Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Member Shop Spotlight

This week we are featuring: The Monkey Village
Owner: Alina Zavatsky

Sock Monkey
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a family? Do you have pets? What do you do at your day job? Or is Etsy your full time job?
Hi, my name is Alina, and I am the creator of The Monkey Village shop on Etsy. I’ve recently moved from Alabama to Washington State with my husband, Rob. I have a full-time job working as a copywriter for a small, family-owned company that sells unique products for home and family created by artisans all over the country. One of our sites is www.ArtisanCraftedHome.com. I am also the creator of Vegan Runner Eats blog (www.VeganRunnerEats.com), which currently takes up more of my time than my Etsy shop.

2. How long have you had your Etsy Shop? 
Pink Elephant Josephine
Blue Dog Ringo
I’ve opened my Etsy shop almost 2 years ago, in January of 2013.

3. How did you come up with your shop name?
‘The Monkey Village’ sounds like a happy place where monkeys live and play with each other and their friends, and every day is nice and full of joy. I wanted to reflect that happy feeling in the name of my shop so that people who bought my toys could bring a little bit of that happiness to their homes.

4. What types of items does your shop carry? 
Bernie  the Octopus
I make sock monkeys and a variety of other sock animals – a cow, two types of dogs, a boy and a girl elephant, a boy and a girl hippo, a rabbit, an owl, an octopus, etc. Each item is completely handmade (I don’t even own a sewing machine!) from the classic Rockford Red Heel socks. At this time, the majority of my toys are made to order, so I can implement various personalization details at the customer’s request as I make each toy.

5. How long have you been doing this (even before you had your Etsy shop)?
I made my first sock monkey a few months before opening my Etsy shop as a gift for my husband. George, my first sock monkey, came out pretty well, and we were joking around about me opening an online store to sell more monkeys. Then I made another sock monkey for my 6-month old nephew for Christmas, and the idea of selling monkeys online revisited me. I set up my Etsy shop shortly after Christmas of 2012.

6. What is your process? How do you find the vintage items, what do you do to prepare them for your vintage shop? What is your process for making your items? 
Rockford the Cow
As I mentioned above, I use Rockford Red Heel socks for each toy. Depending on the design, I use brown, blue or pink socks. I use a particular reinforced hand-stitching method that my mom showed me years ago to connect the sock fabric. I use a unique type of eye that’s not typical for stuffed toys, but is way more baby-friendly than button eyes. Now that I have a full-time job, each monkey takes a while to complete, sometimes as long as 2-3 weeks. By the time I’ve finished each toy, I feel like it is a part of my family, so I feel a little sad sending it out, but at least I know that it will be loved in its new home!

Alice the girl Sock Monkey
7. What inspires you?
I think of all of the happy smiles that my toys will bring with them to their new homes, and that alone is an inspiration to keep making them!

8. If you could give a new Etsian one piece of advice, what would that be?
Take great pictures of your toys! Correct lighting, background, and a bit of photo editing go a long way. That’s something I still need to work more on for my shop! The bottom line is, you can have great things to sell, but if the pictures are so-so, they may never be noticed by potential customers browsing online.

Easter Bunny Rabbit

Twitter: @veganmonkeyruns

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Finds 9.19.14

Another week, another Friday!  This week I have adorable and inspiring finds from Ingenuity Team members to share!

Printable Wall Art from Maid Servant of Encouragement

This inspirational message from Maid Servant of Encouragement is available as a digital download.

Flower Power Non-Detergent Soap from Purple Finch Skin Care

I love the bright colors of this soap from Purple Finch Skin Care!  It also happens to be made from natural, non-detergent ingredients.

Elephant Art Print from Miao Miao Design

This fun elephant print from Miao Miao Designs is available in a gloss or matte finish.  You can also choose sizes from 4" x 6" to 18" x 24".

Kaleidoscope from Glasskissincreations

This beautiful kaleidoscope from Glasskissincreations is made form iridescent, cream colored glass, features stained glass on the inside.  It is also made with lead free solder.

That is all for this week!  Hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Jessica - Feath & Kee

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Shop Spotlight - ALFA designs

The Ingenuity Team
Shop Spotlight

This week we are featuring: ALFAdesigns

19" Long Aqua Blue Teal Semiprecious Necklace, 

Silver Gray Mauve Wrap Bohemian Necklace 

Shop Owner: Anna

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a family? Do you have pets? What do you do at your day job? Or is Etsy your full time job?
I am a happily retired data analyst and computer programmer. I do have family I love dearly. I don’t have pets, unless you count birds, squirrels, and occasionally visiting raccoons in our back yard. They do feed on our fruits and vegetables, after all ;-)

2. How long have you had your Etsy Shop? 
I opened my shop in November 2012.

3. How did you come up with your shop name? ALFA came from my initials. “_designs” was added because ALFA was already taken. Of course, I came up with a much better shop name in about a month after opening, but by then it was too late.

4. What types of items does your shop carry? I design and make OOAK jewelry, mainly necklaces, but also some earrings and bracelets.

5. How long have you been creating jewelry (even before you had your Etsy shop)? 

Extra Long Hot Pink Mint Grey Wrap Necklace

I was doing it for several years until I gradually realized that I have made so many necklaces that I won’t ever have a chance to wear the majority of them even once. Since I am totally addicted to the creative process of designing and making necklaces, I was at a loss about what to do. Luckily, my daughter asked a simple question: why not try to sell it? And I thought - really, why not? 

6. What is your process for making your items? 
Art Deco Gothic Earrings Gunmetal Black Purple

I am a confessed beadaholic. I cannot resist buying pretty beads I come across, and my bead stash is actually huge. When I want to make a new necklace, I pull out a string of beads, almost at random, and start handling it, looking at it from different angles, turning it this way and that. And gradually a start getting a feel for what other beads, spacers, and accents will “work” with them, and what style and “mood” they will convey. Sometimes I look at the finished necklace and decide I don’t like it, so I disassemble it and start from scratch, with different design. For me, the great fun and pleasure is coming up with a new design for every necklace. This is a reason why all my necklaces are different and OOAK.

7. What inspires you?
I usually have a music playing while work, it creates a mood. And I normally go from color – to combinations of colors – to final design.

8. If you could give a new Etsian one piece of advice, what would that be?
Try to have fun. It is very difficult to generate a lot of income from Etsy, but it is always possible to enjoy your own creativity and the creativity of other people here.

You can find Anna at the following social media links:

Twitter: twitter.com/alfadesigns2

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/annaf5678
Wanelo: wanelo.com/alfadesigns
Craftori: craftori.com/items/author/alfadesigns/ 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Friday Finds! 9.12.14

Hello Friday! Fall weather is slowly seeping into North Texas (finally) and I have some lovely finds to share with you today!  This week, there were several bird items that caught my eye.

Egg White Separators from Muddy Waters Ceramic Creations

With one of these lovely ladies sitting on your counter top, there is a possibility that you will want separate all of your eggs.  I could see them coming in handy if you have young helpers in the kitchen.  You can find Anastasia, Becky, Matilda and Lorraine at Muddy Waters Ceramic Creations.

Bird Cake Toppers from Weddings & Whatnot

These cake toppers from Weddings & Whatnot would be awesome for your wedding cake, or anniversary!  They are made from wood, painted and sealed with non-toxic materials, so you will have a lasting memento to remember your special day.

Chickadee Family from Northwoods Carvings

I love this sweet little family from Northwoods Carvings!  The birds are hand carved from Cherry wood, and they are perched on a Manzanita tree branch.

Hand Painted Pendant "Living In Full Color" from Dana Marie Art

Beautiful and one of a kind, this pendant from Dana Marie Art has been hand painted on Strathmore linen paper.  "Living In Full Color" would make a wonderful gift, or just bring a soothing bit of color to your day.

That is it for this week!  Have a lovely weekend!

Jessica - Feath & Kee