Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Featured Seller: Nikki from I Do Yarn

This week's featured seller is Nikki from I Do Yarn. If I were having a girl, I would be all over her little dresses!

I knew how to embroider from my mother, who taught me when I was young. The women in my family always had a monthly get together called stitch n' chatter. I learned how to crochet when I was about eight years old from my grandma. She was always making beautiful things and I asked her if she would teach me. So, my grandma taught me the basics. At first my work was very tight, and she wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it. But it just took some practice, and pretty soon I learned how to loosen up my tension and stitches. I taught myself how to knit from books from the library when I was in my late twenties because I was interested in making a pattern I had seen.

I got started with Etsy last year after thinking about it for several months. My sister, Leisa (CanDoStitching), has been with Etsy for several years and has been enjoying it. I started thinking and wondering if items I made might sell. I asked my family what they thought. I got lots of positive feedback from them and suggestions on what they thought would sell. I then had a good conversation with Leisa, and she was very helpful with getting me started. There have been some ups and downs, and of course I am still working out some bumps, but overall it has been a good experience.

I believe the gospel influences what I make as I love to make things that bring me and others happiness. I enjoy making baby items because babies are sent to us from our Heavenly Father and are so close to Him still. I can imagine a sweet little baby wearing my items and how the new parents feel dressing their child up.
I also like to make items to beautify the home, like doilies, placemats, and kitchen towels. The home needs to be more than just a house; it needs to be a heaven on earth. I feel that when we have nice, pretty things in our homes, it helps to make the home more peaceful and enjoyable to be in. And if we enjoy being and spending time there then we won't seek to be in other places.

Check out I Do Yarn for more beautiful items!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Featured Seller: Darla from Thread Ornaments

 This week's featured seller is Darla from Thread Ornaments:

When I was about 10 I found an unfinished afghan in my basement. I asked my mom about it, and she said my sister started it but never finished it, so I could have it. She also gave me a how-to-crochet book. I finished that blanket and have never stopped crocheting since. I learned to tatt from an 84-year-old friend down the road. I went to her house 3 different times for a few hours while she laughed at me and got frustrated with me until it finally clicked.

For years friends and family told me I should sell my crocheted items. I sold some stuff in a local gas station and then I read about Etsy in Reader's Digest and decided to give it a try. It's been slow going because I am a stay-at-home mom with 4 children under the age of 7 and 1 on the way. But that's the beauty of Etsy: you can take it slow and easy if you need to, or put more time into your craft and really push the growth of your store. It has been the perfect part-time, flexible job for this busy mom. 

There have been times when my craft has taken up so much of my time that I have been ready to quit so I can take better care of my family or have more time for other things. But the gospel has taught us that if we lose ourselves in service we find ourselves. I have found that to be true. Whether my craft is for sale, to help provide for my family, or meant for a gift, it is the joy that my created gift brings to others that keeps me going. This gospel truth and the blessings that come from helping others are what drive me to continue in my small business. When it comes to crocheting or tatting, nothing makes me happier than to know that someone loves something I have made and is grateful for it.

Check out Thread Ornaments for more cute crocheted and tatted goods!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Treasure Treasuries

Do you wonder why I push treasury making so much? Treasuries give you exposure in many ways:

1. To Etsy sellers. Many Etsy sellers are also Etsy buyers because they want to support other Etsy sellers.

2. To Etsy buyers. Treasuries that Etsy admin likes are put on the front page--a new one every hour--so when people go to etsy.com your item may be the first thing they see! I have had 3 items in front-page treasuries. My views were very high those days. I think I even got one sale from them. (You can see if you have been on the front page by entering your username under "search for member" here: www.craftcult.com/vault.php)

People can also search for treasuries as collections for one-stop buying. For example, they can search for a woodland wedding treasury to find an already put-together collection of great items they may like for their wedding. It beats browsing through hundreds or thousands of items that result from a regular Etsy search!

3. To other sites. People post treasuries on their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, and blogs. That's a lot of potential customers being exposed to your shop!

Thanks, everyone, for making this month the best in team treasuries! Keep it up!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Featured Seller: Linda from D.A. Decor

This week's featured seller is Linda from D.A. Decor: Best Vintage Arts and Crafts Shop.

In my childhood I was a bookworm and I stayed home playing hooky a large part of my elementary school years so I could read books. My love for literature influenced my decision to major in English, and I have especially always loved old books because my dad was an elementary school teacher who never threw a book away, including his mother's old books. This passion for old books has influenced me a lot in my Etsy business. I decided to start selling old vintage prints when I saw them being sold on Ebay. You have to be skilled at ripping apart old books, which sometimes can be frustrating when they are tightly bound.

I learned how to make paper fan flowers when I was asked to help my niece, Rachel, fold paper fan flowers for her wedding. My husband, Matt, and my three kids sat for about two hours and folded a lot of them. Rachel then used them as a beautiful backdrop for her wedding. I realized they would be a lot more beautiful with flowers, and so I experimented attaching mulberry and silk flowers to them. For Christmas, my daughter wanted me to make Christmas fan flowers, and so I made a lot of them with old Christmas storybook illustrations. I used faux vintage buttons with a lot of bling on them, and I attached each one with ribbons. They turned out beautiful!

I started my shop on Etsy because some health problems I encountered made me quit my other job as a substitute teacher. It's been a blessing to develop my talents. The gospel has influenced my work on Etsy because I use vintage Christian art prints a lot. I especially love the vintage pictures of Christ that I sell. I feel like there are so many forces out there in the world influencing people to not believe in Christ. I hope that by selling these vintage prints I may some day help bring a customer closer to Christ. Plus, a lot of my illustrations of vintage hymns by Masha and others are of popular gospel themes. My favorite Masha print has "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" written on the top in gold and a sunbeam hitting a beautiful blond boy. I loved it so much when I got the book I didn't list it. Instead, I gave it to my sister, Diane, who taught me the gospel and shared with me her love of Jesus when I was young.

Check out D.A. Decor for more vintage book illustrations and flowers!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Featured Seller: Mary from Jasmine Blossom Crafts

This week's featured seller is Mary from Jasmine Blossom Crafts.

I have been crafting since I was around 7 years old, when I learned to knit. I grew up in Scotland, and at that time, most girls were taught to knit at a young age. As the years went on, I have learned many different kinds of crafts and I love it!

I was told about Etsy by my niece, but it took a while before I had the courage to try it. One day I just decided to take the plunge, and I've been really enjoying it. I've been open for over a year, but it's been the last 3 or 4 months that I've really been trying to put a lot more effort into promoting.

The gospel influences my work by making me honest in all that I do - and that means making sure I do a good job, that I represent my products properly, that I treat my customers fairly and honestly.

Check out Jasmine Blossom Crafts for more cute items!