MEET the ARTISAN: Naturally Susan's Skin Care + GIVEAWAY

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Susan, the creator of Naturally Susan's artisan skin care.  I had the pleasure of sitting down with Susan and picking her brain. Susan and I have worked at Celebrate Brooklyn together so it is always nice to catch up with her.

Q: What is Naturally Susan's? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: Naturally Susan’s products are about skin-healthy and they're about versatility. They're about simplifying our lives and making our lives easier. I used to travel a great deal for business so simplifying my beauty routine and my travel bag whether I was going from day to evening, to the gym, shopping or on vacation are fundamental to the products that I develop. My products are effective, long lasting, and versatile. And, most importantly, my products are about being kind to your body.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: I started making skin care products for myself because I wanted chemical-free and fragrance-free beauty care suitable for my sensitive skin. Our skin absorbs about 60% of what we put on it, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing the right skin care. I found an abundance of toxins and chemicals in many products, so I started researching and developing my own, creating products that are as pure to nature as possible.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

A: The next steps for my business is to further broaden my audience and expand my business. I've continued to work with great partners so that we can grow together, domestically and internationally.

Q: Can you tell us some of the partners you have made? Retail stores where we can find your product? 

A: Some of the business partners that I continue to work with includes Artists & Fleas. Partnering with them through their markets in both the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Chelsea Market locations has helped to increase my brand exposure globally. I've also continued to work with local spas, schools, and nonprofit organizations to support businesses with philosophies and causes that align with my brand mission. You can shop my products on my Etsy shop and my e-commerce website at www.NaturallySusans.com. Also, select Naturally Susan's products are available at Artists & Fleas curated online shop and StopTHINKShop's GOODstuff Holiday Pop Up, a social good pop up shop at 103 Allen Street, in the Lower East Side, during this holiday season. There are a number of things in progress, and I look forward to sharing more news soon.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A: I’ve learned that if you’re passionate about something, it’s worth exploring. And, whether you're just starting your business or have been in business for some time, it's important to join a collaborative network. The level and diversity of experience in the networks are broad and deep and the knowledge that can be garnered benefits both budding and experienced entrepreneurs. 

Special thanks to Susan for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.NaturallySusans.Etsy.com. Susan is also selling this month at the following markets: Artists & Fleas, Exhale Spa, Etsy NY's Holiday Handmade Cavalcade at Chelsea Market, and more, so please check out her calendar at www.NaturallySusans.com/news. And we didn't forget about her giveaway!  The details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Enter for your chance to win HERE!

Roll On Moisturizers & Natural Perfumes 3-Pack Gift Set

Retail value: $63.00

WIN the set! Packaged in convenient roll on applicators, our natural perfumes are made with a blend of essential oils to stimulate, calm and heal. They're noncomedogenic, fast-absorbing, and versatile so they can be used as moisturizers too! Pop these into your purses, carry-on bags, and gym bags…they'll be all you need when you're on the go! 

Gift set includes three (3) roll on moisturizers & natural perfumes:

  • 1 - Lavender Chamomile
  • 1 - Rose Patchouli
  • 1 - Ylang Ylang

Gift packaged in a white gift box with green ribbon. Patch test for skin sensitivity. Results may vary.

This is perfect for the holiday season! Can I enter even though I did the interview? 

Enter to WIN HERE

Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Monday, December 15, 2014!

Tracey

https://www.etsy.com/shop/traceytoole

MEET the ARTISAN: S2 Stationery & Design + GIVEAWAYS

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Sara, the creator of S2 Stationery & Design. 

Q: What is S2 Stationery & Design? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: S2 Stationery & Design is truly a company that uses "design" as a way to usher in communication in all aspects of our lives - personal, business, and everywhere else in between.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: This questions could take this entire post. My inspiration is (and has been) largely based on experiences in every day life and while traveling.  S2 was decided years ago in my youth (although I had no idea of it at the time), when I loved playing with paper. It came full circle after my father's death in 2009 while traveling around Italy after running the Rome Marathon. A dream woke me up at 3am one morning and I woke up knowing that this was my calling; my passion to pursue. It helps that I was in Italy, one of the most beautiful countries in the World and the colors, food, smells, and people inspired me daily. 

To a degree, though, consumer needs is also an inspiration, although not the focal point. My stationery is not a life style brand. I'm hardly interested in keeping loyal customers, although I do love them and appreciate them! For me what is important is that a card or set of stationery inspires the customer to write and communicate their emotions. In other words, if a customer buys one card from S2 Stationery & Design and it allows them to be vulnerable and share sentiment that they might otherwise not, that is worth more than continuous sales from products that aren't necessary and are a strain to the environment.  Should they return to me because the quality is top notch, or they really like my product, then great! But the idea that a card sale can turn into a potential pencil set sale, or an annual calendar sale is not my inspiration.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

A:  There are a lot of steps I want to take. My big goal for 2015 is the Stationery Show at the Javits Center. It's huge and the real deal. I'm also working on positioning my Etsy shop a bit more and separating the custom work from the social stationery. While custom work fits into the social stationery category, it is a different monster and requires a lot more effort and work. I'd love to have them parallel in building S2, but not as closely tied as they are now. 

The other big thing is that I'm working on ways to integrate large scale communication. When I was a child we had pen pals and I loved my pen pals. While not trying to bring back pen pals, I'm thinking creatively on ways to bring about peace and acceptance through communication, food, and social stationery.  In other words, 2015 is going to be busy!

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A:  Take it slow. Running a business is a lot of work. When I started, I thought I could do everything quickly and easily thanks to technology, but it's a lot of work. It can be overwhelming sometimes - so much so that a person can end up burned out fast. It's also important to know the difference between part-time and full-time business running. I quit my job earlier this year to focus on S2 full-time and it's been exhausting, frustrating, and at times I've almost called it quits. Yet, something has kept me fighting and that is the understanding that it all takes time. People who have relatively easy success had struggles, too. Just remember to breathe and if know that if you have the heart, you have the stomach.

Special thanks to Sara for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/S2StationeryDesign. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAYS are below. Please enter for your chance to win one of three "My Thankful Space" paper place mats!

A gorgeous decorative piece (and keepsake if food and water damage are minimal) to any Thanksgiving table, the "My Thankful Space" place mats are delicate, but sturdy and a great gift to give those giving thanks in your home. The larger, patterned paper is artisan paper from China.  The top layer is a text weight (32lb) metallic paper to compliment the back layer.  It is best to use a marker such as a sharpie to avoid smudging and for immediate drying.  Each place mat is cut to approximately 12"x18" and assembled by hand. 

Enter to win here! To enter simply, like the"S2 Stationery & Design" page on Facebook and/or this blog post, along with a comment with three things you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Three (3) winners will be selected randomly for one of three sets of paper place mats. (Marker not included!) 

One set of the white and silver place mats has 8; one set of blue and gold place mats has 10; one set of red and gold place mats has 10.  Please include in your comment what color placements you prefer.  Winners will be notified within 24 hours of being selected for shipping information.  Good luck!

 

Published by Susan Ng / www.NaturallySusans.com / www.NaturallySusans.Etsy.com

MEET the ARTISAN: Featuring Mezze Designs + GIVEAWAY

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Rachael, the creator of Mezze Designs

Q: What is Mezze Designs? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: Mezze jewelry is handcrafted from gold, silver and mixed metals. I create pieces in limited quantities to preserve the exclusivity of each design. My studio is in an area of Brooklyn that is undergoing rapid change; it is an influential hub for indie rock and has a thriving local art community, which provides endless inspiration. The beauty of handcrafted jewelry lies in fact that each piece is inherently unique. My style is raw and organic and as such, some pieces have been left with a purposefully unfinished appearance. Whenever possible, I use recycled metals as well as ethically sourced stones. 

In Arabic, mezze refers to an assortment of small appetizers. For me, it refers to something that stimulates a desire for more. Mezze \'me-'zei\ to relish, take pleasure in; enjoy

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: Mezze jewelry is designed to create tangible vestiges of memories, extrapolating them for the wearer to form and discover those of their own yet to come. I am an avid traveler and the places I’ve been and people who have touched my life have influenced many of my designs. Most pieces have a very personal meaning to me and I make an effort to share some of those stories in the product descriptions; they are physical reminders that evoke memories I will always cherish. I love all that is simple and elegant, but every now and then I get a little mischievous and will make something edgy or whimsical.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

AI started Mezze as a hobby and as a creative outlet from my corporate career in the pharmaceutical industry. Since moving to New York, I have had the time to shift that focus with the intent to make it a sustainable business.  I am in the very early stages of the process, so my current goal is to increase my market presence both online and in boutique stores. Part of my strategy has been to get involved with the Etsy NY team and use this network to build and maintain relationships with other artisans who have turned their art into successful businesses.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A: Don’t be afraid to take risks. I am always experimenting with ideas, taking classes and asking for input on designs. Not everyone will like everything that you make and that is ok. Some things will work, others won’t and that is all a part of the learning process. Your style and ability will change along the way, which means you are evolving. There is a niche for everything out there, so keep working until you find the one that fits you and your product.

Special thanks to Rachael for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/mezzestudios. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win one of her beautiful silver stud rattlesnake vertebrae earrings!

About the earrings: Tiny rattlesnake vertebrae have been cast into sterling silver to make these spiny stud earrings. They are intricate, unique and have been lightly tumbled to maintain the natural texture. Earrings measure about half a cm.  They are the perfect accessories for your nights out and weekend getaways! 

Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.

Like Mezze Studios on Facebook and enter to WIN here!

Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 15, 2014!

GIVE AWAY! Want to get Crafty with Brooklyn Craft Co?

A crafty summer camp for grown-ups?! Yes please!  We have such an AMAZING giveaway today! Check out Brooklyn Craft Company's next big event, Summer Craft Camp on June 21!  This one day event happening in Brooklyn Craft Company's Greenpoint DIY studio is a whole day of throwback camp fun, with over eight DIYs projects, including three 90-minute workshops where you'll learn to make a shibori-dyed cotton gauze wrap, a hand-stitched leather sunglass case, and a wooden chevron statement necklace.   You pretty much have your summer garb for a day!

On top of all that, there will also be DIY stations where you can mill about at your own pace and make even more, including fresh floral crowns, hand-printed postcards, goddess eyes, friendship bracelets, and a braid bar where you can learn to do Heidi-style up-do's. Plus fancied-up camp snacks, cocktails and goody bags! 

We've got one free ticket to Summer Craft Camp to giveaway, so visit our facebook page and leave a comment, "I wanna get crafty at Brooklyn Craft Co!" to enter!  Entries will be accepted until Monday June 16th, 2014 midnight eastern time.

And if you don't win, don't be sad.  You can still get crafty.  Advance registration is required for this event, so snag a ticket on the Brooklyn Craft Company site. When you register with a friend you get a special BFF discount, so grab a crafty pal and kick the summer off right with an amazing day of crafting! 

Oh how I wish I can enter this giveaway. Spending a day at camp like the good ole days. 

Tracey / https://www.etsy.com/shop/traceytoole

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MEET the ARTISAN: Featuring Jumping Birds© + GIVEAWAY

"MEET the ARTISAN" is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Natasha, the creator of Jumping Birds©

Q: What is Jumping Birds? Can you briefly describe your business for us?

A: Jumping Birds is unique goods for children and babies handcrafted one by one, with love for charming yet minimal details and construction quality. I strive to design and make items that will be enjoyed by little ones for a long time and that will stimulate their imagination.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?

A: When I design I find inspiration everywhere. Vintage children’s clothes and toys or my own daydreaming, anything sets me going. My mind is always filled with ideas (it’s a bit chaotic at times!) and eventually one of them is realized and becomes a tangible item. Also, the fact that I have shipped all around the world and the dream that one of my goodies might become a family heirloom to someone, is so encouraging! Of course, my children - always “jumping” about - are an endless source of inspiration.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?

A: At the moment I’m very happy with the size of my business. It allows me to come up with new designs and develop new ideas, one step at a time. I’m also enjoying doing a few local fairs whenever I can. I love talking to customers and finding out what they like. I’m hoping to be ready for wholesale in the near future and explore that side of business.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?

A: Whatever your craft is, make sure you’re passionate about it and that you absolutely love the making process involved. Experiment with other mediums and techniques or take a class, if possible. I think learning new things feeds my creativity and brings new inspiration. This will ultimately keep you relevant and unique.

Special thanks to Natasha for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/JumpingBirds. And, details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Please enter for your chance to win one of her beautiful plush robots!

Jumping Birds© June GIVEAWAY:

June 1st is Children's Day! And, Jumping Birds© is giving away a handmade, Mini Green Plush Robot! 

A sweet little robot sure to make a statement in any child's room. This cutie can be used as nursery decoration, as a huggable plush,  throw pillow or as a soft stuffed toy (kids really enjoy playing with them!) Backed with a chevron fabric in coordinating colors.

This Giveaway is for one (1) Mini Green Plush Robot. 

APROX. MEASUREMENTS
7.5" high x 6.5" wide

Handmade of cotton/linen fabric and gently stuffed with poly-fil in her smoke-free, pet-free studio.

Like Jumping Birds© on Facebook and enter to WIN here! 

Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Monday, June 16, 2014!

 

Published by Susan Ng of Naturally Susan's