Thursday, April 22, 2010

TeamT International Member Feature - Jenny (JennyNDesign)

Jenny Joined this treasury team in June of 09. She is a super treasury maker and amazing artist/designer. She makes gorgeous bags - I hope to be able to own one of her bags one day! Jenny has been a real help to our team with her many talents - web-designing, graphic design, blogging, and more. 
We really appreciate all you do for us Jenny - Thank you!



What furniture/design/home d├ęcor piece do you love most?
I really love my Cardboard Safari Bucky - mainly because it was the first expensive piece of decor that I bought for myself when I graduated college. I was adamant about not living like a college kid anymore.

Not married, but I am with a wonderful boy, Akshay, whom I love a lot.  I call him The Boy on my blog. He's also my unpaid male model for man bags.

Kids/no kids?
I have a dog, does that count?

Pets/no pets?
Oh, in that case... I do have a pug named Hubert. He's the sweetest, most goofy little thing I know. Don't be fooled by his expression. He's neither sad nor confused. That's just the way his face is.

Day job?
Designing and making bags are my full-time job.  I graduated The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and very quickly realized in my senior year that I preferred designing bags than medical devices, though I aced my senior design project to design a new device to aspirate bone marrow for things like bone marrow transplants. I am a good engineer, but I think I make a better bag engineer.

Austin, Texas. I love this city. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

23, turning 24 in June.  Not really looking forward to it, but I'll live.

How many languages do you speak and what are they?
I speak 1.33 languages. I speak English and can understand Vietnamese.

Do you play an instrument?
I dabbled in guitar for some years as a teenager and can still play some songs, but I haven't done much with the skill lately.

Can you sing?
I think so. My brother, The Boy, and Hubert don't seem to complain.

Lets Talk Business…

What’s a good story behind your craft and what got you started?
My mom taught me how to sew when I was 6 years old.  The first thing I ever made was a tote bag (you can see where this is going, right?).  During one of the stressful times in college, I decided to procrastinate on studying and get a cheap sewing machine and some fabric. I made that same tote and soon it became a hobby. I needed to fund this hobby because in college, you just don't make enough money to make a room of totes, so I started selling on Etsy.

Where do you get inspirations?
Well, after I started selling, I graduated above totes and designed bags inspired by shapes that inspired me - like the Baby Ruche Bag is modeled after the then-popular Bubble Skirt with pleats in the front to add more dimension.

I follow a lot of home decor, fashion, and food blogs so there's always plenty of inspiration in the natural shapes that are in nature and in the current trends. 

I sketch all of the "final looks" in a notebook and then reverse engineer it to determine the dimensions and method of manufacturing. I guess I am an engineer at heart.  Each bag is designed with meticulous detail to minimize waste and increase efficiency in production, while still maintaining a simple and sophisticated style.

Does your family help with your business/hobby?
Initially, my brother and boyfriend were my drivers to buy shipping supplies and drop off packages at the post office.  I learned to drive like a few months ago and got my license (long story) and finally have an old car that will take me where I need, though I do most ordering online and occasionally will make a trip to the post office if I don't use carrier pick-up.

The Boy accompanies me to all my shows, which is always great because it can get lonely sometimes.

My Mom is my accountant. She earned her degree in Business Finance, so she's really money savvy. I don't think any of that passed onto me, unfortunately.

Do you like your craft/hobby?
I love it. I couldn't imagine working in an engineering company with normal work hours.

How do you market?
I sell exclusively on Etsy for now and attend some craft shows. I blog, Facebook, Twitter, and purchase ads occasionally.

What gets neglected when you're tending to your shop or creating?
My life. I recently extended my turnaround time to allow time to play with Hubert, hang out with my boyfriend and our friends. I pry myself away from my studio on the weekends so that I don't burn out.  I answer e-mails from my iPhone on the weekends to keep myself away from my computer.  It's so hard to stop working because it's my hobby, but I have to set strict rules for myself so that I will continue loving my job for years to come.

What are you future plans for your business?
I hope to find time to launch my new bag design. I have a design that I sketched almost a year ago that I haven't had time to make.  We'll see what happens in the next months...

Any bad experiences with etsy…rude customers/bad buy?
0.5% of my customers give me reoccurring nightmares. Which means I've only encountered two in two years of selling, which is not bad at all. I love all my customers, I always learn a lot from the bad experiences.

For Fun…..

Are you awesome?
I say this a lot when someone comes to me feeling bad and needing to vent, "You know, when I feel bad, I just stop feeling bad and start feeling awesome." It is an adaptation from one of the many life lessons I've obtained from watching How I Met Your Mother. 

Obviously, I am not often someone that my friends go to for a shoulder to cry on. My brother has dubbed me the "Truth Bomber" because I don't have a high tolerance for pity parties and sad stories.  Especially when it comes to relationships, I have the same line for it all, "Get over it."  Death and sickness are another story, and I am not such a meany for those situations.

Just so you know, I do have a soul.

When was the last time you had a staring contest?
Never. I've worn contacts since I knew about the game and can't keep my eyes open for very long without them drying out.

When was the last time you fell asleep with the TV on?
I rarely watch TV, and when I do, it's at The Boy's place because he has cable. I fall asleep when he watches ESPN, and when I wake up, he's bored of watching and I change it to HGTV and Food Network, and then he falls asleep. It all works out perfectly, really.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in a high-level of interest at first sight. That's pretty close.

Are vampires real?
No. But clowns are. And I hate clowns. Especially killer clowns. They are the worst. They live in places like the forest and under your bed, which is why my bed has to be ON THE FLOOR so no one can fit under there. I digressed from the question...

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?
Button technology doesn't work that way unfortunately. But I feel like inching forward at a red light will make it turn green faster. Right?

Where you named after anyone?
No. My parents named me Jennifer because it sounded good with my brother Christopher. Sounds cute, huh?

What is the first thing you notice about people?
Clothes, eyes, and mouth. In that order.

What is on your mouse pad?
It's a black piece of leather from my scrap box.

If you were another person would you be friends with you?
Of course. I would try to get free bags even though I don't give my friends much of a discount.  It's actually the same discount I give everyone else during sales (and I only give them those discount during my sales). Don't tell them though, they think they're getting a deal from me.

But in all honesty, I think I make a pretty good friend. I would go to me for the truth if I were confused about something in life. I think most of my friends go to me for advice for things like relationships, business, and fitness (I am a certified personal trainer and taught Yoga and Pilates for 5 years during college).


Favorite flower?
I used to like Stargazer lilies, but now I like Peonies more.

Favorite color?
This changes according to my mood. Rotates between black, fuchsia, turquoise and gold. Sometimes other colors will make it in there, but they won't stay for very long.

Favorite smells?
Bakeries and new homes. And gasoline - which is bad, I know, but I know for a fact I'm not alone in this.

Favorite food?
Anything Vietnamese, hands down. I grew up eating it, and I default to cooking it. Though The Boy has introduced me to Indian cuisine and his undying love for pizza.

Favorite etsy shop?
I love too many. You can see my favorites if you want names.

Favorite pass-time?
I love scheming new projects for building things (big things like beds, work benches, displays, shelves and things).  I love my power drill and staple gun.

Otherwise, I love to repurpose clothes, work out, shop, and have philosophical conversations with Chris and The Boy during dinner. We really love contemplating theories from books such as The Black Swan and Blink being the most recent books we've read. It's when I get the most conversation in my day because I spend all day at home working and hanging out with Hubert.

Favorite memory?
There's a video that my mom took of my brother and me sitting on a bed and putting our feet in our desk chairs (the chair was facing the bed). I was 2, my brother was 4. My brother would knock over my chair and I would have to climb all the way off the bed, place the chair back in its place, climb all the way up and put my feet on the chair. Well, before I could climb all the way up, guess who decides to kick over my chair?  Exactly. We continued this routine for six or seven times, and each time I asked him oh-so-patiently and softly to stop (in Vietnamese, I was so cute, I can't speak Vietnamese as well anymore).  I think after the last time, I yelled at him - which scared him, and my parents because I was always so soft spoken. My dad warned my brother that if he continued to mess with me like that, I would turn evil.

I haven't been soft-spoken since.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April TeamT Feature - Tara (Mamachee/BornWithIt)

Hello everyone! It feels weird doing a feature on myself but here goes...
I started this etsy team last year in May and I'm soooo happy with how the team has grown. Everybody is SO great and its been so much fun getting to know you amazing and talented crafters/artists. I really haven't been able to be as involved with the team as I had imagined I always would be (because of my living situation and babies) and I apologize for that - I really don't know where the team would be now if it weren't for those that have helped so much (you know who you are!) Thank you Thank you Thank you!
This team is the greatest team on etsy (in my opinion) and I am so happy with the success it has given to a lot (or even most) of us. I hope that this team will continue on strongly and make all of us super successful etsy sellers - beyond what we had even imagined for ourselves!

What furniture/design/home decor piece do you love most? Hmmm, that might have to be my rag quilt I found at a thrift store for only $20 (in supremo condition)

 I found this photo of my rag quilt behind the pile of clean clothes - if you look closely you can find my son hiding under the clothes pile - silly boy

Married/single? Will have been married 6 years May 28th 2010   whoa!

Kids/no kids? 3 -  Jordan (4), Galilee (1), and Summer (2 mo)  I've been busy ( :

Jordan and Galilee

Pets/no pets? two dogs - Montie (a small white mutt) and Timber (a German Shepherd)

Day job? I am the queen of my roost - before I had my first child I worked as a dental assistant (loved that job)

Location? North Pole, Alaska (the last frontier) 

Age? 23

How many languages do you speak and what are they? I speak English mom tried and failed to teach me German.

Do you play an instrument? Well, I can play the piano a little bit....a very little bit. One day I would like to start playing the gee-tar

Can you sing? Anybody can sing but sadly my voice is not one that you would listen too for enjoyment. My husband cannot sing either- we are hoping that we cancel each other out and our children will have lovely singing voices.

Lets Talk Business
What is a good story behind your craft and what got you started? I was always a crafty/fidgety little girl sticking my fingers into anything I could. It wasn't till I was...I think 15 that I started to crochet and have been happily stuck doing it ever good at it...started selling stuff at a local baby boutique...then tried etsy (in response to the urging of a couple friends)

 The Fat Birdy

Where do you get inspirations? Oh everywhere....I have a bad staring problem...I really love to sit and stare at things and people. It embarrasses my husband sometimes but I am just admiring and getting ideas and I always have a cheerful smile for those that catch me staring at them. Baby and Children clothes are great for inspiration too, they come in such pretty colors and patterns.

Does your family help with your business/hobby?
Yes, my husband helps a whole bunch. He listens as I talk through ideas of mine and he watches the children for me while I crochet. The Birdy Rattle (the most successful item of mine) was actually my husbands idea....I designed the bird and my husband told me to put a rattle in it and add a handle.

Do you like your craft/hobby?
I love to design and sell patterns and I'm having fun with the bornwithit (my item shop) shop but I would like to be to one day live off of only designing patterns. I would like to be able to always work on something new and fun.
 My most popular crochet pattern

How do you market? I spend a bit on online for monthly advertising at popular crochet sites and I'm apart of this team ( :

What gets neglected when you're tending to your shop or creating? I try my best to always keep up on the house and of course always play and hug on the children every day - I try my best to neglect nothing but it does have to happen sometimes and my husband is very helpful when that happens.

 Little baby Summer (1 mo. old) modeling the bear hat

What are your future plans for your business? I am currently working on a crochet book proposal and hope to get it sent out in the next couple weeks - so excited about that and hopefully that will take me to great places and provide other opportunities. I would really like to start teaching crochet classes again once my children are older - I have great plans and really look forward to seeing what the future has for our little business.

Any bad experiences with etsy...rude customers/bad buy? I had one terrible buy - it was very disappointing but the good WAY out does the bad here on etsy. Etsy seller and buys are some of the friendliest people!

For Fun
Are you awesome? I try my best to think positively about nature would lean toward answering no but yes, I am very awesome!

When was the last time you had a staring contest? I don't remember when but it was with my husband and he won...he always does.

When was the last time you fell asleep with the TV on? We don't have television channels but we love watching movies - I think I fell asleep last night while watching Fracture.

Do you believe in love at first sight? I would really like to because it seems so nice but nope, I do not believe that you can fall in love with somebody at first sight any more than I feel in love with all those delicious looking candies that vintageconfection makes ( :

Are vampires real? I think they might be to an extent

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster? No, I think it may actually make it go slower ( :
Where you named after anyone? I was named after the Tara Plantation in the Movie Gone With the Wind.

What is the first thing you notice about people? Their pearly whites..I was a dental assistant ( :

What is on your mouse pad? I don't have a mouse pad.

If you were another person would you be friends with you? Yes, I think I have the personality type to be, for the most part, compatible with anybody.

 Favorite number? 3 because I like how it looks and I like to write a 3

Favorite flower? I really like daisies and time I saw a mound (about the size of a car) in a little parking lot that was covered with poppies - it was the prettiest thing - ever since I've really loved poppies.

Favorite Color? Red....because its just the best color....add a little white and you get the next best. Of course I love green too...I like all colors really!

Favorite smells? Sugary Baked Goods - like brownies!

Favorite Food? Spaghetti and anything my mom cooks ( :

Favorite etsy shop? I don't think I can call any my favorite because there are so many amazing ones..some of note to me are (beyond the amazing shops in our team) sigmosaics, artmind, kristimcmurry, colleenattarastudio, sylver, lueandsue, turnyourhead, therainbowroom....oh, and many more...too many to list really.

Favorite pass-time? Watching a fun movie with my husband or going to the park with kids on a sunny day.

Favorite memory? This is much too hard of a question - there are so many great memories but I think one of my very favorites may be my whole 7-8th grade years. I had such great friends and we had so much fun just being silly girls. And....i'm blond. Everybody knows that girls just want to have fun and blonds have the most fun.

Favorite youtube video? There has been so many funny you tube videos I have found over the past years but right now this one stands out to me....FROG FAIL

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Front Page Treasuries for April 2010

Curated by patinaphotography on April 28

Curated by SmallEarthVintage on April 26

Curated by glassetc on April 24

Curated by ixela on April 22

Curated by  cyndiesmithdesigns on April 21

Curated by  SmallEarthVintage on April 13

Curated by  DoiliesandDaisies on April 11

Curated by TheFancyLamb on April 8

Curated by ThreadRare on April 7

Curated by nancywallisdesigns on April 4

Curated by Sooooound on April 1