Shop Spotlight: Found Beauty Studio

craftlaunchTurning trash into treasure is artisan work and Laura Hale, owner of Found Beauty Studio has the magic touch. Determined to bring fun and excitement into everyday objects, Laura creates everything from planters to soap dispensers, adding her own personal twist by using bright paint colors and recycled animal figurines. Wild and unique, Laura’s creations will undoubtedly liven up your home and put a smile on your face.

craftlauch

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I have always been a maker. As the daughter of a single mom, I spent a lot of time at home in a rambling farmhouse outside of Boston on my own, and I delighted in figuring out what I could make with what we had in the house. I worked my way through a set of craft encyclopedias from the seventies and made everything from tin foil earrings to leather sandals from things I scavenged in the barn and attic. It was magical. I used to joke that I should have a tattoo that said “I bet I can make that…”. I’ve always deeply enjoyed taking things apart, figuring out how they worked, and putting them back together. My pieces now are just an extension of that.

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

Joy. I hope people who own my pieces get constant joy from them. I hope that every time they see them they giggle and smile and feel a little lighter. Life can be difficult and serious. Why does everything you use on a daily basis have to be too? Fun products aren’t just for the young – they’re for the young at heart as well!

craftlaunchcraftlauchcraftlauch

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me! I’m a lover of discarded and used up items, so thrift shops, flea markets, and yard sales are constant sources of inspiration to me. I let my mind wander as I look over all of the goods for sale, and I’ll see something that sets my creative side on fire. My favorite question to ask myself is “What on earth can I do with that?!?”

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

I always try to keep in mind that everything needs to be durable. Since I’m making things out of used toys and home goods, and my goal is to give them a second life, construction is key. I don’t want my pieces to end up in a landfill. I want them to have years of useful life in their reborn form. I want my customers to be able to buy my work with confidence that they’ll enjoy it for a long time.

craftlauchcraftlauchcraftlauch

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

My advice is to not give up. It’s frustrating when you think your products are fantastic but sales are slow. It takes a lot of hard work and patience to build up a business – especially an online business – but it’s worth it. You’re going to fall down, and you’re going to make mistakes. And that’s 100% okay. I’ve been running my business for 7 years now and selling online for 5 of them, and it’s a constant learning process. I ask a lot of questions of other people in the same line of work. I always want to learn more and do a better job, and I never take constructive criticism personally.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

Hands down, the most fulfilling aspect of my business is knowing that I am responsible for my success. I can stand on my own two feet and be in control of my economic independence. And when things are going poorly, I know I have the power to rethink how I work and turn things around. It’s a pretty darn fantastic feeling.

craftlauchcraftlauchcraftlauch

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

It is such a relief to have a visually appealing, functional, easy-to-use website where I can have an online shop that doesn’t compete with my etsy shop. I tried selling through another e-commerce site but it was a disaster trying to maintain parallel inventories. Craftlaunch has taken a load off my mind, giving me the opportunity to showcase my personal brand and direct customers to a site that has only my work and services, while not worrying about double selling an item.

Found Beauty Studio: foundbeautystudio.com

Shop Spotlight: The Felted Gnome Knows

The phrase “Never Grow Up” has never been so beautifully encompassed by anyone but Susi Ryan, owner of The Felted Gnome Knows, the magical shop that will fulfill your deepest wishes of whimsy and merriment. Susi carefully creates adorable gnomes, fairies, hats and masks through the difficult art of needle felting. Truly the works of magic, Susi rekindles the child in all of us with the love and silliness that would make Peter Pan proud.

craftlaunch

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I started working with wool when my daughter and I picked up a felting kit at a local yarn store. We were making all our own Christmas gifts to exchange and we made a cute little Santa. There was something about the wool in its unspun state that excited me. I felt like I could make anything I could imagine. I started contacting local farmers and purchasing local wool, eventually buying raw and processing it locally. I hand dye most of my wool as well. I expanded into wet felting and making fantastical hats, scarves and shawls.

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

I hope that my work sparks that sense of wonder and whimsy that we forget to nurture in our everyday lives. I hope that every piece makes a giggle, smile and joyous fun ring out when it is displayed or worn. I hope that the customer looks at it and thinks “that just makes me happy.”

craftlaunchcraftlaunchWhat inspires you?

My daughter inspires me to create magical beings, animals and fun wearable art because she loves being a kid and doesn’t want to grow up to fast. She is a pixie of a girl and loves to model my hats. I enjoy the wonderment and giggles to my work produces in customers young and old. Everyone, I believe, needs a little whimsy in their lives.

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

Wool has a life of ts own. Each breed of sheep has a certain characteristics that come out in the wool. Some is better suited to magical creatures and others to fantastical hats. I never know what little face will come out while I am sculpting. It is as if the creature was just waiting to be brought to life and the wool guides my needle to make it so. The wet felted pieces too have their own personalities that originate in the wool. Every creation is a surprise. craftlaunchcraftlaunch

Where do you hope your business will go?

I hope that my business will continue to grow and customers return again and again to collect my work. I don’t see myself going into wholesale or hiring others to assist me because to me my work is one of a kind art. It can’t be mass produce or replicated.

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

Success doesn’t happen overnight. It is important to put yourself out there in the virtual world. Make sure you take ownership of your name. Open instagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter accounts. Register them in your business name. Pick a few to be very active in, it helps draw people to your work. Show your work in process! craftlaunchcraftlaunchcraftlaunch

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

I sell offline at local craft fairs and local shops. My masks and slippers can be found at Champlain Leather, Burlington, VT. My wool sculptures and mobiles can be found at Grand Isle Artworks, Grand Isle, Vermont. My birds can be found at The Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington Vermont. My little pocket hedgehogs, sheep and hearts can be found at Boutilier’s Art Center, Burlington, VT and my local wool supplies, needle and foam that I sell can be found at Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace, Flynn Avenue, Burlington, VT. I will be at the Big E Vermont Handcrafter’s Gallery in the Vermont Building this September and I will also be at The Vermont Women’s Festival of Crafts and Vermont Handcrafter’s Holiday Fair in November.

craftlaunchcraftlaunch What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

Making things that I love as a full time job.

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

I love that I can integrate my blog, my etsy shop and information in one spot that looks professional and it is easy to manage. I also love the tech department at Craftlaunch- they are super responsive and just all around fabulous.

The Felted Gnome Knows: thefeltedgnomeknows.com

Shop Spotlight: Dioramatist

craftlaunchcraftlaunchBehind a wall of colorful jars in a small candy shop in Minneapolis is a crafting studio just as sweet. Tracy Holy, owner of Dioramatist, an embroidery shop for all skill levels, has honed the art of craft and online selling. Always keeping the customer in mind, Tracy considers details that are often overlooked in the selling process. Inspired by life’s smallest moments, she succeeds by creating her products with an outer sense of calm and insight.

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I learned the art of embroidery from my wonderfully creative mother when I was a young girl growing up in a small town in Minnesota. It is extremely nostalgic for me, and comforting to be immersed in stitching. It reminds me of a simpler time, before technology saturated all of our time and thoughts. My embroidery kits and samplers featured in my shop are an expression of that simpler time, and a reminder that hand-made, is well made, and when you take the time to create something yourself, it fills you with a certain satisfaction and warmth that everyone should experience.

craftlaunch

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

I really want people who purchase my kits to learn the fun and exciting art of embroidery, and am in high hopes that it becomes a hobby for them. Many of my customers have never embroidered before, and send me notes upon completing their first project with such enthusiasm for the medium, and new requests for more kits. With a little patience and desire, it is really a simple craft to learn, and I think most people are surprised at how well their first project turns out. The wonderful thing about embroidery being, you can keep it simple or advance your skills immensely. It is up to you!

What inspired you?

In the simplest of terms, I am a maker. There is no other way to express it. Joy, to me, is to create in any and all ways throughout any and all days. I draw inspiration from life’s smallest moments. A heavy cloud cover, reading someone else’s words on a postcard dated fifty years ago, peppermint tea accompanied by buttered toast, and the very idea that in every moment lies the distinct possibility to be swept off one’s feet. And all we really have are countless moments…

craftlaunch

craftlaunchWhat do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

Since a lot of my shop is embroidery kits, I like to consider skill levels of my customers. It is import to me to have fun, and sweet designs coupled with basic and more advanced stitches, so my customers are enjoying the kit and advancing their skills simultaneously.

As far as my finished sampler pieces I offer, I just like to think of original, sometimes quirky images, that would make someone smile. People should smile more:)

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

Online selling is so easy and fun! It reaches so many people, from all around the world that normally would never come in contact with your items. First, make sure you have enough items ready to sell to make up a shop page. Even if you just start with 10, that is fine. But shops with 1 or 2 items look empty. Secondly, do your research! Know going in how much shipping will be, and if your item it easily shippable and what packaging you will need to accommodate. All this should go into your shipping costs, and knowing is better that guessing. Shipping costs can really sneak in and bite you :) Lastly, I think the most important thing with online selling is to have clear, descriptive, well taken images of your items. After all, the picture is what is really going to make them want it. A great photo coupled with a well written description of the item, and clear information regarding item size, what is included in the listing, and shipping information, all will help a potential customer feel good about the purchase.

craftlaunchcraftlaunchWhat is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

There a few things that really stick out when I think about the joys of a personal craft business. Thinking up a new design, sketching it out, then stitching it up and it becomes a tangible item — that is a wonderful feeling. So many of my ideas ride a Ferris wheel of change and indecision, that when a workable design finally emerges, that’s everything! Then, when I list the new item in my shop and the first customer orders one, well…that brightens my whole day.

Also, the people you meet in an online business really took me by surprise. I sell all over the world, from China to Australia, England to Canada. I adore the idea of my products traveling all those miles, and when I get emails from these customers with embroidery questions or product testimonials it is a real joy!

craftlaunch

craftlaunch
craftlaunchWhat’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

CraftLaunch was the best option for me to have a personal website linked to my Etsy shop. The template was easy to navigate and quite modern, and I love how simple it is to upload new content and add new features when desired. The very best thing about CraftLaunch is when I list a new item in my Etsy store, it immediately (and magically, if I do say) appears on my CraftLaunch site. Now, I call that easy!

Dioramist: dioramatist.com

 

Shop Spotlight: The Lemonade Shop

craftlaunchThe world of knitting has just exploded with ridiculous amounts of cuteness all thanks to Heather Rhoads, owner of The Lemonade Shop. Heather has created her own little heaven of adorable, hand-made, clay figurine knitting accessories. Read along as Heather shares her secrets to being successful as an online seller. One look at her products and your heart will melt into a puddle.

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I was working in my Local Yarn Store as well as doing clay jewelry for a national chain. A coworker asked if I could make her a clay wrapped crochet hook, so I made one for her, a few for the yarn store, and opening an Etsy shop shortly followed. I didn’t set out saying ” I want to sell something on online, what can I make?” It just naturally happened and I’m not sure how it could successfully work otherwise. Promoting your online business is a lot of work and being passionate about what you sell is a must.

craftlaunchWhat do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

My customers! I am always thinking of items they would like and they are not shy about letting me know what they want, and I love that.

craftlaunch

craftlaunch

 

craftlaunch1

craftlaunchWhere do you hope your business will go?

I am really happy with where The Lemonade Shop is today. Over the past few years it really taken off which I am really proud of. In 2015 my plan is to start doing shows and markets which is something I have not ventured into yet so it is all really exciting for me personally.

craftlaunch

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

I could go on forever about this! 

First, social media. I go to sleep with my iPad and wake up with my iPad. Making sure you have a strong online presence will ensure that your shop is reaching regular and potential customers. Second, be honest, be prompt and be friendly. Your shop will not earn any customers if they think you don’t care. Answering questions quickly and being upfront can make all the difference in the world.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

Getting to do what I love. I work full time and then some, but at the end of the day I still get to be Mom. If I had to go back to work at a 9-5 office job, I’m not sure I would make it. I love being able to walk into the studio without a need to be there and tinking around simply because I love it and that is not lost on me. I am very thankful for my customers and that I get to do what I do.

craftlaunch1

craftlaunch

 

craftlaunch

craftlaunch1

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

Posting all those photos, updating statuses, and sharing my thoughts in a 140 characters or less can take up a lot of time. When I first set up my CraftLaunch website, I said out loud to no one, “That’s it?!”

It was very refreshing to have all the stuff I dreaded uploading already done for me and the uploads I did have to do on my own were so simple. I recommend CraftLaunch to my fellow online sellers because the layout is lovely and the way everything works together really is a time saver.

The Lemonade Shop: thelemonadeshop.com

Shop Spotlight: Sharon Mooradian Designs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The perfect balance is characterized by utility and creativity. Sharon Mooradian, owner of Sharon Mooradian Designs, has mastered this balance with her application of artistic and unique touches to furniture, mirrors, lamps, and frames. Whimsical and fun, Sharon’s designs add a special, one-of-a-kind finish to any atmosphere. There’s nothing like adding beauty to the household items that we usually only value for usefulness.

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

If my work is viewed online or in a brick and mortar shop, I hope it brings a big smile to someone’s face. If it is purchased, I hope it brings that person years of enjoyment.

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

As I work on an old piece of furniture, I wonder about its history. Who owned it, the home it was in, the life it had. As my work progresses, I imagine the future home it will have and its renewed life. Hopefully it becomes a family heirloom and continues its travels from generation to generation.

il_fullxfull.486188100_k5og

il_fullxfull.496194269_7mpu

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

Yes. Three shops and one gallery carry my work. I also work with interior designers to create custom pieces.

SOL LA
44 Garth Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583

ARTS Westchester
31 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10607

NOA Fine Jewelry & Gifts
88 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114

NOA
86 Commonwealth Avenue
West Concord, MA 01742

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

While I create many different hand painted home decor items, I really love transforming an unloved piece of furniture. It’s a very magical process for me. Adding whimsy and fun to something forlorn and forgotten which then becomes a piece that is alive with color, sparkle and personality still amazes me. Turning caterpillars into butterflies. My reward, the fulfillment comes when someone connects with the piece and loves it so much they want to have it in their home.

craftlaunch

craftlaunchWhat’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

Craftlaunch gives me the gift of time — a very big gift! Where there is love and passion for what you do, the energy is always there and you want to have whatever time there is to do what makes you feel alive and happy. Craftlaunch works effortlessly with my Etsy shop. Once it was set up, there was nothing else I needed to do. It gives me a professional website and an additional online presence with absolutely no time taken away from what I love to do.

Sharon Mooradian Designs: sharonmdesigns.com

 

Shop Spotlight: Patrickcollin

craftlaunch

If you’ve been on the lookout for that special splash to brighten up your home, Patrickcollin is your guy. Patrickcollin, shop-owner of View Patrick’s Art, has been honing his artistic abilities since kindergarten and has created an impressive collection of colorful pieces on a variety of materials. For Patrickcollin, art isn’t just a creative outlet, it’s a way of life. Completely dedicated to expression through color with a special interest towards animals, Patrickcollin’s works are unique, bold, and perfect for adding that “pop” of color to your home.

craftlaunch

What got you started? Where did you begin?

Growing up in Southern California, my love for painting began in kindergarten with colorful landscape finger paintings of the school grounds, my childhood pets and items around the house and yard. Stacks of paintings that I still have to this day, thanks to my beautiful mother’s keen intuition to save them. Tucked away safe and sound for many years, I now pull them out, study them and see my young, uninhibited and talented mind at work. I think back to those days of crayon drawings and paper cutouts and remember it felt like really important work that I was doing at the time. I have been creating art ever since!

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

Brighten their day, lift their spirits when they need it, give them something to smile at and basically make them happy that they chose my art for their home or as a gift for someone else.

craftlaunch

craftlaunch

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by nature and bright vivid colors. My paintings usually have a background splashed with color against black and white or a neutral object. My home, garden and studio are also full of colorful décor that inspires me all day.

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

One of the keys to selling online is good-quality, clear photos that are simple and show your product. Choose a neutral background if possible with lots of natural light. I’m in the process re-shooting all my photos now that the natural summer light coming into my art studio is the brightest.

craftlaunch

craftlaunch

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

I sell my creations on my ETSY shop, I also have a shop on Society6 for items I can’t create myself, like my art on a cell phone or ipod case. I also sell in gift shops and I set up a booth at local art shows here in Arizona. Most people don’t understand my Sandstone Creations, they sell much better when customers can really look at them close up and see the detail. And I sell by simple word of mouth, my Facebook page and Pinterest helps people learn more about me and directs them back to my ETSY shop.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

I’m happiest when doing something that I enjoy and making a living creating art is what I enjoy most. The thought of running a business could sound daunting, but mine is most enjoyable. I spend my days in my studio creating, shipping out art and dreaming up new ideas by doodling and journaling. The most fulfilling aspect is to know that people all over the world have my creations hanging on their walls.

craftlaunch

craftlaunch

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

I really like I can actually build my website myself with CraftLaunch. The templates allow me the flexibility to customize and make it look the way I like, but the best part is the connection between Etsy and CraftLaunch is, it’s so simple to use.

View Patrick’s Art: viewpatricksart.com

 

 

Shop Spotlight: Rowan’s Originals

craftlaunchFinding the perfect, one-of-a-kind costume jewelry you need to complete your outfit can always seem a little daunting. Luckily, Rowan’s Originals shop owner Kimberly Terrell is committed to giving her customers that piece of edgy flair which will ultimately create a completely original look. From spiked collars, feathered masks, to dragon-scale sleeves, Kimberly’s creations are just right for those who want their costumes to have that special shock-factor. Actively selling globally and at sci-fi and fantasy conventions, Kimberly shares her story and encourages those selling online to never give up and pursue their passions.

 

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I fell in love with the punk styles of the 80′s while spending several years as a teenager in London. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to buy the cool jewelry on Carnaby St. so I started making it myself – cannibalizing belts and other flea market finds. I’ve been in business for about ten years but have always been a creative soul. I think it runs in the family – both of my grandparents were professional artists. I started my creative costuming adventure by designing costumes for myself for the renaissance faire during college. The materials were primarily metal and leather as they are today. Later, my husband taught me to sew which opened up new media. I love the anonymous nature that costumes can bring. For just a day, you can be anything you want! As they say in Rocky Horror “don’t dream it, be it!”

craftlaunch

craftlaunchWhat do you hope people will receive from your products?

I love creating unique and edgy and affordable styles for people all over the world! My leather and metal creations are as unique as the people who wear them. Customizable by request, these fun and stylish pieces will help the wearer stand out from the crowd.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere. I am very nerdy and love anything sci-fi or fantasy related. I will watch any movie that has fabulous costumes! I also find a lot of inspiration in nature. My favorite materials are bone, horn, feathers and leather. My customers inspire me as well. So many great ideas have come from them. It’s always good to take a step back and look at something with a different set of eyes.

craftlaunchWhat do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

My accessories are made with a whole lot of love and just a little bit of attitude. :) When I create my products, I am always thinking of my customer. I want to give their wardrobe an attitude adjustment! I want them to stand out by wearing something that no one else has. Ever shown up wearing the same outfit as someone else? Not good! I want to create something that will make the wearer the center of attention. I create quality accessories that can’t be found in the mall . . . yet!

Where do you hope your business will go?

I am already selling worldwide, which I love! I hope to expand to wholesale and sell to retail stores. Going into stores and seeing people try on and buy my creations would be surreal!

craftlaunch

craftlaunch

craftlaunch

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell?

Never give up! Never surrender! Just kidding (kind of). Do what you love and be yourself. Let your personality shine through in your product, your style and your listings. People love to connect to the person behind the products. Things may start off slowly but as you start to sell, the word will spread and your business will grow.

Do you sell offline too? Where can we find your stuff?

I can be found at anime and sci-fi conventions in Texas and Louisiana. Selling online is great, but I love to visit with my customers. How else are you going to figure out what they want?

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

I love helping people create a whole new look. My customers are my world. My business couldn’t exist without them! There is nothing better than having happy customers come back and visit me year after year at a convention to show me how well their collar or hair falls are holding up.

craftlaunch

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

My absolute favorite thing about CraftLaunch is not having to maintain my own website as well as an Etsy store. I love that any updates made on Etsy are instantly transferred to my website. I love that I can keep a website address without maintaining a separate website. I have tried it and it was impossible for me. CraftLaunch is a dream come true!

What’s something we should have asked you but didn’t?

My family means the world to me. My husband is super supportive of weekends away at conventions and late nights finalizing the tiniest of details. I couldn’t do it without him!

Check out this interview where Kimberly talks about her business.

rowansoriginals.com

Shop Spotlight: Vintage Affair Studio

craftlaunchWe’ve all experienced the warm fuzzies that come from seeing a time-worn saying on a hand-stitched pillow.  Mother and daughter-in-law combo Lori and Dayana Stephanoff have brought it to a new level with their clever, cute, and chic shop, Vintage Affair Studio. Where vintage meets modern, the store has everything from adorable table runners to gorgeously designed pillows.

What got you started? Where did you begin?

Vintage Affair Studio was birthed out of a very real need to help my new daughter-in-law use her creative talent while waiting for employment. My son, Josh, married Dayana (a native Brazilian) in November 2012 and we opened our Etsy shop in December. Dayana loves vintage, I love modern. So we blended the two styles for a fresh approach: where vintage meets modern. We started with elements borrowed from their special wedding day (pillows, banners, and silk bouquets). Our top selling pillow “IN HIGH TIDE or IN LOW TIDE I’ll be by YOUR SIDE” is one of Dayana’s first designs.

craftlaunch

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

I want people to say, “Wow, I love that! How cool is that! That is well made!” And I want them to get that warm, fuzzy, feel good feeling.

What inspires you?

Fun and happy things inspire me. Kind words and kind people inspire me. A customer recently said, “I love all of your pillows, they are like reading Hallmark cards.” I created “Pillow Talk” so that life giving words would linger in the room, bridge distances, touch hearts, and bring smiles. And, of course, Pinterest also inspires me!

unnamed-1

unnamed-2

il_fullxfull.506906181_f3p1

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

I keep in mind two things:
1) Will other people love this design as much as I do, and
2) Will I enjoy making this specific item over and over again.  If I don’t enjoy what I am doing, then it’s not worth doing.

Where do you hope your business will go?

I am just amazed at the growth of Vintage Affair Studio in one year. I really don’t know what to expect in 2014 but I do hope for continued favor.

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

Etsy allows you to set a weekly budget for search ads. There are thousands of shops out there, so I recommend starting with the minimum budget and investing in search ads so people can find you.

Love You Moon

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

Yes, three local retail shops in Charleston, SC carry my merchandise. I also participate in 2-3 local festivals throughout the year.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

I have fun for sure, but I also have a clear purpose with the income generated. Being able to contribute to our “pay off the mortgage” fund gives me great satisfaction.

craftlaunch

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

I love CraftLaunch’s automatic integration with Etsy. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with two sites, and I do feel it is important to have a website in addition to the Etsy shop.

What’s something we should have asked you but didn’t?

What is your drug of choice?
Dark chocolate!

Vintage Affair Studio: http://www.vintageaffairstudio.com

Shop Spotlight: SamWish Clothes and Botanicals

craftlaunchMeet Samantha Wishlinkski, owner of SamWish, the shop for adorable, upcycled vintage pieces and healthy, botanical body products. Dedicated to the quality of her products, Samantha looks for inspiration all around her and works towards reaching the full potential of usefulness and durability with her creations. However, the success of her shop was not without effort. Samantha truly understands the importance of hard work and shares some of her insights for those wanting to get a grasp on shop-owning.

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I started upcycling clothes after I had my daughter and I was stuck at home all day. It was my creative outlet and that eventually led to opening a store on Etsy and falling in love with vintage clothing which I started to sell primarily. After a little bit, I became interested in using essential oils as a form of holistic health and decided that I wanted to incorporate those into my store. I started experimenting and creating products that I think fill the need for more reliable and healthy body products that aren’t laden with harmful chemicals. So one thing led to the next thing and I’m really happy where we are at right now! We have the best of both worlds.

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

Oh gosh. I hope people will be satisfied. Not only with the product but with their selves and the idea that they are doing more than just buying a cheap, trashy product. I think ultimately, I want to spread the idea of buying thoughtfully, buying sustainably, and supporting neighbors rather than corporations. My mission is greater than just making and selling things, I want to show people that they can make a positive difference with everything they buy.

il_fullxfull.530969564_7rtz

What inspires you?

A great source of inspiration for me comes from all of the creative blogs I read every day but I think the main source of inspiration comes from my daily life. Most of the products I’ve been incorporating into my store (the body products that will eventually make up the majority of our store) are things I use every day and that I feel I need to share with others. Most of my product research starts out with my own need for something and then I experiment with them until perfected and put it in the store.

craftlaunch

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

Quality! Because my products aren’t streamlined and factory made, I don’t have the luxury of being able to sell them for super cheap. So I try to make up for that by putting a ton of effort and thought into creating my products. If people are willing to purchase my products, I want to make sure they get their money’s worth and that it’s going to last!

Where do you hope your business will go?

I want to be fully sustainable someday. Right now we are still in school and building a house (literally, with our own hands!) so I am not able to dedicate all the time to it as I would like but we’re getting there!

craftlaunch

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

Do a ton of research, keep on learning, and be patient! I think they say it takes about 3 years to start making a profit? But I think the most important thing in business is to never stop learning. There’s always room to improve!

Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?

Yes, we participate in a ton of different markets around Houston on the weekends! You can sign up for my newsletter to see where we’ll be each new week: http://eepurl.com/bF

il_fullxfull.541566648_s5qs

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

Not only being able to create but being able to share it with others and getting compensated in return. It’s so rewarding to be able to make things for a living. It’s hard sometimes but the most gratifying thing is selling something you are really proud of and put a lot of time into. Just knowing that someone else appreciates your abilities enough to buy your products is really fulfilling.

craftlaunch

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

Oh man, I love CraftLaunch so much. I love that I can have my own URL and that I can customize my layout. It gives me the opportunity of being able to make the website my own instead of just being one in a million on Etsy. It gives me the chance to add some extra personality to it and stand out from the crowd so to speak.

What’s something we should have asked you but didn’t?

Hmm, maybe who is my favorite employee? Haha! I only have one but I have to give a shout out to my fiance aka the other half of Sam Wish. He has been my rock lately and is so helpful especially when taking over all the tasks I can’t stand! Being a one-woman shop is pretty hard and I’m excited and kind of relieved to finally have a partner. Thanks babe!

SamWish: http://www.samwishstore.com/

Shop Spotlight: YumYum Bubblegum Jewelry

The most valuable pieces of jewelry balance beauty with sentiment—something that Tracey Miller, YumYum Bubblegum Jewelry’s owner and designer, is dedicated to mastering. A wife and mother of two boys, Tracey works from the comfort of her home to hand-stamp jewelry with the names and words most valuable to her and to her customers. With the goal of creating trinkets that hold special meaning, Tracey carefully hand-makes all of her jewelry to be loved and cherished by those in search of that special, adorable, and wearable reminder of just how lucky we are.

stamped pennies

What got you started? Where did you begin?

I’ve been designing for about 5 years. It all started when I first saw hand-stamped jewelry on Etsy and fell in love with it! I wanted all the pieces I saw! There wasn’t much of it being made and I would awake during the night thinking about making my own and opening my own Etsy shop. So I researched and ordered my supplies. I couldn’t wait to get started and I haven’t stopped stamping since then! (All of my pieces are hammer-stamped by hand, sanded and polished by me.)

What do you hope people will receive from your products?

I love that my pieces can be personalized in such a way that the names, dates or phrases mean something special to the person receiving it… that it touches their heart just from wearing it!

unnamed-1

What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?

I try to think of the pieces that I would want to own myself. I have two young sons and I know from experience that all moms and grandmas love to have items personalized with their childrens’ names. I also draw inspiration from things I see or hear every day. I want these items to be special keepsake pieces that will be durable and can be worn for years to come. I love it when I get return customers that ordered something a few years ago and are still enjoying it today!

necklace

Where do you hope your business will go?

My business has really boomed on Etsy and I sell in some retail markets around the South. I hope that I can keep expanding my inventory and reach out into some other retail areas in the U.S.

What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?

If you are just beginning to sell online, I believe getting your product seen is most important when getting sales and customers! Advertise with Goggle Adwords, contact bloggers and host a giveaway on their blogsite and run deals on the daily dealsites such as GroopDealz or Jane. These are wonderful tools to get noticed and increase sales!

ring

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?

The most fulfilling aspect of my business is hearing from customers about how much they enjoy their jewelry and how many compliments they receive. They tell me about how special the piece is to them or the person they gave it to and it warms my heart!

What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?

I began using Craftlaunch about a year ago.  It is so simple and easy to set up and use!  I love that it incorporates right into my Etsy shop and all the listings are just automatically transferred over to my Craftlaunch site.  It gives me a website for my business in addition to my Etsy shop.  It’s wonderful!

motorcross

What’s something we should have asked you but didn’t?

I believe the idea for my business was sent from God and I owe its success to Him. My biggest supporters are my husband, Kyle and my two sons, Evan and Cade. They put up with all the “hammering” that goes on around the house… and it’s not me helping out with the home repairs!

YumYum Bubblegum: http://www.yumyumbubblegumjewelry.com

1 2