Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Feature: Samantha from Gilded Rose Studio

This week I am very delighted to be able to share the work of another Rollergirl! It is also very interesting how similar we are. We both do some tattoo inspired work, both are mommies, both play roller derby, and both love to juxtapose contrasting ideas and themes.

I have placed an order with Samantha, I am very excited about it! Please visit her store: Gilded Rose Studio

Tattoo Rose Onesie

Tell me about your store.
Well! I had started out designing Roller Derby-themed Onesies...with clever baby-related Derby Names. Created the Old School way...with stencil and fabric paint. I still think the names are great, but I was not entirely happy with the finished product. So, I can see why they never sold. I don't consider it a complete opened me up to other ideas. Traditional Tattoos on babies! So complete polar opposites, but totally cute-able when you add hand-embroidery. And I didn't even know how to embroider. Go figure :)

"MOM" Tattoo Onesie

How would you describe your style?

I used to have oodles of style. Coming out of the seams...that's how much style I had! Now I have a baby. I don't feel I need to elaborate any further. In my mind, reminiscing on my "old life", it was a mix of preppy, classic and envelope-pushing. Back in the day when I worked in corporate finance, I would wear all sorts of interesting outfits. A knit royal purple printed shift dress with knee high brown heeled boots, complete with my favorite Forever 21 junk jewelry. I loved mixing up the expensive stuff with the cheap stuff. (but you had to be selective when it came to the cheap stuff otherwise it doesn't work!) One of my favorite flirty outfits was this black and white mini polka dot cap-sleeve dress, sheer button up over a slip from H&M, black leather vintage-style Coach shoes with teardrop cut-outs over the toes (the only kind of Coach anything I will wear) and bright red lipstick. I'm constantly inspired by pin-ups. I don't try to dress like an exact replica of them, but I will channel their style (if I can!) ::sigh:: Those were the days.

Samantha and Her Daughter

What inspires you?
It may not be blatantly obvious in my creations, but my surroundings in the mountains inspire me a great deal. They remind me to keep things simple, use pops of color when it calls for it. Not to over-embellish. I suppose that might be how one would describe traditional tattooing. I love contrast, the use of opposites. I use backdrops highlighting my natural surroundings in my pictures. My newest favorite backdrop is the meticulous way my husband stacked one of our woodpiles for winter.

Summer Mountain View

Do you sell in other venues? Yes! I have a collection featured at Mother & Child in Nashua, NH as well as a collection at Live Wire in Westerly, RI. I'm working on my website right now, it will be a process! I'm currently gearing up for Fall Craft Fairs in the New England region.

What networking do you do that you feel helps your business? Person-to-person and word of mouth will always trump anything online. But promoting on Facebook, no matter how annoying it must seem to my friends and family because the only updates they see from me are pictures of embroidered baby onesies, seems to draw in a good deal of views and word of mouth sales. I discovered the Business Forums about 2-3 weeks slimy as it sounds, showing my face on that forum (not even for selfish reasons!) appears to be working for me as well.

-Just a side note, I found Samantha's shop in the forums :) -

Mermaid Tea Towel

Share one random fact about yourself… or more if you wish.
I like tuna fish sandwiches. But I cannot eat chicken salad, even though they are the same consistency. Speaking of food...sometimes, when I'm standing up and snacking, I will do a little happy-dance-kick a la "A Chorus Line".

What is your workspace like? It is CRAZY! I had taken over my husband's drawing table because he wasn't using it, but I have recently been kicked off the drawing table because (I feel) my husband doesn't want to share. I now operate out of my handy storage container and embroider wherever it's comfortable. I also will embroider standing up on occasion...I sit far too much than I would like to admit due to creating for my store! I'm still thinking of a better "home" for my little operation.

Winter Sunset

Thanks to Samantha for letting me do a feature on her store and sharing awesome photos! please visit her shop!


Have a great Weekend!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Feature: Krystal from Random Wishes

For today's feature I got to interview Krystal. Her shop is called Random Wishes, here is a link: Krystal has many interests and talents, and her shop features an eclectic mix of beautiful candles, art and jewelry.

Tell me about yourself.

I grew up in the country on a farm. I learned from both my mother and my grandmother how to do crafty things. As a child I always wanted to be an artist. I would draw pictures for my family members and they would proudly display them in their homes. During High School I took all the art classes I possibly could. I absolutely loved it. I wish I had gone to college for art, instead I went for Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry. I do have a degree in both. I currently work in Cooper's Seafood House in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Tell me about your store.

I started my store about a year ago. I was not sure on how I was going to d
o it, but asked around to different people and they showed me what to do and how to make things better. I have to say my store has improved in the last couple of months. I got a new camera which made my pictures better, and I have developed my skills a bit better and my items have sold more. I sell mostly jewelry, but I just started doing custom candles. I love doing candles, while making them they make my house smell so great and it lingers for hours. I also do paintings and knitted items. The knitted items will be in more as the weather gets cooler.

What inspires you?

The world inspires me. I grew up in the country and learned to appreciate the little things. I see a lot if not all things as art. I twist things to become my own and create something wonderful. My art teacher once told me the world is your canvas us it to your full advantage. My family also inspires me. They tell me what they like and I tend to put my own twist into it and it becomes a great work of art.

Do you have a strong support system? Who is your biggest cheerleader?
My family has always been there for me no matter what. My mom is my biggest fan. She is always asking what I have that is new. My Aunt Ann is always wondering what I have in candle scents and my father is 100% behind finding me a physical place to sell my items. I have a wonderful boyfriend who encourages everything I do. He is always telling me how great I am doing and telling me to never give up no matter how much stress I am under. My support system is very large and I am very grateful to have them.
What is your favorite food?
Well I went to School to be a chef. My pallet has developed a lot since I was 18. My favorite food used to be anything Italian. I loved Fettuccine Alfredo and Spaghetti. at least once a week I would eat one or the other. Now though I love sushi. I love to get a spicy kani salad or calamari salad with a rainbow roll and edema-me. I love trying new things.

How would you describe your style?

I would say that I am very random. I try to do different things all the time. Hence the name Random Wishes. I like to do a number of different things. I paint, I make candles, I make jewelry, and so much more. This way I never get bored and I always have someone to make smile.

Please visit Krystal's shop, clicking on any picture will take you to her store, and have a GREAT weekend!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Feature: Kristin from Connielou's Designs on Etsy

This week I interviewed Kristin, from and her answers were so much fun, that I found myself wanting to ask her more questions as I read! Kristins shop is beautiful, lovely photos fill each page, enticing you to look at each of her pretty pieces!

Kristin and her husband

Tell me about yourself. Not necessarily about your shop, but about you.

I am a high school English teacher, who is a lead singer in a band, works part time making teeth for my dad (he's a dental tech) and jewelry for my shop Connielou's Designs. I love being busy. I have a wonderful husband, who is in his own band, and two sons; the oldest is 15 and the youngest is 10. I love teaching, writing, reading, singing, and of course...making jewelry! My business card slogan is "I never leave home without my earrings!" because I don't:)

Kristin's boys (her husband and her sons)

Tell me about your store.

My store is named after my grandmother Louise, who died from cancer, and my great grandmother Constance "Connie," whom I was named after (my middle name is Constance). I owe my love for jewelry to my grandmom because she would never leave home without her earrings, either:)

How would you describe your style?

As an artist, my jewelry is very unique. Sometimes I use recycled jewels; sometimes I use parts of my grandmother's old costume jewelry. I buy a lot of my parts from artisans and sellers on Etsy, though. I buy from Esty sellers or small stores near me most often because it's all about the "little people," not corporate America:)

How long have you been selling on Etsy?

I have been a member for over a year as a seller, but I only recently started to sell my jewelry (about 2 months). I've been averaging 10 creations per day, since in June I started to sell my jewelry inside and outside of Etsy. I'm proud to say in the last two months I have made 200 pieces of jewelry (necklaces, earrings, and bracelets).

What is your workspace like?

Right now it's the dining room table, and it drives my husband crazy! Me too, actually:)

What networking do you do that you feel helps your business?In terms of "networking," I feel word-of-mouth has been the best for me. It also helps selling to people when they can see my product. My mom has been bringing in things to her work, and they are selling quickly. In terms of "social networking" online, I am having a hard time. I tweet, I've advertised, etc. My teams on Etsy have been great support; however, my sales have not increased yet from anything I am doing at present. I am hopeful, though, and I am not giving up. I feel like once people start to buy from me, it may spread. I really like my stuff, and it's so inexpensive. EVERYTHING is $25 and under!

Name some of the sellers whom you look up to and why?
There are so many, and I aspire to be like them. Looking up to others helps me become a better artist:)

What are some of your favorite Etsy stores?

This is a tough one because there are tons. I really love Mermaid Treasures. I like her supplies, and she always gives free goodies with her purchases! I love the surprise:) I also like Rustic Goth; her paintings and prints are so awesome and different! All Earrings and Supplies is another great supply store. Perfect packaging, labeled and all.

Share one random fact about yourself… or more if you wish.

My motto for life: "To thine own self be true."

Do you have any advice for new sellers?

Don't give up, don't get discouraged. Try, try, try again, and I believe we can succeed!

Kristin has a promotion going on right now:
free shipping in US, and throughout the rest of August and Labor Day, 20% off EVERYTHING in my shop. Use coupon code 20OFF at check out.

So- go check out her shop!

Have a great weekend!