tip really helped me. I also think that having a good description with multiple pictures against different backgrounds helps; then people have a better idea of what they are getting. When I look at other peoples websites, its nice to see an item on a person because then you can see how it fits/hangs. If I had someone to model for me, that is one thing I would add to my website."

Please check out her shop: http://kriaytions.etsy.com/

Meet Etsy Artist: DontWorryBeHippie

DontWorryBeHippie is a "creative, earthy soul just looking for a way to share (her) wares with others." She learned how to macrame "way back in the 70's." Today she uses what she learned to create "beautiful, earthy jewelry." Every piece she creates is one of a kind. "If you open your mailbox and find a piece of my jewelry, you know that it's unique." She also enjoys needlepoint. "It's a very satisfying, relaxing hobby. I enjoy stitching a piece of canvas and making it into something pretty." Don't Worry Be Hippie is an expression "of life that embraces nature and peace. When I design a piece of jewelry, it reflects this philosophy of peace and harmony by using earthy stones and pendants and natural elements of clay, bone, horn and glass. I love creating something with the colors of nature in mind." To further reflect the earthiness of her pieces she takes most of her pictures outside. "I began making jewelry using macrame knots that I remembered from my childhood," she recalls. Soon after she into the art shows circuit and selling her work in local shops. "Nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing someone walk away from a show wearing something that I made," she confesses. While she enjoys her work in a school library, she persues her other love through Etsy. "I would love to be able to support myself with my hobby," she admits. "Etsy is a wonderful way to connect with crafters all over the world. It's very satisfying to have this format where we can relate to others' joys and successes here on Etsy. Boy when I get a new "heart", it really makes my day. Creating things can be a very solitary experience, but with Etsy it allows you to share your love of creating with others." She advises her fellow Etsians, "Just to keep on doing what you love by creating things for the people out there and not to get discouraged. I just read a forum post where a fellow Etsian was going to quit making jewelry because of the high rate of competition and lack of sales, but I say if jewelry making is what you love, then don't give up!! Tell others about Etsy!!" Please visit her shop: http://dontworrybehippie.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Seamstress & Artist: BeckyKayDesigns


Becky Kay and her husband have a four year old son, who "keeps (them) very busy. He never stops talking and likes to make up documentaries about sharks and dinosaurs." Aside from being a busy Mom and wife, Becky has been hand sewing boutique style purses for two years. "I absolutely cannot sit still and like to keep my hands and/or mind busy all the time. I come from a family of crafters, so I guess it is in my blood. My mother, sister, sister-in-law and I all participate in craft shows together. In fact, we are opening another Etsy shop together called She Made It! (We just need to get our stuff photographed and listed." She describes her purses as quite simple and functional. "I'm not a big fan of all the frou-frou stuff. Where I go nuts, is on the fabric! I love bright, bold patterns and playing with color combinations." She also

plans to try needle felting. She does Etsy because she "loves it, but also treats it as a business." While it's not currently her full-time job, she hopes to make Etsy her career. "I would love to have consistent sales," she admits. "My immediate goal would be to get up to about five sales a week and just increase from there." She advises her fellow Etsy sellers "promote, promote, promote! Etsy is not a place where you can list your stuff, and then sit back and wait for it to sell. You have to let the world know that you are out there." Please check out her shop: http://beckykaydesigns.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Artist: PinUpPixie


Christine is the fun-loving artist behind PinUpPixie. She's been creating ever since she "learned to hold a crayon and not eat glue." She enjoyed art class in school and "used to spend hours as a child looking at (her) dad's old art text books, drawing, and making all kinds of things with scraps from around the house." Her mom was also an inspiration. "She used to always make me the coolest clothes from linens and scrap fabrics, not to mention my super awesome bedroom curtians made from holly hobby bed sheets." She took sewing classes in high school, but "did'nt enjoy it much as the teachers wanted (her) to be very 'by the book.'" She admits she regrets not going to college to further her intrest in art. "I am a 34 year-old mother of 2 kiddo's, married for 4 years." She started selling on Ebay in hopes of making a little extra money, but didn't enjoy auctioning mass produced items. After awhile she decided tocreate her own items. "I knew the sewing basics and started creating OOAK Sets. My handmade childrens clothing did better on Ebay, but the money wasn't there due to high fee's and costs of listing." It wasn't until a year ago that she stumbled upon Etsy. "I went back to work part time and still create things on my off time whenever I can squeeze it in. I had'nt considered opening a shop on etsy until this year when a friend of mine (CJ-Doodlebugbaby) mentioned it again and I thought...why not. Twenty cents to list is a lot better than five bucks to list and my items will fit better into the flow of Etsy without being over run by ipods, Wii's, and mass produced knock off's." She started on Etsy with her Deco headband designs while still selling hats and accessories on Ebay. "It became quite addictive,I made several for friends and a slew of them for me." She received excellent feedback from fellow Etsians, but only one or two sales. "I kept at it, though, and started adding my t-shirt designs mixed with my warped sense of humor along with other things I'd have an itch to do here and there. I love tedious work and tend to be very detailed in what I'm currently working on. If it does'nt speak to me it will never see the light of Etsy."

She strives to have a "rawkin' (Etsy) shop with lots n' lots of sales," but admits she's already happy with the small milestones she's met (sales and hearts). She reccomends fellow Etsy sellers "Pimp (Their) Shop! Don't be afraid to brag on yourself, show your stuff off, and list at least once a day. Relist even when you haven't done anything new, you can relist something currently in your shop." Please visit her Etsy store: http://pinuppixie.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Potter and Artist: GinPins

California artist GinPins is a phenomenal potter and artist, who "highly values a humorous perspective on life." She feels her upbringing has influenced her whimsical art. "My Grandmother taught me so much, even before I started kindergarten---basic sewing skills, knitting, crochet, various crafty pursuits involving lots of felt, sequins and glitter (my Barbies tended to dress like they had jobs as showgirls in Vegas), rudementary baking and some gardening. My Dad also shares a love of making things (although things of a different type) and passed on to me his affection for careful craftsmanship---thanks Dad." It wasn't until nine years ago that GinPins fell in love with clay when she took a required 3-D art class in college. It was love at first sight. "Me and the mud, we've been inseparable ever since!" Believe it or not, the picture for this post is not just a mug, but a teapot - the "spoon" is the spout. Her eclectic style is often "exacting (and) sometimes funny." She is interested in so many artistic endeavors that they often influence one another. "My love of knitting often shows up on ceramic ware as texture from stamps I make from swatches I knit for just that purpose. My love of ceramics shows up as buttons for my knitted and sewn items, or as jars to store my knitting needles. And, since I am also a painter, my felt pincushions get a bit of painting to enhance their realism." She's a self-admitted "goofball," who loves to amuse people with her work. "I think that careful attention to craftsmanship works to keep the humorous edge from becoming trite. I do produce more serious pieces from time to time, I just don't take myself too seriously." Although she works in a college ceramics & art department, she manages to find time to earn an edequate income from selling her work on Etsy and in local galleries. She plans to offer more functional pieces on Etsy. "I've been selling for almost 6 months on Etsy and started out a bit frightened of the shipping issues related to the fragility of ceramics, so have held off on listing that type of item. Eventually, I'd love to be selling 5 or so items per week." She suggests ne Etsians join a street team that reflects their craft. "I'm a member of the Etsy Mud Team and being on the team has enhanced my Etsy experience in ways I could not have imagined when I joined. Team membership has brought more visibility to my shop by allowing me to collaborate on group projects, as well as participate in challenges and promotions. However, it's the comraderie among the team members that really makes my Etsy experience so special. Our team's forum thread is a perfect blend of encouragement, advice and laughs. Yay mudders!" Please check out her shop: http://ginpins.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis


Dharma Designs


Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: KraftChains


Aside from Etsy the Ohio artist behind KraftChains is a busy single mother of a toddler. She

started crafting with beaded cellphone charms and then "got adventurous and started making simple jewelry good for most ages. I'm slowly working into sterling silver pieces...but I couldn't have gotten so far without little helpers who started to buy my items and still do. I thank them everyday." She found Etsy through Myspace contacts. "They begged me to check it out and here I am!! I meet the most wonderful people here!" Her style is simple, elegant, and affordable. Although Etsy is just a hobby for now, she'd like to "sell enough to pay my Etsy bill. LOL" She advises her fellow Etsy sellers to "keep crafting and do what you love best!" Please check out her shop: http://kraftchains.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: KerriHale


Vermont resident Kerri Hale is the classic talent behind the Etsy shop of the same name. "I love playing with gems and mineral specimens, so making jewelry is tons of fun for me." Besides crafting equisite jewelry, she also writes, plays the guitar and piano, and loves to go for drives and listen to music. She's also been known to walk around her garden with a glass of wine on summer evenings. Her style is natural and "organic, which is to say I try to make the gemstones the stars, and showcase their natural beauty as best I can." She's been crafting her entire life, but only started creating her natural gemstone and silver jewelry two years ago. "I would love to get to a point where I could either be completely self supporting through my jewelry, or at least get to the point where I wouldn't have to work overtime at my regular 9-5 job in order to pay my bills," she confesses. "It's important to let yourself shine through your work, and to have your shop feel a lot like you...and good pictures are a must." Kerri's photos are certainly among the best. I believe hers are the epitome of what fellow Etsy sellers should strive for. Please visit her shop: http://kerrihale.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: MckenzieJewelers


Olympia, WA native Jeff McKenzie is the phenomenal talent behind McKenzie Jewelers (managed by Lisa Hall). Jeff is a "master jeweler with decades of experience in jewelry design, production, repair and collaboration." MckenzieJewelers predominently features the North Coast Collection on Etsy. "This line is a collaborative effort between ourselves and Paul Wagner (designer and carver of the original waxes). This line is inspired by Northwest Native American folklore. Each piece is created in our shop using ancient lost wax casting, antiqued and hand finished. All pieces are produced in sterling silver, but are also available in 14k and 18k gold."

He describes his style as "modern with historical twist." McKenzie Jewelers is more than a full time job; it's Jeff's passion. He regularly spends 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, crafting his masterpieces. He plans to broaden his product exposure and "network with other fabulous artists/crafters to promote handmade goods and generate goodwill." His advice for fellow Etsy sellers is "to open a shop with well made products, quality images, list often, network regularly, join teams, take part in forums, be inclusive, promote your shop and Etsy as a whole. Please check out his shop: http://mckenziejewelers.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Artist: IntergalacticRose


IntergalacticRose likes to describe herself as "just another cratfy mama, working from home, so we can lead the life we love and teach the children well." Her style is dynamic - "free flowing...constanly changing, evolving and improving." She is inspired by music, nature, yoga, healing, the hippie sub-culture, and retro/vintage style. As a child she "always preferred crayons & paper over the TV." Sewing and crafting has been her full time job for the last five years. She may be new to Etsy, but she already has goals. She plans to "keep going, keep improving," and wants to "be able to share (her) work with more people." She reccomends new sellers "keep at it. Handmade items can be expensive, so try to make some smaller lower priced items for your shop. With love & patience for what you do, crafting as a full time job can be acheived." Please visit her shop: http://intergalacticrose.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: PianoBenchDesigns


The gifted jewelry artist known by fellow Etsians as PianoBenchDesigns is a legal secretary in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She enjoys being creative and aside from making jewelry also paints and writes. "I'm going back to school to be a counselor/therapist, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. My hope is to put positive energy forth in both my profession and my hobbies." She has a hard time defining her jewelry style "because (she is) always trying new techniques and materials, but (she) strive to make jewelry that is clean, balanced, feminine and also flirtatious." PianoBenchDesigns has been creating jewelry for almost two years. "I often wish that it was my job, but it is a highly enjoyable hobby for me." One of her Etsy goals is to be picked as a featured seller. "Imagine the thrill of seeing yourself on the front page of such a phenomenal site." She's also looking forward to making 100 sales. "I would love to actually break even or make a small profit from selling, so that I can continue to use beautiful materials and keep my hands moving, twisting and stringing lovely things that bring other people joy." Her advice for fellow Etsians is, "Don't give up! There are many, many sellers here, so it can feel as if nobody is looking, much less buying, but that does not mean that people are not appreciating your work. For me, Etsy is just as much about sharing and admiring as it is about making sales." Well said! Please check out her shop: http://pianobenchdesigns.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Artist & Photographer: Aephemera

Ever since she was three years old Kate E. Austin, the talent behind Aephemera, has aspired to be an artist. "I went to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Mendon, Vermont with my mother - I saw the art for sale and wanted to sell mine!" She grew up in Killington, Vermont, where she didn't feel like she fit in. "I graduated in 1999 and went to Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York for two years for art, then dropped out (what do you do with an art degree, anyway!) and joined AmeriCorps for two years, working with at-risk youth in Rutland, Vermont." She now resides in Glens Falls, New York, where she has a studio in The Shirt Factory, an artists' community. She also maintains her own website, http://www.aephemera.net/.

Her artwork is largely autobiographical. "It's kind of like journaling for me, and comes out without my even knowing what I'm arting about. Then when I look back on it, I can say... oh, THAT'S what I was feeling!" She experiments with all types of mediums, "pushing the boundaries and finding new ways to use traditional media. I don't like to lock myself in to one media or style. I also do small cartoons, which come naturally - I've been making cartoon people for a long time now, and have recently been working on a blog with them - http://idioticidioms.livejournal.com/."

Currently Etsy is only a hobby "because I'm not pulling enough income to call it a business, but I would love to be able to call it my job and make enough to pay my bills without having to work another job." Liek most Etsy sellers, she'd like to make a sale every day. "I'm also hoping that (B&M) businesses will see what I have to offer and start consigning prints or buying them wholesale." To get her name out there, she's plans to approach several local shops. "It would be wonderful to start sending my things all over the country," she admits. She advises her fellow Etsy sellers to "keep with it! I'm not running a booming business yet, but every sale I make gets me so giddy that somebody else is able to connect with my artwork. Keep doing what you love, ask for advice in the forums (the forums are SO valuable!), and promote yourself as many places as you can!" Please visit her shop: http://aephemera.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: PamperingBeki

PamperingBeki is a "fun loving mom, wife, and jewelry designer." Her style ranges from "whimsical and fun, trendy, to classically elegant." She designs pieces that can be both dressed up or dressed down. "I always think 'Can this be worn with a tee and jeans? Can it be worn with a fabulous black dress?' And I try to have the item work with both." She's been designing jewelry for five years as a hobby - and a job. "It's a hobby that's taken on a life of it's own," she explains. "And I love every minute of it as my job." While she'd like to see more consistant sales, she doesn't expect Etsy to bring her customers. "Don't rely on Etsy to provide your buyers. You have to do your own marketing outside of Etsy to drive buyers to you. If you see a seller who is very successful, email them and ask for their tips or advice! Most are thrilled to offer what works for them." Please visit her shop: http://pamperingbeki.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Artist: ScaryWhiteGirl

The artist Etsians know as ScaryWhiteGirl was born and raised in the Midwest, "and recently made the exodus to Seattle, WA." Her mother was an avid crafter, "and she taught me how to make a lot of the things I do now. I learned to crochet almost four years ago, and became obsessed with that quickly." She aims to make "practical but attractive crocheted items," but admits to making some just for fun. "My theory is that if you need to have cold weather gear, it might as well look nice as well as being practical." She's been selling her unique wares for three years. "This is most definitely a hobby for me. I do most of my crafting while I watch TV or movies, because I have a hard time just watching a movie and doing nothing else--to me, it seems like a waste of perfectly good time." In her first year with Etsy she's made just over 80 sales. "I'm hoping to hit 100 by the end of the year, and I'd love to hit 200 or 250 by the end of next year. In the short term, however, I'm working on a new line of items which will launch in January (hopefully), and I'm always working on improving my photos." She advises her fellow sellers, "Be sure to keep yourself seen, one way or another. List regularly, participate in the forums, talk about your shop in your blog. Just make sure that anyone who stumbles across your online presence will know about your shop and what you sell. But most importantly, do what works for you, and don't let your shop make you miserable. If you need a break for a few days, take it." Check out her shop: http://scarywhitegirl.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Meet Etsy Artists: TheMayofTeckClub

Pennsylvania natives Emily and Ray are the artists and "partners in crime" behind May of Teck Club, a "purveyor of distinctive drawings and paintings, fine handmade sketchbooks and journals, and other charming and unique novelties." Their love of ephemera comes across in their nostalgic style. "I am one of those people who longs for the simplicity and beauty of ages passed," Emily admits. She often incorporates old-time photos and antique frames in her pieces.

Emily has a full time job besides Etsy, but says, "Anyone who loves to create art would agree that 'hobby' is simply too reductive a word (for Etsy). My 'job' is a Receptionist... but my art is what I DO." TheMayofTeckClub may be new to Etsy, but their goal is to be "patient and persistant, to make those first few sales, and to work earnestly thereafter to make (their) shop better and better." The "community of incredible artists" on Etsy is what appealed to them. "(We are) very new to Etsy, and (are) already overwhelmed with the overflow of encouragement and camaraderie in the Forums. Take advantage of the great resource of kind, like-minded people who make Etsy the great site that it is," they advize. Please visit their shop: http://themayofteckclub.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs