Thursday, January 24, 2013

Etsy Artist {Eva M Designs}

Hey ya'll! (just practicing my new Texas accent!) So today I have another great Etsy artist! Nicole from Eva M Designs creates various handcrafted gifts. Here is her story:

Hi, I am the creator of Eva M Designs, a shop that features a little bit of everything. I've always loved crafting but didn't get into the business end of it until I started making jewelry. Needing a way to fund this addiction, I started a shop on Etsy. Eva M Designs is named after my grandmother, Eva Manko, who passed on her crafty-gene to me. I think she also passed on an entrepreneurial spirit -- I remember hearing stories of her and my grandfather running all sorts of ventures, from an ice cream shop to selling eggs to clothing alterations. Having recently decided to leave a career in teaching (and a decent salary) to manage a non-profit animal shelter in Olean, NY, I could use a little extra cash, and I’d like to turn Eva M Designs into that supplemental income!

As for me -- I am soon-to-be a former middle school teacher. Finding teaching not to my liking, I have accepted a position with the SPCA in Cattaraugus County, managing their animal shelter. This is fitting, because I am quite an adoptaholic! I started adopting dogs when I brought home Molly from a summer course I took in Mexico after my freshman year of college and have found homes (generally within my friends and family group) for 5 other dogs since. It's practically an addiction. The great thing is, I will soon be paid to do it!

How did you get into making your products?

I've always been crafty -- I got into scrapbooking in high school, and I did a lot of sewing. For a few years I participated in Civil War reenactments (haha, yes, I'm a geek), so I sewed all my 1860s-era dresses myself. I also made a number of quilts and my prom dress. After I began college, my time was swallowed up with school and work, so it was just within the last few years I've gotten back into my creative endeavors. I started making jewelry in 2010 -- first, for myself, and then as Christmas presents. I briefly ventured into Etsy at that point, but my time was again taken up with graduate school and I abandoned that first try. I got back on to Etsy late this fall, utilizing the little time I have after work (when I'm not planning, grading, calling parents, etc.) to create! Not exactly happy with my current position as a teacher, I have found crafting a way to cope with this stressful year. I'm looking forward to my move to Olean, finally getting into a career that I love, and I hope all that positive energy will flow back into my creative work!

Why did you choose to use Etsy?
When I first started making jewelry and considered looking into selling it, a friend showed me Etsy. It was so neat and simple – I immediately fell in love with the format. I knew very little about selling online, and Etsy has a great support system. While I would also like to get my pieces into local shops and possibly participate at craft shows in the future, Etsy is definitely my primary selling location.

What is your favorite product to make?
I like making necklaces with beads and/or beach glass interspersed throughout the chain. I really like working with chain in general, creating professional style jewelry (the kind I would wear to work as a teacher) – now with a beach glass twist. You can see the first of this new line here:

 Nicole has so kindly offered to do a giveaway! To enter the give away you must become a follower of my blog and leave a comment below about your favorite item from Nicole's shop! You will be entered to win the following ribbon bookmark. Contest ends next Friday. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT.

Ribbon Bookmark

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Etsy Artist {Mountain Creek Soaps, Candles & Gifts}

Hey everyone! So it has been awhile since I have done one of these awesome Etsy artist features. I have a really great one for you today, so get excited! Here is the place to go for all your soaps and candles :)

My name is Brittany, and I am the girl behind Mountain Creek Soaps, Candles & Gifts. I grew up on a farm in Florida, married my childhood friend and crush Josh in 2008, and now live in a beautiful rural spot in Ohio. I am a country girl through and through. I love being outdoors, gardening (I'm already excitedly making plans for my spring vegetable, herb and flower gardens!), horses, music, vintage style, and beautiful things of all kinds. 
 Due to health issues that caused me to research healthy eating and lifestyle changes, I have learned more than I ever wanted about the toxins in our foods, cosmetics, soaps and skincare products. Mountain Creek Gifts is my way of sharing healthy, toxin free, great for your skin, beautiful and enjoyable products. I actually learned soap-making from my mom and future mother-in-law when I was about 8 years old. My mom and I made soaps to sell at a local farmer's market for a couple years and I always loved it. 
 One of my favorite parts of making my products is inventing my own recipes. I love coming up with new soap scents, creating a new herbal bath soak and whipping up rich luscious skin creams. It is a great outlet for my creative side!
I love Etsy because it is a very user friendly store front that I can direct my customers to, and it also helps me get my products noticed by people I would have never come in contact with through Etsy's search engine and teams. It's fun and easy to work with and great for my little business.
Right now my favorite product to make is my soaps. It is what I've been making the longest, what takes the most time and care, and what I can be most creative with. I love coming up with new scents and colors while using ingredients that are healthy for your skin!

The lovely Brittany from Mountain Creek Soaps, Candles & Gifts has kindly given a discount offer for her shop for all readers. Get 20% off at her Etsy shop with the code:  BlogFriends. 
Check out Brittany's awesome products at all of the following:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

home, home on the ranch

well howdy y'all here is a little update from my life lately! its official my new home is in Texas! it has been quite an adventurous week with moving and saying good-bye and adjusting to what i like to call a-hole driving. i sent off my best frann today back home so that was very sad, luckily i have some fun roomies here though! here is a small summary of how my past week went:
sunday: said good-bye to the family and got in the car and drove to the Texas border
monday: drove to my new casa and moved in
tuesday: explored!
wednesday: explored!
thursday: met my co-op teacher and went to the zoo!
friday: went to Galveston ate a 1/2 lb. burger - WOW...thought i was going to DIE! (totally not worth it) checked out some local hot spots around the area. super classy!
saturday: cried my eyes out before 7 a.m. at the airport, slept, shopped, got internet!

so thats a wrap! :) here are some sweet pictures of some random stuff from this week!... okay so mostly of the zoo! love the zoo! check back for more updates on my life in Texas soon!