Saturday, November 16, 2013

Interview with Megan Sweeney of Vintage Automobilia

Megan from Vintage Automobilia is our "Person of Interest" this week. Her shop is a reflection of her love of automobiles. I think you will see why she loves what she does. 

Tell us about yourself. Your ‘real’ name and shop name, where you live, do you have children, pets, married? Etc
My name is Megan Sweeney, and my shop is Vintage Automobilia. I live on Fairchild AFB with my active duty husband and our cat, Dino. We have no children, but are currently pending the addition of an adopted retired racing greyhound to our little family.

What is your product?
My shop sells exactly what the name suggests -- vintage automobilia. Automobilia can be anything from old car ads to badges to the various posters I currently have on offer. I’m currently working to expand my offerings from just vintage automobilia to some handmade automotive-themed items as well.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I opened my shop on September 15th of this year. I’m proud to say I have made six sales to date and only one of them was to family. :)

What do you like about your shop? What would you like to change?
I really love the theme of my shop -- cars are pretty much my entire life, so to be able to go out and hunt for vintage automotive items is a great addition to my hobby! I like that I get to share a little bit of that with the Etsy community.

One thing I would like to change about my shop is the size -- I wish I had more inventory to offer. I’m hoping that will come in time.

How did you come up with your shop name?
Nothing spectacularly creative here -- it’s just what I sell!

What is your creative style? Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster?
I can go either way when it comes to being neat or completely messy. When I build a scale model car, my area is always neat and organized. My room that holds my inventory and shipping supplies, however, is a total disaster space. Organized chaos, as I prefer to call it!

What inspires you?
When it comes to my shop in general, it’s the car hobby that led me to create it. As I mentioned before, it’s great to be able to share a piece of my hobby with more people. I really enjoy going out to hunt for inventory; it’s definitely not a job to me at all! But when it comes to being creative myself and making things, I get my inspiration mostly from other creative people. I love browsing Etsy and seeing what people can make.

Do you have any advice to offer to your fellow team mates on how to be successful on Etsy?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to give out advice on how to be successful yet, am I? Haha. I feel too new to be doing that! The only thing I feel I could offer is to keep doing what you love, and don’t give up. 

Megan's favorite shop is Old Vintage Goodies 
She tells me, "it helped inspire me to create my own shop".

Many thanks to Megan for sharing her story and her shop Vintage Automobilia with us. Check out her collection of memorabilia. I especially liked the 1957 Chevy pictures since that was my first car. Sure wish I still had it! Enjoy this treasury of Megan's fantastic items!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Interview with Tera Larson of Creativity is Messy

This week's person of interest is Tera Larson. Tera is the creative talent behind Creativity is Messy. Her shop is a wonderful mix of function and fancy that you will love.

11.      Tell us about yourself. Your ‘real’ name and shop name, where you live, do you have children, pets, married? Etc
My real name is Tera, but in the land of Etsy I go by “Messy”.  My Etsy shop is Creativity is Messy ( 
I recently moved from Spokane, WA to Coeur d’ Alene, ID and I am loving it.  I’m a very outdoorsy person, so living in that area is ideal for me.  There is so much to do!  I love to hike, fish, hunt, ride 4 wheelers, boat, walk the trails… pretty much anything that gets me out of the house.
I live with my 14 year old daughter, my amazing boyfriend, his three kiddos (11, 9 & 5), and our two goofy dogs.  It’s a houseful!  But it’s awesome.  I love all the activity and commotion in our house.  It keeps me on my toes.
22.      What is your product? 
I sell unique, fun and funky jewelry mostly, but I dabble in many different things.  Besides jewelry, I am also currently selling small house wares like magnet sets and coasters made from bottle caps.  I love to repurpose – finding different treasures and making something new out of them.  The majority of items in the shop are repurposed, but not all.  I also have a section of painted brass jewelry, and love making jewelry and other items from Polymer Clay.
33.      How long have you been selling on Etsy?
This January will be 4 years.
44.      What do you like about your shop? What would you like to change?
When I was a bit younger, a poor and a single mom, I couldn’t afford a lot luxuries like jewelry.  And the kind of jewelry I enjoyed wearing was usually fun, unique, and wasn’t very affordable.  One of the reasons I got into repurposing was to keep my costs down.  I want everyone to be able to afford my work, so I try my hardest to find ways to keep my pieces as affordable as possible, using quality materials, and still “paying” myself for my work.  It’s something that I am very proud of.
If I had to change anything about my shop, it would to have more specific focus.  I would love to have the time to manage and stock two or three separate shops.  I would love to have one separate shop with just repurposed items, one shop with my painted brass jewelry, and maybe another shop with my polymer clay art.  And of course I would want to have 100-200 items in each shop.  However, I just don’t have that kind of time or energy.  I have a full time job on top of my Etsy shop, not to mention the time I devote to my family and my hobbies.  So instead my shop is just a big modge podge of craftiness, and I’ve come to accept that.
55.      How did you come up with your shop name?
When I create, I get in a zone.  When I’m finished with a project, it usually looks like a tornado hit my work space.  And what’s worse is I often work on several projects at once, so the mess can usually get a little out of hand… okay, A LOT out of hand.  And when I say “usually”, I mean “always”.
66.      What is your creative style? Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster?
Messy, messy, oh so messy.  Hence the name.
77.      What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from everywhere, and will come to me at the craziest, most inopportune times... like in the middle of the night, at my day job or driving around town running errands. I can't control my creativity... It runs wild and free within me.  
88.      Do you have any advice to offer to your fellow team mates on how to be successful on Etsy?
You get out of it what you put in.  And don’t expect Etsy to help you get your product noticed.  They are just the marketplace.  If you want to get noticed in the marketplace, you have to find ways to stand out.  And if you happen to get a feature in the Etsy emails, or on the front page… It’s a bonus.  But you just can’t depend on it.  You have to put the work in.  

 I also asked Tera what her favorite shop on Etsy was, besides her own of course. She said this, "And as far as my favorite fellow etsy shop, I am a true believer in OrangeThyme's products.  Love Rachel and her shop! " 

Thank you Tera for sharing your story with us. Be sure to check out her shop, Creativity is Messy, you are sure to find something that puts a smile on your face. What better gift can you give than that?

Here a few of  Tera's creative products to enjoy in this treasury. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Interview with Michelle Boswell from Homemade Scents

A new weekly feature of the INW Team Blog is the interview. To start things off is Michelle Boswell from Homemade Scents. Her shop is a delightful collection of specialty candles and tarts, sure to warm your heart as well as your home.

1.      Tell us about yourself. Your ‘real’ name and shop name, where you live, do you have children, pets, married? Etc Michelle Boswell - Homemade Scents. I live in small town in northern Idaho called Lewiston. I am 42 years old and married with no children except the 2 dogs that might as well be my children.
2.      What is your product? I make highly scented candles and wax melts or tarts some call them. I use premium oils and a special blend of paraffin wax for extreme scent throw.
3.      How long have you been selling on Etsy? I have been selling on Etsy a little over 2 years now and have sold online and locally for the past 15 years approx.
4.      What do you like about your shop?  What I like about my shop is I am at peace while making candles and nothing else is on my mind except the creation I am working on and the excitement always builds up as I wait to see the finished product. Plus, smelling something good always makes me happy. What would you like to change? If I could change anything about my shop it would be my hours. I work a part time job and run my shop, so I would like to be in my shop full time so I could always be making new creations.
5.      How did you come up with your shop name?  My candle shop is inside my home and my candles and melts are all highly scented so I thought Homemade Scents was just perfect.
6.      What is your creative style? I like things with a lot of detail. Neatly done and made with love. Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster? My work area is neat and tidy right until I step into it and start working. I try to keep it organized but if I am working on a order that requires several different scents, then it can become cluttered quickly with all the different bottles of oil for scents and colors and containers for pouring each candle or molds for my melts.
7.      What inspires you? My customer's wonderful comments about my product. Nothing is more satisfying to me than to hear the happiness in their words as they tell me what they think of my product.
8.      Do you have any advice to offer to your fellow team mates on how to be successful on Etsy? Love what you do and it will show in your work.
Thanks to Michelle for sharing her story with us, check out her shop
I bet you find something you like!
Here is a treasury full of Michelle's wonderful candles.