Upcoming Workshop: Take Pictures Like A Pro With Your Point and Shoot Camera by Elena of SimplyNu

Join Elena of SimplyNu and the Etsy New York team on Monday, May 19th, 2014 at the Etsy Labs in Dumbo, NY (Brooklyn) for a workshop on taking great photographers of your products using the manual settings of your point and shoot camera.

Attendees will learn how to make the most of your photos to tell your brand's story and explore the following topics:

  • How to use your camera manual settings, including: resolution, time exposures, crops, and macros.
  • Use of backgrounds and props to enhance your product.
  • How to best frame and crop your product to create a memorable image.

Workshop will start with a quick review of a few favorite Etsy shops and an exploration of what makes their photos interesting and unique.

Please bring your camera and 1 or 2 products to photograph, along with an item that you can use as a prop (for example, a piece of cloth or small stand.)

This workshop is free to all EtsyNY teamies.  All non-members who are interested in attending can purchase tickets ($5) on Eventbrite. Check in will occur at the door, so please have your tickets and ID available. The door will close at 6:30pm.

Hope to see you there! 

Team Finds: Special Finds for Mother's Day

Around the Corner: A 4th of July Bike Trip Around Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which was made famous by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, happens to be the ideal destination for a bicycle sight seeing trip that re-imagines the Summer of 1776. We begin directly under the Verrazano Bridge where 4th Avenue intersects with the Belt Parkway. From here you have a brilliant view of the bridge, home to peregrine falcons you can sometimes see soaring above the Narrows.

As you turn right and ride along the generous bike path next to the Belt Parkway, you can envision Admiral Howe's fleet of 130 ships that filled up the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island preparing to put an end to the ambitions of the Continentals.

The British Fleet as imagined by Harper's Magazine in 187

The British Fleet as imagined by Harper's Magazine in 187

Continue along the path towards Manhattan and enjoy the view. Watch the Staten Island ferry cross back and forth while passing the Statue of Liberty, France's gift to America as a universal symbol of freedom. Take in the Jersey City and Manhattan Skyline when you reach the 69th Street Pier. Take a break here and watch the local anglers. On weekends you can often find an ice cream truck parked by the pier.

Skylines

Skylines

After your break, head up to Shore Road and turn left on the bike path. Follow the path to enter Owls Head Park, a piece of land with a varied past as a farm, the estate of Brooklyn's mayor Henry C. Murphy, the site of horse stables, and finally in 1928 a city park. Follow the bike path to the left and pass the dog run. Stop at the skateboard park and watch the amazing feats of the skating scene.

Alright, so no one was skating on a school day at 9:00 a.m., but you get the idea

Continue to follow the path and either cool off by running through the sprinklers at the Owls Head playground, or bike up the hill to get a fantastic view of your surroundings.

As you continue down the path down the hill, head back to Shore Road and turn left. The entrance to the Narrows Botanical Garden is just a few yards to the right. Get off your bike and stop to smell the roses at this gem of a garden created by local community members. If you come here on October 14th for the Harvest Festival, you can usually encounter some artisans of the Etsy NY Team who are selling their designs.

Exit the Botanic Garden at the 72nd Street end where you entered and return to the 4th of July theme of the tour by crossing the street and riding up Mackay Place. At the corner of Narrows Avenue and Mackay, you will find the smallest cemetery in Brooklyn, the “Revolutionary Cemetery.” It was founded in 1725 by Dutch immigrant William Harmans Barkaloo. Several Revolutionary War veterans were allegedly buried here. It is said that Lord Cornwallis occupied the homestead of Simon Cortelyou (tombstone to the left) during the Summer of 1776.

Barkaloo Cemetery

Barkaloo Cemetery

Head back to Shore Road and continue to follow the bike path. If you are here on 4th of July, you can stop by the 4th of July picnic at 82nd Street and listen to the local bands who will be playing that day. Either continue on Shore Road and get a feel for the local neighborhood, including Fort Hamilton High School, or cross back over to the Belt Parkway path by going through the park at the 79th Street entrance and crossing over the foot bridge. This whole loop is about 5 miles long, but you can extend it even further if you keep going along the Belt Parkway to Caesar's Bay, where you can end the day with a slice at Pizza D'Amore.

Enjoy the ride!

A Crafty Life: Ursula Jaroszewicz and Pepper Press

I'm Birdy27 and I'm so ready for spring! I'm sure you are, too. This month's "A Crafty Life" in-depth interview features Ursula Jaroszewicz of Pepper Press. Ursula is a thoughtful, intense, and striking brunette and, when I saw her in January at a team gathering, I knew she would be a great interviewee. I wasn't prepared, however, for the level of openness I found. Ursula answered each question thoroughly and earnestly. Fashion trends may come and go, but greeting and note cards are always in demand. In meeting that demand, Ursula has found her calling. She creates unique cards and other specialty paper goods using the truly old school "letterpress" printing technique. Ursula's designs have a traditional yet modern feel with textures you don't have to touch to feel. I also create greeting and note cards, so I was really stoked that Ursula agreed to the interview.

The last time I saw you, I noticed a trace of an accent. Where were you born? What brought you to New York? And can you tell us about your educational background?

I was born in Poland and lived in there until I was 11. In 1991 I moved with my parents and my sister to New York City. My parents moved here to pursue economic opportunities available in the U.S. that weren't so much available there, so my sister and I came with them. I studied graphic design first at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I took a break from school to work and travel, and then finished at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan. I've been in New York City my entire life since moving to this country. I have a lot of family in Poland, so I try to visit on a somewhat regular basis.

That's a great story! I imagine going back to Poland regularly helps you keep in touch with your cultural roots. New York and Poland must be very different, right? Do you feel that both places contribute to your creative process and your world view?

I guess I tried to process what was happening in my own way at the time, that things would never be the same. Poland, like so many places outside of New York City, isn't very diverse.

Like in many other European countries, everyone is pretty much from there. No one ever asks "what's your background," etc. And it's a LOT smaller in size and scope compared to the U.S. So it was rather a huge culture shock: to come here and see people from all walks of life, from every single place on earth imaginable. It was very eyeopening. At the same time, Poland was always a cultural place. My parents would take us to plays, films, and philharmonic concerts when I was young. A lot has changed since then. Every time I go home for a visit, it's fascinating to discover the new trends, fashion, ideas, etc. It's surprising and wonderful to see all the new changes. 

As to my world view, I do strongly feel that both places have influenced me so much. New York City was, as I said, eyeopening, and in Poland, during my childhood, I received this foundation which makes me value family and nature, preserving it, and living a "non-disposable" lifestyle. And we had good homemade food all the time.

Food is definitely a cultural marker. You create cards and other items via letterpress printing. Most people have seen letterpress printing, I think, but I bet most don't know the process. 

I agree with you that most people know it once they see it, but often don't know what's behind the finished printed piece.

Exactly! For the letterpress newbies like me, can you give us a brief history lesson?

Letterpress printing goes all the way back to mid-1400s. (Well, there are accounts of earlier presses in Asia.) Johanes Gutenberg invented/developed a movable printing press which utilized movable type. He created individually cast-in metal letters and punctuation. At the time, this was revolutionary as it allowed for speedy composition and printing multiple copies quickly. (Quickly is a relative term, however, as it still takes a painstakingly long time to compose something letter by letter, line by line. Even so, it was way more efficient than the options existing before: copying the entire thing by hand, one letter or character at a time.) It was THE method of printing for over 500 years and it was just known as printing, instead of "letterpress printing." Traditionally, printers had entire cabinets filled with different typefaces and sizes of individual metal and wood letters, using those to compose newspapers, theater bills, and all kinds of printed media. In addition, one could (and still can!) use a linoleum block (a semi-soft rubbery block) and carve a design into it. You would carve out everything else except what you want printed, so the part that remains is raised. Essentially, letterpress is "relief printing": the part that you want to print is higher than the non-printing area and the ink covers the raised areas. It then makes contact with the printing surface (paper). Rubber stamps are a form of relief printing, too; the raised parts are coated in ink and then transferred directly to paper.

In the 1960s newer methods and techniques replaced letterpress printing, especially in commercial settings. A group of old school printers kept the presses alive (although many didn't survive). In the meantime, digital technologies allowed printing plates to be made directly from digital files. Eventually letterpress printing went through a revival; book artists and artisans elevated the somewhat forgotten printing method to new levels of craftsmanship. So these days, many letterpress printers have their digital file (created in Illustrator, for example) made into a photopolymer--a kind of plastic--plate. This allows for infinite designs to be press-ready.

That's fascinating! How did you decide to create Pepper Press?

In 2010, a good friend of mine took a letterpress class and highly recommended it to me, saying it would be right up my alley. She knows me so well! Upon Donatella's recommendation, I signed up for an evening letterpress class at Cooper Union (taught by the very knowledgeable and ever helpful Dan Morris of The Arm Letterpress) so I could get back to working with my hands and get away from the computer. (I'm a graphic designer by trade.) Long story short, something just clicked and it felt so right! I found what I was looking for. The letterpress printing process, despite being so old, feels very new in the age of all things digital. I find lots of enjoyment in mixing inks by hand, tinkering with the machine, adjusting the pressure, checking the rollers, and cranking the handle to get the paper to meed the ink. The convergence of graphic design and true hands-on process is a perfect combination. It never ceases to fascinate me.

After the semester-long course ended, I continued going to The Arm, where I printed a plethora of designs. My friend and I were thinking of starting something so we could keep doing it, like creating wedding invitations. Well, I ended up giving some of the cards I printed in the class and afterwards to friends, colleagues, and neighbors in my building. One day one of my neighbors told me that she was soon opening a neighborhood "cheese and gifts" shop right around the corner. She asked me if I would make some cards so they could sell them. And that's how my business was born! I didn't plan on--or plan on so soon--having a stationery biz, but one thing led to another. Other neighborhood stores ended up contacting me to carry my cards, and it sort of evolved very organically.

I love when that happens. I'd say you experienced true "cosmic synchronicity": the universe was working to fulfill your dreams. I can tell you really love what you do. What are the benefits of letterpress over other types of printing like offfset, silk screening, digital, etc.? 

The tactile quality achieved with letterpress is what does it for me. Texture can so beautifully be achieved on paper; you can create a great interplay of light and shadow by printing even without ink. (This is called "blind color" because, even though there's no ink on the press, the print still goes through the press and is imprinted.) Now generally thicker or "fluffier" paper is made specifically for letterpress; however, any kind of thicker stock will work, too. For example, the kraft cardstock--thicker brown cardstock--I use for my map cards isn't made for letterpress, but it still gets the impression.

Compared with other methods, are there any drawbacks or limitations?

There are some disadvantages. Because it's printed one color at a time, it's generally good to narrow down the color choices, otherwise it can become a costly and time intensive affair. Also, it's not ideal for large areas of solid color coverage, as it tends to be uneven in color.

Letterpress is best for limited color palette. The inks are semi-transparent, so if you have too many colors overlaying each other, it would get muddy. (Most of the ink suitable for letterpress isn't fully opaque; it tends to be somewhat transparent.) So think of the colors as transparencies, and what colors will look like when they interact with one another.

I could keep adding more colors to one design, as well as account for colors that overlap when printed that create a third color. However, because each color adds to the cost and time of printing the piece, it can be cost prohibitive. In general and in my opinion, letterpress looks ideal with limited colors in a printed piece.

I see. One of the most interesting things about letterpress is the texture. You mentioned how much you love texture. I love the feel of yarn when I'm crocheting or knitting; however, my greeting and note cards are digitally printed, so there is no texture to speak of. How does tactile sensation contribute to your sense of satisfaction?

I've experimented with a variety of "hands-on" arts and crafts, etc. Professionally, my favorite jobs involved packaging design: something tactile, multi-dimensional, and with a potential of surprise to the user. So when I got into letterpress, one of the things that I loved about it was that tactile quality (in addition to being able to utilize my design skills). It became a whole new layer on top of what I already knew (design) and adding a printing method on top of that.

I love that you're so analytical about what you do. I can imagine you at the press with a smile on your face when everything comes together perfectly. What type of machine do you use? How much is manual?

In my studio are two presses:

1)    Chandler & Price Pilot: This is a vintage tabletop press with a manual lever that I have to pull down every single time to make a print. It's a small press, so it's generally good for smaller things: business cards (if done one by one), coasters, and small prints. For people who get into letterpress, this is often their starter press because it's small. However, it's still heavy! It's approximately 200 pounds of cast iron!

2)   Vandercook Universal-1: This is a huge! It's 1,200 or so pounds of metal, gears, and rollers. From around the mid-20th century, it uses a small motor that powers the ink cylinder, which in turn inks the rollers. The actual printing, however, is done by manually cranking the handle.

So in essence, both my presses are powered by manual labor.

Let's talk paper.  Do you use one particular cardstock or does the weight vary according to the item printed?

For my greeting cards, for consistency's sake, I use the same cotton paper throughout, as well as the same kraft cardstock for the map cards.

I use a variety of paper stocks for different projects (such as custom work, etc). Sometimes a thicker and sturdier paper is requested, or just works better. For example, thicker paper works well for two-sided prints so the printing won't show through to the other side. Sometimes a project calls for not so thick paper, such as business cards. But it really varies according to the individual project's preferences and needs.

Since texture is such an important part of what you create, is the content of the card secondary to the look and feel?

Hmm... that's an interesting question. I think that the content can be elevated by the right design of the card, or it can make all the statement that you want to make. It's really subjective.

Yes, that makes sense. How do you conceptualize your cards? Does the design come first or the text?

It can go either way. Sometimes a saying or text that I have in my head calls for a certain treatment to elevate it, or illustrate it, and sometimes the visual is there first. And then if I have a complimentary "text" portion, that's great. Sometimes I'll see something and I'll think "This will make an interesting print; it'll look great letterpressed." Half the time, I'm interested less in the specific greeting card type; I just want to create interesting patterns and textures where the message part of the card (such as happy birthday, etc) becomes a universal note card that is good for any occasion.

I love interesting patterns and textures, too, and the one in that link is really lovely.

Thanks. I have ideas brewing nonstop, most of them subconsciously, and I've learned to start writing them down quickly (thank you, Evernote). Sometimes they are so fleeting that I can't recall what that brilliant idea of mine was.

That happens all of the time to me, too.  After you decide on an idea, what is your next step?

My idea turns into an illustration (either a sketch in my sketchbook or on my computer). My digital file gets made into a photopolymer printing plate (by Boxcar Press). Each color has to be on a separate plate.

What inspires you?

My cards are really an extension of myself. I can tie the underlying theme to love of packaging and design, as well as nature. Nature is a huge part of my life, and elements of it continuously show up in my work. I'd like to think of it as "urban meets nature," along with the influence of other natural elements such as biking, patterns, urban exploration, maps, organic shapes, and typography. All these things at an (often subconscious) confluence inspire me.

Personalization is so popular now.  Is personalization possible with letterpress?

I'm really glad that you asked me the personalized question! I don't have a list of things I offer personalized, although I've done plenty of personalized and custom projects: personalized note cards, business cards (both design and printing services, as well as printing existing designs), announcements, and wedding invitations. If there is something that you'd like personalized, let me know!

In the next year, I plan on putting together a cohesive customizable wedding collection, as well as personalized note cards, monogram cards, etc. Letterpress is definitely customizable. All it takes is getting a plate made, so feel free to inquire about it.

Now that surprises me. I thought that personalization would be challenging. That's good for our readers to know. What are your biggest sellers? 

My best sellers are definitely the map cards, postcards, and now prints, too. I started out with a map of Brooklyn, but then personalized it for my neighborhood, Clinton Hill. People love the fact that they can get their neighborhoods on a postcard. I've added neighborhoods as they were requested by different stores carrying my cards, as well as by brides who used the different postcards for their wedding. One bride used a different Brooklyn neighborhood that was meaningful to her and her groom for each table at their wedding. I've personalized my map cards inside with a custom-printed message as part of goodie bags for out of town wedding guests. I thought was so sweet! Currently, I'm adding more cities. I've been getting so many requests for random places: someone's father is from Puerto Rico, someone wanted Greenwich, CT, and so on. I'll be rolling out a selection of different cities very soon.

I love that! You offer your customers something uniquely personal using a technique that is steeped in tradition.  And, with your European background, I'm not surprised your designs have an international appeal.

Oh yeah, how could I forget! This past holiday season I met a woman at a holiday market who owns a store in Japan. We stayed in touch and she ended up purchasing pretty much all the Brooklyn and New York City-themed things that I have available, as well as other cards. So Brooklyn goes to Japan! How cool is that?

Very cool indeed!

The Bike Love Couple card has been doing very well, too. People use it for Valentine's Day, wedding cards, love cards, and I've turned it into a wedding invitation. The whiskey card also sells well. People love booze!

LOL! I'll leave that alone. You live in Brooklyn's up and coming Clinton Hill area. Do you have a dedicated studio? What is your work space like?

Yes, I live in Clinton Hill, but my working studio is a 7-10 minute walk to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I love having my studio dedicated to just my printing so I can spend time away from all distractions. There are 11 studios in the space occupied by a variety of artists/makers/small businesses and a gallery space for occasional shows and openings. It's great being surrounded by other people dedicated to what they're doing that's outside of a regular type job. It's a great supportive crowd, ready to be asked for an opinion on something, or to lend or borrow something if needed. There's 24-hr access, so sometimes when I'm in the groove I can easily stay there till 2 am--or until i have no more energy left. A short bike ride makes it very easy to get home in just a few minutes. I share the space with my studio mate, who is a fashion designer, so I get a peek at new fabric choices and patterns. Our space is probably around 200 square feet (the biggest studio in the building). It's not huge, but we totally make it work. I think the fact that it's a dedicated space outside of home is what makes it efficient.

You're lucky to have a convenient location and a great studio mate. When you own a small business, there's always a lot to do. Does your family help you?

I get asked about "you guys at Pepper Press . . . " Well, you're looking at her! I pretty much work on my own. However, during especially busy times, like the holidays, my boyfriend has helped me package box sets until super late at night. He also loves to spread the word to his co-workers and friends. My mom and dad are very enthusiastic champions of my work and my dad is always up for a trip to find more parts or to check out the printing museum.

Speaking of your business name, how did you decide on Pepper Press? It sounds spicy!

Pepper Press initially began with Donatella (now of Tella Press), the friend who recommended the letterpress class to me. So it started out as a collective effort. We wanted to continue working on the press as a side project and get paid for it. We thought about names for a long time and went through a long list of possibilities. "Pepper Press" had a nice ring to it and it represented our love of spicy things and allowed for an abstract interpretation of the logo. We're both graphic designers, so that stuff really matters. Eventually, after many conversations and trying to figuring out how this would work logistically, we decided that each of us working separately would be best. But the Pepper Press name remained.

Marketing is a challenge for me.  How do you approach marketing and advertising?

It's a challenge for me as well! Most of my marketing efforts have been word of mouth and referrals, both for getting my cards into new stores and for custom work. In addition, lots of people find and contact me through Etsy for both wholesale and custom. I also send my work to bloggers with a wide audience, which is a great way to gain exposure. Soon I'll be sending out direct mailers to store owners, inviting them to check out my booth at the 2013 National Stationery Show (NSS). That will be my next step in marketing.

Getting ready for NSS in May at the Javits Center is scary and exciting at the same time. It'll be my second time officially. Last year I participated in a group booth, but I will have my own booth this year, so the costs and risks are much higher. This puts a lot of pressure on me; I want to have the best possible booth and add some new products. It's going to be a sleepless next two months.

Do you sell well on Etsy?

I am very happy selling on Etsy! It's a great testing ground. Don't know how something will be received? Put it up on Etsy and see what happens. I've done several custom wedding projects because the client saw my work on Etsy and liked my style, or was interested in something for their wedding I had already turned into an invitation. Besides the one-on-one contact with the customers, I get contacted by stores that are interested in carrying my cards and that leads to wholesale orders.

 Where do you see your business in five years?

Hmm, in five years, I think I will be much smarter about running a business. I'm still learning. If you think about it, I'm a newbie! I probably know a tiny portion of what I should or will eventually know. In five years, I will have expanded my line and offerings, moving into more personalized work, such as weddings, announcements, etc, and having at least an employee. I will hopefully have reps in the stationery industry who represent my cards and get orders from stores all across the country. My business will be more efficient and allow more time for designing and working on new things. Also, I've been daydreaming of working in a tropical location, somewhere with hot weather year round and great water activities. (Can I check 2,000 pounds of metal on a plane to Hawaii?? ;)

I share your daydream! Lastly, how has being in the Etsy NY Team helped you?

I became aware of the Etsy NY Team because, everywhere I went, there was a cool pop-up shop/tent/etc. I saw the team represented on Governors Island, at Celebrate Brooklyn in the summer of 2011, and at the Brooklyn Flea. It was clear that the group was well organized and able to get members in front of the buying public. I had to join! It turned out it was just the tip of the iceberg. Being on the team has been tremendously rewarding. I got to immerse myself in the world of like-minded, creative, entrepreneurial people. The feeling of knowing that there's this whole support network as well as potential friendships is priceless. The forums are a great way to research different markets, get feedback on different issues, sell or buy supplies, and get invited to great events at Etsy headquarters. I secretly want to work at Etsy, too!

Thanks a lot, Ursula, for a terrific interview! I know you'll be extremely successful at the NSS and in all of your future endeavors. You're inspiring me to move forward with my greeting and note cards, so I'm sure others reading this will be inspired, too.

Ah, sweet April is on the horizon and so is another enlightening installment of "A Crafty Life." Mark your calendars and join me on Monday, April 22. You won't want to miss it! This is Birdy27 signing off. Please support the handmade community. Successful creative artisans can change the world! Chirp, chirp!

Birdy27 is an actor/writer/singer/songwriter/graphic designer/knitter/crocheter/yarn-based accessories designer/jewelry maker/entrepreneur and founder/president of Birdy27 Designs. Please join the action at the Birdy27 Designs Facebook Fan Page

Crafty Inspirations

Before I started crafting, I frequently visited craft shows to marvel at things that I thought I could never create. Fast forward years later, I am actually making and selling handmade soaps in my etsy shop Nordea Soaperie!

I always wonder what drives a person to choose their craft, and what inspires them to create on a daily basis. I know that I am inspired by my love of food...as strange as that sounds. I LOVE food, and I love to cook. Making soap is simply following a recipe, and I am always thinking of different ways to incorporate food and beverages into my soaping projects. Many of my more popular soaps include fruit purees or liquids like aloe juice and beer.

I asked another member of the EtsyNY team what inspired their crafty creations, and Alison from Koto Designs gave me the following answer:

"I would say that I'm inspired by what I encounter in my day-to-day life. I always have an eye out for anything with a simple geometry that would translate well into embroidery. For example, my brother is a huge bike fanatic and for his birthday I made him a card featuring his super customized bike. I made another (more generic) version for my etsy shop for all the bike lovers out there."

To see the beautiful work from many more members of the EtsyNY team, make sure you come to the annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade which will be a two-day event kicking off the Holiday shopping season! This show will feature artisans from all over the tri-state area. Don't forget to mark your calendars, December 1 & 2 in Brooklyn, NY....Hope to see you there!

-Nordea

nordeasoaperie

Etsy Craft Party in Brooklyn Bridge Park


On August 25th I attended the New York meetup for the annual Etsy Craft Party.  It was my first time going to a craft party and I really had a great time! I love the idea of having a dedicated day to bring everyone together to spend some time crafting.

Me, waiting in line

Food trucks

Once we entered the actual craft party, there were three different items you could make- hand-stenciled cotton towels, decorated glass bottles, and mixed media collage postcards. There were long tables filled with craft supplies and you basically had to plop down wherever you found an open spot. My friends and I decided to make the collage postcards and when we started working we got really quiet- we were in the crafting zone!


Working on our postcards

The final products

After a fun time at the Etsy Craft Party, we all had our first experience riding on the ferry from Brooklyn Bridge Park to the tip of Manhattan. It was such a beautiful evening and being on the water with the city lights ahead of us really made me fall in love with New York all over again.


I had a great time at this year's Etsy Craft Party and I hope that next year I'll be able to host my own get-together!

Tell me: Did you attend an Etsy Craft Party this year?


By Nnenna of star-crossed smile

Celebrating Brooklyn Festival 2012

Webbed Ware by Courtney Webb


If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably are aware of who the Etsy NY Street team is, formally the newnew.  If not here is a brief descript, designers, artists, crafters who are etsy shop owners who live in NY City.  NYC is compromised of the 5 boroughs; Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, The Bronx and Queens.  We support each other in all sorts of ways and also team up to do markets together. This summer is my first time joining EtsyNY for Celebrate Brooklyn.  I recently moved to Brooklyn, from Hells Kitchen in Manhattan, and being so close to Prospect Park where this festival is held I applied to be in it. Yes you need to apply, we have over 200 members in our group!


Celebrate Brooklyn is a summer long event held in Prospect Park at the band shell organized by BRIC arts and media.  I interviewed a few of the artists and designers to find out more on why they choose this festival:
Why did you decide to sell in Celebrate Brooklyn?
Annie of Brooklyn Owl says  "The vibe and energy at the concerts is amazing. I am so excited to spend the summer going to celebrate Brooklyn with my husband and daughter and spending time in the Etsy team booth."   While Melissa from Be in the Moment commented that she "decided to join Celebrate Brooklyn because it sounded like a unique place to sell my jewelry, and it was also a great way to get me out there enjoying more of the free summer events that NYC has to offer! What better way to discover some new (to me) bands than work some shifts at our tent there. Not to mention, I liked the idea of having a fixed location for my wares for the summer season. I’m trying to do less “lug your tent” weekend markets and get into more stores and permanent locales this year. 

Brooklyn Owl


2. Have you sold in it before this season?
Lydia from Pure Spa Squared is in her second season: "his is my second year selling at CBK and I returned because it is such a great venue & the team is super fun.
Although I sell my goat's milk & honey lotions, I created a new product last year "Bug Off" based on the suggestion of my teammates. This Vegan based bug repellent has been a big hit at the concerts. Made with cat nip, essential oils, aloe gel & distilled water...this product is now carried by Green in Bklyn a green base store on Myrtle Ave.
  
Also in their second season is Persuede. "This is my second season at the celebrate brooklyn general store. As a lifelong brooklynite I've always loved cb - the music, the park and the sense of community is wonderful. Usually, as makers of things and vendors, our audience is brought together by an interest in shopping handmade"
Persuede

3. What product are you selling? Do you design more than one product and if so how did you choose what to sell in CBK?
Melissa from Be in the Moment sells jewelry. "I make and sell enamel jewelry. I chose a limited selection of popular items from my line to bring to Celebrate Brooklyn, including my bicycle pendants and my textured trapezoid earrings. I also created some brand new Brooklyn designs just for the event." 
Be in the Moment
4. What is your favorite or least favorite part of this event? 
I answered this one. It seems to be the music is the most fave of everyone but the food from the Farm on Adderley comes in a close second.

5. How does this event compare to other events you participate in?  
Lydia of Pure Spa: "The concerts are amazing and a fun way to spend the evening. While working the tent we love tasting the food & ice cream. My experience at CBK has allowed me to expand my product line and build great friendships with fellow etsy ny sellers."
Pure Spa2

6. Any addition comments you would like to share with the public or etsyNY Team members to encourage them to come by The General Store Etsy NY Team Booth?  
Dina from Bugged Out "Come to our shop, great shopping and great music all at the same place!!! 

Bugged out




There are 16 fabulous artists and designers participating in CBK. Unfortunately I cannot show off all of their product here but please visit their shops below to see what you can find at this year's Celebrate Brooklyn:















Find out all about Celebrate Brooklyn here
Celebrate Brooklyn runs all summer long, hope to see you there!

Tracey






Just ONE day until the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade!

Saturday is The {NewNew} Holiday Handmade Cavalcade
You Do Not Want To Miss This Event!


For one day only during the holiday season shoppers can load up on clothing, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, bath and body treasures, toys, housewares and more, all handmade by some of the most creative local artisans and crafters in the NYC metropolitan area.
Where: Public Assembly 70 North 6th Street in Brooklyn
When: 10 am-6 pm Saturday December 3rd


The first 200 shoppers to arrive will receive free goodie bags packed with a unique sampling of wares from the {NewNew} - so come early!


With each purchase, shoppers will get a raffle ticket entry for a prize package filled with great {NewNew} wares!


In keeping with its tradition of partnering with local non-profits, the {NewNew} will have representatives from The Brooklyn Community Foundation, an organization that improves the lives of Brooklyn residents and their communities.


Hope to see you!
Holly / EllisDesign

Who is the NewNew?

 
Our group tag line says "hand crafted in the NY Metro area." And if you've ever been to a team meeting, you know there are quite a few of us. But really...who are we? Who makes up the NewNew? 

I decided to find out with a little help from Survey Monkey & their free 10 question survey. So, let me introduce you to the NewNew...survey-style



We are overwhelmingly female. Not that we don't have some boys join in our fun. We do! But, for the first time in the NY Metro area, they are in the minority.

We are mostly a group of 30-somethings. We do have representatives in the 20 somethings category & several people in each category above 30-somethings so the age range is really long in this group. Isn't that cool? I feel like I am honing a craft now that I could potentially keep up. Or change! Hand crafting is ageless!

We seem to be a highly educated group. Most of the group who responded have a 4 year undergraduate degree with a large percentage with graduate degrees. Look at us - all little smarty pants :)

So who are we so far? So far the NewNew is a 30-something female with at least a college degree...and she isn't married. The largest number of answers on our survey in the marriage category were for those who had never been married, but it was almost a 50-50 split with those who are married. So, not the strongest question to determine who we are, I suppose.

We also don't have a lot of kids. Actually more than 80% don't have any at all. Perhaps this is a good time to mention that we have close to 200 members & only about 30% of them answered the survey. This is not a scientific analysis, but I would go out on a limb to say that we have plenty of members with kids & that perhaps that's why the response rate was a little low. It's cool, ladies! Next time...

Our most popular borough to live in? Brooklyn. Followed closely by Manhattan. The only borough not represented in our group appears to be the Bronx. Go figure...

And now for the nitty gritty...what do we make?? The answer: Jewelery. Lots of it. Here's my very first pie chart since high school, showing the break down. The list of categories in the key on the right are the categories you will find NewNew shops in & comes from the list on the Etsy homepage, fyi.



After jewelry, the majority of our makers are in the Paper Goods & Art category, though we are represented in almost every category. We are a pretty diverse set of crafters. Also interesting to note is that a lot of our members do more than one thing. One jeweler in our group also makes cake toppers. One photographer also silkscreens.

Almost done! I also thought it was interesting to know whether or not our 30-something Brooklynite without kids who has a killer jewelry line sells anywhere other than Etsy. And the overhwhelming answer is YES!

Where does this lovely lady like to sell? All over! Seriously almost each respondent had a different market that they look forward to. Of course, you can almost ALWAYS find representatives of the NewNew at the Brooklyn Flea. If you had a visit to Governor's Island this summer, we had a nifty pop-up store there. Also check out Better than Jam NYC in Bushwick & Black Bear Vintage in Windsor Terrace (Hello! Both Brooklyn!). To really find us, try our events page, right here on the blog. See the tab at the top? Local NYC Events? There you go...

I hope you'll come out & see us at one of the events! Look for a 30-something woman, who looks like she lives in Brooklyn, is probably wearing her very own killer jewelry without a stroller in sight...Very generally speaking anyway...




Where to Find the {NewNew} August 7 + 8

What:
Only five more weeks of
, so if you haven't sailed the blustery NYC harbor waters to visit this treasure cove of handmade goodness, put it on your summer agenda.
When: Friday 10am - 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 6pm
Where: House 6B in Nolan Park on Governors Island. Take the free ferry at the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan or at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 (Brooklyn ferries only run on weekends). More directions of ferry schedules here.
Who: Over 30 {NewNew} artists - check out the complete list here.
In the Neighborhood: There is so much to see on Governors Island that you'll want an entire day to visit all the sites. Added Value's three-acre organic fruit and vegetable farm is just one of the highlights. See them at Picnic Point where you can also visit their farm stand and purchase the bounty of the farm's produce and flowers.

What: Brooklyn Flea
When: Saturday 10am - 5pm.
Where: 176 Clermont between Clermont and Vanderbilt.
In the Neighborhood: The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), America's oldest continuously operating arts center, is just down the street at 30 Lafayette Avenue. Check out performances here.