Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fun + Perspective

It has been such a joy working with Corrie. I sincerely hope you will give her darling shop a little visit, after you finish checking out her interview, of course. Without any further ado, I present to you Corrie's perspective on balancing life as an Etsy girl, a mommy, and a wife:

Do you take time away for yourself? If so, what do you do (other than Etsy!)?
Yes, for sure. Let's see...a good (Etsy-free) day? Going on a date with John Jay, a nice long walk, hanging out by the pool, a good meal with friends - don't forget dessert...and I'm a pretty happy girl.

Do you take care of yourself? Do you get enough sleep?
Usually. But my love of early morning gets the best of me when we've had too many late nights.

If money were no object, what three things would be at the top of your Etsy wish list?
I rarely let myself "shop" on Etsy - I'd be in trouble!
But these are lovely...
This necklace, Glasses from this shop & an original piece from this shop.

What other Etsy Mom's shop would you like to see featured on this blog?
Mary's Granddaughter!

Judah...proving that a love for funky glasses is a genetic thing!

What closing Etsy Success advice can you leave us with?
I occasionally freak out at the thought of having more kids or introducing a new craft/hobby and keeping up with it all...but I remember that when I started the shop last year I told myself I would do it as long as it's fun. Should it become "un-fun" in any way, I'll move on and let it go. I also try to remember that Judah's growing faster than I can keep up with. I don't want to miss it because I was too busy sewing. I can do that when I'm old!
Fun + Perspective = A Happy Etsy Shop!

Thank you so much, Corrie, for taking the time to answer my many questions and sharing from your heart about your life as a true EtsyMomPreneur. Your passion is energizing & your perspective inspiring.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Corrie's Etsy Week

Welcome to the third post in our interview with Corrie of Etsy shop, Corrie Berry Pie. Today we're asking Corrie her little secrets on managing her family, her home, & her Etsy business all simultaneously.

What is your biggest time management strength?
I don't procrastinate. I always try to stay on top of things - making, taking photos, listing, shipping, emails/convos...I hate getting behind.

Weakness? I don't procrastinate. Sometimes it's nice to just forget about it and eat ice cream, but I have to work until I get to a stopping point before I can put it drives my husband, John Jay, crazy! I get that from my mom (the work part, not the driving-your-husband-crazy part).

How do you store your Etsy supplies & stock?

We just moved to a new apartment that has more closets than rooms! So I'm fortunate enough to have a work desk AND a "craft closet".

Please describe your typical Etsy week.
We've designated Saturday as family day around here, so I try not to even open the computer or look at projects on that day. My favorite time to do computer work is early EARLY morning. I mean, like, dark outside early. I've always loved that time of day - I get that from my dad. Other than that, I chip away at projects whenever Judah's asleep (or not looking!).

Do you ever use childcare in order to fit Etsy into your life?
No, I can't really afford it. But my sweet husband will take Judah to the park or for a bike ride to give me some time whenever I get overloaded or behind.

Do you feel others respect the fact that you work from home?
Um....mostly respect. But it's hard to say, because I'm not the best self-promoter. I'm usually not the one to tell people about what I do, so I'm not really aware of their reactions.

If money were no object, what Etsy purchase would you make in order to help you in your job as an Etsy mom?
Well, I don't know if it would help with my job, but a dress from artlab sure would make me feel fancy while I work! Or anything from lamixx...everything looks so clean and comfortable!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Juggling Judah

What's scrumptious enough to get a hard working girl to put down her needle & thread?
One glimpse of this little kitten and you'll see why Judah has his mama smitten. This is our second installment of our interview with Corrie, the creative force behind the lovely CorrieBerryPie. Today she shares with us how she keeps mothering first and Etsy somewhere else on her list of priorities as an EtsyMomPreneur.

How do you juggle family & Etsy?
Judah's nap time is key. I even kick my husband out of the house! Just me, a cup of coffee and work. Judah loves the pictures of Mommy. And it's adorable to hear him say "Corrieberry Pie!" But really, I try to do Etsy stuff when he's asleep. Occasionally he'll sit in my lap while I sew, or watch me make a Treasury. But mostly I spend time with him and doing other "chores" during the day...he's learning how to do laundry right now!

To what extent do you rely upon the TV to keep Judah occupied while you work on Etsy?
Not at all. We don't really do TV in our house (other than movies). So when he gets to watch Baby Einstein or Curious George, it's a big deal and he usually requests, "Mommy, Daddy, sit!" So we do. Who can say no to that?

What is your favorite family fun activity? Riding bikes. For sure. There's a beautiful 16 mile trail by our house with a coffee shop at the end for inspiration.

If money were no object, what Etsy item would you buy for your little man, Judah?
I adore everything at Star House...
Oooooh...and maybe this table & chairs set from sofali:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What's a Corrie Berry Pie?

What's a Corrie Berry Pie? Only one of the sweetest Etsy shops you ever did see! This week I am proud to bring you our interview with stay at home mom Corrie, of Corrie Berry Pie. You are in for a treat as Corrie provides us with a few snapshots of how she manages her typical week as an EtsyMomPreneur.

Corrie & Judah

What inspired you to start your Etsy shop and how long have you been running it?
After oscillating back and forth between family and school (several times!) I finally decided to put the Art degree on hold for a while so I could stay at home and play with Judah all day. The shop was actually my husband John Jay's idea...a way to feed my need to create, while simultaneously helping us pay bills as he works his way through grad school. I started the shop on November 8, 2008

How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have one son, Judah, who just turned two a few weeks ago. He's the funniest, sweetest, smartest, quirkiest kid you'll ever meet. He keeps my imagination alive.

Please describe your Etsy shop...
Textile jewelry, garlands, and other homespun miscellanea...that's the shop's tag-line. But most of the things you'll see are one-of-a-kind (or few-of-a-kind) items - often with unconventional materials incorporated into the piece. I'm a huge fan of the found object and fabric in my jewelry.

Of which item currently for sale in your Etsy shop are you most proud and why?

Oh, wow. That's a tough one. Obviously, the goal of the shop is to sell things. But I catch myself mourning the loss of some of my favorites after they sell (like my Happy The Whale Necklace).

One of my favorite live items:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Black Dreams

I adore this little handbag by Lady Fran...and I was so glad to see that it has been featured in a treasury called "Black Dreams" put together by cookieletta. Be SURE to visit this treasury and let cookie know what a fabulous treasury she has put together!

Cookieletta also was kind enough to include one of my absolute FAVORITE dresses from our Etsy shop, Linden Lane Clothing. If you are looking for a holiday evening gown that will make a statement no one will ever forget, meet your dress.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Allison on Etsy Success

"I am hoping that my children will inherit the love of crafting...."

Welcome to the final installment of our interview with Etsy mama Allison of the always innovative Born Again Purses. Today Allison shares some of her personal Etsy faves and what she does to ensure her life is not all work and no play.

What closing Etsy advice would you like to leave us with?
I think that success is not the selling of our products that we make but in the joy of making them. I know it is easy to say this and it sure is nice to sell, but for me creating one of a kind pieces relaxes me and grounds me. It helps to ease all my daily dilemmas and helps me take the time to dream about things I want to accomplish. I am hoping that my children will inherit the love of crafting because it is a gift that I would like to pass down to them as it was passed down to me.

What do you do to take time away for yourself, other than Etsy?
I like to do some other things besides Etsy like reading, travel, taking a walk, bubble bath, spending time with friends and family etc.

Are you taking care of yourself? Do you get enough sleep?

For the most part I do get enough sleep, but this hasn't always been the case as my oldest used to get up at 5:00 AM for the longest time and then she would talk loudly. Each year it gradually got 15 to 20 minutes longer and finally she will sleep in a bit now that she is 13.

What three things would be at the top of your list if I sent you on an all expenses paid Etsy shopping spree?

* I would like to buy one of five-fortys lovely rugs made from recycled wool sweaters.
* I love this shop's jewelry.
* I am on a soap kick lately and I love everything form this shop that I have bought so far.

I would also like to buy some nice items for my friends and family because it feels good to give gifts that are handmade.

What other Etsy Mom would you like to see featured on this blog?

There are so many talented people here at Etsy that it would be difficult to pick just one shop, but I like this one and she is nice to talk to:

It has been such a joy hearing Allison's passion for her craft. Now make sure you run straight over to her Etsy shop Born Again Purses. I have posted a few of her sweet creations here, but she has over 90 original items in store now!

BornAgainPurses, AGAIN...

It's been a crazy-fun weekend here in sunny FL. We had a family wedding, which meant lots of time spent with extended family and getting behind in my online world. So this week I will continue with the last two parts of our interview with Allison from BornAgainPurses.

What is your biggest organizational/time management strength?

I am very organized in a disorganized way but I can find everything I need. I have great intentions, but then something will happen like the kids asking a question and I am off to look for what they asked me to do. I use a systematic approach to the purses and do an assembly line to get them finished. My main weakness is having too many supplies in stock. If I see a sweater I love or an embellishment then I have to have it. I'll buy it even though we really do have enough right now.

How do you store your Etsy supplies & stock?

I have a craft room so everything is stored in bins and marked as to what it is. We have craft fairs and consignment shops that we deal with so this helps me to organize getting stock out the door as well.

Please describe your typical Etsy week.

I don't have any set hours as much of my work gets done after the kids are in bed. I like having a more versatile schedule as it works while my kids are smaller. As they grow and need me a little less I will be able to put in some more time at Etsy and other venues.

Do you feel your work on Etsy is respected by those around you, or looked at as something less meaningful than a "real" job?

I think that this job is respected by most of my friends as they are amazed at the passion I have for what I am making. They have been very supportive and are very excited when I do well here at Etsy or elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Allison on Keeping Family FIrst

"My creations are my time to relax...."
--Allison, BornAgainPurses

And what lovely creations to behold! I'm so excited to share the 2nd portion of our interview with Allison of the fun & funky Etsy shop, Born Again Purses. Read on to get a peek into how she manages working from home while keeping family first.

How do you juggle family & Etsy?
My creations are my time to relax and I have done some kind of craft ever since I was small. The majority of my time is spent doing family type things, but at night when my kids go to bed I pick some things up to work on. Some days I will create all day but that doesn't happen all that often.

What do your kids think about Etsy?
My children are 13, 12 and 7 so they like to do things on their own at times so this is a good time for me to get some work done in the craft department. Also two of them like to make things when I am working on something so I will help them a bit but still have some time to do my own thing. I am hoping to pass this passion of creating down to them as it gives me great joy!!!

My middle child does a lot of my modeling of our purses on the site so she loves this. Also I find that they get very excited for me when things are sold and they see them ship to various places around the world. My middle child will brag about our shop to any one that will listen to her so she is a great spokesperson. The extra money brought in goes towards fun things that we do as a family, like travel, so this is an investment for everyone in my family!

Do you rely upon the TV to keep the kiddos occupied while you work on Etsy? My children do many things and I try to keep TV watching to a minimum along with computer and DS time. I want them to be well rounded, but get time outside and learn to be a bit bored sometimes. My best ideas come from times when I am bored as it gives me the opportunity to really think and DREAM!

What is your favorite family fun activity?
We love to travel and try to do this as often as we can. We have a cottage and like to go in the Summer as much as we can. The girls love the water and the beach and our cottage has no TV, A pump for the well and we just got electricity this Year. It is quiet and we love to play by the Ocean. We like bowling and swimming as well and the girls have swimming lessons on Saturday throughout the Fall and Winter.

If money were no object, what Etsy item would you buy for your children?
I love to buy my gifts on Etsy as I appreciate all the work that goes into what is made. I love this Canadian shop and have bought some lovely items from her in the past:

Some of the jewelry shops are nice too and my older girls are liking some of these things now, like this one, or String Me Along.

I like some of the soap shops as well, and the girls love to smell all of the scents, such as sold at Carvel Country Shops.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BornAgainPurses Mama

We are onto our 4th interview here on Etsypreneur! This week we meet Etsy mom Allison of the super-fun shop,
BornAgainPurses. So without any further ado, here's Allison...

Our Etsy shop, BornAgainPurses, is made up of mostly recycled items made from clothing. We started out with Wool sweaters and have expanded to jackets and other things. We have tried lacy items and turned them into purses as well. Our shop is mostly purses but we have made other items in order to use up all the pieces of the sweaters that we have cut. We have many different patterns to create our purses and they were designed mostly by us. Originally we saw a pattern that we wanted to try but changed it to suit our own needs. We make quilts, purses, mittens, change purses,pillows, pin cushions, messenger bags, coffee cozies and bottle cozies, lined bags and so much more. There are many more ideas in my head that just have not been put down on paper yet.

What inspired you to start your Etsy shop and how long have you been running it?
We have been on Etsy for 3 years now and I started here with much excitement to have a venue to show off our items and sell them to various places around the world. There are two of us involved in Born Again Purses.

How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children, my oldest two have special needs and are 13 and 12 and my youngest is 7. The children are all girls and they are wonderful kids! Melissa, the other shop creator, has two boys 14 and 9 years of age.

What inspired you to start your Etsy shop and how long have you been running it?

Originally we found a pattern that we liked and thought we would try it out. I loved the whole concept of recycling something old into another item that could be used again. We tried the pattern but it wasn't working for us the way it was written and we changed it dramatically. Since then we have been coming up with our own patterns and love working with any type of recycled material. We have a pattern which was published last year for Earth Day in a book called Rubbish by Kate Shoup of Wiley Publishing. This was very exciting for us!

Of which item currently for sale in your Etsy shop are you most proud and why?
I love our sets of purses and mittens which is one of the original ideas and they have sold well.

Also last year I created a Christmas Stocking for a friend who was getting married and made it into a couples sock. This was the most fun and I will definitely make more of these because people seemed to love them.

Another thing I love is doing a custom order for someone who has kept sweaters or neckties from someone they loved and lost and creating something they will use so that the item does not just sit in a box or their closet. We have done a few custom orders, but it seems easier and more economic if they are in the area.
In a tiny bit of shameless self-promotion, I'd like to thank Maykela for featuring one of our items in her lovely treasury today! The treasury is called Plum Purple. There's a great variety of items, so please be sure to check it out!