Thursday Feature – Design & Belle

It’s been a while since my last Thursday Feature – I just don’t seem to have as much time as I used to for sharing the love!   However I’m determined to get back into more regular posting.   This week I am delighted to introduce you to Belle from Design & Belle, an Etsy shop dedicated to invitation designs.  Belle’s shop has an eclectic mix of beautiful colours and designs – and even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, also offers custom designs!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. il_fullxfull.630359483_997a

I’m a freelance creative from Winnipeg in Canada! I have always designed invitations for my own personal occasions and wanted to see if people were interested in my designs, which grew from there. I am working on new print designs and will be introducing stationery soon!

2. Do you have a favourite design? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

Right now, I’m really favoring my “Home Sweet Kitchen” chalkboard prints. I love the chalkboard trend and was inspired to mix it up with something different.

il_570xN.632031732_qjpt3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

I love to design with textures, colors and patterns you normally wouldn’t see together.

4. What are your goals for the next year?il_570xN.629583969_smzw

My goal is to keep designing what I love! Taking new art classes. Working on having my prints carried by independent brick and mortar shops.

5. And finally let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/designandbelle
Twitter: https://twitter.com/designandbelle
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/designandbelle
Website: http://www.designandbelle.com

Thanks for sharing your shop with us, Belle.  I can’t wait to see your new stationery and good luck with getting your work into the shops!

Thursday Feature – Get Involved!

So I’ve finally come to the end of my scheduled Thursday Feature posts, and what a wonderful selection of shops I got the chance to review!HEartBead

I’m not planning on making a great plea for applicants again until next year, but in the meantime I’m still more than happy to feature anyone who has an online shop that they want to shout about.  In the past I have focused solely on Etsy shops, however, since I’ve now ventured into the world of Folksy with my new Emma Dickie Design store, I will happily feature shops from this platform as well.

If you’re interested, just click on over to my Get Featured page and fill in your details.  I’ll get back to you with my questionnaire and you can share your wonderful shop with me, and my readers!

Thursday Feature – Honey’s Hive

This week we get to know Honey from Honey’s Hive who creates wonderfully unique paper quilled jewellery and also offers quilling tools, supplies and tutorials for sale.  Honey’s designs demonstrate intricate detail and show off great skill – I just love the vibrant colours and exciting shapes which adorn her shop!

il_570xN_2438809051. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

My name is Honey (yep, my real name!) and I am from Wisconsin, USA (though I currently live in Malaysia). I grew up out in the country, which gave me lots of time for crafting. My favorite craft, paper quilling, I started learning when I was ten years old. One of the first things that I quilled was actually a flower pendant. Who knew that 21 years in the future I would open an Etsy shop selling quilled jewelry! I started my Etsy shop to share my art with others and have a reason to do even more crafting and designing.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_273061072

I have so many different types of designs, that it’s difficult to choose a favorite. The animal designs are some of my favorites, and I really love my seahorses.  My sister gave me the idea of making seahorse earrings, as I was making a gift for her and told her she could come up with any idea she wanted. I’ve made quite a few since then! I love them because they take quite a bit of time to complete, so a lot of care goes into each one. And even though I use the same pattern, they each come out looking just a little bit different, just like real seahorses 🙂

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

My shop is unique because I come up with all of my own designs and I put a lot of care and time into each piece I make. Also, most of my designs can be custom made in any colors, which many customers take advantage of! I love being able to offer customers exactly what they want.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

I always have things in the pipeline! Right now I have some new jewelry designs that are swimming around in my head, just waiting to be made! Also I will soon be working on some new tutorials, a popular addition to my shop in the past year!

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!il_570xN_231024964

With two young daughters (9 months and 6 years) I squeeze my creating time in whenever and wherever I can. Often I am homeschooling my daughter at the same time as I am quilling, and using my iPad to take care of my Etsy shop while my baby is falling asleep for her nap. And of course I take advantage of that hour or two after bedtime to get some more work done! But it’s definitely worth it to be able to share and do what I love.

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy: HoneysHive.etsy.com
Crafting blog: HoneysQuilling.wordpress.com
Facebook: facebook.com/HoneysHive
Twitter: twitter.com/Honeys_Hive
Website: HoneysQuilling.com

Honey has kindly provided a coupon code exclusively for The Candy Tree readers!  Get 15% off your order with coupon code BLOG15.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful designs with us,  Honey! It’s great to see originality being rewarded and I wish you plenty more success!

Thursday Feature – Jewelry by Bellissima

This week I find out all about Gina and Lynda’s business, Jewelry by Bellissima which offers a range of beautifully handcrafted beaded jewellery.  Gina and Lynda’s designs are fresh and colourful, made using good quality stones and crystals.   This is handmade jewellery as it should be!

il_570xN_399367814_jm791. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

[Lynda:] I am a stay at home, homeschooling mother of 6 awesome children ages 3-12 years old. My business partner is a working mother of 3 children ages 2-7.

I personally believe I was born creating. It is simply something I have done since I was a small child. My jewelry and other creations are a collaboration of what I see and hear around me, how I am feeling about those things and how I see the world. The bold, rich colors and endless variety of gem stones provides me with endless ways to express my creativity. I enjoy making something that people will be proud to wear.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_443837693_9lrs

Our most recent creation is the Moms Birthstone Necklace. The pendant signifies the union of mom with her children. The children, each represented by a crystal and silver birthstone tassel, are bound together and then tied to mom, who is represented by either an intricate Bali Silver Bead or silver or gold coin pearl. It is my favorite (right now) because of its representation of the bond between a mother and her children.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

We only use authentic materials – Swarovski Crystal, Bali Silver, and rich natural stones – all united with sterling silver chains, clasps and headpins. We reject imitations, silver plated components and stretchy string. We create elegant bracelets, necklaces and earrings that last for years of enjoyment.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?il_570xN_415386460_gkvy

We are researching and negotiating with high level boutiques to carry our line.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

We believe in quality, character, hard work, and integrity – the same principles we teach our children, we apply to our business.

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy: www.etsy.com/jewelrybybellissima
Website: www.BellissimaJewelers.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bellissimajeweler
Wanelo: www.wanelo.com/bellissimajewelers
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bellissimajewel

Thank you for sharing your shop with us, ladies – your passion for quality comes across strongly in the way your beautiful pieces are professionally presented.

As an added bonus, Gina and Lynda are kindly offering an exclusive coupon code for The Candy Tree readers!  Simply enter BLG15 at checkout to receive 15% off your order.

Thursday Feature – Cat & Bot

This week’s Thursday Feature is all about Cathy’s Cat & Bot, which is a beautiful shop offering fun, simple and minimal handmade jewellery.  Cathy’s designs have such a delicate sweetness to them and I adore the subtle shades of peaches and blues.

il_570xN_467274814_7lb71. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

My name is Cathy, or Catabot on the interwebz! I currently work full time in PR and communications at a leading entertainment and gaming network. When I’m off the clock, I dedicate whatever free time I have left to my Etsy shop! To be quite frank, I was inspired to take the plunge and open up my Etsy shop by random chance. I was browsing the jewelry section one day when I came across a lot of different, beautiful and unique types of handmade jewelry. I heart versatility and I wanted my jewelry collection to be just that. So far, it’s been a lot of hard work… but I’m enjoying every minute of it 🙂

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_447672600_b8yp

Currently, I’m hearting my Gold Fringe Necklace. It’s simple, elegant and timeless. I went into making this with that thought process.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

It’s simple, versatile, and minimal with a pop of color! Not to mention, it’s reasonably affordable, and made to complement your own unique and personal style. I hope anyone visiting my Etsy shop can find something for themselves there 🙂

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Pretty simple statement necklaces are in the making! Be on the look out for that!

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I have an affinity for cute animals. I love The Walking Dead and I enjoy playing video games!

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.il_570xN_447651022_r1fu

Keep in touch with me for exclusives, sneak peeks, sales, giveaways, new items and more!

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/catabot
Twitter: twitter.com/catabot
Facebook: www.facebook.com/catabot
Tumblr: catabot.tumblr.com/
Instagram: instagram.com/catabot
Pinterest: pinterest.com/catabot

Thank you for sharing your wonderful collection with us, Cathy!  I can see that you have already achieved great success considering the short length of time that your shop has been open, and it’s not difficult at all to see why!  I wish you plenty more success in the future 🙂

Thursday Feature – We Are Bound Together

Today I would like to introduce you to Andrea from We Are Bound Together – an Etsy shop offering hand sewn books and card sleeves.  The first thing that strikes me about Andrea’s shop is her vibrant use of colour and wonderful product photography – her journals really jump out of the page and grab your attention!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

il_570xN_341415416Hi! My name is Andrea Davis from “We Are Bound Together”, an Etsy shop that sells handbound journals/sketchbooks, and RFID blocking credit card sleeves.

I started my shop a little over a year ago. I have long had a desire to help people who are discriminated against in some of the most violent ways, namely Christians who are being imprissoned or worse for their faith, and their families who are left behind. I have a very painful disease with hinders me from being able to get a job so I wasn’t able to donate any money that way. (Although my husband and I have made personal donations from time to time, I wanted to do something more). I have always been artsy, and a few years ago I had picked up the art of bookbinding in an effort to steer away from sweat shop produced items. I had made a few books for myself and as gifts and enjoyed both the making process and the results immensely. Hence my Etsy shop was born. I called it “We Are Bound Together” for the double meaning of the bookbinding process as well as being bound in purpose with those whom I seek to help. 100% of my proceeds go towards charities such as Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs. I like that I can pick specifically where the donations go. For example after my Christmas sales, I was able to donate towards a fund that helps the families (especially women in countries where they are not allowed to support themselves) of those who are imprisioned or killed as well as some survival packs equiped with emergency food, medical and basic supplies.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_419871396_o92z

I love working with leather, it’s such rewarding material with it’s depth and texture. When a new leather journal is completed I tend to just sit back and look at it and feel the softness of the leather. In an age where things are becoming electronic, sometimes it’s nice just to hold a good book, especially if it’s one that you can fill with your own thoughts and dreams. I also am really proud of my RFID protecting sleeves. It’s such a practical item that everyone could use and I believe mine are built to be so much more durable than the pre-made credit card sleeves.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

Besides the RFID blocking sleeves, there are a few items in my shop that I have not seen anywhere else. I developed some funky, colourful duct tape books. These are brightly coloured, small blank books, great for sketching or journaling. Don’t think that because they are covered in duct tape that they are cheap craftmanship. Each book is made with the same care and techniques of fine bookbinding. The only difference is that I take advantage of the spontaneity and playfullness of the duct tape by using them as my covering material in the same way I would use leather or expensive, decorative paper or fabric.

il_fullxfull.435834365_lkxrI also started a line of nostalgic, little books using floppy disks for the front and back covers. I have these both with blank and lined paper. The lined paper I printed myself using binary code for the lines to add the extra geekiness. I love people’s expressions at craft sales when they see these. So many people start reminiscing about the days gone by. Of course I have fun asking the younger kids who come by if they know what these things even are.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Very soon I will be introducing leather card holders to my shop. It’s a natural step. I am already working with leather and have much of the tools I need. I also already sell credit card sleeves, so this new addition will fit right in. The idea came from my brother who asked me if I could make him a leather sleeve for this cards. He says that he doesn’t carry cash around anymore and that a simple sleeve would be so much nicer in his back pocket than a whole wallet. I hope to be launching my new products in the next few weeks.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I have other passions besides bookbinding, many of them artsy. If it’s something that I can do with my hands then chances are I will enjoy it. I love painting in both watercolours and oils, as well as other “arts” such as music, cooking, and gardening. Basically you could say I love creating. Creating gives me joy, especially creating something beautiful that I can share with others.

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: www.weareboundtogether.etsy.com
Website: www.weareboundtogether.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/weareboundtogether

As a special thanks to readers of this lovely blog and to Emma for this wonderful opportunity I am offering 10% off any purchase in my shop! Simply use the coupon code FEATUREBLOG10 at checkout.

Thanks for sharing your shop with us, Andrea.  It’s wonderful that you are using your skills to raise money for those in need – it must be so satisfying!

Thursday Feature – Studio 5T2

Today I am chatting to Candy from Studio 5T2, who offers a variety of handmade accessories and knitwear.  Candy’s shop is wonderfully presented with striking photography, which really brings her bejewelled goodies to life!

il_570xN_454596083_2he91. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

We are a team of three people and found out about Etsy from a small space in the Cosmopolitan magazine. They advertise that if we have any talent for crafting, sites like Etsy can help us turn our hobby into a small income opportunity. Since I already knit for charity (knitting caps for children, blankets for the Salvation Army, chemo caps for cancer patients), I figured  that it would be a good way to earn a little on the side to help those in need.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_454499284_lw7g

Our favorite piece and most rewarding so far has to be our dangle sparkle earrings in the form of a tear drop.  Probably because we all work in the healthcare system and we encounter so many life changing events that we see how a tear can touch people differently. Parents teared up to their newborn, loved ones being mourned for their loss, tears from acute and chronic pain, tears from frustration due to bad news, tears of joy when cancer is a sore loser.

So as you can see, I end up seeing that shape as a form of opportunity. Starting that piece was also a healing process since I had to grieve over my loss of a parent. So, the final product is very personal to me and yes, we decided to put it on sale (with the rest of our jewelry creations) to complete my healing process and letting it go.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

From the critics we have read so far, our shop can be quite confusing for a regular shopper: knitting products with fashion jewelry! But, that is so us! Life should be all roses and diamonds, unfortunately, it ain’t for some. Plenty of wealthy people do charity work in different forms. So, why can’t we have both! We love the glam and we also love doing some good for those in need.

Charity support goes mainly to three foundations that we have supported for a long time: St-Jude Hospital, Breast Cancer and the National Kidney Foundation in California. Each year, we also try to sponsor a few random participants for the AIDS walk. Some of our knit items that have not sold or sample pieces are sent to the Salvation Army for better use.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?il_570xN_454527318_6ubj

Our next project goal is to expand the tech accessories (iPhone 4/4S is so 2012!), we are in the process of crafting other 3D molds for iPhone 5 and iPad mini cases. We are also looking into having more jewelry pieces added soon. And, a website is under construction. That will be a good way to let the world see “what’s next” and also a more intimate side of us.

5. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Studio5T2
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Studio5T2
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CandyLau
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Studio5T2

Thank you for sharing your wonderful shop with us, Candy!  Not only are you crafting beautiful products, you are helping so many people in the process – it must be so rewarding!