A BEST Team Feature - Swan Mountain Soaps

>> Monday, May 31

It is my pleasure to feature my BEST team mate Etsy seller Swan Mountain Soaps!
I had a hard time picking a few of my favorites from this amazing store because I had so many!

1. The Geek soap - This soap would persuade any geek to saunter towards the bath room.
Here are some useful information about this geek soap:
The Jedi High Council all use geek soap.
"Hmmm. The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see, the future is, without geek soap." - Yoda
The six-fingered man loves this soap. (Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You steal my soap. Prepare to die.)
The Knights of Ni love this soap. The Black Knight loves it too, as it is "soothing on minor flesh wounds."
This soap has been known to repel Reavers.
* Cruelty-free: no midi-chlorians were harmed in the making of this soap.

2. DIY Baby Balm - All mothers know the anguish of being helpless when your baby has diaper rash. 
Because of oh so silly government regulations, Swan Mountain Soaps cannot sell this item so they have the second best alternative- a DIY kit!
The kit contains all natural ingredients with instructions on how to create your own baby balm and never feel like crying with your baby when he/she has diaper rash again!

3. Fisherman's Balm - any one who has handled/gutted a fish knows the pungent odors that accompany this necessary but not so glamorous task. This balm will mask even the strongest of fishy scents. But you do not have to be a fisherman (or eat fish) to use this balm, it is perfect as a lip balm too!

4. Spicy Mustard - mustard and beer and hot dogs and hamburgers all mentioned in one product - I'm in!

5. Dry Shampoo - When I have a bad hair day (too lazy to shampoo, color, style, blow dry, etc.), I wear a baseball cap. Anyone close to me knows that the cap means a b-a-a-a-a-d hair day. Here is an alternative to those days! This talc free shampoo will help you look professional and finished and hide the secret of not shampooing between you and your shampoo bottle.

6. Thousand Roses Soap -
My favorite flower is compressed into a pretty package that lasts and lasts! Truly, this soap will make me want to jump in the shower many times a day!
"This is not your grandma's rose, and it's not your typical department store rose scent either, but a deep, spicy sweet scent with whispers of apple and myrrh - created to match the scent of the Yolande de Aragon, a Damask rose. If you could really literally cover your loved one in roses, it would smell like this."

7. Grab Bag -  This is arguably my favorite of all!
I dream of all these products pouring out of my grab bag, only $15 for everything!
















Read more about Alaskans Mike, Christina and their 5 kids on their  blog.
And make sure to visit the shop!



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Discover This Shop: Hippie Kingdom, Playing with Paper and Clay

>> Tuesday, May 25

Discover This Shop: Hippie Kingdom
Tucked away in her balcony surrounded by birds and squirrels is Devi, dreaming up wildly colorful recycled jewelry for the world to discover! Learning from her grandmother who taught her not to throw anything away, she uses newspaper, duct tape, straws, boxes, beads and clay to create captivating and totally unique works of art from everyday items.
Devi has opened my eyes to the possibilities the junk mail in my mail box holds!
Take a look at her lovingly created items. Please don't stop here, visit her store and read her descriptions. You will be amazed are her ingenuity at creating something wonderful from objects we so often just throw away!




















Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am Devi. I was born and brought up in Kerala, the land known as "God's Own Country for its beauty.  I currently live in Chennai, a cultural city in South India. I live with my parents and elder brother. We run an online business in Indian Garments.

What first made you want to become an artist?

When I was little, I used to treasure my broken necklaces. When my creative juices flowed, I spread them on the kitchen table and recycled them into new designs. I also made all my Christmas tree decorations from candy wrappers and empty bottles, Santa face from egg shells and other cute things when it was not Christmas. My parents were super supportive about in my artistic ventures and never complained about me messing up the house. When I grew up, I was lucky enough to pursue my graduation in Accessory Design, and live a creative life.

What items do you make?

I have been making jewelry for the past 2 years. I make jewelry that looks happy, and passes on the happiness to the wearer. I am fascinated by bright colors and happy patterns and play a lot with them in my designs. I love to experiment with unconventional materials, techniques and combination.

The balcony at home is my studio. It's wonderful working here with the squirrels and birds, who keep me company throughout the day.

I make a lot of recycled and eco friendly jewelry, which I love the most.  I hate to throw away things, I stack them up. My grandma used to tell me that anything that is preserved and unused will find a use in twelve years. This has really worked for me!

What is your most favorite place in the world and why?

My favorite place is my home town in Kerala, now I get to go there only once in a year. It is a  beautiful place, calm and green. I miss raising the cows and growing our vegetables.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

I would like to be able to keep creating things and have a happy healthy family.

What started you on Etsy?

I came across Etsy when I was browsing, and fell in love with the site. I was planning on starting my own website first, but Etsy looked like a great place to start. I love the Community in Etsy, and the fact that a lot of other sellers are super supportive about newbies.

What do you like the most/least about selling online?

What I like the most about selling online is that I can meet people from across the globe. It is a wonderful feeling to know that someone across the sea is wearing the jewelry you made with your own two hands! I also like it that I can have my own time table, and work at my ease.
The least wonderful part is the tedious process of photographing and listing items. But then I suppose we have to pay a little for the bigger advantages!

What lessons have you learned since starting selling online?

Selling in a community like Etsy has taught me the need to have a Niche. Otherwise, I don't see a reason why someone should buy from my shop when there are hundreds of other shops. I am extremely good at NOT promoting my shop. Five months in Etsy has taught me that promotion is really important to get your shop to your customers. I am sure there is someone who would love to buy from my shop, but if she never sees my shop, she can't. This is something that I really need to work on!

Where do you advertise?
 
I haven't advertised anywhere till now. I had a Gallery in PoppytalkHandmade last month. I will be running a Google ad campaign soon.

Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself with us toady Devi! I thoroughly enjoyed browsing your shop!

Here is the link to Devi's Etsy shop Hippie Kingdom
and the link to her Facebook Page.






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Sweet Peaches, A Treasury from Dorset Hill Beads

This is the time of year that I miss living in California the most. I lived in the fertile Central Valley so close to the cherry, peach, strawberry, grape fields. On hot summer days, I would stop by the side of the road to buy fresh picked peaches from the farmer cooling himself under the shade of a tree. The peaches were juicy, sweet, tender and a tantalizing shade of orange.
This treasury by Dorset Hill Beads, reminds me of those peaches and those hot, languid California days!

My Peach Fabric Flower Necklace is featured below.



Dorset Hill Beads is an Etsy seller specializing in delightful one of a kind lampwork beads.
Take a peek at Eileen's whimsical creations!









Eileen has many many more handmade lampwork beads at her Etsy shop Dorset Hill Beads!


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Blue Forest Jewellery, A BEST Etsy Seller

Entrancing photos, breath taking jewelry, self proclaimed jewelry addict UK based Alison, creates jewelry that remind her of her favorite things! Her Etsy shop Blue Forest Jewellery takes its name from the remains of Forest of Arden where she walks her dog.
The pictures of her products below tell us all about her passion for color, femininity and romantic style!







 {From Top To Bottom}


http://youaremysunshine.etsy.com 

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Update on Beliz82

>> Monday, May 24

New items from Beliz82 (Thread, Etc.)









So gorgeous Beliz!



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Oh The Flowers! New Etsy Treasury By TBead

Featuring gorgeous florals to brighten up your day, this new treasury by Etsy seller TBead is a dainty, delightful and feminine celebration of pinks and blues!
My Fabric Flower Garland Necklace Loving Pink is surrounded by Oh The Flowers!


Browsing around TBead's shop:







Want to know more about TBead?
Her blog is pure delight! Pure Craft
And she is also a singer/songwriter! Afterglow.


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Discover These Shops: One Crafty Fox and Size Medium

>> Sunday, May 23

Diana is a small town girl living in the big city. A shopaholic, always impeccably and fashionably dressed for those just in case you get hit by a bus moments.
Armed with a sewing machine, a serger and round nose pliers, she is now ready to share her creations.
Her creating journey started with her mother teaching her to sew. In short order, Diana's dolls and teddy bears were the most stylish toys on the block.
She is a multi-lingual, she loves dark chocolate and coral colored nail polish.
She met her hunny at a wedding. She was the bridesmaid and he was the best man.

Diana has 2 Etsy shops, Size Medium and One Crafty Fox.
Let's get to know more about this prolific Etsy shop owner!




Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Diana, I live and work downtown Toronto and I just love this city! Everything I want is right at my doorstep: trendy shopping, night life hot spots, and an immense selection of dining. I love to eat and that's usually what I do at home with my hunny and my kitty. Yes, kitty gets to indulge in our meals too.

What first made you want to become an artist?

I have never really considered myself to be an artist, just someone with imagination who can figure things out. As a child I really enjoyed working with wood. My father is a carpenter so my brother and I would spend hours in his workshop hammering, sanding, and burning away. My brother and I also used to take apart every little gadget we could find (clocks, radios, etc) and then try to put them back together again. Sometimes with great success... other times... not so much. lol.

What item/s do you make?

I currently have two shops on Etsy: 1) SizeMedium which is filled with my handmade garments designed and sewn by me; and, 2) OneCraftyFox which is filled with practical but beautiful little trinkets. My mother is a tailor so the sewing has just always been a part of me. I learned how to piece together items at a very young age. I didn't start creating my little trinkets and jewelry until much later, I think that all started one day when I walked into a bead store and was flooded with ideas. I think I am most proud of my sewing. There is such a feeling of success when I can pull together a garment completely from scratch and make my mother proud.








What is your most favorite place in the world and why?

My most favorite place in the world would have to be Heidelberg, Germany. I have roots in Germany and this is the one place that I am always drawn to when I visit back home.


What would you like to be when you grow up?
When I grow up I would like to be me, with the same amount of imagination and fascination of when I was a child. We tend to lose that as we age.







What started you on Etsy?

I heard about Etsy from a friend, before I knew it, everyone in our circle was just raving about it!

What do you like the most/least about selling online?

What I like most about selling online is the convenience, what I like least is how time consuming it can be.












Link up to Diana via her
blog: One Crafty Fox
Etsy stores:
One Crafty Fox
Size Medium















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Discover This Shop: Romantic Art on Etsy

>> Thursday, May 20


In a little town in Hungary lives Kata. Surrounded by a magical world filled with dolls and flowers and Lake Balaton, Kata creates from the heart...wonderfully unique jewelry and accessories for you and your home!



Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Katalin (Kata), its the Hungarian translation for Catherine. I live in Europe in a little, but beautiful country, Hungary. I live near a big lake, which is actually the biggest lake in Europe, the Lake Balaton. I like to live here. Fortunately all my family members live here around the lake. We are really cohesive. I have a son, David. I love to live and do things for others, especially for those who are not treated so well by life. I think I am really blessed, because I had many great opportunities in many ways to really, live my dreams. For the last few years, I was working in an exclusive flower shop, where I learned a lot of new things, we made decorations for weddings and special occasions. These were great times. I think the biggest success in my life is that I can proudly say I am happy and satisfied.


What first made you want to become an artist?

Even in my youth, I loved to make things. My French herited grandmother (Hermina - Emerencia) showed me the art of creation. She thought me all her knowledge, like the beautiful art of sewing. I couldn't imagine my life without creativity. The old things from the past amaze me, these have the biggest impact on my life and my work. I always happened to "appear" near people who thought me lots, and helped me reach my goals. That's how I happened to get a taste of sewing, flower knitting, Aquarell painting, photography, just to mention a few. I always did what I wanted to, the things that called me, "found me", so that's why I cannot tell what was "The First Job" that made me start to walk this road. Now its definitely the sewing that gets me going. My new, huge love is the doll making. I show my works on the biggest Hungarian craftsman website. My latest job is "Mrs. Danvers", who is shaped by the main character of the musical "Rebecca". The doll is made as an order to be a present to the actress who plays this character in the musical. I am really proud of this work of mine! I love to shape characters :) Since I live in a fairly small town, most people know me and my work, so sometimes I get special orders from different people. A few weeks ago I some brooches and necklaces for a hostel in Austria for the festival series called the "Rose weeks". In my Etsy Shop I have all kinds of romantic accessories. Hairpins, brooches, snaps, bags.



What items do you make?

Every single piece of art that can be seen in my Shop is the work of my very own hands. I do everything by myself. I get the necessities, I make the item, take pictures of it, upload it to the site (With this my son was a great help to me, since he is speaking English fluently, he was studying in the United States for one year).










What is your most favorite place in the world?

My favorite place is definitely Venice. I have some great reminiscence with that city. I've been there a few times, its a really special and beautiful place. Other than that I like every place where water can be found. I cannot live without water for long.


What would you like to be when you grow up?

I'm pretty grown by now! :)
My dream is a workplace, where I can, beside my own work, show the items of other creative people and maybe have little gatherings with other artists. I have many great friends, who I'd like to help with presenting their work. The house is already standing, we'll all see when my dream comes true.


What started you on Etsy?

I started on Etsy in March, for the advice of my globe-trotter friend, Betty, who also has a shop on Etsy ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/realfaery ). She is a real fairy, she helped me a lot with starting out, and encouraged me to show my work to everyone over the world.


What lessons have you learned since starting selling online?

You always have to give all you can, and do the best you can. Not only on the pictures, but really, you have to do your best to succeed. The best compliment is when someone says: "This is even better looking, than on the picture!". The most important lesson that I learned is that we are need to rely on each other here on Etsy, this is beautiful. I think online trading is good, because you don,t have to maintain a store, and you get lots of freedom by it. The best thing is probably that you can show the whole world your art, and what you do. I still have a lot to learn about these things.

Where do you advertise?

I can only advertise with Treasuries, where I can show my work. The biggest barrier is that I don't speak English. This way my items have to speak for me, but when making sales it is a really big and bad issue. I think the most I have to learn is the sale system. I think and I profess that I only have to do my own things and the best people and the best opportunities will find me.




And across the miles, our kindred spirits meet. Kata writes:




Kata's Etsy store is Romantic Art.




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This blog about my day that includes my Etsy and Artfire shops, newbie and experienced Etsy sellers, helpful business tips, tutorials, Etsy treasuries, Artfire collections, fashion, decorating, inspirational quotes, pictures and music.
For fabric flower brooches, hair pins, bobby pins, jewelry and accessories, please visit my Etsy store and Artfire store.
For vintage housewares, book plates, jewelry and supplies, please visit My Sunshine Vintage and Vintage Charming.
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All text and images, unless otherwise, noted are my own. Feel free to use my content as long as you link back to my site and give me credit. Thank you!

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