Sunday, April 12, 2009

EtsyConnection newsletter, Issue #7, April 10, 2009

April 10, 2009 Issue #7

Hi everyone. Welcome, again, to the EtsyConnection. We're featuring three talented individuals who add to the diversity of the Etsy collection. In this issue you will find the talents of an eclectic one-of-a-kind clothing designer, the artful eye of a detail-minded jeweler, and a designer of cute and useful high-quality articles for both baby and mommy. (I'm thinking of someone whose famous blog rhymes with loose goose to check out these items for bambino #2!)

Enjoy! Relish! Shop!
Touring's Brooklyn headquarters

From the tall, tree-like creature that greets visitors to the sixth floor of 326 Gold Street, to the needlepoint hangings and artwork, visitors to Etsy's headquarters are treated to the same kinds of handmade and vintage items they find when visiting the online marketplace. The website has struck a nerve with consumers hungry for creating, buying and selling handmade, and local newspapers, magazines and blogs are full of stories about Etsy members and their unique items, including a feature on Martha Stewart television. Most impressive, perhaps, is cofounder Rob Kalin's appearance in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, which nominated Etsy as one of their 2009 Technology Pioneers.
Understanding the importance of diversification in your business

I've had the pleasure of operating my jewelry design business since 2002 and what else can I say about it other than it has been an amazing learning experience! When I originally started, I was hopefully optimistic and full of zeal! I thought I had it all figured out, simply because of my desire to succeed. Of course, desire is not the only thing needed to bring to fruition a viable and lucrative creative business. I sat down long and hard, to place focus on my ultimate goal of making jewelry design my Real day job. The answer to this was one thing: Diversification. I always remember my father stating this ever important phrase, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket!". At the time of my wasteful and lawless youth, I let that somewhat peculiar phrase flow through me, like the summer air. Now I understand it completely and embrace its meaning, as a driving force behind my business.

Lovely jewelry to flatter you GosiaMeyerBioPic
Intrigued by jewelry and fashion for as long as I can remember, my first foray into jewelry design was borne of not being able to find a particular necklace I hoped to buy. I instead made it myself and was soon designing jewelry for friends, family, and fellow flight attendants (as that was my job at the time).

I strive to create chic, elegant treasures that are beautiful yet affordable. I design sterling silver pieces accented by semi-precious gemstones, Swarovski Crystals, pearls, and glass beads. I gladly work on custom pieces and have designed jewelry for bridal parties, including variations on my own creations as well as designs dreamed up by my customers.

To further enrich and refine my craftsmanship, I have taken a silversmith class and precious metal clay class and - always eager to expand my skills - I plan on pursuing additional courses in the future.

A lover of the outdoors, when not designing jewelry I enjoy swimming, biking, and hiking, and have a particular passion for dance. I currently live with my husband, dog, and cat in the beautiful mountains of Vermont, my home since moving to the United States several years ago from my native Poland.

My jewelry is currently sold and displayed at several stores and galleries in Vermont and it is for sale online both here on my website as well as on ETSY, an online repository for all things handmade. I am always interested in having my jewelry in boutiques and galleries across the world!

I look forward to working with you for your jewelry wants and needs, both now and in the future. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I love what I do and believe this shines through in my work. I hope you love it too.
Gosia Meyer - Sterling silver hoops with brushed teardrops and faceted beads

Gosia Meyer - Asymmetrical double sterling silver necklace

Gosia Meyer - Blue chalcedony and green apatite leaf hoop earrings

Gosia Meyer - Clear quartz and sterling silver chain bracelet

Gosia Meyer - Sterling silver teardrops and faceted labradorite briolettes

Etsy, where handmade and vintage collide

Etsy calls itself, "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade." After I began giving more coverage to the site last year, I received letters from sellers who said they felt Etsy does not do enough to promote the vintage category. This issue may prove to be one of the company's biggest challenges - and potentially one of its greatest opportunities.
The Manchurian CPSIA candidate

The media has been largely complicit and lazy in their coverage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Either they mis-report it, fail to address the local Congressional reps or Senators about it (Arkansas Sen. Pryor and Minnesota's Klobuchar come to mind), or give them a pass about it when they get a non-comment comment. As for Congress, it's far too easy to ignore faxes, tweets, blogs and emails. Given what's grabbing Washington's attention these days, it's not too much different with phone calls or letters. Bottom line, I don't think Congress has taken the opposition seriously and I don't think the mainstream media truly sees this for the threat that it is. Meantime, the Consumer Reports, PIRG (etc) group has CPSC's ear.

Classy, functional, and cute - all for baby and mommy JennyKimBioPic
Last year when I was laid off from my job, I knew there were troubling times coming. I was one of the first of many of my friends working in Finance to be laid off. But even prior to my lay off, I knew that something wasn't right. It was the third job I was laid off from in four years. All due to similar reasons: downsizing and restructuring. I had seen the numbers and financial figures. Things did not look good. It became more apparent during my last job, an international firm. We had offices all over the world. Financials were consolidated by regions. There was significant growth in Asia. Even Europe wasn't doing badly. Our U.S. numbers had shown a reduction for a consecutive third year.

When the news finally came, I was disheartened at first. I was not looking forward to job hunting and settling into a new environment. On a whim I decided to take a sewing class. I enrolled in a 10 week class that covered lessons from how to load a bobbin to drafting your own pattern. Right away I knew this was something I loved. I progressed quickly. From sewing simple grocery bags and elastic skirts - a few months later I had sewn my first jacket and tote bag from scratch.

Our economy is going through a restructuring and in a way, so I am. Almost one year later I am no longer working in corporate America and plan on never going back. I was never happy with the whole 9-5 work life. It never suited my personality. I had always loved being creative and building and creating things, a skill that I was never given the opportunity to utilize in a corporate setting. I think most creative people end up leaving corporate America for the same reason! Now I'm doing what I love and feel passionate about and I could never have been happier!

I currently design and make handbags, accessories, and clothes. I have a children's line in the works from which I am showing you a sample today. Be on the lookout for more creative designs by JiJi!
Jenny Kim - Tote/diaper bag in Amy Butler green wallflower

Jenny Kim - Bib and burp set in Robert Kaufman pink confections cupcake

Jenny Kim - iPod armband in Amy Butler pine coriander

Jenny Kim - Tote/diaper bag in Joel Dewberry sparrow yellow

Jenny Kim - Lined baby kimono in Joel Dewberry ginseng ivory orchid

Viva la craftolution: Etsy movement cracks over politics

You would think that Etsy, the groundbreaking Web site that serves as a $90 million market for designs made by small-scale artisans, would be populated by placid, like-minded sellers who humbly connect with buyers much like a smiling vendor at the farmer's market. But Etsians (or Etsyans)--as Etsy's artisans sometimes call themselves--are also known to flock together to cross-promote each others work and propound shared interests. That's where the trouble started.

Full-of-flavor clothing designs SaraMaciasBioPic
Born in in a west Texas town called El Paso, I first learned how to sew as a little girl in my grandma's den making little purses and such. Now I'm a 22 year old wife/mother/clothes designer. I started my company while a junior in high school. Since I couldn't get hired anywhere at the time I decided to open up my own online clothing business. I've learned a lot since then and have what you see now as Elegy Ink. I make skirts, dresses, blouses - just about anything - and I try to create the best work possible so that people can enjoy my designs. I enjoy making clothes based on what I'm feeling at that moment; I usually never sketch what I'm about to make (unless it's custom work); I just start sewing and don't stop until I'm done.
Sara Macias - Black shimmer halter-style blouse

Sara Macias - Vanilla Dream lace blouse

Sara Macias - High-waisted vanilla pencil skirt

Sara Macias - Green go-go dress

Sara Macias - Red Chinese print dress


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