Introduce Yourself: My name is Debbi Sawatzky and I live in St. Louis, SK. I opened ThreadEthic Organic Sewing Boutique on Etsy in June of this year. I was completely terrified as Etsy is kind of a big deal, but I am so thrilled to be apart of this worldwide network!
How long have you been doing your craft? I have been an Interior Decorator since 2009 which introduced me to the amazing textile world. However sewing is fairly new to me, which some people find hard to believe!
Last year I made a random comment to my Mother in Law about thinking I might like to learn how to sew. She offered to lend me her machine, got me started and well, the rest is history!
I was instantly captivated by the process and fell in love with creating whatever I thought up! After many classes and countless hours of sewing the idea of ThreadEthic started to form.
How did you get started? I began to research sustainable, ethical cotton and at first found nothing. It was pretty discouraging but I just kept going and ended up with an amazing range from some fantastic cloth companies! I love being able to make modern pieces knowing the materials I use are helping other people too:-) Right now Organic cotton is in the place organic food was 20 years ago. It has been so rewarding to both learn and share about the benefits of organic, ethical cotton.
What brought you to Etsy? I came to Etsy because I shop on Etsy and have enjoyed the experience for years! Being a seller gives me a whole new appreciation for our global community. Also I am not tech savvy so having this simple to use platform has been amazing. I know it takes time, effort and passion to grow a successful business and I am loving the journey so far!
Introduce Yourself: Hi! I'm Lindsay and I'm from Martensville, SK. Mom x 2, entrepreneur x 2, and advocate for local arts, food and shopping!
What is the name of your shop? My shop is Precious Gems Crochet Creations. I named it after my daughter, Gemma, who we've called our "Precious Gem" since she was born. :)
How did you get started? I originally was looking for something to do to pass the time during the looooong cold Saskatchewan winters, but now I'm working on crochet items for all seasons. I have fond memories of watching my mom knit and crochet while I was growing up, and I'm all about functional crafts so I was naturally drawn to crochet. I had some help getting started from my mother-in-law as well as some support and tips from a co-worker. Otherwise I have been self-taught by watching YouTube videos to learn new stitches and techniques.
Where can people find you online?
You can find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/preciousgemscrochet
and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/preciousgemscrochet
and will soon be starting a crochet specific board on Pinterest.
What do you like about selling on Etsy? Etsy is the most well-known outlet for selling handmade items in my opinion. I'm very new to it, but so far dealing with Etsy has been a breeze. The fact that my customer orders right online and the financial aspect is taken care of without me having to fill out invoices and dealing with credit cards, etc. is a huge weight off of my shoulders.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? I'm currently using up a large yarn stash that I've accumulated over the past several years (whoops!), but as that gets used up I'm planning on transitioning into using more eco-friendly, sustainable, organic and recycled yarns. I also have a ton of new projects I'd like to try out once I find the time! So what you see in my shop now may be evolving in the future, but I will definitely keep around the "hot sellers". I hope you like my shop and I would love to hear any feedback you have!
How long have you been doing your craft? I learned to knit from my grandma when I was little but hadn't kept at it until the last 10 years. I learned to spin shortly after and have been spinning every day since. Last year I spun over 22,000 yards, over 12 miles (19 km) 35 pounds of fibre (560 oz) and 93 skeins. Many of those made their way across the prairies in shops and galleries.
How did you get started? Once getting back into knitting, I wanted to learn how to spin my own yarn. My mentor and friend Deb Behm taught me all I know. She wasn't a technical spinner and her way of teaching really inspired me. She was very generous providing supplies and tools and I wanted to learn everything. If it weren't for her and the amazing fibre community in Saskatchewan and Manitoba I don't think I would be where I am today.
Where can people find you online?
My Website: www.knitnatural.com
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I like selling on Etsy because of how it is simple yet effective. I love the support that I get from Etsy Admin, fellow Etsy sellers and the Etsy Community as a whole. It is straightforward and always evolving to make my shop better. I have met so many wonderful customers and friends through Etsy that I don't think would be possible with other platforms. Etsy gives me the tools to promote myself, share my work and reach the world with ease.
What brought you to Etsy? When I decided to start selling my work online, it was obvious I would head over to Etsy. I knew it quite well as I used it to shop for handmade items, craft supplies and even vintage items regularly. Etsy is well known and I knew that would help me as well. It was easy to set up my shop and I starting making sales all over the world which gave me a huge sense of joy and the urge to continue.
What's been your best Etsy experience? I've had many great Etsy experiences like meeting my favourite seller (Kim from The Wacky Windmill), going to Toronto to meet with other Etsy leaders/captains for the Etsy Summit in 2015 and 2016 (also this month!), being a Senior Fellow along with 5 others around the world for the Etsy Fellowship Community but also organizing 2 very successful Etsy Made in Canada sales with my friends Marjorie and Anglea and my sister Nancy, with over 3,700 attendees, several craft workshops and great local partnerships. Etsy has been a wonderful community to be a part of and I am grateful to work alongside Erin and Elaine to grow our team and help promote and support other Saskatchewan sellers.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? Aside from spinning, I also judge wool and you can find me around fibre festivals throughout the prairies. If you think wool is itchy, you need to try another breed. Many people lump wool into one category when really there are hundreds of sheep breeds around the world with different qualities. I also have a few patterns available, some free and some for sale. One of them is the #1 men's hat pattern on Ravelry (Bankhead) and I have a few more designs coming out this year, I have also knit for fashion designers Riley Lawson and Dean Renwick for Sask Fashion Week (2013, 2015) so if anyone tells you knitting is only for grandmas, they are wrong, it is good for EVERYONE! If you are ever wanting to learn how to knit, spin or crochet, I teach classes around the city of Regina as well as fibre festivals like the Manitoba Fibre Festival so keep an eye on my website for updates.
P.S. I also recently opened up another shop for my love of snail mail and vintage ephemera which is called Shoebox Post.
Introduce Yourself: Hi, I'm Angel! I'm a recent transplant to Saskatoon from sunny Florida. I love crafting Japanese silk hair accessories, illustrating stories and generally creating new shiny things.
How did you get started? I became interested in kanzashi after reading articles about the art form in college. After living in Japan and visiting Kyoto, the heart of traditional Japan, my interest deepened and I started concentrating my efforts on developing my kanzashi making skills.
Where can people find you online? My website: Appledainty.com
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I like selling on Etsy because of the awesome community of sellers, and the wide audience that the site reaches. I love shopping on Etsy for the same reasons!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? I'm always looking to learn new skills and help people who want to learn more of their own. If you ever have any questions, let me know!
How did you get started? I actually started my business with a friend of mine, because I knew she had some experience on Etsy and I thought we'd make a great team. It was going good, but after a while she found it a bit too much, because she had just had her third baby. By this point I felt comfortable enough to do it on my own so I continued on.
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I like selling on Etsy because of the community it creates. Also, I find it simple and very easy to buy and sell.
What brought you to Etsy? I chose to build my shop through Etsy because I knew a few successful Etsy shop owners and I wanted that same success.
What's been your best Etsy experience? My first couple of Etsy sales were from family members, so one of my favourite moments was when I got my first sale from someone that I didn't know! I always love hearing the 'cha-ching' sound of an order.
Introduce Yourself: My name is Michelle Janzen, I am a work at home mom.
What is the name of your shop? I named my shop Smashingly Cute because I love making anything cute, including smash outfits!
How long has your Etsy shop been open? My shop has only been open since the beginning of October and I am already getting sales and custom orders!
How long have you been doing your craft? I have been sewing for kids for almost 18 years!
How did you get started? Shortly before I had my first daughter I found an adorable vintage pink and purple singer sewing machine at a garage sale and I got the idea that I would like to make fitted cloth diapers. I had very little sewing knowledge but needed instructions, so I looked online for some things; using the internet at that time was sometimes an ordeal! I found a manual online and talked to my grandmother about where to start. Eventually through trial and error I figured out how to sew!
Where can people find you online? I post most of my items and updates on craft shows at www.facebook.com/smashinglycute
What's been your best Etsy experience? My very first order was a custom request, that feels pretty cool!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? I provide quality handmade busy books, Lego mats, custom children's clothing and various accessories, I am also taking custom orders!
How long have you been doing your craft? Since 1985.
How did you get started? My eldest child was 10 months old and colicky. My sister-in-law suggested I needed to get out of the house a bit. Her mother taught rug hooking classes. No one would take care of my daughter, so we took her with us...along with a baby swing. As long as the baby swing was going she was quiet. As soon as it stopped she'd start to cry. It was a long day or two, learning to hook. But it was fun because my sister-in-law and her mother had a great attitude about the whole thing. And I was captivated by the potential for the craft right from the start.
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I can reach a wide diversity of people from all over the place. It's easy to list and manage your items for sale. There's support and help if you need it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? The work in my shop is all original designs, most of them worked directly on backing without a pattern, and therefore not reproducible.
I am a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council. I exhibit across North America. I have work in private collections in South Korea, the United States, and in Canada.
I am pleased to have my shop featured by Etsy. Thank you for all the opportunities Etsy!
How did you get started? Way back in high school, I made jewellery for gifts and craft shows. In the journey to find interesting but not expensive beads I got into making my own. Polymer clay was my favourite medium for that and the rest is history.
Where can people find you online?
my website and neglected blog: www.tooaquarius.com
What do you like about selling on Etsy? Inexpensive, simple and effective. Plus, I'm used to it.
What brought you to Etsy? Before Etsy I sold on Ebay (expensive and complicated), JustBeads (buggy) and my own site. Etsy was the next one to try.
What's been your best Etsy experience? There's been quite a few good ones luckily! The best ones are generally meeting up socially with like minded etsians. It's always nice not to have to explain all the details of my little online work world from scratch.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? I've done well on Etsy but I've tried half a dozen sites, several different Etsy shops, all sorts of social media, shows, classes, wholesale, article writing... there's no one way this works for people. Thankfully, there's plenty of options.
Introduce Yourself: Hi there! My name is Megan. I’m the face behind Megan’s Piñatas. I live in Moose Jaw and I just celebrated my second 29th birthday this year. I am happily married and have 4 children -1 Boy and 3 girls.
How did you get started? My mom used to make piñatas for mine and my siblings’ birthdays and I loved to help make and decorate them. I love to make (and smash) piñatas for any occasion -even if there’s no birthday. Once I had my own children, I carried on the tradition because it just didn’t seem like a birthday party without a piñata. I just took the leap and started selling them in the past year.
Where can people find you online?
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I love that anyone all over the world can see my work -not just local folks (although I do love all my Saskatchewan customers)
What's been your best Etsy experience? My best experiences on Etsy are when a customer sends me a photo of my piñata in use - I love to see the kids smiling and loving it.
What better way to talk about using video to promote your handmade business than with a video
I'm talking about how I use videos to promote my handmade business and why you should too.
Links to a couple of artists that I think do a really great job at using video to market themselves.
Fran Meneses (AKA Frannerd)
And one of my videos
So now I want to challenge you to create our own video to promote your Etsy Shop, Tag us, send or share a link to us, we would love to see what you come up with.
Erin Pell ~ Lampwork glass artist at Glassy-Eyed Beads and Blue Otter Designs and Captain of Etsy SK