Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's New

Here are just a few new items from the Etsy West Michigan Team

 Classic Leather Bifold Wallet from HidesAndStitches

 Vintage Christmas Tree Ornaments from StoneCottageVintage

 Rainbow Splatter Cat Outline Watercolor by RaeosunshinePets

Want to see more? Check out our new listings thread to keep up with the latest!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting to Know UpCycledSimplicity

SaraJ of is a wife and mother of two balancing family life, a full time job, and her newest venture, UpcycledSimplicity where she creates stylish, eco friendly cuff bracelets. It all got started when she couldn't find this accessory in a style she liked for a reasonable cost and researched how to make her own. Now that she has perfected the process, from searching for the right belt to upcycle through creation, she's offering them to you!

On finding the right piece When I am out hunting the second hand stores looking for materials I've gone through a lot of trial and error. I look for a belt that is good enough shape to provide 3 cuffs with a unique look - that could be texture, cut outs, embellishments, or a color. I try to step out side of my own comfort zone and think of customers and what they might like for a look or feel or even what type of an outfit it could be work with. It can't be new, I'm interested in rescuing somebody else's cast off and turning it into something of beauty again. 

Her eclectic style - I have a lot of different styles, shapes, sizes of cuffs as an offering in my shop. My personal style is just a varied as the variety you see. I have love a classic 1950's look, but can just as easily slid into a Ramones or Social Distortion old school punk rock look. On the flip side of that I understand and want to be able to blend just as easily in a polished corporate environment. 

A hint at things to come - With the onslaught of winter we had, I have jumped into the mitten making market - strictly personal so far. I am using UpCycled Wool Sweaters to make mittens and fingerless mittens. I plan to put them into my shop in Fall 2014 when I have built up my skill set. I am also looking into two or three other projects right now - key fobs with the upcycled belts, shoulder bags, and coffee cozies from the upcycled sweaters. 

Home Sweet Home - The Best thing about West Michigan is Lake Michigan. But to me West Michigan is the most beautiful place in the world. Where else can you find all 4 seasons, clean blue waters, diversity, the room to grow your family and your passions (one craft at a time). Even if it is cold for a few weeks every year.