Friday, March 20, 2009

Feature Friday: Natural Earth Jewelry

This week's featured seller Diana from Natural Earth Jewelry.  I was impressed by her many years of experience in her craft (25!) and her generous ongoing sales (check out her shop announcement for more info!) Read on to learn more about Diana and her shop!

First and foremost, what is it that you make/sell?

My name is Diana Parker and I make jewelry from mostly natural materials such as gemstones, shells, wood, bone, horn, and more. I've even used beads made of grass! I started out making jewelry over 25 years ago, and have progressed from making simple strings of beads to more complicated pieces, all of which are one of a kind. The bulk of my pieces are fairly uniform in color and style with bright colors and patterns, but lately I've found myself changing to more radical designs, kind of like "elegance meets bodacious". Each piece is taking me in a new direction right now, and I'm excited to watch them transform into wearable art.

What do you most enjoy about your craft?

I enjoy the spontaneity of it! Rarely will I sit down with an idea of what I'd like to make, and it never turns out as expected. As each bead or component is added, the jewelry really takes on a life of it's own and seems to tell ME what it should look like. I've learned to listen and watch very closely!

How has your experience on Etsy been?

Etsy has been a real turning point in my life. Never before has a website caused me to visit it over and over every day. Even if I wasn't a seller, I'd be on Etsy browsing constantly. There's always something new to see, always someone to inspire me, always new friends to meet. I sold for years on ebay, and besides meeting a few wonderful people, the experience left me with a strong desire to get my jewelry off of there and into a new community that focused on creativity and art rather than profit and loss.

What would you like to see from the CNY Etsy Group in the future?

I'd like to see more cross promotion. Maybe we could all send business cards, advertising posters, free samples or the like to one of us every 3-6 months, and that person will make up "care packages" with everyone else's promos. Each of us would enclose shipping and packaging expenses, and in return we'd each get a package shipped to us made up of promos for everyone else on the team who wishes to participate. We would distribute the materials on bulletin boards, craft shows, anywhere that would allow us to post advertising. Each of us would get a lot of advertising in areas we wouldn't normally be exposed to, all for the price of shipping and packaging costs.

Thank you for this opportunity to show you what Natural Earth Jewelry is all about!

To see more of Diana's work, visit her shop!
She also has 2 other Etsy shops that she sells in as well:

If you have any more questions for Diana, ask them in the comments section, and she will answer them for you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Forum Thread

Check out the March CNYEtsy Team thread in the Etsy Forums!

  • Share your thoughts!
  • Make new local contacts!
  • Keep up to date on team events!
  • Ask questions and get critiques!
  • Share a new item,  or promote your shop's special sale!
  • See what's going on in other members' shops!
Thanks to Lauren from Originals by Lauren for setting the thread up for us!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Virtual Labs Session!

The first CNY Etsy Team's Virtual lab session is scheduled for tomorrow, March 17 at 7 pm!

You can visit the virtual labs here.

Come by and check it out if your available!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Feature Friday: Dirty Ass Soaps

For this week's Feature Friday I talked to Alison from Dirty Ass Soaps.  Her sushi soaps are what originally caught my eye, and I soon discovered that she creates all sorts of soaps that look and smell like real food!  Her unique product line adds a good dose of originality to the CNY Etsy Team's wide variety of talented artisans.  Read on to find out more about Alison's unusual soap making philosophy!

First and foremost, what is it that you make/sell?

My name is Alison Kowalsky, and I make vegan soap with a twist. I prefer my shapes and scents to mimic real life food and toys. When I first started out, I was making the typical bar soap that most people think of when they hear "hand made soap". It wasn't that exciting for me, so I came up with an original idea on how to make a soap cupcake. Soon after, I got a dare from one of my friends to make a soap cheeseburger. After I accomplished that, my brain started creating all these ideas on how to make really fun soap. Now I have a lineup of over 40! sets of soap, some of which I don't even have on Etsy yet!

What do you most enjoy about your craft?

I enjoy the creativity of making soap. I look at something and try to form it into soap with my mind. When I first started out, I used prefab molds but now I try to make my own and make a lot of my soaps moldless. This is tough to do because the soap is hot and in liquid form. I do enjoy challenges as well. When someone says: I bet you can't make _____ into soap, I love proving them wrong. This happened with many things, it started with the cheeseburger and evolved into a sushi set! One thing I am working on producing more of is cake slices which are realistically textured. The ones I make right now take a long time because they aren't made from a mold.

How has your experience on Etsy been?

My experience on Etsy has been incredible! In the short time that I've lived in Boston, I've made around 300 sales. I made it a point to be successful with this because I enjoy what I do. I also don't see anyone else on Etsy going to the extremes like I do, where they've made their entire soap lineup just food and/or toys. I consider Dirty Ass Soaps to be unique and one of the more memorable shops online. No one can ever forget a name like "Dirty Ass Soaps" or a Bacon Cheeseburger made from just soap, that's for sure!

What would you like to see from the CNY Etsy Group in the future?

I love the fact that CNY Etsy is a group that's made up of members from my home town. I would love to have the team participate in some of the upcoming Indie Garage Sales. The IGS was started 3 years ago and went from a small craft show with 4 or 5 vendors to a huge event that is currently hosting 20+ vendors. Even though I currently don't live in CNY because of school, I do my best to organize and run these shows 4-5 times per year with a small group of dedicated and hardworking friends.

To see more of Alison's funky soaps, click to visit her Etsy shop or her wesite.

If you have any additional questions for Alison, leave a comment below and she will answer it for you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We have a winner!

After several voting sessions, we have narrowed down the many worthy submissions to a single banner design!  The winner is "Banner B," and can be seen above!  Thank you to everyone who submitted a design and congratulations to Myrieah of Tangbaby on designing the winner (ps, she's also the featured seller this week on the blog)!

Sue of Ecoleeko is working on an avatar based on the design right now, which will be available soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Feature Friday: Tangbaby

For this week's installment of Feature Friday, I spoke with Myrhieah of Tangbaby.  Her shop is comprised of a wide variety of interesting objects, including felt food and fake cake,unique cards and pretty buttons.  Read on to find out more!

First and foremost, what is it that you make/sell?

I make whatever comes to my mind that can be fashioned in my own style in a reasonable amount of time. My initial motivation to sell on Etsy began with local demand for my strange faux-cake boxes, it was weird and something people never saw, and since I
 am always up for creative challenges, I decided to see if I could also find a way to sell them online. Then, I quickly realized the problem with trying to sell something that no one ever searches for, I decided that I needed to diversify my shop. It took me a few months to get into the creative problem solving loop, but now, left and right, I’ve been taking inspiration from what things I use or could use while playing with and teaching my toddlers.

What do you most enjoy about your craft?

Having a background in conceptual art, I admit I have a hard time relating to the word “craft.” I just think of things and make them and I enjoy doing that. I like to play around with ideas, and although some of the things I make are odd or less than practical, I hope they can add a little cheer to whoever might view my listings.

How has your experience on Etsy been?

My experience has been very limited, but I’ve gotten to meet some great sellers through wonderful transactions and forum discussions and I’ve been able to get some things I’ve worked on out there to a few different people. It’s exciting for me to make things, even if they are rather small, and send them over oceans or across counties to waiting hands.

What would you like to see from the CNY Etsy Group in the future?

Since we are a regional group, I would love to experience some physical shows and possibly meet with others where we share with one another about the things we do.

If you have any additional questions you would like to ask Myrieah, post them in the "comments" section below, and she will answer them!

To see more of Myrieah's work, visit her shop: Tangbaby

She also has a blog: the Tangbaby

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Banner Finalists!!

The votes are in, and the finalists have been posted! 
See which banners made it over at the discussion on the Ning Site!

Then, vote for your favorite via this Google Document!

You can vote until Monday, March 9, 2009.

Good luck and congrats to the finalists!