Are you ready for Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving?
Hi, how are you this week? I have been busy coming up with designs for the Fall and Winter Season. I am doing my best to design, make, photograph and write product descriptions for my items while getting participants for features for the blog.
I have asked questions of each of the participants. The questions are “what are some of your daily essentials to create your work, tools, and workspace?” I am pretty open to what the blog participants choose to share with me and want to use what they share.
For me, I am all over the place with what I use to make items as I design and am a maker of many varied items. Even though I sell online, some may call me a “Hobbyist,” as I have not settled on what I create. Although this may be true, I am an artist clear to my bones….and I do sell my creations online.
I use many tools for my jewelry design, creating jewelry pieces to making my small boxes. For jewelry, I use pencil and paper, pliers, metal cutters, a torch,and metal. I use three workstations depending on the type of work I am utilizing. For making small boxes, I use paint, different of fixatives, papers, glitter, saws, and a Dremel — really so many more items I have to create my art.
You know if you have read me for a while, I am really interested in Niche Markets, whether that is a handmade maker or a small startup company. I especially love it when women whatever age, they are starting a business (or continuing a growing business).
First up is my friend, Lynn Esteban‘s Creations are jut marvelous!
I adore Lynn’s work. She makes me smile with her creations and I love what she does with a toy everyone loves. Lynn talked a little about her tools for her work and told me that her planner is essential. She says she was not always a planner person, “…I’d buy new ones and they wouldn’t stick. But “Tools 4 Life planner” has been amazing.” Just like Lynn, I bought this planner for myself and fell in love. I love it as it is so positive and gets you to make real purposeful goals. Lynn told me that she cannot believe she still using it, but it really helps her keep the big picture of her life and her business in mind, to set big goals and to break them into manageable chunks. She is able to stay on track and reevaluate what needs to happen in her business each month. She highly recommends it and really so do I! (I added a link to Amazon for you to look!).
Lynn lives in New York and it is hard for her to see Fall is coming so fast. Her children do not start back to school until September 8th so it does not feel like Fall for her just yet. However, for the Small Business owner, one needs to be prepared. Fall is a busy time for Lynn and her family, there are local street fairs and fall festivals she participates in and the kiddos have the Back to School fun & madness in early September. It is all an adjustment for the family to everyone’s new schedules.
Lynn says she loves the Hudson Valley in the fall. Now Fall can be felt in the area as the weather is perfect, the leaves start to change, the apples ripen and there are all sorts of festivals. Lynn’s husband is Canadian, so they celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. They love having a whole house full of all their “expat friends over for that celebration. Several years ago we didn’t feel like making the whole turkey and stuffing affair, so we made sushi instead.” Once the family made sushi, it was a hit so now the Canadian Thanksgiving Tradition is sushi. Lynn told me that her family also has a “funny tradition for American Thanksgiving.” Since they live several states away from Lynn’s family, each year Lynn’s parents come to town for the week of Thanksgiving. they found that is was surprisingly affordable to have the whole affair catered (Traditional Turkey Dinner).
Brick&Button Packaging — love it!
The Esteban Family enjoys Black Friday for buying a real Christmas tree, wrapping presents, having decorating our Christmas tree. After the tree is decorated, gifts wrapped, time is spent with “Grandma and Grandpa” exchanging and opening Christmas presents. Lynn says it is a “whirlwind of a week but it’s incredibly fun!” Since Lynn is busy with the local markets she easily has handcrafted gifts for her parents (Grandma and Grandpa to the kiddos). “It does result in me scrambling to finish some of my shopping for my folks. Luckily I can easily buy them local handmade goods since I’m at local markets in the weeks before!” Lynn told me most joyfully that Fall is her very favorite season. She stated that “she puts a lot of effort in so she does not become stressed as there is so much to do with a family and her business Brickandbutton on Etsy. She enjoys the kiddos new school routine, the crisp air going hiking with “our plaid shirts on, hayrides and apple picking, watching the leaves change, and best of all, spending lots of time eating with family and friends!” Lynn exudes Joy. I am enjoying getting to know her!
Next up is Nona!
Nona Englund is originally from Finland and has lived in the Netherlands for the past 15 years where life took her on a grand adventure. She states that her home, which she shares with her daughter of 12 isn’t a big one, however, what it lacks in size it makes up in coziness, creative interior solutions, and a warm Scandinavian charm. (My own heart flutters as I love that kind of charm!). Nona dreams of one day living in her “dream home” with a stand-alone creative design studio, but for now, her living room is where all her creative magic takes place. When she’s in her creative mode, her living room is transformed into a design studio.
Nona makes fabric canvas signs which may look quite simple, yet there’s a lot of time, effort, and love going into each one. The essentials she uses to create are different fabrics, canvas boards, twine, burlap, scissors, stamps, ink pads, various glues and varnishes, paint brushes, acrylic paints, fabric markers, pens, wood parts, fabric and washi tapes etc. needed to create the signs are all neatly tucked away in specially designated cupboards, drawers, and decorative wooden chests, and are taken out of hiding when her creative process begins.
Nona states due to the time-consuming nature of creating the canvas signs, and because there are so many phases to creating them especially the 3D beach decor ones, most of them are made to order. Working on the signs while listening to uplifting music or while watching a good movie turns the whole creative process into a wonderfully relaxing and almost meditative experience.
Next up is Anne S. Helsen:
“Oh, by the way, I started my shop after I gave birth to my daughter. I really want to dress up and have made plenty of headbands and hair accessories because she is so cute! From my daughter’s birth, my own business was born. My daughter’s name is Akeisha’s so I called my business, Isha’s Cute Stuffs.”
Anne like many creatives has what I call a crazy creative brain that has ideas or designs that just pop into her head while she is working on something else. The design for the “Spooky Headband” Anne did not want something over the top fluffy but something unique for Halloween. She came up with a process, utilizing felt, thread, needles, and a headband. Anne really likes the result and so do I! I have a grandson so I would need to find something more boyish for him, but I love this headband!
Most of Anne’s creations like her headbands are hand sewn and she utilizes her trusty glue gun to seal it all up. Also, some of Anne’s creations are crochet, she has made crochet hair ties with added charms. Anne uses a sewing machine (Birthday gift from Hubby!) for some items. At this point in her business, she is even wanting to grow into a Cameo3! This is a perfect example of how these small businesses begin to bloom!
Most of Anne’s creations come to fruition on the dining room table as she has two small children 16-month-old who is a bit cheeky and a 3-year-old, both she needs to keep an eye on while she works! She loves it with all “…the screams, laughter, falling and flying toys (don’t worry those flying toys are the soft ones) around because they are my inspirations.” She like all WAHM gets tired like all the creatives with small children. She finds time for a little chocolate milk, during nap time and she is back to business. She is not saying it is easy but she loves what she does.
Next is Elizabeth Taylor, what a name to be blessed with. Just look at this precious baby outfit:
Elizabeth Taylor lives in Asheville, North Carolina and she owns BabyMajestic.etsy.com. She says that she has a craft room that is “exploding!” Since she sews baby clothes, stuffed toys and paper mobiles, she requires a ton of options to view to assist in inspiration! She says “of course, my Singer and Scissors are mandatory, but my fabric selection and boxes full of colorful cardstock make me smile, feel free and inspired. I buy fabric in 2-3 yard amounts, so my items are always changing. I take great joy in being invited to share my creations with my clients.”
WOW, what wonderful Etsy.com creatives! All these items I have shown would be perfect for your Holiday Season and these women, work very hard on their craft and small businesses. I am so glad and proud to be part of the The Joyful Entrepreneur Handmade Community I am involved with that they are also members. I have a new line of jewelry coming up and I will show in the next blog! I am beyond excited, I hope you are too.
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Peace & love