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
How did you get started? I was new to Canada, left my country and came to Canada to start from zero, then i met the crochet art online, i found it very therapeutic so i started to make the crochet dolls , hoping not to comfort myself but also get to comfort my buyers with love and care.
Where can people find you online? You can find me on Facebook
What do you like about selling on Etsy? it's well organized, and easy to deal with. Simple and clear and Etsy is a worldwide well known platform to sell my arty dolls.
What brought you to Etsy? i want to sell to the world and Etsy is the best option that is really great for artists.
What's been your best Etsy experience? It's great to interact with customers around the world and to receive their reviews.
Last month we hosted an Instagram challenge for those who wanted to play along, help boost their shops, show their creativity and meet other Etsy SK team members. Here are some of the highlights of the challenge. We had over 326 posts towards #EtsySKTellYourStory. To see all the great posts from those who participated, check it out - we even had videos and singing!
We all have interesting studios and work spaces where work on our creations:
Since we all work in different media, our collections of tools are very unique:
Not only do we make things with our hearts here is a look at some of our hands that also do much of our art.
And almost most importantly - why do we do what we do and why should you support handmade?
sew_crafty_creationsDay 30 of#etsysktellyourstory ...why handmade? Ever since I can remember, I have been doing a craft of some sort. It's in my DNA makeup! I find it both relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. I love to create things that contribute to kids' playtime. But mainly the reason is to see happiness on the faces of little guys like this! Photo credit to Colleen Finlayson of Fin Photography
mytrueluminosityDay 30 of the#etsysktellyourstory challenge ~ Why Handmade: Quite simply...because creativity heals my soul. Thank you so very much @knitnatural @tooaquarius@glassyeyed for making month of June so fun! This challenge has been a blast!
meganspinatasDay 30 - Why Handmade? For the smiles! I love making exactly what my customers (or kids) want. I never get tired of the smiles and laughter that come when they love their pinatas and have a memorable party. I am an artist and creative through and through - it makes ME happy too and creating things helps me relax and unwind.
sewbrightcreationsDay 30 of#etsysktellyourstory ---> WHY HANDMADE
it's simple, handmade is happiness. It brings happiness to the customer because they are able to get the unique, quality product that works for them. Happiness for the maker. Sewing is (most of the time) relaxing for me and the process of being creative brings me happiness. Happiness for my family. The income goes directly to my family.
Happiness for other makers. I purchase as many of my supplies as I feasibly can from other small shops. This brings them happiness. I support handmade because it brings happiness to so many people 💗
knitnaturalFinal day of#etsysktellyourstory why do I love handmade and fibrework? Well I have several reasons. It ties me to the past and to many many cultures around the world. It really is better than commercially made items. I can use knitting/spinning/crochet etc to relieve stress and relax while being productive. By spending time to handmake items for my family and friends I am giving them a portion of my life in everything I make. I am promoting the craft for others to keep it alive. I can make anything I want and it is very rewarding to start with animal fibre and end up with a usable garment that will serve a specific purpose for a very long time. I can use it to send a form of love to those I care about. I have met so many amazing people though fibre and made lifelong friends. I can take it anywhere and it's fun! Thank you to all the EtsySk members who posted throughout this challenge. It was nice to read all about what you do and connect with you all on a more personal level. You are all an inspiration. Why do you love handmade
marjielous_creationsLast day of the June #etsysktellyourstory I've had so much fun doing this! Today is why#handmade. I #crochet and #knit for relaxation and to keep me sane on bad health days. But I also love #homemadethings for the smile when someone gets something they love, even better when they let me capture the smile
Thank you to everyone who participated, it was a lot of fun!