Friday, November 28, 2008

The Laurel of Asheville magazine

We're in it! So get out and grab a December issue of The Laurel of Asheville magazine before they're all gone and see for yourself.

The mountain Etsy connection

Handy craft
The local (and profitable) face of
by Alli Marshall in Vol. 15 / Iss. 18 on 11/26/2008

There’s a certain truth: “People like sitting in their cubicles and looking at cute things online,” says Asheville-based painter Moni Hill. Satisfying that desire, Hill (and dozens of other local artists) posts her work on e-commerce Web site

From the crafter to the cubicle: “People like to look at cute things online,” says artist Moni Hill. Apparel by Astronette.But there’s another cold, hard fact at work here: Sales are down in almost every commercial sector. The Washington Post recently reported, “Consumers scaled back on discretionary spending and hunted for values on necessities,” adding that “many department stores and apparel retailers, including Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters, had declines.”

So where are consumers spending their pocket money? Apparently in virtual stores. In an August Good Morning America segment called “Five Best Work-From-Home Jobs,” Etsy got the nod. “If you specialize in jewelry, pottery, clothing, illustrations, bath products, edibles and more, you should be selling today on Etsy,” noted Tory Johnson, founder of Women For Hire. “In July alone, the company says 487,000 items were sold, totaling $7 million.” Some of that cash, happily, is flowing into the Western North Carolina economy.

“I’ve been able to sell items I have handmade, in addition to my photographs, around the world,” reveals Asheville resident Mary Donovan. “It’s always great to have other people appreciate the things that you put so much love and care into.” Donovan’s shop, DandyTree ( features art photography both as two-dimensional art and incorporated into pendants, rings and earrings. While she admits that “the majority of my print sales go to the West Coast,” local shoppers also find her. “I did recently receive an order for a few prints for someone who had just moved to Asheville and wanted some local art in their house. I have also had orders placed from people who have moved on from Asheville, but want a little piece of it in their house.”

Button brooches by Pliable Trade.Hill’s Etsy store ( lists her nature-themed folk art, painted onto reclaimed wood. She opened the online shop not as much for the retail business as for a place where her fans could find her. “Mainly I needed it because my turnover is so quick,” the artist says. “When I would show paintings at art fairs, people would want to know [where to find more of my work]. I knew I needed a Web site, so I opened an Etsy account.”

It turns out that 185,000 other sellers have done the same thing. The Web site, which was created in 2005 by painter/carpenter/photographer Rob Kalin, has seen exponential increases in sales each year. Gross merchandise sales reached $3.8 million in 2006. Last year, that number climbed to $26 million, and as of August 2008, the sales figure hovered around $35 million. That, from hand-knitted scarves, one-off jewelry and unique gift items. Things that can be had for less than $50.

“You know the extra buttons that come with some shirts? I have been stashing them for a few years, but in various places, so each time I needed one, I wouldn’t have to tear up my house trying to find another one. When I ran out, I found some at thrift stores, craft stores, and even on the ground,” says local designer Lauren Bansemer. Her button collecting led to craft inspiration; now her independent business Pliable Trade ( sells button-adorned brooches for $7 to $8.50 each.

The site’s “Geofinder” function shows 82 stores operated by Asheville-area sellers. Among those, George Sawyer ( makes iPod cases out of wood; Buncombe Buckles Metalworks ( offers belt buckles fashioned from discarded metal parts; and the Bloomery ( is home to bloomers (as in loose, decorative shorts worn under skirts) made from recycled fabrics. Looking for a blast form the past? At Revival Studio (, vintage sewing patterns (such as “1965 swanky Fred McMurray sweater jacket or vest") run $1.50 to $3 each. Want something edgy? Artist Josh Smith sells chain-mail jewelry ranging from $10 to $30 at SubcultureWorx ( Need a housewarming gift? Lazy Dog Pottery ( carries wheel-thrown or slab-built mugs, plates, teapots, vases, lidded jars and candle holders—and in this shop, shipping is free.

Shop (virtually) till you drop: Local artists offer unique crafts on Etsy. Tea set by Lazy Dog Pottery.Seamstress Bridget Miller (who is currently based in Chattanooga, Tenn.) created the line Astronette ( to market her one-of-a-kind clothing. While Astronette is also available at Asheville boutique The HoneyPot, Miller says her online business equals her consignment sales. “Handmade clothes have a soul and are made with love and attention,” she muses. The one e-commerce glitch: “Knowing if the item will fit is probably the most tricky part of shopping for clothes online. I provide detailed measurements of each garment and so far everything has fit.”

Miller offers this tip for Etsy shoppers: “To find independent clothing designers, search for ‘BFSC’: it stands for ‘built from scratch clothing.’”

Beyond the sheer variety, the something-for-everyone-ness, Etsy’s users tend to gush the site’s praises. “Buying has been a breeze and listing my own items has not been difficult to figure out,” says local seamstress Dawn Mendonca, who sells crafty clothing for children at Darcus Does It ( “I’m creative with a computer so it’s been fun setting up the storefront and all the options.”

She continues, “Etsy actually helps to inspire the seller in me because I see so many other part-time crafters making a go at it, too.” Her only complaint is that once her user name was set, she wasn’t able to change it.

“Etsy has some kinks to work out, but personally I find that the site is not only beautiful to look at, but very user-friendly for both buyers and sellers,” offers Bansemer.

The perk most sellers mention is the low fees (20 cents per item sold) that Etsy charges. Other e-commerce sites are not so inexpensive, and for crafters trying to make a little extra cash from handmade items, low overhead makes all the difference.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Vance Holiday Craft Explosion will be held Sunday, November 23rd

from noon-5pm in the gym at Vance
. The event will be right off the lower parking lot on
Clinton Avenue, but there will be plenty of parking all around.

There will be a great collection of vendors including:
Crankypants Knits
Quilt Baby
Cozy Blue
Faerie Made Soap
Roly Poly Crafts
Dogwood Digs
Spotted Dog Farm
Amy Tepper

and more!

There will also be a yummilicious bake sale and silent auction.

Get a jump on your holiday shopping and support Vance Elementary and
local artists at the same time! What could be finer?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


For starters, cozyblue made the image header for Etsy's Scheduled Storque Maintenance article.

[pictured above scrumdidlyump]

[pictured above honeybee]

... and our sincerest apologies for not keeping you up to snuff with all the hand-picked front page showcases involving our rockin' Asheville Etsians. To be honest, and not to brag, it's been hard to keep up with all.of.them.

Plus, 'tis the season for craft shows and we're participating in quite a few of them this time of year! Here's a quick run-down of a few:

Vance Craft Explosion
when: Sunday November 23rd, Noon - 5pm
where: Vance Elementary School
Proceeds benefit Vance Elementary projects

Black Mountain Craft Show
when: Saturday December 6th, 10am - 6pm
where: St. James Episcopal (Black Mountain)
Proceeds benefit the Swannanoa Valley Montesorri school

The Big Crafty II
when: Sunday December 7th, 12pm - 6pm
where: Pack Place - downtown Asheville, NC

Lastly: Be on the look-out for December's issue of The Laurel of Asheville magazine where there will be an article all about Asheville Etsy Street Team adjacent to one about The Big Crafty!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vance Craft Explosion

We're excited to share that Vance Elementary will be putting on their first annual Holiday Craft Explosion!

Organized by one rockin' Mama and [ahem] Asheville's "Best Craft Blog" winner, Amy! She'll be in good company considering there will be a little Asheville Etsy Street Team representin' too. Proceeds to benefit projects and programs at Vance Elementary.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Etsy's "Featured Seller" is a local!

Fellow Asheville Etsy Street Team Member, Lindsey Case of The Linden Tree, is Etsy's current "Featured Seller." Click here to read the interview in its entirety.

Congratulations Lindsey!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

locally hand-picked!

Check out some recent front page hand-picked showcases featuring some of Asheville Etsy's finest! (click to enlarge)

The Runny Bunny:



The Linden Tree and Figs and Ginger:

Ignatius Turnip

That Ignatius Turnip is a sly one. Made a second appearance on the front page of Etsy last night. Way to go sneaky pants.
(click to enlarge)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Southern Exposure

What a sweet treat that Anne of Southernist exposed a little of what the artsy and crafty folk here in NC are up to. Aside from Craft Attack talk, she also makes reference to some other local goodness such as Penland School of Craft, the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and of course Asheville Etsy as well as our fellow NC Street Teams.

Thanks Anne!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Craft Attack! this weekend

The Hornet's Nest chapter of the Carolina Etsy street team is proud to announce CRAFT ATTACK 2008, a brand-new outdoor craft festival in Charlotte, NC. Everyone is invited to come - parking and admission are FREE!

Meet up at the ultimate Craft Crawl - Craft Attack! Shop where craft and community come together to bring you a remarkable array of the Southeast's art and craft talent! Get a head start on your holiday gift shopping with one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items! Visit with local community groups to learn more about wonderful services available in the area. Meet the Charlotte Roller Girls!

This is an outdoor show and will be held rain or shine, on Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Independence Neighborhood Park (the large side). The park is located at 300 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28204. Show hours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

For more information visit the Craft Attack website here: Craft Attack!

Sponsored by: Charlotte Roller Girls, Bust Magazine, Creative Loafing, Danielle Anthony photography, Shiny New Tattoo, and Etsy.

Psssst... There will be several Asheville Etsy Street Team members there too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

locally hand-picked!

cozyblue makes front page of 9-14-08. Way to go, Liz! (click to enlarge)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pictures from LAAFF

Kelly of tiny story factory

Community project booth: upcycled no-sew grocery bags


Asheville Etsy Street Team booth


Katie of scrumdidlyump


glamheaddesigns, Mountain Dreamers, and Faerie Made Soaps



tiny story factory

cozyblue, early girl, and Roly Poly

NC craft shows' call for artists

The NC Triangle Etsy Street Team and local creative reuse center the Scrap Exchange are issuing a Call for Artists for the 2008 Craftland at the Green Gallery.

Craftland is the Scrap Exchange's 5th annual holiday marketplace. All items for sale at Craftland are created by local crafters and artists and are made from re-purposed materials.

Craftland will be open from October 17, 2008 through January 5th, 2009. All artists and crafters who use re-used materials are invited to apply. Contact craftland08 [!at] for more information or an application. Deadline to apply is September 22.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Etsy + LAAFF = Asheville Etsy Street Team

Check out the latest article, Etsy in Action: Upcoming Events September 6 - 12, 2008 in THE STORQUE, featuring Asheville Etsy Street Team + LAAFF.

Many hugs and kisses to Etsy Teams Administration for funding the Asheville Street Team demo postcards!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dear Asheville,

From the desk of Katie (aka: scrumdidlyump)

The Asheville Etsy Street Team is making an appearance at LAAFF, bringing you hands on demonstrations on upcycled no-sew grocery bags, a community art project resulting in a creature from the briny deep, and an on site display of our team members handmade arts and crafts. Etsy is an online venue for buying and selling all things handmade. Come join us and learn about Etsy, squids, and upcycled DIY projects!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Introducing Lauren (Pliable Trade)

A new team member is more than past due and I'm very happy to be introducing an enthusiastic and fun member of the team, Lauren. With more than two years Etsy experience under her belt, Lauren has two shops of her own, Pliable Trade and Wrens Nest Photography, and is co-owner of a third shop, Luddistines. You never know what you'll find at Pliable Trade, but it's sure to be colorful and fun.

About Her Craft:

How did you learn your craft or art?
Most everything I do is self-taught. Sometimes nice people will show me something new or give me pointers though.

Other than the work you post to Etsy, what other creative endeavors are you involved in?
I take a LOT of photos.

Etsy/Business Related Questions:

How did you find Etsy?
I found Etsy when I was searching the web for something with the word "witch" in it. I don't remember what it was, but I stumbled across someone's Etsy shop (I think they sold art dolls). At the time I wasn't making much of anything, but my friend had just learned to crochet. So after browsing the site for a while, I convinced her to join so she could sell her stuff. Then she convinced me to start making crafty things too. I was immediately impressed by the design of the site, even in beta version. I guess you could call it 'love at first sight'!

Is there a story behind your store name?
When I first started making things for Etsy, it was primarily in polymer clay. I also liked the idea of recycling things to make new things that could be functional- like jewelry. I'm usually pretty good at thinking of names for things, but my boyfriend at the time made the final suggestion. Right now I wish I had gone with something else, but overall it's a decent name.

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy? If so, what is it?
I work for a catering company and restaurant called Laurey's, which is downtown on Biltmore Ave. across from the Co-Op. I work in the shop handling food (not cooking), and tending to customers and retail. Sometimes I cater events (that's how I started) but mostly I'm in the shop. Stop by sometime and say hello! (And get some yummy food!!)

Of Local Interest:

What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
I love stopping in at Animal Haven. It's tucked away in a quiet neighborhood near Riceville Rd. and is the most peaceful and pastoral little place around here. They take in abused and neglected farm animals and you can walk through the entire farm. It's a wonderful place to take your camera and also to hang out with cool animals. It's also free, and the proceeds from the on-site thrift store benefit the animals there.

What's your vote for best place to eat in Asheville?
Laurey's! (Like I had a choice!)

If you had to move away from the area, what would you miss the most about it?
The biodiversity and the scenic views. It still takes my breath away to drive anywhere and see the ridgeline suddenly appear in the distance.

Random & Fun Questions:

Who are your heroes and heroines? Why?
My biggest real hero is probably Richard Preston. He is an author that wrote "The Hot Zone". I read it over and over again when I was younger and that book is essentially why I went to college. I don't want to be a virologist anymore, but I'll always have an interest in pathology because of him.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
This isn't the last book I read (I'm a reading machine), but I think it's my favorite for the year: "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman. It was really eye-opening and informative, not to mention really well-written and interesting. I recommend it to everyone. (Basically, the premise is- what would happen to the planet if all humans vanished tomorrow?)

For more of Lauren's work, click on the Etsy Mini below.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Introducing Ginnie & Jen (Shabee Stitches)

This week, we're introducing two team members, Ginnie & Jen, who are the duo behind Shabee Stitches. This mother and daughter team joined Etsy in June 2007 and feature amazing wedding accessories in their shop. Here they are in their own words...

Two Crafty Gals:

What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
We use all sorts of textiles, trims, and beads. Our favorites are reusing and reclaiming vintage and antique textiles, trims and beads that would otherwise be thrown out or overlooked. We also use new fabrics, but the vintage and antiques have a life and a history. It was common in Victorian times and earlier to reuse bits of lace or fabric from those huge skirts the ladies wore and so we feel we are continuing a time honored tradition. We love to try and imagine the women that made these lovely things:what were their lives like? their families? was this made for a friend or for home use? how many hours did it take to create the item? I sometimes find myself creating a whole story for the item as I'm remaking it into something else.

How did you learn your craft or art?
I learned the basics of sewing at a very young age first from my grandmother and then in schools I attended. At the time I went, Home Economics was still being taught and I learned a great deal there. The rest was practice and self taught until I went back to college and took a part-time job in the theatre department making costumes. There I learned to craft many types of theatrical costumes and to rework existing costumes into new ones. Jen caught the bug after she finished college and began beading for fun and to relax. She's still perfecting her craft but has gotten quite good at beading and loves to work out complex color schemes for

Where do you find your inspiration?
Our inspirations come from a lot of places, but mostly the fabrics or trims themselves. We first decided to do this because when Jen got married nearly 2 years ago she wanted a wedding that was Lord of The Rings inspired and it was impossible to find very much that was pre-made. So I (Ginnie) decided that in order to make her wedding what she truly wanted, I would need to make everything-from clothing to tablecloths to gifts from scratch. It took a bit over a year but it was worth all the time it took. It was then that we learned how little is available for brides who have a unique or unusual and very personal vision of their special day.

About the Etsy Experience:

How did you find Etsy?
Finding Etsy was a complete accident. I was looking for a place to sell our wedding creations and happened on a blog about crafting and selling on Etsy and decided to check it out. We had a couple of sales on Ebay but I never thought that was quite the venue we wanted. Etsy provided us with a place to sell our handmade items along side other handmade items and that was just perfect for us.

Describe your Etsy experience.
Our experience over the last year with Etsy as a seller has been a very positive one. We feel fortunate to have found such a great group of artisans and we are very proud to be a part of the best crafting venue on the net!

All About AVL:

What’s the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
For us, first thing would have to be the weather. Coming from extreme Northern New York, 30 miles from the Canadian border, we experienced 200+ inches of snow every winter and temperatures in January and February as low as -34 including wind chill. Winters were very long-from October to April and snow has fallen as late as May. Asheville feels like endless summer to us. Summer here is a bit warmer than we experienced in New York but we love it. Second would be all the wonderful people we've met here. Warm, friendly and helpful.

What’s your impression of the local arts & crafts scene here?
We've found the arts and crafts scene here to be unlike anything we've experienced thus far. The eclectic mix, the incredible community support for arts and crafts, the encouragement of and for the creative process is just unbelievable. The opportunities to share both the finished product and the creative processes has made our experience of Asheville one that we hope to continue for a very long time.

Fun with Ginnie & Jen!

What’s your favorite movie? Actor/actress?
For Ginnie: I'm a born romantic so my favorites reflect that. Currently it's The Lake House, an old one from the 1970's-Harold and Maude and one non-romantic film-Mindwalk-a terrific film about a politician, a poet and a scientist who take a walk around the ruins of an old monastery and discuss the past and the future of science and humanity.
For Jen: Elizabethtown because it talks about being yourself and letting go of the past and having the courage to take chances.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
For Ginnie: I'm currently reading Vincient Bugliosi's new book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. So far, I find it very interesting and I think many of his conclusions are spot on.
For Jen: Courage by Osho. I liked it because it showed me many things about myself that I was unaware of and it opened my eyes to the possibility of other choices.

If you'd like to see more of Jen & Ginnie's work, check out their Etsy shop by clicking on the Etsy mini below. Their work can also be found at: HubCityJazz, New Orleans, LA at and Legendary Stitches of Time at

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Introducing Betsy (wonderland5)

It's time to meet another team member: Betsy from wonderland5. An Etsy member since April 2006, Betsy features felt owls and swaddled babies, purses, pouches, aprons and baby gifts in her Etsy shop.

About Her Craft:

What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
I love felt and fabric of all kinds!

Where do you find your inspiration?
Right now I am really inspired by children's books from the sixties and seventies.

All About Her Work:

Describe your Etsy experience (as a buyer and/or seller).
It really seems like Etsy is one of those things where you really get out what you put into it. I have had a really great experience as a seller even though I have not sold very much. I really like that I can work on my shop when I have the chance but when I am totally swamped in other areas, I can let it slide a little and not feel too bad about it.

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy? If so, what is it?
I am a stay at home mom to two small children: Jack who is 2 and a half and Anna who is 6 months. The pay is lousy and the hours are terrible but I can't think of any other jobs I have had where I got to sing and dance and tickle my co-workers like I can these kids. So I guess I keep going with this gig for awhile.

How do you balance Etsy with other commitments?
It can be really hard because I find myself always underestimating how much time something will take--taking photos and writing and posting listings for example. But I have just found that it works best when I can break the tasks down to smaller parts and do a little bit when I have a minute.

Of Local Interest:

What’s the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
The weather! I grew up in Ohio and it is grey and cold in the winter and grey and hot in the summer--I love the blue skies here!

If someone is visiting the area, what is the one thing that they must see or do before they leave?
Eat at Early Girl on Wall Street. And go see my husband's photographs at the Woolworth Walk (shameless self-promotion)!
What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
Craft-on night at Cloth Fiber Workshop in Biltmore Village--second Monday of every month from 6-9. It's a varied cast of characters working on their own projects and chatting.

Random Betsy Facts:

What quote do you find yourself saying most often?
"Don't make more work for mommy" (the number one rule in our house)

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
This summer I have been really into reading novels about famous women in history including Anne Boleyn, Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth 1. I just finished a trilogy by Sandra Gulland about Josephine Bonaparte that I found really gripping.

To see more Betsy's fantastic work, check out her Etsy shop, wonderland5.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ashevillainous Etsy Homeshow

That's right, the time has finally come. This Saturday from 10 am till 4 pm, at 172 Richland Street in West Asheville, a baker's dozen of extremely talented craftspeople will join forces to fight the evil forces of Affluenza and pledge our allegiance to the nation of of Buy Handmade.

Yep, members of the Asheville Etsy team, and friends will be struttin' their stuff and selling their crafts, and you, yes you, are invited.

What does this mean? Crafty goodness abounding, free chocolate (courtesy of French Broad Luscious Chocolates), organic lemonade, pottery, art, goodie bags, handmade goat soap, hand-spun fiber, cloth diapers, up-cycled hand sewn clothing, jewelry, ephemera, live music, and everything else that you need to make your Saturday in Asheville a boot stompin' good ol' time. There is a rumor that there might be bluegrass covers of Ween songs.

Plus, there will be a raffle for a crafty basket of Etsy goodness!

Here are the magnificent makers of the crafty goodness who will be sharing their splendor with us or the day:








Here are directions:

From Haywood Road in West Asheville.
Head east toward downtown, turn left at Waynesville Rd, between Gas Up and Harvest Records.
Turn left again, almost immediately onto Wetswood Pl.
Go down until you come to the blinking caution light, and the Richland Street intersection. Turn left.
Look for the people with the fantastic crafts at 172.

From Haywood Road downtown/ in Riverarts district:
Go west across the Riverlink Bridge, toward West Asheville.
Turn right at the end of the bridge, on the other side of the river.
Turn left onto Waynesville, then immediately right onto Richland St.
Follow the street up the hill, and across Westwood, down the other side.
Look for 172 on the left hand side.

From the EarthFare parking lot:
Take the entrance ramp under the interstate as if you were going to go East on 240.
Turn left where the sign says "To Craven Street" just before merging onto 240.
Turn right at the T intersection of Westwood Place.
Turn right at the blinking caution light onto Richland Street.
Look for happy crafty people at 172.

Introducing Rachel (Debty Beautiful Beads)

Now that everyone's recovered from what was hopefully a safe and fun holiday weekend, it's time to introduce you to another team member. Rachel of Debty Beautiful Beads began her Etsy adventure early in 2007. Her shop features not only beaded jewelry, but decorative items as well, proving that her talents extend far beyond jewelry making.

About Her Crafts:

How long have you been making the items you sell on Etsy?
I have been doing some sort of arts and crafts that have been intended for gifts/selling for about 3-4 years now.

Where do you find your inspiration? How did you learn your craft or art?
I am a self-taught artist and I can get inspiration from just about anywhere. Family, God's everyday beautiful creations (like a sunset) or just flipping through magazines and books sometimes things will just hit me to combine things to make something completely unique.

On Her Etsy Experiences:

How did you find Etsy?
A friend of mine, her mother's best friend is a crafter and sells (or used to, not sure about now) on etsy and she told her about me trying to get started and just raved about etsy and demanded (lol) she tell me all about it.

Describe your Etsy experience (as a buyer and/or seller).

As a buyer its been fantastic. I've gotten some beautiful pieces and made some great friends. So far, knock on wood, I've not had a bad buying experience. On the selling side, it's been slower than I'd hoped. I knew I wouldn't get rich but most of my sells have all been BNR's instead of straight sells. So I've not really sold as much as I had wanted/expected. [Editor's note: If you're not familiar with Etsy, a BNR is a "Buy and Replace", a system by which you choose an item from a list, purchase it, and then get to add one of your items to that list.]

Do you have any advice to someone who is new to Etsy?
Don't expect to make 100 sales right off the bat. And join in groups and forums. The more active you are the more exposure you incur and the more awesome people you will meet.

On Asheville:

What's the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
I am actually in Franklin, Asheville is about 1 1/2 hours from me but I love going for the bookstores (I am such a bookworm!) and the food!

If someone is visiting the area, what is the one thing that they must see or do before they leave?
Well Barnes & Nobles is a must and then I love shopping the craft stores. It's limited in Franklin so it's a treat for me when in Asheville. And they HAVE to eat at Yoshida's.

What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
I'm really just now getting to know the "deeper" part of Asheville instead of just the mainstream areas I usually frequent. So I am looking forward to finding some of these places.

Random Fun:

In high school, you were voted (or should have been) mostly likely to… what?
Be a lawyer. I loved the law from my first field trip to the courthouse. And wanted to help people. I never made it to be a lawyer but was a paralegal for several years, which was much more suited to me than being a lawyer anyway.

What are your non-crafting hobbies?
Books, movies, computer and playing all sorts of dvd and board games with my family

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
I just finished the 2nd Odd Thomas book and am starting on the 3rd, by Dean Koontz, and they are absolutely FANTASTIC books.

To see more of Rachel's work, click on the images below to view her shop.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Introducing Jennifer (Merkaba Jewelry)

It's that time again - time to meet another fabulous member of the Asheville Etsy Street Team, Jennifer from Merkaba Jewelry. She began on her Etsy career in 2007, creating handcrafted jewelry using combinations of beads and metals.

On Her Craft:

What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
Sterling silver, copper, gemstones, lampwork glass beads, all beads really. And now I'm starting to make my own beads out of gourds.

How long have you been making the items you sell on Etsy?
I've been creating jewelry since college where I began a love affair with hemp and glass beads.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I'm inspired by many things...nature, friends, stories, my son.

Etsy/Business Related Questions:

How did you find Etsy?
I started off selling on eBay and got tired of competing with mass-produced items and the ever-increasing fees. Stumbled upon Etsy from recommendations from other crafty friends.

Is there a story behind your store name?
Merkaba has many meanings. It is a form of meditation and creating jewelry keeps me focused and keeps me very relaxed. I have a great husband who gives me the time I need to take off my *mom* hat for a little while and play with my wire and beads. I find it to be just what I need to keep me refreshed and ready to keep up with all my other roles in life.

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy?
If so, what is it? I am a stay-at-home mom to a fabulous little boy named Camden. It's a all-time job :)

Of Local Interest:

What's the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
The mountains, the climate, the people. I moved here over 6 years ago from Massachusetts and have loved every minute of it. I can't imagine living anywhere else.

What is your vote for best place to eat in Asheville?
Two Guys Hoagies. Mmmmm.

Random & Fun Questions:

What are your non-crafting hobbies?
Gardening, reading, and spending time with my husband, son, and two dogs.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
I recently finished The Kite Runner, which is a must-read in my opinion.

What is your favorite movie?
Another vote for the Red Violin! Although I really like Songcatcher as well, which is about the origins of music from this area.

Want to see more of Jennifer's work? In addition to her Etsy shop, she also sells earrings at Greenlife and has pieces at Merrimon Galleries, both on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. The NC Arboretum also has her work available for sale.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Craft Attack!

Some of our fellow NC Etsians - the Hornet's Nest team in Charlotte - are hosting a craft show later this year - Craft Attack!
Sounds like they've got a pretty great setup - and the booth sitting service for vendor breaks sounds delightful (and coffee & donuts - yummers!)
details are as follows:

This is an outdoor show, organized by the Hornet’s Nest Chapter of the North Carolina Etsy Street Team. You do not need to be a member of Etsy or the street team to participate.

The show will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Independence Neighborhood Park (the large side). The park is located at 300 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28204.

Show hours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. No resale, ready made items, imports, or retail items are permitted.Jurying will be done so that there is a good variety of merchandise.

We will provide:
 the park and 10 X 10 booth space,
 free parking,
 port-a-john,
 booth sitting services for vendor breaks,
 coffee and donuts during set-up,
 bottled water for vendors, and
 promotion/advertising.

You provide the tent and booth setup, your wonderful handmade items for sale and a great attitude.
Vending spaces are 10 X 10 for a fee of $65.00.
Application deadline is July 18, 2008.
Please send an email to carolina.etsy [!at] or convo SnitchesGetStitches or Happywhosits for an application!

By the way, Independence Park is a beautiful park in a scenic part of Charlotte. Lots of foot traffic AND we will provide lots of promoting beforehand.
We look forward to having people from fellow street teams apply to be part of our show. Plus, others that are NOT part of Etsy are encouraged to apply!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Really Now...Another Front Page?

It seems that I can't open Etsy without seeing an item from one of the team staring me in the face.... and that's a very wonderful thing. The Runny Bunny has made the front page again this weekend. Wow, just wow!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do My Eyes Deceive Me....

... or are our teammates getting lots of Etsy love this weekend?

As I visited Etsy this evening, I saw that yet another Asheville Street Team member has an item on the front page. Amazing!

Here's a quick screen print of the front page treasury that featured foundling (that's her in the lower right). Congrats to another fabulous Ashevillian on her time in the spotlight!

On the Front Page

Well, what do you know? A couple members of the Asheville Etsy Street Team have had items appear on the front page this weekend.

First was a pottery treasury that included scrumdidlyump yesterday (a hundred thousand thanks to my friend James for calling my attention to this and emailing me a screenshot when I had no internet access!).

On the front page today was the runny bunny.

Congrats to you both!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Introducting Krys (dreadedkreations)

Most of us know Krys' shop as dreadedkreations, but the full store name is much more intriguing: Dreaded Kreations Shop Of Mischief. New both to Etsy and the Asheville area, Krys specializes in dreadfalls and hairpieces, but you never know just what you might find in her shop.

On Her Awesome Crafts:
What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
Wool, synthetic hair, embroidery, SHARPIES!

How did you learn your craft or art?
The dreads were a trial and error. Everyone online has their own method, but I played around and wore my own creations!!

Other than the work you post to Etsy, what other creative endeavors are you involved in?
I am creating a zine for needle/thread hand embroidery featuring patterns, reviews and techniques.

Etsy/Business Related Questions:
How did you find Etsy?
BUST magazine!

Is there a story behind your store name?
Well I have lotsa handles for different things, geekchic is my hairstylist dig, cherry hammer is my roller girl name, so I needed something that would stick, and more importantly I would remember! I like fake dreads 'dreaded' also being a lapsed gothette; dreaded works for the OTHER stuff I am working on. ;) Kreations is what I do with my first initial thrown in there!

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy?
Right now I am unemployed :( just moving to ashevegas broke me so I am selling like MAD on ebay getting rid of stuff. But by trade, I am a hairstylist that loves the funky!
Asheville Rocks!

What’s the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
Everything! natural beauty and a art scene that rocks!

What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
I haven't been here long enough to discover that one yet! Anyone want to give a newcomer some pointers?

What’s your impression of the local arts & crafts scene here?
I came from Wilmington, where they *say* there is an art scene, but asheville got it all! And everyone is really laid back!

Random Krys Facts:

What’s your favorite movie? Actor/actress?
LABYRINTH!!!!!!! as far as actors, i love love LOVE the Monty Python Boys!!!!

What quote do you find yourself saying most often?

What are your non-crafting hobbies?
B/W photography of random things. I love hiking and cooking!

To see her "dreaded kreations", check out Krys' etsy shop. Fingers crossed that her fabulous dreadfalls will find a home in a salon near you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introducting Katie (scrumdidlyump)

Many of the team know Katie as the creative genius behind the first ever Asheville Etsy Home Show. Her shop, scrumdidlyump, now features fantastic organic-shaped ceramic pieces, but early in her Etsy career, Katie also sold lovely vintage sewing machines. Without further ado, let Katie tell you about herself and her craft in her own words...

Crafty Goodness:

Where do you find your inspiration?
Robots, microorganisms, Dr. Who, Samuel Mockbee, toddlers, Jugenstil and Cowboy Bebop, among more mundane things. I am very spontaneous. I think my best work come from playing around in the studio and following an unplanned progression of designs. Sort of like a really dirty version of automatic writing.

What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
I like using found objects to make stamps, which I then use to texturize my pieces. Screws, bolts, weird medallions, leaves, plastic army men, foreign currency, and beer bottles have all been my minion of texturey goodness. I also like clay of varying textures. Really gritty clay is fun to throw with and so is porcelain. I find that I go for totally different textures depending on the clay I am using.

Other than the work you post to Etsy, what other creative endeavors are you involved in?
I have a son. I endeavor to help him survive into adulthood and be an open minded creative individual. I also sew, paint, make books, knit, garden and generally love anything and everything that involves making something interesting with my hands. I hate being bored.

It's All About Etsy & the Kids:

How did you find Etsy?
I googled "handmade keychain" sometime last spring. I got the coolest little crocheted pocket keychain thing, and then I forgot about it for about a year, when I was starting to look into galleries and venues to sell my work (I got my very first kiln in October!)

Describe your Etsy experience:
I have fallen in love with Etsy, head over heels. In my experience it is a very intuitive site, with a wonderful, if somewhat overwhelmingly large, community of crazy creative people who for the most part seem very devoted to a subversive way of looking at the world, which I find very appealing.

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy?
I have an in home daycare. I care for five preschooler from 8 am till 5:30 pm. I also have my previously mentioned five year old son. So I have two non-Etsy jobs.

On the Asheville Scene:

What's the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
When I go to other towns to visit and come back here, I feel very comfortable and remarkably tidy. When I visit Birmingham I feel messy and unkempt. I guess Asheville just suits my style, and my hairy armpits.

If someone is visiting the area, what is the one thing that they must see or do before they leave?
Go to Malaprops.
[Editor's note for out of towners... Malaprop's is a fantastic indie bookstore in downtown Asheville. It's a great place to grab a coffee and see what the locals are doing.]

What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
The Ashram on Ravenscroft. That's where my yoga class is. I love it.

Random Katie-ness:

What's your favorite movie? Actor/actress?
My favorite movie is Ikiru. My favorite actor is Gene Wilder. He can make me shoot liquids out of my nose.

Who are your heroes and heroines? Why?
I like the Tick because his battlecry is "SPOON!" Wait, did you mean the other kind of hero?

What quote do you find yourself saying most often?
"You can't always get what you want... but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need!" I do watch toddlers all day. They are big into "want," and they also seemed stunned to the point of distraction by advice in the form of a song.

To see more of Katie's work, check out her Etsy shop or catch her once a month vending outside Earth Fare in West Asheville. Katie does live shows as well, including the Asheville Home Show and LAAFF. She's everywhere!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Introducing Liz (cozyblue)

An Etsian since September 2006, Liz is one of the two founders of the Asheville Etsy Street Team. Her shop, cozyblue, began with a few dolls, some aprons, and lots of knit hats for the little ones. Since then, she's expanded her products to include toys, button flowers, flag banners, zippy pouches, blankets, and wool felt crowns. Sold exclusively on Etsy, her colorful and fun items are a delight to see.

About The Crafts She Creates:

What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
I really like to use natural materials when I can - soft merino wool yarn, wool felt, cotton fabric - also vintage fabrics, trims, and buttons.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in so many places. A lot of my inspiration comes from my children - kids are naturally SO creative - it's irresistable! My daughters' drawings; her love of animals, nature, and the world around us; the illustrations in the books we read together; the 'pretend play' games that she creates - it's all so imaginative, colorful, and fun. I also love to find inspiration in new fabrics, all things vintage, and japanese crafts.

How did you learn your craft or art?
Most of my crafting is self-taught. My mom taught me to use a sewing machine and read patterns when I was young. Those skills have definitely stuck with me, and everything else I've figured out along the way! I've always been a real DIY-er, and I love teaching myself new techniques, using new materials, and seeing new ideas unfold in the process.

On Etsy and Her Other Jobs:

How did you find Etsy?
A friend of mine opened a shop on Etsy. Soon after, I checked out her shop, browsed around etsy, and loved it! With some gentle nudges from good friends and family, I got my shop up and running, and was hopelessly addicted (and still am)!

Do you work another job in addition to Etsy? If so, what is it?
My most important (and very full-time) job is being the best mom I can be to my two kids - they are 4 1/2 years old (Adella), and 7 months old (Griffin). I also work as a nurse in a long-term care facility, where I've worked weekends for about 4 years.

How do you balance Etsy with other commitments?

It's a hard balance sometimes. right now, while my kids are at such a wonderfully young age, family takes top priority, and I'm pretty limited in the amount of crafting I can do. I have to prioritize on a day-to-day basis. some days I am able to devote a lot of really productive time to etsy, and other days not at all. I squeeze in my etsy time whenever I can get it! I often wish I had more time to concentrate on etsy-related things, but for now I just do what I can without overextending myself. it's really important to me to keep my creating at an enjoyable level - making the things I love and getting my stuff 'out there' a little bit at a time.

Do you have any advice to someone who is new to Etsy?
Get involved! Take time to poke around and participate in all the great things etsy has to offer - forums, virtual labs, the storque newsletter, showcases, treasuries - there are so many great folks on etsy. The more involved you get, the more you make yourself seen, and the more opportunities you can create for yourself.
And - pictures are important! Take the time to learn to shoot great photos - they make all the difference.

About the Local Scene:

What’s the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
There's just so much happening here! Arts and crafts, music, outdoor activites, great schools and opportunities for kids, the natural beauty all around, the great sense of community, lots of progressive movements happening - I could go on and on - we love Asheville!

What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
Well, I guess our most frequented places are parks and playgrounds :) but another fun event we look forward to each summer is the Shindig on the Green - every saturday downtown - old-timers and bluegrass pickers, cloggers, and performers - everyone just brings a picnic blanket and hangs out, enjoying the summer evenings together.

What’s your vote for best place to eat in Asheville?
We always enjoy the asheville pizza & brewing co - good food, great brews, and a super-laid back, fun atmosphere.

Random Liz Facts:

What’s your favorite movie? Actor/actress?
I'm a big movie fan, and I have many favorites. My all-time favorite is The Princess Bride. It's got it all - fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...!

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
Right now i'm reading 'eat, pray, love' - by Elizabeth Gilbert. Love it!

Bags Everywhere!

How many Etsians does it take to make a bag? We're not sure but eight of our team members whipped out 50+ promo bags in record time yesterday. To be given out at the Home Show on July 12th and at the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival in Septemer, these colorful cloth bags will hold all kinds of promo goodies, including business cards and samples. If you're one of the first to visit us at the shows, one of these fabulous bags and all the goodies inside could be yours!

Thanks to Katie (scrumdidlyump) for the generous use of her home to do this project. Thanks also to all the fabulous Etsians who donated their time, knowledge and spare fabric to make this happen: wonderland5, pliabletrade, therunnybunny, merkabajewelry, theflyingtrapeze, and woolenphoenix. You guys rock!

Giving our H(Arts) Away

Hello everyone! Colleen’s Creative here : )
Now I know we are of course here on Etsy to be selling our work, but do you ever feel that in the process, you are giving little pieces of your H(Art) away?
This weekend I was leaving the parking lot after buying fabric in our small little town and I got the most enthusiastic response from a group of strangers about my Secret Pocket Star Purse. When these wonderful people stopped me, I was thrilled! But…conversely, I realized, unless I really really really : ) KNOW that they love it as much as I love do- it is not going to leave my hands!

Well, this is just not a practical attitude! But it is SO hard the few times I have sold something, to let go! I anxiously await feedback so I know my H(Art) has arrived safely and pray they let me know. What about you?
How about we all edit this post by adding pictures with what we H(Art) most in our own shops. Or - something you won't even list because you love it too much. Sound good? And lets remember to let others know how much we appreciate their Harts.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Run RunnyBunny Run!

Imagine my delight when I opened Etsy this evening and saw that our team's very own RunnyBunny has a much coveted first spot on the Front Page. .For more info on this fabulous front page item, click here for the Etsy listing: Baby Deer in Chartreuse.

Congrats RunnyBunny from all your Asheville teammates!

New kids on the block

Welcome! Here is a list of our newest members:

Colleen's Creative
Green River Woods
Mojo Glory
Phoenix Child Creations

Don't fret. We'll be adding you to the list under Teams as soon as possible, and in the meantime, please don't forget to tag your goods with "AVLetsyteam." We'd love you to join us over at Flickr.

And if somehow I've overlooked anyone, anywhere, please let me know so I can fix it - thanks.

Viva Ashevegas!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Inaugural Meet & Greet

Last night marked the first ever Asheville Etsy Street Team Meet & Greet. Six of our team members, along with various friends and family, gathered for a potluck at Weaver Park. We couldn't have asked for a better time - good food, good people, good location, and a good time for all.

Thanks to Katie (scrumdidlyump) for getting the ball rolling on this one. Other Etsians attending included cozyblue, The Flying Trapeze, Pliable Trade, and The Runny Bunny. It was a great opportunity to share Etsy experiences and brainstorm some new ideas for the team. Thanks everyone for making it a great evening!

Looking forward to the next get-together,
Chris (aka Luna Seas & Harvest Moon Designs)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lexington Art and Fun Festival

We have been offered, as a group, a double booth and mini grant of $250! We just need to come up with a proposal for an interactive activity at the LAFF festival. If you haven't been to LAFF before, it is the bees knees. I am thinking of getting my own individual booth to sell my pottery, but the group booth could also sell Etsy goodies from people on our team. I think we could also get a grant from Etsy to get some promo stuff and spread the word.
Meet the Ashevillainess- she is the creation of Etsy seller Zephi for us to use in out team promos!

We need a cohesive plan, and then.... WE ROCK!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

DIY- Series presented by Asheville Buncombe Library and Art Museum

Last nigt I trundled Milo into tthe car and drove like md woman to the library. Why? Yes, I love the library, but last night was really special. There was a showing of grrrlyshow, a documentary about women's zines in the 90's.
It was awesome!
there was a knitting circle, Milo made his first screenprint shirt and vegan chocolate cupcakes from Jodi Rhoden's Shortstreet Cakes! Malaprops also donated coffee. The highlight of the evening for me was getting to make my very own zine page.
I will try to get the next event up on the blog before it happens- if you love Etsy you would love these people!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Upcoming Local Craft Show

For those of you who are interested in working or attending live craft shows, there will be a show on Saturday, May 10th in Asheville, sponsored by St. Mary's Episcopal Church. The show will be held from 9 AM to 3 PM across from the church on the corner of Macon and Charlotte Streets. In addition to the craft booths, there will be baked goods and a lunch available. I plan to be there with quilts and sun-catchers, so I'd love to see you there!

Local crafters and artisans: They are still looking for vendors for this sale! If you're available on the 10th and are interested in vending for this show, please contact Pat Wooten at as soon as possible. She'll be able to give you more information on the show. I know that she's looking for higher end crafts, unique items, and traditional mountain crafts. If there are any potters or broom-makers out there, she'd love to hear from you!

Hope to see you all soon!

Harvest Moon Designs

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Asheville Etsy Freecyle Spring Cleaning Bonanza

I don't know about the rest of you out there, but about this time of year I get an uncontrollable urge to purge. And clean.
It occurred to me, being somewhat impatient, that it would be awesome to have a little Asheville Etsy get together and freecycle some of the stuff that I would ususally assign to my roadside free box.
Would any of you crafty fols be interested in having a freecycling party? We could each bring stuff that no longer blesses our homes and have a big ol' swap meet.
The remaining goodies could then go right down the road to the nearest thrift shop, freeing us all!
I would love to have folks gather at my home, but anyone else's is fine too!
Let me know what you think in a comment or convo me on Etsy.
Love and happy tax day,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Team updates

We have two new Asheville Street Team members:

Window Seat
Such dreamy paintings!

Oooh... more OWLS!

So welcome! We are so happy to have you on board with us. Our team currently has seventeen members. Viva Asheville!

Also, I sent in (new) member updates to the Admins at Team etsy this morning, so don't fret if you don't see yourself on the Team listing. It will be there soon - promise. It will also reflect the shop name change for Delena of The Flying Trapeze (formally

Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I spy with my little eye...

A new member to Asheville etsy Street Team.

Wow, and check her out! Loads of cool Asheville themed goodness in her shop, and I especially love this through the viewfinder photo titled "All The Stars Came Out."

So welcome Dandy Tree! We are excited to have you join us.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


hey folks! check out the local goodness in this treasury by lunaseas:

here is the link, in case you want to take a closer look.
nice job, luna - thanks!