Wednesday, June 2, 2010

newbies on the block!

by ann printz, Creative Fabrications

Every time I gaze at all the beautiful handmade items in the shops at I am blown away by the many gifted and talented people there are all over the world! Their creations are amazing, and seem to only get better and better each day. Just looking at them provides visual delight, heartwarming images, insight, inspiration, and smiles! But Etsy is so much more than a visual feast. It’s a global market where you can shop around the world, right from your home. For buyers Etsy provides endless possibilities. For artists, Etsy is an incredible opportunity to reach people around the world that may never be reached through a local brick-and-mortar shop. It’s a match made in heaven!

When Etsy first started in 2005 their goal was to connect buyers with artisans and crafts people who make the very best in handmade goods. “Etsy is a community that actively supports one another in the shared goal of offering alternatives to mass-produced objects. We work to highlight the true value of handmade goods and their creators… We created Etsy to reconnect producer and consumer, and swing the pendulum back to a time when we bought our bread from the baker, food from the farmer, and shoes from the cobbler”.

Do you know there are an estimated 6,822,350,102 people in the world as of 11:46 am EST, May 21, 2010? The U.S. alone has an estimated 309,321,213 people. Etsy already has an estimated 4.6 million members, and currently has over 400,000 sellers! Those numbers are so large they can be overwhelming to buyers and sellers alike. So how do we swing that pendulum back to a simpler time? It’s easy…we create a community and get to know each other. Communities within Etsy are called teams, groups of organized Etsy members who network, share skills, and promote their shops and Etsy together. A team forms around a shared location, crafting medium or other interest. “Etsy's 450+ Teams make us not just a marketplace of individuals, but an interconnected and diverse artistic community. Teams are Etsy’s biggest and most creative grassroots engine for support, networking and marketing – for each team member’s shop, for the Teams themselves, and for Etsy as a whole.”

HandmadeMN is one of those teams. We are located in the greater Minnesota, U.S.A. region and include artisans and crafts people of all different types. We work hard as a team to help one another, build our businesses, better our skills and our crafts, and reach customers. HandmadeMN has been experiencing growth in numbers as well. In the last year alone we have more than doubled! Unfortunately, bigger can sometimes mean less personal. We don’t want that. We want you to feel connected as an Etsy buyer or seller. We’d like you to feel that when you visit us, you’re part of the neighborhood. We’d like you to get to know us. Once you do, we’re sure HandmadeMN will provide you with something special to touch your heart or that of someone you love!

Starting today I will be introducing you to the newest members of our team this year. We affectionately call them newbies”. As more members join, you’ll get a chance to meet them here. Let’s all say “Welcome” to the first newbies on the block of 2010!

Roundhouse Elegance - Blue and Black

Cynthia has always enjoyed arts and crafts and has dabbled in many different forms over the years. Her creations usually became gifts for friends and family, but she hadn’t taken an active role in selling until she opened her Etsy shop, Bella Vista Studio, in December 2009. She currently enjoys making handmade jewelry in her studio in Cambridge, Minnesota, but she has some new ideas to explore on the horizon. Keep an eye out for new creations from this budding Etsy artist!


Ivory Moon is a husband and wife team in Princeton, Minnesota, who create beautiful stone and gemstone jewelry! Patrice also creates beaded jewelry, while Geno does all the woodwork, striving to bring out the natural beauty of each type of wood and create something beautiful and useful. They opened their Etsy shop in November 2008.


Jessica of St. Paul, Minnesota, is like most of us, she would craft “all day every day” if she could! She likes to knit, sew, make clothing, macramé, play with clay, and “anything else I can get my hands on”. She started her Etsy shop, Come Along Fawn on December 30, 2009, and had her first sale within one week! Way to go Jessica!

Felt Brooch - Scarlet Red with Feathers

Kelly of Kelly Hanson Handmade is a crafter living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A long time knitter, she recently added sewing to her repertoire. “I love thrift/vintage/antique shopping & looking at tons of fabric & buttons.” She uses her finds to finish beautiful fabric floral accessories. She opened her Etsy shop in October 2009.

Wheel of Wonder Necklace in Gold

Kat of Faithfully Yours… is a self-declared vintage girl in a modern world! She’s an artist at heart whether it's playing music, reading & writing, creating jewelry or making clothes. She loves to recreate vintage and antique jewelry into something different and unique, often using broken jewelry from estate sales, garage sales and thrift stores. She also enjoys re-fashioning vintage clothes. Kat lives in Truman, Minnesota, and opened her Etsy shop in August 2008.

A Bird and a Hot Air Balloon (5 x 8 Print)

Jackie Lehmann’s Etsy shop opened in December 2009 and offers a beautiful collection of drawings, paintings and watercolors by this aspiring visual artist and graphic design student based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2008 she completed a 3 month project in which she re-purposed 40 pages of her personal journal to create a new body of work!

Unique Modern Mirror

The Red Goose is another husband and wife team that originally opened their Etsy shop in December 2007 while living in Colbert, Georgia. After a recent move back to Andover,Minnesota, we are proud to have them on our team! Jeff and Carrie make everything from scratch as they have done for 25 years, and every item is an original creation. Carrie works with primitive fabric, and Jeff is a wood artist, making framed mirrors, shelves, bird houses and primitive seasonal items.

One of a Kind Tiny Ruffles Headband in Green, Red and Yellow Plaid

Another newbie based here in Minneapolis, Minnesota is Dana of la fille facétieuse. She admits she is considered to be a pack-rat by some people, “and by some people, I mean everyone... but I just think that some things might come in handy some day!” She opened her Etsy shop in March 2009 where she sells handmade accessories and apparel made using mostly re-purposed and vintage materials.

Zinnia Snip Snap was opened in September 2009 by Marley of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a married mother of 3 who has always loved creating. “I always have about 10 projects in the works at the same time!” For the past 8 years she has sold upholstery bags at craft fairs. Her Etsy shop is currently devoted to crafting supplies, but she plans to open a new shop featuring clothing and accessories made from reused, repurposed and vintage items.