Introducing Little Wisteria

This week we’re featuring a fledgling business (only two months old) selling pretty keep sake bowls in a range of gorgeous colours that would make lovely gifts for a variety of occasions. Introducing Becky from Little Wisteria

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
My name is Becky Hogan, I live in Oxford and I am the owner of Little Wisteria. I create little dishes for tiny treasures and keepsakes for special occasions. Originally I wanted somewhere pretty to keep my wedding rings after I got married last year. Since then, I’ve become slightly addicted to making them.

Now it’s the colours that I see every day and the needs that I hear from the people around me that are my inspiration. For example, having somewhere special, that’s personalised, for your child to put their tooth ready for the tooth fairy to collect in the night. Or somewhere to put your loose change at the end of the day, ready for when you need that extra bit to pay the take away delivery man when you just don’t quite have enough. Or just simply to keep your pretty little treasures or to use to put out chocolates when you have visitors. The dishes might be little but there are so many uses for them and that’s what keeps me inspired. Where can I take them next…

Were you arty at school? I’ve always been arty. I remember in primary school that we had to make a building out of tightly rolled up newspaper. I absolutely loved it, since then I can’t sit still. I always have to be making or designing something new. I went on to study art at college too but sadly didn’t quite make it to university.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a range of new keepsakes that are aimed at parents who buy presents for family members from their babies.  Also some more items for my wedding range are in the pipeline but I don’t want to give too much away on that just yet…

It’s hush hush for now! How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
Two words – rollercoaster ride. To be completely honest, it’s totally taken me by surprise. I started making these dishes because I can’t sit still. I can’t just sit and watch TV, I always need to be doing something. My dishes were a hobby, I guess like a lot of our crafts. One of my close friends spotted them and mentioned that I should set up an Etsy shop. I love having something to manage and play with so I jumped at it, never expecting them to sell as well as they have. In my first week I’d had two sales. I was totally shocked at the reception that they received. It’s really motivating and has inspired me to grow my collection and diversify into keepsake plaques too.

littlewisteria11Here are your quick fire questions:
Your fave colour? Pink (although very closely followed by yellow)
Cat or dog? Dog!
Early bird or night owl? Early bird – my brain functions better in the morning
Heels or flats? Heels but I’m 6ft tall so you’ll mostly find me in flats 😔
City pad or country retreat? Country retreat
Nighclub or sofa? Nightclub

How do you find balancing working full time with owning your own Etsy business?
I work full time as a Marketing bod for an education company. I work across a range of secondary school subjects selling courses and qualifications into school. I love it but it can be very stressful. My crafting is a release from the pressures of the day, a very different task and a different challenge. I am yet to find the right balance. Some evenings and weekends I’m so super busy that I barely see my husband (he’s not a fan of that) which I need to work on but I’m just starting out so I think that’s normal. There seems to be so much more to do at the moment with setting everything up and getting things just right but once I’ve got my branding and style sorted, everything else should follow. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Setting up a new business is a bumpy journey. I’m still shocked how all consuming it is, it’s literally taken over our lives, very unexpectedly. It’s not in a bad way but it does mean having to make a concerted effort to zone timeout for yourselves which can be really hard and to be honest takes more discipline than we have – it’s too easy to always be checking social media, updating a listings taking a new photo and suddenly before you know it date night’s out the window! I think you can get an app that blocks you from using social media which I’m about to look into as I hope that will help with our much needed discipline!

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
This question is tricky. It’s still such early days for me. I’ve only been open for two months. However, I think the best piece of advice I can share is to be patient and don’t give up. It’s hard when you’re working full time too but if you put the effort in, it will pay off, it just takes a little time sometimes.littlewisteria9

Your favourite make so far?
My favourite make is a tricky one too. I love the dishes that are lined with gold leaf, they are just so pretty and look so cute on a shelf together. I also love my dishes that look like candy, the new pink, gold and mint green dishes. These are the colours I had at my wedding last year so have a special place in my heart.

I also love your gold, pink & mint plate but after another browse I’m love, love, loving your teal & gold leaf and mint & gold leaf bowls, they are soooo lovely. 

I’m also loving the unusual navy blue with gold flakes… it reminds me of the night sky…

little_wisteria_etsy

Your blittlewisteria5est seller?
My best seller so far has been my heart wedding plaques. I’ve had a lot of sales from them and some really great feedback too.

What’s next for your shop?

As much as I don’t want to mention it (it’s only June), I am looking at ideas for Christmas. I have lots of ideas that I want to start working on and I’m selling at a number of Christmas fairs where I live so I need to start creating stock for those.

#cringe

Aaaaaaaargh the idea of thinking that far ahead seems impossible, we’re behind with everything but it sounds like the right and sensible thing to be doing, so well done on your discipline! I’m hoping by next year Rose Filtered and Leapup might be that organised. You’ll have to put your Christmas tunes on (in June?) to get you in the Christmas mood! 

How about some ‘what if’ questions…

If you were on a desert island the three things you would take with you… a good book, a knife (to sculpt with, of course, but it would also hopefully come in handy to eat), mascara would have to be my third.
Your dream place you would like to visit… My dream place would be space. I’ve always had a fascination with space, I got it from my father. I really think it would be an amazing sight, to see the earth from the moon and to be one of just a few on a planet so big. It would certainly put a new perspective on life.
Oooh that’s a good answer, I wouldn’t have even considered it until now! OK so if you won the lottery your first splurge would be… a trip around America, a little golden retriever puppy and a new car. In that order.

I’m with you on the puppy, we are actually discussing getting our third dog at the moment… it’s too exciting! Lets’ keep our fingers crossed for a lottery win!

Your Etsy crush?
There are just so many. A few of my faves include Pixie’s Magic Hook for her wonderful hanging baskets and round crochet rugs and ENDEceremics for her doll head tea cups and footed coffee cups. I currently have my eye on a few things for after we move… some inspirational cards to hang on the wall of my craft room/study from Ip Dip Design. A grey hanging basket from Pixie’s Magic Hook and some beautiful bright pink hand painted cushions for my new sofa from Pauline Plug.

Those are fab shops with gorgeous products. I particularly love the beautiful pink rug from Pixie’s Magic Hook and all of Pauline Plug‘s blocked printed fabrics are gorgeous.

I especially love her hot pink feathers. Pauline will be featured later on in July so really looking forward to hearing more about how she works. ENDEceremics is a new one for me but I have to say I’ve fallen in love with the little ceramic piggy with wings, he’s adorable! Obviously we are huge fans of Ip Dip Design, Laura was featured over on the Leapup Blog last week. A note to readers – pop on over and meet Ip Dip if you get the chance. Her work is very inspiring and great if you need a little bit of creative motivation!

Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’? 

Etsy Shop: Little Wisteria

Instagram: www.instagram.com/littlewisteria

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Little_Wisteria

Facebook: www.facebook.com/littlewisteria

A very big thank you to Becky for getting involved this week and we wish her the very best of luck with all her new plans and all of that Christmas stock! Hopefully Becky will be back in the future to share any news of new product lines. Don’t forget to hop on over to Becky’s site for a little browse – and maybe say hi on social media as it’s  a great place to stay posted with any giveaway offers, discount codes or new products. 

Thanks for reading and if you’ve read this far please share this article and help get these lovely goodies seen! Thanks so much! 

Leanne x

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Bear hugs

This week we’ve finally got around to uploading a new print, a trio of bears (we’ve been meaning to do it for ages).

3 little bears lifestyleIn celebration we thought we would dedicate this weeks Treasury Tuesday to all things bear. We’ve curated a gorgeous collection of bear goodies including jewellery, illustrations, ceramics, greetings cards, cushions, textiles and more! If you love bears and need a bear hug you’re in the right place! These goodies can be bought here on Etsy: Bear hugs by Rose Filtered

BEARHUGS

Featuring Hope the Black Dog

Welcome to this week’s Feature Friday! This week we introduce the lovely Amy Donoghue from Hope the Black Dog

square logo (1)Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?
Hi! I’m Amy from hope the black dog, and I make DIY kits and gifts promoting positivity and mental health awareness. I donate £1 from every sale to Mind charity. I’m based in Nottingham and I live with my fiancé and my two pet rats, Marie and Rosa.

Do you sell on any other platforms?
My best selling platform is actually through Instagram , I do a lot of giveaways and discounts on there, and I love the friendly community that I’m part of over there.

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work?
I have different “stations” around the house where I do different tasks. I do any sewing on the sofa in front of the TV, I make necklaces at the dining table, I take my photos in the spare room under the window, and I package and wrap my parcels in the corner of the living room!

hopetheblackdogWhat inspires your work?
When I was diagnosed with Anxiety, it was actually about 15 years too late. And the reason for this was because I just didn’t know anything about mental illness. I thought depression was just about self-harm and I felt like the only conversations happening about mental health were in a negative light. What I wanted to do with Hope the Black Dog is promote discussion about the realities of living with mental illness. I wanted to talk positively about it, about the huge victories that we have every day, and how much stronger, empathetic and understanding our struggles make us. And by making it pretty, and making it empowering, it encourages people to talk, to get help and to understand.

sashayawayI am just wondering if you want to talk in any more detail about your journey getting help?  It’s been a really long journey from my childhood anxiety to where I am now. I didn’t understand ANYTHING about mental illness, so for a very long time I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I didn’t think that people like me got things like that. It wasn’t until a friend very similar to me admitted to having depression when we were at University together that I began to realise that anyone can have a mental health problem. I started investigating all of the physical symptoms that I was having, and all of them could be related to Anxiety (things like digestive troubles, acne, back pains, food intolerances, thinning hair, fatigue …. ). So that was when I went into the doctors and after bursting out crying for about ten minutes, I eventually managed to get the words out “I think I have anxiety”. It wasn’t until about a year later that I was able to admit to myself that I had suffered from depression too. I felt like it would be insulting to my family, or mean that I have failed at picking a satisfying job, or my friends were letting me down. I know that’s complete rubbish NOW but at the time it was terrifying. The doctors were so kind and so patient with me, and referred me to therapy, and explained my options when it came to medication too. I’ve been going back and getting more advice and more help on a monthly basis, and I’ve had two separate courses of CBT, as well as a couple of medications, and now I feel like I’ve got my life back. Sure, the side effects are difficult, but I feel like I’m getting back to the happy, carefree girl I was before the anxiety took hold, and I’m going to keep working hard to cherish that!

ilovemyblackdogWhat you would advise someone to do if they think they might need help? My advice would be, if you’re even suspicious about a mental health issue, please go and talk about it. The doctors have heard far worse and won’t be baffled, and if you don’t feel like they handle it as well as you’d like – go see another one until someone does. It’s scary but it is so, so worth it.

How do you find managing a business on your bad days – if in fact you still have bad days? It can be hard when you’re having a bad day. My bad days aren’t as bad as they used to be, but they do come along. I do a “little quit” where I accept that I’m not going to get anything done right at this moment on the business side, I give myself a rest, and then when I’m ready I do something else. Even if it’s something small like making a cup of tea. Do one tiny thing. Eventually I’ll either feel like I’m ready to do some work, or I’ll try and be kind to myself that at least I did something today. Aim for a non-zero day so that tomorrow you won’t feel bad about yesterday.

Speaking from my own experience I think openly talking about mental health with your partner is one of the most rewarding and valuable things you can do. I wonder how much you would say this is true and what your experience is of this? My fiance and I have been together for about 7 years now, and for 5 of those years I had no idea I was dealing with mental illnesses. When I decided to talk to my doctors about it, I mentioned it to Matthew and he didn’t bat an eyelid. He wasn’t judgy, or flippant, he didn’t try and persuade me that it “was just a phase” or tell me “you’re just stressed” as I was expecting. He gave me a hug, he made me a cup of tea and we talked about why I thought I had anxiety. He’s not a man of many words but the ones he did say were just right. We talk openly about the limits of my anxiety, and he’s very understanding when I message him 85 times because I had a horrible vision that he might have been attacked on the way home, or that I throw a huge tantrum when he leaves a cupboard door open, even though I’ve made a mess of the whole rest of the house! He’s so pleased and proud of my journey, not just that I’m a much nicer person to live with now that I have learned to cope better, but because we are both so pleased to have mental health talked about so much more openly.

positive pantsI can relate to so much of that! Many congratulations on your engagement, Matthew sounds so supportive… so have you set a date for the wedding yet?
Yes, we’re having a very laid back, floral affair in London with a fish and chip tea! Quite vintagey and a lot of recycled flowery fabrics.

Oooh – sounds lovely and like a lot of fun pulling all the vintage bits and bobs together! What  are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my newest product line which is embroidered “body-positive” pants. The diet culture and social expectation upon females in particular, but everybody generally, is so damaging for our self-esteem and positivity. These pants are embroidered with empowering words to give you a boost under your clothes!

What a fantastic idea, I’ll be sure to check them out when they’re launched. How have you found your Etsy journey so far?
I have absolutely loved it. I found the social media side really hard at first, until I found Instagram. The best thing has been meeting so many wonderful people who have become close friends already, particularly within the Nottingham Etsy Team. Sales are picking up and my presence is growing!

That’s fantastic to hear and encouragement to newbie sellers like to me to keep going with it! Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers?
Just start. Don’t wait until you think it’s perfect, make a start and work on it from there. It takes time and the sooner you begin, the sooner you will start succeeding!

 

Sounds like very good advice to anyone on the Etsy Resolution course who still hasn’t opened their shops! It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of perfecting something, never feeling it is good enough and then not moving forward. I’m glad that I just went for it in the end as opening the shop is just the beginning, things will always be getting improved along the way.

Your favourite make so far?
My first make, and my first sale was the kit for ‘Anxiety Is My Super Power‘. I made this because it summed up my feelings about my anxiety. Yes, it’s been terrifyingly hard at times, but Anxiety has also made me achieve so much. It’s also the basis for changing my life and creating my little business, which has been the best thing I have ever done.

Your best seller?
Until recently, it was my ‘This Too Shall Pass’ kit , it’s a very powerful message to lots of people. And since I listed it, my ‘Hug’ Boxes are doing really well too!

 

My favorite makes from the shop are the ‘W’ anchor necklace (you have to check out this cheeky little make, it’s so cool), the ‘Above All Be Kind’ embroidery hoop, ‘Paralysis by Analysis’ and ‘Pijamas All Day’ embroidery hoops as well as all the cute little necklaces. For the sewers out there the little sewing pin emboridery hoops necklaces are a must! There is so much more in the shop to treat yourself to! 

What’s next for your shop?
More clothing kits, more craft fairs and more sales!

Your Etsy crush?
So many! I absolutely adore Deborah Panesar Illustration , as a business woman and as a person.

I am also so grateful for the introduction of CMarshallArts into my life, both personally and professionally.

They are both very talented, I love their customized pet portraits, gorgeous! Your favourite Etsy purchase?
My favourite Etsy purchase is one in the making! The lovely Dawn from DawnysSewingRoom is currently working on a craft fair money belt for me in a gorgeous bright pink flamingo fabric. I already know it’s going to be amazing!

Thanks for that, I love the bright pink flamingo fabric, I’m sure you’re money belt will make quite the statement!  The beer bottle top apron is a great idea for a fathers day gift too!

Thanks so much to Amy for getting involved this week. For me personally it’s refreshing to see products that celebrate and highlight metal health in such a positive way. I think Amy is incredibly courageous to talk so openly and honestly about her story, I find her a real inspiration. All of her positive mental health embroidery hoops and embroidered gifts are available to buy in her shop… please pop over and say hi if you are on Instagram, it’s fab account!  Amy is contactable across social media platforms, please do show some support: 

Etsy shop: hopetheblackdog.etsy.com
Instragram: Instagram.com/hopetheblackdog
Facebook: facebook.com/hopetheblackdog
Pinterest: pinterest.com/hopetheblackdog
Twitter: twitter.com/h0petheblackd0g
website: www.hopetheblackdog.com

See you next week where we will be speaking to the very talented Becky Hogan from Little Wisteria… can’t wait!

Leanne x

PS I’ve quickly run off and bagged myself two DawnysSewingRoom pink flamingo bandannas for my pooches, couldn’t resist! Readers can watch this space… I’ll upload a picture very soon of them sporting their hot pink outfits!

PPS If you love animals then check out this weeks Leapup blog where it’s strictly about the doggie bling… it’s a double bill where we meet two talented Etsy makers. Dog lovers won’t want to miss it! 

Camera Intervention?

by Steve Warren

So, it turns out here at Rose Filtered HQ we’ve developed a slight addiction to collecting retro vintage cameras. This was by no means an intentional choice, it just kind of happened. It all started with the idea of making little vintage style postcards for our Etsy shop of old retro cameras. Ebay showed a fantamy first camerastic range of vintage cameras, going for a huge range of prices, just a few careless clicks and we’d have to sell an awful lot of postcards to make this project worthwhile!

After a LOT of research we bagged two very cute looking Kodak Instamatic cameras for £1.20 – total bargain! (OK, so postage was £8.95 so not that much of a bargain but still pretty cheap). Lots of fun was had photographing these great little cameras but I quickly realised that if these were going to be postcards we could really do with a few different ones to make a set. So back onto ebay and look for more cameras… the bank account quivering in fear….! I bagged my current favourite, a Kodak Instamatic 100 model for just £4.

 

Then a venture up into the loft leads to a surprise find – my old camera from my younger years. We do own a retro camera after all! As I removed the worn leather case what did I find – only a Kodak Instamatic 50, woo hoo!!! What are the chances!  A worthy addition to the set.

love photographySo, if you’ve been keeping mental notes you’ll have realised that’s 4 retro cameras, which means a set of 4 postcards – perfect. That’s pretty much what I imagined when I set out on this project. So no need for any more cameras then. Well you’d think not. Have I been endlessly looking on ebay at more Instamatic cameras? Yes. Do I have an Instamatic 204 and 300 on the way to me as I write? Afraid so. Do I have a bid currently on two more Instamatic cameras? I think you probably know the answer. Does Leanne know about these latest purchases? She will when she reads this. How much trouble will I be in? Probably lots. Do I need an intervention? Maybe…

Our retro camera postcards will be available from our Etsy shop later in June.

Additional notes by Leanne Warren: Yes an intervention is required! I’m also slightly gutted that Steve didn’t get the retro Polaroid camera with the rainbow stripes that I’ve been hinting about all week… it soo cute and I might start stamping my feet and spitting my dummy out if we can’t include that in the postcard set. I think we might both need an intervention but only once I’ve bagged a Polaroid – that or a new house to store them all plus a win on the lottery.

 

 

Featuring Natalie North Design

It’s that #FeatureFriday time of the week again where we say hello to an Etsy seller and get a look into their world, their inspiration and take a look at some of their lovely makes. I’m really please to be featuring Natalie North this week from Natalie North Design. Natalie is local to Rose Filtered HQ, she’s based up here in sunny Newcastle upon Tyne and I absolutely love her first range of geometric line designs. Welcome to Natalie North Design…

 

Hi! Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your Etsy shop?

Hello my name is Natalie and I am a designer; I’ve been classifying myself this way for so long because I’ve always felt like I was one. Now that I have my shop up and running on Etsy I feel I can back this statement up, not just with sporadic projects but a fully developed product line!

Logo

After I graduated from my degree in Architectural Venue Design I felt the same pressures as most to get that perfect job that made all the training worth while so I went
out into the world with the sole focus of getting a design job. Within 6 months of working for a playground design company I knew that I was on the wrong path and needed to reassess. I looked back at the projects I had enjoyed most and the work I was most proud of still. For the most part I realised the things I loved most were not the structures themselves but the imagery of them. Close ups, shadows, all the patterns that 3D elements make so that’s when I decided creating patterns should be my new path.

Since this moment I have been honing my process, and my Etsy shop is a reflection of this. I like to think of all my items as statement pieces adding a little bit of something extra to everyday items. I developed my cushions first as I love adding special touches to my home and hope to expand my business into a bespoke interior design service over the coming years. I added a range of items in the same launch patterns that I like to think add an element of style to someone’s everyday carry. At the moment my Etsy shop just stocks the 3 patterns I launched with but over the coming months I hope to expand with further patterns and products.

Do you sell on any other platforms and if so could you tell us about those? Alongside my Etsy shop I have built my own website to showcase my designs. I worked with the Squared Space platform to build it; not only for the flexibility when building but also their relationship with Stripe. The payment system Stripe allows me to take secure payments through my website and reassure my customers that I am a professional.

I also sell in a store in Newcastle where I am based. The shop Whosit & Whatsit is situated on the Quayside and supports independent designers. The shop is a cornucopia of treats and I often come away with something unique to add to my home or as a gift. All the staff are really friendly and have helped me to push my business further.

The shop sounds fab, I haven’t checked it out yet but it’s now top of my to do list!

I’m working hard to make my designs available in other shops and have meetings at the end of the month with shops in Guernsey so watch this space! 

Ooh, that sounds exciting, I have my fingers crossed for you!

 

Tell us a little bit about how and where you work? My workspace is pretty flexible and I’ve actually found myself working in some pretty strange places like the ferry or a coffee shop! I create each pattern by hand using a stylus on my iPad. I researched a lot of
different applications and stylus before selecting the ones I currently used, created by Studio 53. I found that they simulated hand drawing as an action the best for me while maintaining the vector finish that my aesthetic required.

For me each design I work on is a balancing act with a moment of decision after almost every stroke. With each pattern I aim to create a striking yet minimal pattern so it is important to not overcrowd the space but also not leave the design feeling empty. I generally start with the colours; I like to work with 3-4 different colours as I have always felt that minimal doesn’t have to mean black and white! Once I have picked out the tones  I start the process of building the pattern up; for this line of patterns I worked with lines only but for the next line I’ll be working with shapes as well.

The flexibility of my iPad means that I can work on my design whenever inspiration hits hence the weird workings spaces! When it comes to finishing the designs though I always work in the same space, my living room. Each design is refined and adapted for the various products on my computer at home which is hooked up to my television enabling me to blow my designs up to large scale and really get the details right.

After each file is finalised the work with my specialised printers begins; I chose early on to work with professional printers as I knew that I wanted to have a high end finish that I couldn’t achieve at this stage. I work with two printers to deliver my designs, one that specializes in high end textile printing and another for the items that involve paper. They are both British companies and I am proud to be an entirely made in Britain designer.

The process to finalise the items I currently have in my Etsy shop was a long one as I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect and consistent with each and every item that went out. I have to say that I am really happy with result and can’t wait to launch the next line of designs!

 

What inspires your work? Geometry, Pattern, and Straight Lines. When I look back at my work across all the fields I have dabbled in there is definitely one constant, my aesthetic. I have always leaned towards working with straight lines and geometry. From the scaffolding structure I built during my BTEC to the Stringwall I installed while volunteering at the Silk Mill Museum I have always worked with the straight lines and the patterns they make. This aesthetic still inspires me and I draw a lot of my starting imagery from architecture and modern art. I have always loved Piet Mondrian and I feel that it is his use of colour that pushes me to avoid the black and white of traditional minimalism.

So many things influence me on a day to day basis but if any of you are looking for a healthy dose of daily design inspiration you can never go wrong with Dezeen!

What are you currently working on?  I’m currently developing both new designs and new products to expand my shop. The big plan is to launch a new line of three more designs by the end of the summer and, as I mentioned earlier, I am toying with shape for these designs and I am really excited about the way they are developing. Alongside this I am developing some new products to expand the range of my designs available for your home. Natalie North Design has always been planned to evolve into a bespoke interior design service so I’m hoping through the introduction of more homewares we can continue to move towards this goal!

That’s sounds like a fantastic vision you have for your business and based on what we’ve seen of your designs I’m sure it’s going to be great success. 

How have you found your Etsy journey so far? In Etsy I have found a whole new community of supportive and fascinating people! It has been so much more than a vehicle for developing my business and has actually linked me to the people that I go to with my wins, my disappointments, and to ask advice. I couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone considering it; not only is it a great place to show off your creations but a great way to meet like minded people! I have to agree with you on that one, it has been a little bit of a relief and inspiration meeting so many like minded people all on similar journeys facing different business and personal challenges, with the same doubts and insecurities. It really is a fantastic and supportive community!

 

Any lessons learned so far that you would like to share with other Etsy makers or online sellers? The biggest lesson I have learnt is to get your manufacturers form in early. It is easy to be daunted by it and worry that your printers won’t get approved but it is nothing to worry about! The team at Etsy are really good and understand that for some of us the creative process benefits from some professional equipment that we can not access on our own. Although the team are great the process can be lengthy and I made the mistake of trying to perfect my shop before submitting which ultimately slowed my progress down. So that would be my advice if you work with a printer or other outside help submit your manufacturer application early and perfect your shop while you wait for it to be approved!

 

Your favourite make so far? My favourite make so far has been the Asymmetric Scatter Double Sided Cotton Cushion.

Cotton Cushions

 

Everyone that sees it in person comments on how much they like it and how they love how simple it is; I always smile politely and thank them while silently lamenting about how complex it actually was to finish!

The pattern itself wasn’t too bad as I had quite a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve in my mind although this is still 1 of 5 designs that I tried! The true complexity came when organising it on the cushion. I experimented with a few different placements before deciding that I wanted the pattern to originate all from one corner spanning out across the cushion. Working on the templates for this was a little trickier than another alternative but I was determined; the cushion then went back and forth with the printer several times, each time adjusting how the patterns met each other at the seam, until it was perfect. I’m so happy with the result and wouldn’t change a thing but can’t help silently cursing every time I hear how wonderfully simple it is!

Isn’t that always the way though? A lot of people seem to think that everything is simple, until they try it themselves! They maybe never appreciate how much time, effort and work goes into each piece, but I’m sure many, especially designers, will see it for the simple perfection that it is and appreciate the work it took getting there. Maybe now you’ve done this article hopefully your fans might have more of an appreciation too 🙂 Your best seller? At the moment my notebooks are my bestseller; I think the A6 size and slimness appeals to people. At this size they are great for slipping into a bag for jotting down your day to day thoughts. I even market them as ‘everyday carry’ because I know that I always have one with me for noting down my thoughts and important things to remember!

A6 Notebooks

What’s next for your shop? The next big thing will be the launch of my new line of patterns at the end of the summer but also keep your eyes peeled for different products over the coming months! Very exciting I certainly will keep a look out and maybe you can come back and share your lovely makes after your new products are launched.

 

Your Etsy crush: For my Etsy crush I’m torn between EcoDeer and GingerbreadJewellery.

 

The concept behind EcoDeer, they make me chuckle every time I see them, paired with their minimal aesthetic makes them an awesome shop in my books. They make plant versions of mounted antlers, it sounds weird but they are great – check them out! I love these, as a veggie having an antler head on the wall, even a cardboard or felt one isn’t quite my cup of tea, but plants and flowers displayed in this way are lovely, so unique and right up my alley! 

GingerbreadJewellery create beautiful and fun food inspired jewellery that make perfect gifts! I especially love their macaroon bracelets – so sweet! Excuse the pun.

 

Excused, I think every blog article should have at least one pun! I love the colours of the macaroons, yum! They really do look good enough to eat. The whole shop looks delicious and I hope my bestie isn’t reading as she’ll know what she’s getting for her birthday. 😉

 

Your favourite Etsy purchase? I have to say that my favourite buy from Etsy was a felt card from Mombi & Ted. Theirmombiandted shop is  full to the brim with fun gifts and well worth a visit if you need something to smile at! When I saw their Lumpy Space Princess, Adventure Time birthday card I couldn’t resist! It sums her character up perfectly and when I handed it over to the birthday girl she really laughed! In fact I think she liked it more than the gift I had bought for her!

 

Where can we find you on the web to come and say ‘hi’? 

Etsy Shop: www.natalienorthdesign.etsy.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nattily6/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalienorthdesign

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nat_Tily

My Website: www.natalienorthdesign.com

A huge thank you to Natalie for sharing her story so far. Please, please, please if you have read this far could you (pretty please) take a moment to share this article to help spread the word about Natalie’s beautiful designs… the link to this article is: http://wp.me/p7t6oh-da

If you want to tweet it or post on Facebook that would be soooo appreciated. It’s hard work getting products seen and getting the message out with all the Etsy, Facebook and Google algorithm changes, it means we rely on readers to help spread the word more than ever! I hope you have a moment to browse the full range in Natalie’s shop and don’t forget to check back in a couple of months for her summer collection!

Next Friday we will be featuring Jes Hooper Pyrography, I hope you pop back for a read! 

Leanne x

PS you might also be interested in reading about some gorgeous paper cuts that are showcased on my Leapup #FeatureFriday blog post. If you get a chance pop over and meet the very talented Natasha Sorelli from Natsula Designs