Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Grand Rapids Press featured one of our own!

Please check out this article featuring Mike (Lona's husband) of Shady Side Farm!

Oops, just click on the title to get there!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gift Guide

Buying handmade for the holidays is both fun and rewarding. You have the opportunity to find something unique, show your thoughtfulness, purchase quality, and support local artists and crafters...all while avoiding the crowded mall and the endless parking lot circle that accompanies it. When you don't have time to browse local craft shows, turn to the Etsy West Michigan team online and let the fun begin! We have put together gift guides for women, men, hostesses, babies, teenages, little kids, crafters , cold weather and secret Santas!
From your best friend to your mom or wife, all of the women on your list can be treated to quality handmade gifts this season. Etsy West Michigan has gift ideas for the pet lover, jewelry addict, decorator, and more!
(upper left) Catherine Marissa’s stacking sterling rings are right on trend and the perfect gift for the woman who appreciates clean, modern styling
(upper right) Unique frosted glass jewelry from Yellow Lux will inspire “Where did you find this?” from any lucky lady on your list…
(lower left) Pitbulllady Designs can create a custom needle felted portrait of her pet. This makes a lovely and thoughtful gift for anyone who lost a dear pet this year…
(lower fight) Absolutely unique, these stunning Japanese temari balls from Julie and co. will delight the decorator on your list
Cold Weather is upon us and the fiber artists of Etsy West Michigan have been busily creating quality accessories to keep everyone on your list comfortable until Spring arrives.
(upper left) Hand felted scarves in a variety of stunning colors will dress up the fashion conscious female on your list. Browse for the perfect color at Clawtree Design
(upper right) Shady Side Farm takes all the bland out of socks and creates luxurious wool pairs in a wide range of colors
(lower left) Ellafern’s cashmere lined mittens are an indulgence without the crazy high price tag. Whether the recipient’s style is embellished or simple, you will find the right pair in her shop
(lower right) Knitted mittens for children and adults (all at $12 or less!) are available through Mimi’s Mittens
Handmade is fun, but can be tricky when someone on your list is a crafter. Treat the crafters in your life to some fun supplies and let them have fun creating with their new goodies.
(upper left) Just Jaynes is a jewelry maker’s paradise with sterling silver charms, pendants, and more
(upper right) Just For Fun Crafts offers a variety of chipboard products for the paper crafter on your list
(lower left) Fiber artists will appreciate a colorful gift of quality roving or yarn from Yarn 2 Spin
(lower right) If beads and baubles are her weakness, stop by Raid My Stash for a variety of stones, pearls, and more…

Mix handmade into your children’s gifts this year and watch their excitement when they find unique goodies from Santa. With a variety of items for little girls and boys, Etsy West Michigan will save you the long lines at the toy store.

(upper left) Your little girl will be absolutely adorable outfitted in accessories from Lily-Pie Designs
(upper right) This little dog needs a happy home and a new best friend. Be sure to surprise your little one with a stuffed buddy from The Monkey Shop
(lower left) Put a knot in the strap of this bottle cozy and let your kiddo be grown up as he carries his own water bottle on your adventures. That Is So C.U.T.E. offers a variety of colors and cozy styles
(lower right) Have a budding artist at home? Stop by Baggavond’s shop for chalkboard bags, placemats, and more

If your teenager is anything like I was, she is tricky to buy for. Thankfully, Etsy West Michigan artists have creative and fashionable ideas for all ages. From the environmentally conscious to the fashionistas in the group, we’ve got you covered.
(upper left) Ribbonrose’s beads and pendants are available in many of this year’s popular color combinations and your teenager won’t see her friend wearing the exact same thing she has on
(upper right) Is your teenager going green? Craftinator’s logo tote has been upcycled into a statement bag perfect for your environmentally conscious teen

(lower left) A Window Into Whimsy’s bags are available in a variety of sizes and current designer fabrics. This gathered tote can replace your teen’s backpack and leave her friends wondering where she found that bag

(lower right) Is your teenager a Blythe collector? Surprise her with a holiday ensemble from morganannie


Babies are fun to buy for and even more so once you get started browsing the fabulous clothing, accessories, and nursery décor available through the Etsy West Michigan team. Go ahead and spoil your little ones – they’re worth it!

(upper left) Squeak! Squeak! Outfit your darling in this sweet little mouse onesie from Mom N Mia Quilts
(upper right) Avoid the typical holiday outfits and dress your sweetie in this festive crocheted cardigan from karen mary
(lower left) Perfect for nursery décor or playtime, Holy Craft! offers sets of darling wooden blocks
(lower right) Perennial Piecer’s quilted jackets are unique and can be custom made in your favorite colors or theme
With so many holiday parties this time of year, it can become exhausting trying to find hostess gifts. Show your party organizer that her time and effort are appreciated with a handmade gift that lasts longer than that bottle of wine.

(upper left) With a variety of fabric styles available, you are sure to find something that fits your hostess’s home in Delainie’s quilted coaster selection
(upper right) The hostess can kick back and relax after the party, soothed by the smell of a soy candle from Bliss Candles
(lower left) Add a little competitive spirit to a dull holiday party with this African inspired game from Antiquity Gamecrafters
(lower right) MariaSoleil's selection of holiday gift tags reminds us that every package can be pretty this year. Help your hostess save time with her holiday wrapping with these tags


Does your office or group play Secret Santa each year? Surprise your partner with a handmade gift and be sure to have everyone hoping you are their Santa next year. Etsy West Michigan team members offer a variety of products under $10 that make the perfect office gifts.

(upper left) With over 500 scents to choose from, Sweet Surrender Candle’s soy tarts make a great gift for candle lovers and are available in packages for as little as $4.50
(upper right) Would you believe that these Key Lime earrings from Elysium are only $6? I was surprised too!
(lower left) Island Girl Bags offers functional and pretty key fob wristlets in a variety of designer fabrics for only $5
(lower right) A lovely embellished satin ornament from LaShelle is a sure way to dress up someone’s tree this season – perfect for your friend with a new grandson or shabby chic style


As much as I enjoy the handmade hunt, I freeze up as soon as it’s time to buy for the men in my life. Crafts are for girls, right? Wrong. Many crafters have expanded their lines to include products that appeal to men. You may have to hunt a little longer, but the rewards are well worth the time invested.

(upper left) For the nature lover, consider a print from newleafdesigns
(upper right) If your man spends his day at the office, add a little personality to the 9 to 5 with vintage typewriter key cufflinks from The Empty Nest
(lower left) Unicorn’s Garden offers a creative twist on office wear with a chainmaille tie, perfect for the “corporate raider”…
(lower right) Ease aches and pains from a long day with a hot/cold therapy pad from Mondry’s YKnot Shop where the unique corn filling stays hot longer than a typical rice heating pad…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tags: a primer for newbies and a refresher for others

submitted by Cathy of JustJaynes

When I opened my second shop on Etsy, JustJaynes, I was coming off a 6-month hiatus from selling. There were a few changes.

What are these things called treasuries? What are all these funky applications on the sidebar of the front page? What are TAGS?

Not the lovely tags made by our own Celene from MariaSoleil, but the tags used to describe our items.

Tags actually do much more than describe our items. Tags put our items into the Etsy search engine for buyers and treasury curators. We all have the same goal: Sell. But when our stuff’s not selling, the secondary goal: Be on the Front Page! Being on the front page will bring lots of views and new shoppers into your shop.

First tag: Your main category
All other tags: Subcategories and descriptions

You’ll see that the tag system will automatically make suggestions. If your items fit into those suggestions, use ‘em! If not, and it runs out of suggestions, don’t stop! Time to get creative. How will buyers and curators search for your item? Color, shape, theme.

COLOR: Treasury curators especially will not search for something “blue” because there will be too many results, so they search for a certain shade of blue, such as aqua blue, teal, baby blue. Think soft pink, cream, coffee.

SHAPE: Swirls, circles, squares, flowers, they’ll search ‘em ALL.

THEME: Smoky, mystical, gothic, romantic, ghostly, winter, shiny, use your imagination!

But there are only 14 tags! Plus I have team tags! Well, yes, but you can combine some tags. Such as “sterling silver,” “silver plated,” etc. They have to be words that go together.

But I still have a few tags left! Do you ship internationally? Do you accept RME? Will anyone search by your shop name? Your real name? These can also be tags.

Thanks to Kara from lhsblack for volunteering for a tag critique! I selected these earrings partly because they are my favorite, but also because these earrings should be selling or on the front page or in treasuries or all the above!

Here are the current tags:
jewelry, earrings, dangle, glass, wire wrapped, bead, green, river, sterling, silver, etsywmi team, wire wrapped

Tag makeover: jewelry, earrings, dangle, glass, wire wrapped, faceted, seafoam, green, sterling silver, etsywmi team, tear drop, briolette, opaque, international ship

So go check your tags. Are you using the search engine to your best advantage? Do you ever search for your items to make sure they are showing up? And if they are not showing up, why not?

Storque articles:

Feature Artist: MondrysYknotShop

What is your shop name and what do you sell? Mondry's Y Knot Shop and I sell a variety of things. Everything from hand knotted jewelry to gift bags and therapy pads.

What is your shop's URL? Http://

When did you start selling on Etsy? August of 2007

What is your favorite thing about Etsy? The forums and all of my close friends

What is your favorite thing about what you sell? Why, creating it of course.

What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? I have to say that the black and white colorized postcards are my current favorite but I like them all. Otherwise I wouldn't make them.

What teams do you belong to? I am a co-leader of the EtsyFriends team and a member of the EtsyWMI team.

What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I like to chat in the forums and chat rooms but my most favorite way is to take my items to shows and show them off.

What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? You know I have many items in my favorites but I can't pick anything I like pretty much everything that is listed on Etsy. I guess if I must choose it would be the fun things that make me laugh. Like this embroidered toilet paper...

What do you do in your spare time? I hang out on Etsy, try to get stuff sewn up and read with my daughter.

Do you have anything else you would like to share? Well not really. I would like to say that you really should buy handmade this year. I took the Handmade challenge did you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feature Artist: The Empty Nest

What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop name is The Empty Nest and I sell a variety of unique, kitschy items from vintage typewriter key jewelry, to atlas map magnets, to pocket mirrors!

What is your shop's URL?

When did you start selling on Etsy? January 26, 2007 – it all started after my daughter’s medieval wedding was over and I needed something to occupy my spare time at night, so before you know it, I was creating marble necklaces and expanded from there.

What is your favorite thing about Etsy? For me personally, the favorite part is meeting people from all over the world and that is how friendships begin. I also love to hear when people inform me that they truly love my shop – gives me warm fuzzies!

What is your favorite thing about what you sell? It would have to be that I don’t know of many people who actually have a thought process like me and make items that I do. I like that I can put a little of my quirky personality into my items and share those with people.

What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? It would definitely be my glass marble dictionary definition bracelet mainly because I love it when people pick the six words to put under the marbles – it also allows me to provide a special gift for that special person.

What teams do you belong to? Fabulous Artistic Moms (FAM) and Etsy West Michigan – both allow an opportunity to promote others in that same group and also form new and developing friendships.

What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I love chilling out in the forums; I’m all over the board posting to topics of interest. I also started in a few chats and let me tell you, they are ADDICTING!

What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? Oh my, what isn’t there to like about Etsy but the newest love would have to be sellers who make baby items – I’m a new grammy and grammy has to spoil the little one!

What do you do in your spare time? Spare time – what is that? After working a full-time job, coming home and walking the pooch, I immediately go to crafting. I’m anally organized and it is hard for me to sit still long enough before I get bored.I LOVE LOVE LOVE snowmobiling and boating so when weather permits, that is where I am!

Do you have anything else you would like to share? Well a few facts about me:- I come from a family of 13- I met my hubby at 15, married him at 18, had kids at 20 and 21 and have been with him for over 30 years- I’m a new grammy although I don’t feel like one- I’m an avid animal lover, rescuing a few pets along the way- I’m very energetic- Family is #1 priority- I love to create and bring about a smile on another person’s face!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Feature Artist: That Is So C. U. T. E.

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop name is That Is So C. U. T. E. and I love it when someone looks at my shop and can’t stop the words “that’s so cute!” I love knitting, felting and needle felting so you will find a variety of those items in my shop. Right now I have Pretty Pockets, Birdhouse ornaments and bottle cozies. Soon I’ll be adding some bowls, baskets, wine bottle (or liquor bottle) cozies, and other ornaments. I also love painting so you will occasionally find some hand painted items. Right now I have some Halloween items in my store. I also enjoy beading and have come up with my own design for beaded book thongs because I want to be too sexy for my book! I’ll be listing more of those real soon as well.

2. What is your shop's URL?

3. When did you start selling on Etsy? I joined Etsy in August of 2007. It is a very part time place for me as I do hold down a full time job as well.

4. What is your favorite thing about Etsy? I love that for the most part, Etsy sellers are so willing to help someone out. I love handing out in the forums – I pick up so many great ideas. So many ideas that that I run out of time to create.

5. What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I love the feedback I get on Etsy. My very first feedback was one word…but what a word! “Perfect”! And another favorite I received in a convo…the person I traded with said “I just got the purse and have to say how AWEWOME it is! When I opened the box, it took my breathe away. Really! You do absolutely beautiful work.”

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? My favorite item never made it into my shop! LOL!! It is a dark brown bottle cozy that has an aqua blue fun fur around the top. I am still in love with the color combo so I kept this one for myself.

7. What teams do you belong to? I belong to Etsy West Michigan and the Etsy Knitters teams.
The West Michigan team is able to meet up in person. There’s been a great deal of joining up and doing the local craft shows together. We put on our own Trunk Show in September. We are talking about putting on our own show next year – much larger than the trunk show. We are also considering getting together socially for a Christmas party.
The Knitters team is world wide and it’s been fun meeting other knitters from around the world. I’ve picked up some good tips from this team.

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? That’s got to be hanging out in the forums. I generally check on all sections of the forums as I have time. I pick up good ideas under the Business Topics & Techniques sections. I love it when I can help someone out in the Site Help section. I can even find some interesting threads in Etc.!! But lately, I spend most time on our own team thread for the EtsyWMI team…we’re a chatty bunch!

9. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? Wow – I see so much I wish I could just buy it all! I love the variety of soaps I find here – scents that sound so wonderful. I see even more yarn that I would love to add to my stash…but I’d have to hide it! Beads…artwork…all I have to do is check out 3 or 4 treasuries and I'll easily find more treasures to add to my favorites.

10. What do you do in your spare time? I love to read!

11. Do you have anything else you would like to share? Yes, I’d love to share a “real” fairy tale of how I came up with my shop name. Once upon a time there were 5 sisters who took vacations together, even after they were all grown up. They enjoyed each other’s company. They loved eating and shopping on these vacations. One day, they noticed something that kept happening whenever they were shopping together. No, not the fact they were mistaken for a mob when they entered a shop. The fact that quite often they would utter the same words at the same time: that is so cute! So, it is to honor my sisters that I incorporated that phrase into my shop name in the hopes that others will continue to utter those wonderful words as they enter my shop!

Just remember – CUTE now means Creative Unique Trendy Enticing!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where In The World Are Our Members?

Craft Show "season" is upon us here in West Michigan. I bet between now and Christmas you can find several shows each week. We won't have members at every show, but we certainly will be well represented!

Would you like to know where in West Michigan our members will be? Karin & Cathy have been kind enough to put all this information together in one spot: check out this Etsy profile for a list: EtsyWMI.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Feature Artist: Shade Side Farm

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop name is ShadySideFarm, and I sell wool yarns, rovings and other wool products from our farm. We have upwards of 100 sheep on the farm with two different breeds. We're always looking for new and creative ways to market their wool. I also sell handwoven rag rugs (I've been weaving for over 10 years). We also offer hand-cranked socks made by my husband on his antique circular sock knitting machine.

2. What is your shop URL?

3. When did you start selling on Etsy? I opened my shop in November 2007.

4. What is your favorite thing about Etsy? I love that we can have an on-line presence without a website designer. Etsy is a great way to get started in online selling without a huge investment of either time or money.

5. What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I'm proud of the fact that everything in our Etsy store is either handmade by someone in our family, or comes directly from the wool from our sheep.

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? Hard to choose! But I think the one item I'd keep for myself is the Country Mix Handwoven Rag Rug--

7. What teams do you belong to? Besides EtsyWMI, I also belong to the SHEteam (Schooling at Home Etsians).

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I'm not really a great promoter. I guess I would have to say my blog is the most fun. You can find it at

9. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? My favorite jewelry maker is Linda at, and I'm very proud of my two daughters at

10. What do you do in your spare time? What is spare time? I homeschool my 3 of my 4 kids (the oldest is in college), and I am the bookkeeper and hired hand on the farm. I run a mom-based taxi service, am chief cook and bottlewasher, I blog and play with etsy.
I don't get to weave nearly enough to suit me, and often joke that it's my "therapy."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

October Challenge: "Michigan Autumn"

Hold on to your mittens! We have decided on a different theme for our first etsywmi challenge. The theme is "Michigan Autumn." After much discussion in the forums, it was the general consensus that our first challenge should be more of a general theme, making it easier for everyone to participate in their own medium, if desired.

In answer to some of your questions:
1. What is a challenge? Is it a contest? No, it isn't a contest. It is meant to spark ideas and to provide inspiration. And to be fun!

2. Will we list the items we create? If you want to, I think most people probably will. I guess it depends on how the projects turn out, at least for me!!!

3. What are the rules? There really are no rules. In the case of the first challenge, just create something that represents Michigan Autumn to you. Create as many items as you want! You may want to include "Michigan Autumn" in your title(or tags), in case anyone is inspired to make a treasury.

4. What do we do with our creations when they are finished? Still working on that one. Hopefully, this can be a regular section of our team blog, with links to your etsy shops. I will provide more information when I get that part worked out.

5. Will there be more challenges? I'm hoping we can do one a month. I would like to get something set upat least for November and December so people can start dreaming. TENTATIVELY, I'm thinking of "Bundle up, Michigan" for November. That way, anyone who had their hearts set on mittens can use them for the November challenge. I'm hoping for suggestions, though.

So, what do you think? Any further questions or suggestions? Let's get started!

~ Sarah

Monday, September 15, 2008

Feature Artist: Claw Tree Design/Raid My Stash

1 & 2 What is your shop name and what do you sell? What is your shop URL? I have two Etsy shops. The first is is Claw Tree Design. Here I sell fiber art scarves and handbags as well as handmade jewelry in different styles. My other store Raid My Stash- a little supply shop where I sell small quantities of beads for those who want to try something new without a large investment. I have lots of little bits of beads left over, and people seem to like being able to buy small amounts.

3 When did you start selling on Etsy? I started selling on Etsy this summer, and am actually still stocking the Claw Tree Design store and plan to “launch” it this fall. I’m still figuring out how to do that. I expect it will happen in early October.

4 When did you start selling on Etsy? My favorite thing about Etsy is the creativity of the community. I can just browse for hours, amazed at the work that I see.

5 What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I love that I sell items that are actually used and worn and enjoyed by people, I love to hear someone tell me how much they still like a piece of jewelry years after they bought it.

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? Currently the favorite item in my shop would be either the shell bracelet with seed beads and pearls “I found Another Shell” or the highly textured nuno felted scarf “Fall Fiesta” Both were so much fun to make, both are unique and beautiful in their own way.

7. What teams do you belong to? I belong to the West Michigan Etsy team. I am new to Etsy and therefore new to this team, but I have enjoyed meeting members of the team and am impressed by how congenial and supportive they are.

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I haven’t yet promoted my shop, but I will do so this fall. I appreciate suggestions… I did participate in Etsy day at the Fulton Street Artisans Market, and that was fun.

9.What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? I have a list of favorite items that grows daily. I lately have been looking at nature photography, ceramics, and some copper metal work jewelry. All things that I do not make, but love to have…

10.What do you do in your spare time? My art is my spare time lately. I love to read, to hang out at the lake with the kids. I enjoy knitting and crochet, I like to walk and in the winter I ski when I can.

11. Do you have anything else you would like to share? The only other thing I could share is the inspiration for the name of my shop – Claw Tree Design. A claw tree – as I call it - is a tree that for some reason has roots exposed that appear to be reaching for or clinging to the ground. I see these trees as a metaphor. They all started out as seedlings in a place that should have given them the nutrients to grow, but for some reason the ground underneath them changed, shifted, eroded, went away. Some trees then just die, but the claw tree extends its roots as far as they need to go in order to hang on to what it needs to stay alive and growing. It is a symbol of perseverance and faith. My avatar is a sketch I made years ago when learning how to draw. A claw tree was a difficult subject given my lack of experience but it turned out well. That was the first time I thought that I may just be able to create. It gave me the encouragement to continue drawing and eventually to pursue my creative urges into different mediums.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Feature Artist: Heather's Crafts

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop is Heather's Crafts and I sell hand crafted dolls, pillows,small art quilts.

2. What is your shop URL?

3. When did you start selling on Etsy? I "took the plunge" and quit my super stressful day job in December and I started selling on Etsy in July.

4. What is your favorite thing about Etsy? Meeting new people and seeing the lovely goodies they make. I love collaboration and sharing ideas and advice. I haven't been able to do that since I left school.

5. What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I love the fact that I can make whatever I want. I sell items that have the strongest personalities...and every single thing is different and unique.

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? Right now, my favorite item in my shop is the Portly Gentleman Deady Bear I love how sweet he looks at me from my desk. It will be hard to part with that little guy.

7. What teams do you belong to? I belong to EstyWMI, Etsy DollArtisans, and Etsy Dark Side Street Team

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? Going to shows is really the most fun for me. I love meeting everyone and getting to know the regulars around town and I'm really building a great customer base that way. I keep hearing, "I need to know where you will be next!"

9. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? My ultimate favorite things I've found on Etsy are these beautiful I'm also a sucker for innovative illustrations (as that was my major in college). Some of my favorites are:,, and a local girl

10. What do you do in your spare time? I don't consider myself as having spare time. I sew, paint, and draw constantly. Then I check Etsy and email with breakfast. It's great doing what I love all day long!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Feature Artist: Poppy Glass

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell? The name is Poppy Glass and I sell stained glass art and jewelry. Actually I just started adding the jewelry part as of late and it kinda seems to be taking over my shop which I am not so sure I like that much so I guess I need to get my butt busy on my panels again soon!

2. What is your shop URL?

3. When did you start selling on Etsy? Ummm lets see…I think it was March 15th of this year.

4. What is your favorite thing about Etsy? I LOVE all the art! I cannot get enough of it. My favorites list is out of control.

5. What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I like that my stuff has a bit of a twist from your typical stained glass you see around. I try to create different things and keep it funky!

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? My favorite piece at the moment is my “Jubilence” piece just because I love color and this piece is like a big burst of color to hang up!

7. What teams do you belong to? Well Etsy West Michigan of course. I am really not that good about participating though. I really like being connected to local artsit though.

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? Hmmmm….I am not that good at promoting either I am afraid. I recently had a custom stamp made though with my shop name and url and I am going to being using it to make my own earring cards for my first show. Kinda like having them hang on my own business cards.

9. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? OMG there are so many! But one of the first things I ever bought on Etsy is still my favorite. I bought a couple of ACEO’s from Norway based artist Carambatack Design ( and I absolutely LOVE them and all of her work. It is so sweet and wonderful I plan on buying more and getting them framed for around my house.

10. What do you do in your spare time? Spare time? I have no spare time! LOL Seriously there is not alot of spare time in my life. I have a 4yr old daughter and a 1yr old son, a house to run, a business to run, I have been volunteering at the Obama Campaign, I try my hardest to find some ME time. And usually if I do I am kicked back with a beer and just vegging out in front of the TV or the computer.

11. Do you have anything else you would like to share? I kinda feel like I am finally coming into my own since I have started here on Etsy. I have always been an artsy person, but just dabbled here and there and never really made any money doing it. And now that people are actually paying for MY work I feel like it finally has a purpose and some meaning to it. I guess that’s kinda silly to equate money with meaning, but it became more than just for me once I started selling things. Now I feel like I can do what I love and contribute to the family income and I don’t have to feel guilty about spending the crazy money I do on my supplies. I finally feel like a real artist!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Feature Artist: Cottonseed

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell? Cotton Seed ~ I design wearable treasures and gifts, pretty packaging, and jewelry findings.

2.What are your shops URL? and

3. When did you start selling on Etsy? July 2008.

4. What is your favorite thing about Etsy? My favorite thing about etsy is the friendly, helpful, community of people. And the very high level of integrity in workmanship and business ethics. Etsy allows people like myself to share with the world what I love to do and am all about!

5.What is your favorite thing about what you sell? My favorite aspect about what I sell is the shear creativity to make a one of a kind wearable treasure, and know that someone will take it home and love and enjoy it!

6. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? My favorite item in my shop is my vintage silver spoon handle bracelets. The idea of taking something old and well used and loved, and giving it a new beautiful purpose gives me great joy. I get compliments every time I wear mine!

7. What teams do you belong to? I belong to team ETSYWMI ~ ETSYWWWG.

8. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? Talk TALK taLK taLK ~ network on line and off.

9. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? Banners - clothes - jewelry - friends - soap.

10. What do you do in your spare time? I am a grandmother, I love to garden , ride my bicycle, walk with my husband, my family, read, I am active in my church, make quilts for the Red Cross in our county, mend clothes for seniors in our town, and talk!

11. Do you have anything else you would like to share? Thanks so much for letting me share! Being an older person, not schooled on computers from day one, I have learned so much about this world of technology. And every day I find caring, knowledgeable, sharing, and most of all funny people , all on the internet!!! Mostly through Etsy. I wish all of you "the best" in your business endeavors.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trunk Show at Gymnastiks Unlimited in Hudsonville

Mark your calendars! We have a Trunk Show on September 27th (the last Saturday of the month). Ten of our own Etsy West Michigan Artists are participating.

A Window Into Whimsy: Hand Sewn Purses, Totes and Handbags with a whimsical flair. Key Fobs and other small sewn items will also be available. Great for the gift giver, prices range from $5 to $35.

Elysium: I will be selling high quality sterling silver jewelry with semiprecious stones lampwork beads, and Swarovski crystals. Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. In addition to that I will have beaded bookmarks, cell phone charms, wine glass charms, purse bling, and zipper pulls. My items range in price from $5.00 to $75.00.

Just Jaynes Add something special to your jewelry creations using sterling silver charms with an artistic flair!

Lilypie Designs: I will have unique hair accessories including no-slip clips, headbands, and ponytail holders for infants, toddlers, and girls. I will also have great gift items such as jumbo paper clip bookmarks, tutu tanks for little girls, and a few other new products

Lydia Layne Simple yet stunning sterling silver necklaces and earrings.

Mondry’s Yknot Shop: I will bring my scrunchies, knot hair ties, turks head knot bracelets & knot necklaces.

Perennial Piecer: I will be bringing my Raggy Chic jackets for Ladies, girls and 18" dolls along with a variety of sweatshirt jackets and quilted bookmarks.

Racermann: Everything that is listed in my store and and other crochet items that I have not listed yet. Polymer Clay Pendants, Radio-active Dust Bunnys, Sock Monkey Purses, can cozy's and dish clothes.

Sweet Surrender Candles: candles, tarts, tea lights, tart warmers, reed diffusers, and some bath & body items such as some lotions, bath fizzers and bath confetti

That Is So C.U.T.E.: Hand knit and felted cozies, ornaments, bowls, coaster and pet beds; beaded book thongs. Prices range from $5 to $50.

The Monkey Shop: I will be bringing my sock monkeys, neck cozy's, some sock monkey cards.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Feature Artist: Bliss Soybean Candles

What is your shop name and what do you sell? I have two Etsy shops! My main shop is Bliss Soybean Candles and Gifts which sells high end, decorative soy candles in jars, teas, gift sets, and the occasional votive. My other shop, Posies for Lewis, sells photography.

What is your shop URL?

When did you start selling on Etsy? Back in 2007. I actually gave up after a few months in 2007 and then came back in 2008, learned the “tricks of the trade,” and began to do very well. Posies for Lewis opened in 2008.

What is your favorite thing about Etsy? There are so many! Etsy has such a wonderful range of artists. Where else can you go and buy a $2 item or a $2000 item, both of which are fantastic?! I love turning people on to Etsy. From the seller side of things, the buyers are high caliber. I have sold on other sites as well and I just find the experience with Etsy buyers to be top notch! I also love the teams I am on. People are so wonderful and supportive. It is fun to create treasuries, network, blog, and all of that good stuff.

What is your favorite thing about what you sell? I have to admit I am one of my biggest fans. I have always been a candle addict – especially soy because it is just so much healthier and performs so much better than other waxes. I often tell people if you can’t afford to buy from me, at least promise me you will buy soy. I am so proud of my items because I know the quality is top notch and I love almost every single one of my 140+ fragrances! Sorry…I just can’t stand Patchouli and Clove…not my thingJ I’m all about the food, Fall, and Christmas fragrances making this my favorite time of year! I love to put fun gift sets together and am always keeping my eyes open to see if my suppliers have added any new jars or lids.

What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? Oh dear! That’s tough. I LOVE my bigger jars. The Premium 16 oz jars are my fave because of the rusty lids. However, being a candle addict, a girl needs more candle than that so I make the 26 oz for myself! My favorite fragrances are Pumpkin Souffle, Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla Hazelnut Pumpkin, Cozy Home, Cinnamon Buns, Cinnamon Spice, Cool Citrus Basil, Spiced Apple Pecan, Energy, Coconut Bay (new!), Caramelized Pralines, Victorian Christmas, Twigs of Spruce, Balsam and Spice, and Pumpkin Pie. I have several more but those are ones I can’t do without!

What teams do you belong to? Etsy West Michigan, Interior Design Team/Design Style Guide, Cruelty Free Etsy, MICE, and Cottage Style. All are wonderful teams!

What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? I do so many things. I love to comment in Treasuries and create them. I am just never home any more when they open up! I like to talk in the Forums. My new favorite is doing Etsy Shop features on my blog ( and MySpace page. I am always developing promotional materials. I have the best time with this because I create my own stuff and send it off to VistaPrint and it looks like I paid big bucks – too cool! Yes, I am a computer nerd.

What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy? I have so many! I love Serendipity’s stuff – always have: I found a handbag shop that is way cool: Dennis Anderson is very inspirational and has wonderful products. He has been so successful on Etsy that he quit his job!:

What do you do in your spare time? Ha! I don’t have spare time. I have been making time to go to the beach lately though and it is time to start thinking about raking leaves and cleaning up the yard.11. Do you have anything else you would like to share? I highly encourage people to shop and sell on Etsy. The sellers and buyers are wonderful and the products are outstanding. If you are a seller, don’t give up. Learn the tricks and eventually it will pay off!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Feature Artist: Zeba

What is your shop name and what do you sell? My shop name is Zeba and I sell one of a kind unique jewelry designed by me.

What is your shop URL?

When did you start selling on Etsy? I have been making jewelry for more than two years, but I opened my shop on June 23, 2008 and posted my first listing on July 1, 2008.

What is your favorite thing about Etsy? With all the shops on Etsy, I was expecting a cut throat competitive environment. Instead I found a friendly environment where you truly feel at home. Everyone is eager to help and share their lessons learned. On Etsy, you find people that are passionate about their craft and their main goal is to share their creation not to make a killing profit.

What is your favorite thing about what you sell? There are three things that I love about making jewelry.
1) I don't like to make the same thing twice. The journey for me is the creative process. To be able to create something new every time. With so many materials and methods available for making jewelry, I feel I can create a unique item for the rest of my life.
2) I enjoy showing off my creations. It is easy to show off your jewelry, it does not require a gallery; all you have to do is wear it. Every time, someone asks me `Where did you buy that', I get a great joy from saying `I made it myself'.
3) Last but not least favorite, is being able to express myself in many ways. I can be serious, funky, colorful, contemporary, classic or just playful.

What is your favorite item in your own shop and why? I feel like they are all my children and I love them all. But if I have to pick a favorite, then I say the Sterling Silver Flower bracelet at
People often ask me "how did you think of this or that idea". They often say, they can not sit down and come up with a design. Oddly enough, my answer is "neither can I". This bracelet is a perfect example of my response. I had made the chain and I needed to attach it to a focal point, but I had no idea what. Then one day I was sitting at my desk and was playing with a couple of wire coils that I had made. And all of a sudden I saw the flower pattern emerging. So, I rushed to my workshop, and started creating the flower pattern. It took a few tries and made changes due to the fact that wire and fire have a mind of their own. But I have to say I am proud of the end result and I can say `I made that'.

What teams do you belong to? Etsy west Michigan, Michigan Indie Crafters of Etsy and Jewelry Design Shops on Etsy

What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop? Participate in my team activities and sharing my pictures with other groups on flicker.

What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy?
~ I really like the `rise and shine' Necklace by `
BethMillner's shop'. The piece is well made with simple well composed design.
~ I found the `Garden Party' by
cottonseed's shop very clever and original. The colors and the composition are stunning. (
~ The `For The Love Of Peace' by
willowmoonspirit's shop is intriguing. The color combination is very nice, and the bird is such a unique addition.
~ The `Amethyst necklace' by
twistedlolly's shop. A woven piece very nicely done. It is a sophisticated design, and is done with my favorite stone, amethyst.

What do you do in your spare time? Making jewelry takes up most of my spare time. The rest I help my husband with our kitchen renovation. He is making the cabinets and I am making the stained glass inserts for the doors. Although, lately making jewelry has taken up most of my time.

Do you have anything else you would like to share?
Just one thing for everyone to remember "Find what you love to do and do it"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Come on over and check us ous!

Wondering who the Etsy West Michigan Team is? There are several ways to check us out...

1) click on the links to our stores over to the right
2) go to and do a search by tags for etsywmi

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fultan Street Artisan's Market - August 17th!

If you lived in the Grand Rapids, MI area, you've heard of the Fultan Street Farmer's Market. If you been there, you know that in addition to all the produce, etc, there are always some artist booths...well, did you know if you visit the same location on Sunday, from 11-3, the WHOLE MARKET is artists? How cool is that?

And, on Sunday, August 17th, they will be featuring our own West Michigan Artists! We get a discount rate on table space (1/2 price - now only $5.00!). We will have a promotional table set up for our Etsy Street Team.

So, come on out and check out some wonderful local artisans...see you there!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Team Members participating in the Christmas In July Sale on Etsy

Later this month ( July 20-31, 2008) many Etsy sellers are particiaping in a Christmas In July Sale. Each seller is deciding their own sale. It could be christmas items, free shipping, a BOGO sale, etc. To find participating shops/items, simply go to the "buy" page at and search for "christmasinjuly" (yes, no spaces!).

If you are a Street Team members who is participating, leave a comment promoting your sale.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Update on the Zoo Craft Show

I was not able to meet with other Street Team Members at the John Ball Park Zoo on May 17 since I was out of town. We did have a couple of team members update us!

Sara said: Well, there were only three of us at the zoo. I really enjoyed meeting Lori and Dulce, but we just got to know each other and walked around the show. I don't think there is anything really to report. I thought the show was ok but not great. I didn't really see people buying. It seems to be a real sticking point with all of us to find a time and place to meet. I really think if we want to try to conduct any "business" we should do it online.

Visit Sara's Etsy store here: My pop tab purses and accessories are made from 100% post-consumer aluminum beverage can tabs that have been thoroughly washed prior to assembly. I use other recycled materials when possible but new materials when necessary to ensure quality and durability.

And Lori said:
It was a lovely day and it was great to meet other Etsy sellers and see the items they are making and selling. The sale did not look very active but there were some interesting things to see. We did talk to several people at the show and let them know about Etsy.

Visit Lori's Etsy stores here:"odd bits of everyday life" offers vintage items for the home andfamily. From Kitsch to Mid-Century Modern.You never know what you willfind!http://SweetWhimsyVintage.comSweetWhimsyVintage: "buttons, beads, and baubles" personal items foryou including jewelry, linens, aprons, buttons, and accessories."handcrafted items for your vintage heart!" offers needle feltedsculpture, felted jewelry, small sewn bag like wristlets and lip glosskey chains, and jewelry.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Anyone interested in a Farmer's Market in Holt, MI?

There is a farmer's market in Holt, MI (near Lansing) that we might want to check out. The rates are reasonable and the best part is, they allow booth sharing! Please refer to the Yahoo group message I sent earlier today for more information.

Otherwise, here is a link to the Etsy forum post I heard about it on:

and a link to the blog with more information:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Next Etsy West Michigan Street Team Meeting?

I sent out this message on April 15th:

"So, a few of us are chatting at and the arts & craft show at John Ball Zoo came up. While it's too late for get in for this year, it was suggested that we meet at the zoo (possibly for a picnic lunch?)and then check out the craft show. Get a feel for it to see if it seems like something we might like to do next year.

The date is: Saturday, May 17
The locaton: of course is the John Ball Park Zoo
The hours: 10 A.M. - 5: P.M.
So, how does this sound? Would you be interested? Let us know!"

The response so far has been great! I think about 6 members have responded that they would like to do this.

Does anyone want to volunteer to help coordinate this meeting? As I said, I will be out of town and unable to attend. As coordinator, I would imagine you would cover topics such as:
- the time to meet
- the place within the park to meet
- do we want to make this a potluck-type meeting
- if so who brings what
- an agenda to cover as a Street Team
- getting directions to the Zoo to the Street Team members

That's all I'm including for now. Please leave a comment here or post a message in our Yahoo Group.

Harriet (thatissocute)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First Meeting (officially)

Five fabulous crafters met at Schuler's Books on Alpine to discuss what route Etsy West Michigan might take..... OK, that sounded a little hokey, but 5 of us did meet and talked for 1 1/2 hours about what we find important.....our Etsy Stores and craft shows.

We discussed types of shows in the area, possibility of having our own show, and places to hold a show.

Do we want to form a non-profit type group or an official business as EWM to have a group possibility of accepting credit cards, having a single booth with EWM members at shows, other possibilities. Lynn will research this.

Sarah (, Amy (, Barbara (, Harriet (, and Lynn ( attended and feel we have a great start! We are all looking into different options for shows, looking forward to our next meeting (not planned yet), starting a chat room, and just overall getting to know one another. More information as it becomes available will be here and on the groups site.

If anyone has information to share, ideas for shows, business help, or just in general cheerfulness, feel free to spread the love!

Happy Hump Day,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Team Etsy West Michigan Begins.....

WELCOME! Team Etsy West Michigan welcomes you to our blog. Post, if you are interested in the website, sell there, and live in West Michigan!