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Vendor Introductions: Part Five

Starting today’s vendor introductions we have Candice of Buttercream Clothing.

1. What do you make/sell?

Buttercream Clothing is a ladies clothing line that is locally made using high quality fabrics focusing on comfort and style.

2. Why do you make/sell it?

What inspires your work? I decided to start this ladies clothing line as it was so difficult to find Canadian clothing that was stylish and comfortable at the same time. I am inspired by fashion everywhere I go, I love people watching and seeing what people are wearing every new season.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I am very proud to provide a ladies clothing line that is ethically made in Canada with a focus on pieces that will last for years to come.

You can find Buttercream Clothing here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/buttercreamclothing

Instagram: @buttercreamclothing

Website: www.buttercreamclothing.com


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Next we have Sue of One Hundred Monkeys.

1. What do you make/sell?

I am a metalsmith! Mostly Silver, but like the colors of the base metals such as copper and it’s alloys such as brass and bronze. I make all kinds of Jewellery including some for your horses!

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I love the skill and complexity of working with metals, love the textures and images I can create. My inspiration comes from Nature in the form of textures as well as Folk Art symbolism.

My style is influenced strongly by Art Nouveau, Celtic and Classical movements, and my content often centers on narratives and symbolism.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I like to create art that inspires, teaches, and tells a story while at the same time being functional as well as beautiful.

You can find One Hundred Monkeys here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanannesharp

Website: http://www.suesharp.ca/

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Next we have Shannon of Heart N Soul Handbags.

1. What do you make/sell?

My collection of handmade leather purses and accessories draws strong parallels to Alberta’s prairie culture and the constant inspirations nature provides. My pieces are both rustic and organic, utilizing raw edges of the leather hides and embellishments such as hand cut leather flowers and feathers, antique skeleton keys and decorative conchos.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I wish to share a glimpse of my soul through my pieces and hope it strikes a common chord with people who share the same values and lifestyle as I do.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

Using the hide of a once living animal implicates huge responsibility for me. It is my mandate to create something beautiful and functional celebrating the animal’s life. I work to minimize the wastage in my process, utilizing the smallest leather scraps to create flower shapes and accessories in my Heart ’n Soul Handbag’s collection.

You can find Heart N Soul Handbags here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-n-Soul-Handbags/137645313020982
Instagram: @heartnsoulhandbags
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heartnsoulhandb/

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Next up we have Christine from ImPaper.

1. What do you make/sell?

We sell graphic designed greeting cards, art prints and home decor products that make a difference.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

We bring forth a line of interior decor in hopes that our products will not only add that special touch to your business decor, office, desk space or room, but also reach out to our customers whether it be an inspiration, amusement or kindred-ship. Graphic design and being socially responsible has always been a passion of mine. Through ImPaper, I’ve been able to tie the two together and this has allowed me to share my passion with others.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

ImPaper was founded on the premise of using business as a means of social change.
Every product purchased contributes to a specific cause ranging from tree planting, diseases, providing clean water and more.
We are socially responsible and operate our business with the environment and carbon footprint in mind.

You can find ImPaper here:

Instagram: @impaper

Website: http://www.impaper.co/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/impaper.co

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impaper

Finally for today we have Christine of Quirefly.

1. What do you make/sell?

I make jewelry and accessories. My favorite materials change depending on the day and the inspiration, but some of my favorites include annealed steel, copper, semi-precious stones of all sorts, and czech glass. I also work with repurposed fabrics, such as sari silk, to make something new and fresh and interesting.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I am an art historian, and as such I am trained to look for the connections between the things that people make, and the reasons why they make them. I look for symbols and subjects, styles and stories and connect those to the events and concerns of artist and audience. It tells me what is important to them, and suggests why. In our own age, I see a strange and curious duality of progression and retrogression, of modern and vintage, of forward and back.

In our world of facebook, twitter, google and email, we can reach incredible places and people without ever leaving our home. There is good and sad in that, I think. This modern age, while opening our virtual doors, can also remove us from the tactile, hands-on experience of the world around us. I think that this, in part, encourages the current drive to make things with our own hands. Although we may embrace the advantages and opportunities afforded us through modern technologies, we still feel a need to connect to each other in a physical way.

This is certainly an influence on me, and the media I choose. I bend wire, knot yarn, stitch fabric (by machine and by hand), and punch thread. My media can be found in the earliest chapters of my art history books, and the most contemporary web galleries.

I know this sounds cliche (what isn’t, these days?), but really my art is a selfish indulgence in creativity. It satisfies my need to be doing something with my hands, to make things that I find interesting and (or) beautiful, to experiment with different techniques, and to combine old and new. It gives me the opportunity to create something personal, and to interact with the world in a simpler, more intimate way.
I love what I do, and I hope you will too.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I have seen a great deal of support for hand-crafted and home grown in Calgary in the last few years. This is really exciting, and I am so happy to be a part of this terrific group.

You can find Quirefly here:

Twitter: @quirefly

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Vendor Introductions: Part Four

Today we are starting our vendor introductions with Amy from Quadrophonic Image.

1. What do you make/sell?

I’m a Calgary based photojournalist who has wondered into the art world from time to time. My personal work consists of many images taken right here in Calgary. From awesome garden shots to detailed car photography, it showcases a side of our world not often seen.
2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?My art gives me a chance to inject creativity into my everyday. I still feel overjoyed whenever someone buys a piece or stops to admire. Making and selling my work gives me a chance to share my perspective visually.
3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?Those little details I photograph, stop in your everyday life and have a look around you. If you start looking for them your life will be a bit more magical, I promise. 

You can find Quadrophonic Image here:

WEBSITE/BLOG: quadrophonicimage.com

TWITTER HANDLE: @QuadroImage
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @QuadroImage
FACEBOOK URL: facebook/QuadroImage
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Next we have Ann of Magpie Quilts.

1. What do you make/sell?

I make quilts of all sizes, little mug rugs to full size bed quilts

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I’m inspired every day by the amazing cotton fabrics that are available for sewing & quilting. Sometimes my quilts will grow from a grouping of fabrics, sometimes from a color scheme I see in nature or art, and sometimes a quilt is inspired by the person it’s being made for.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

A lot of people have different ideas of what “handmade” means. To me, it means the maker is personally connected with the products they are making. Each quilt in my shop is made by me & quilted by either myself or in the case of my larger quilts, by a local friend on her long arm quilting machine. Decisions on how a quilt is finished are made to ensure the customer gets a great long-lasting, unique product for a fair price.

You can find Magpie Quilts here:

Instagram: @MagpieQuilts

Twitter: @MagpieQuilts

Next up we have Christine of Purple Pony Art.

 1. What do you make/sell?

My main line are photographs and magnets of my nature photography and art. The photo cards are 5×7″ and people can mix and match with a magnet. I always tell folks that the cards can be framed afterwards. I also have prints available.

I love capturing local flowers and scenes. There’s a real demand for things that authentically come from the prairies. But I also make handmade cards from my own designs.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

When I first started selling my work, I realized how much I enjoyed interacting with customers and seeing the same people year after year. It’s inspired me to be a better photographer and build a portfolio.

My favourite cards are always inspired by an original made for friends. I usually have to simplify them down for sale, but they still keep a lot of the original charm, such as the owl new baby cards.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

Definitely. My Etsy shop is not a reflection of everything I make and do. The shop is slowly being converted to digital downloads where people can instantly get a PDF to make their own cards or download photographs and illustrations. What works so well offline didn’t translate online and after ten years of having an Etsy shop, it’s great to find out what works.

I am also a fine artist. This past summer one of my paper cuttings took first in its class and second overall in its section. It was amazing to win!

You can find Purple Pony Art here:

Twitter: @purpleponyart

Instagram: @calzephyr77

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/calzephyr

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PurplePonyArt

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Next up we have Brianna of Pet Portraits by Brianna.

1. What do you make/sell?

I create fully custom pet portraits in acrylic and watercolour. Having a background in design and illustration gives me a very versatile skill and style set that allows me to tackle pretty much anything. While we take lots of photos of pets, not many get printed or displayed – so having a painting done is great way for a family to honour their fur family member in our digital-based age! And best of all, any imperfections in a photo is something that can be corrected or changed in a painting.

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

Originally, pet portraits just started out as gifts I did for family and friends. While most of my day is spent designing at a computer I still very much enjoyed the hands-on process of painting. After some years of doing freelance design in my evenings and weekends, I was tiring of long days in front of a screen. I decided to switch things up! To get back to traditional painting in my after-hours I thought pet portraits might be the market to do it in. I’ve always loved painting animals, and everyones pets have such a huge impact on their lives. Each pet is an inspiration – so many of them are truly amazing creatures and the level of gratitude of my clients continually astonishes and motivates me. My goal is to truly capture each animal’s unique personality in every portrait.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I do love what I do! Both during the day and in my alt hours. My design and illustration background continually improve my portraits whether it’s composition, colour or creative. I’m also looking into creating an exciting offering of portraits done in historical master styles such as Klimt, Degas, Van Gogh, and even some pop styles down the road. This way clients can really merge their artistic taste with their portrait needs. I’m also starting another line/shop for custom nursery and children’s room art. Bri Baby Art will launch in the Fall of 2015!

You can find Pet Portraits by Brianna here:

Facebook: PetPortraitsbyBrianna

Tweet me: @BriPetPortraits

Instagram: @BriPetPortraits

Website: http://www.BriPetPortraits.com

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Pet Portraits by Brianna

 

Next up we have Brittney of Reum.

1. What do you make/sell?

I mainly work with textiles, specializing in hand dyed scarves and woven pieces

2. Why do you make/sell it? What inspires your work?

I have always been interested in making things. When I was younger I would get paint or cross stitch sets for gifts, always wanting to learn something new. In my life I tend to want to control things and in my work I try and let designs and patterns happen organically. Letting go, even in this small way, is really cathartic for me.

3. Is there anything you’d like to tell others about what you do?

I love making things and it is an amazing feeling when you know one of your pieces, that you poured your heart into, is going to a good home. When someone really appreciates my work it is an incredible feeling and a wonderful way to connect to others.

You can find Reum here:

Instagram: @brittreum

Twitter: @brittreum

Website: www.brittneyreum.com

 


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Getting Started on Etsy: Part 3 – Photography

Photography is king! Shop photos are your number one tool for attracting and engaging buyers. With roughly 32 million items for sale on Etsy your photos have to stand out. They have to attract the attention of your buyers and then hold them. In todays post we’re going to go over some helpful tips for getting the most out of your photos.

Tip 1 – Good Lighting – Good lighting is so important because it’s pleasing to the eye and it’s the best light for showing off the details of your product. The best way to achieve good lighting is to use natural light when taking your photos. Indirect natural light is the best in order to avoid harsh shadows. Stay out of the sun and instead set up beside a window where there’s no direct sunlight. The indirect light will hit your item on an angle and really help get the most out of your products and photos.

When at all possible use natural lighting but it can be tricky so another option is to use a light box. Because the sunlight is constantly changing throughout the day the light is different all the time. Building a light box is incredibly simple and it allows you to take photos at any time of day because your light is always constant. You can look up light box tutorials online. It can take as little as 10 minutes to make one. Hint: Make sure you purchase bulbs that give off a white light (e.g.. OTT Lights) to achieve the best natural light look.

Below are some great examples of good lighting.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: WoolyGems, Bird Blue Design, Trashtiques, SIDONIEYANG.

Tip 2 – Photo Editing – No matter how great your lighting is sometimes your photos need a little help and that’s where photo editing comes in. You don’t want to alter how your product looks but sometimes your photos just need to be cropped or brightened or maybe you want to create an overall feel for your shop by adding a filter to your photos.

There are many programs to use, Photoshop being one of the most well known but you can also find free programs online like Picasa and my personal favourite, PicMonkey. Below is an example of what my product photos look like straight from my camera and what they look like after I’ve cropped, adjusted the temperature and brightened and highlighted my photos. A few simple steps can make a huge difference! Play around with your photos to figure out what you like best.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3

Tip 3 – Neutral Backgrounds – use simple, neutral backgrounds to really let your products stand out. Fabric, stone, wood, white poster paper and black chalkboards make great neutral backgrounds. They add visual interest to your photos without distracting from what’s important.Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: OHDEER Shop, A Second Time, A Pears Vintage Goodies, Kiwi Tini Creations.

Tip 4 – Photo Props – use props in your photos to enhance the look of your products or show how they can be used. Sometimes the buyer needs to see how a product can be used in order to really understand if it’s the right purchase for them. Below are great examples of how photo props can really enhance your photos and engage buyers.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Billie Boone Vintage, IM Paper, Kiwi Tini Creations, Stone and Tree.

Tip 5 – Use all 5 photos spots in each of your listings – shop photos are incredibly important because they tell your buyer visually what your product is all about. Colour, size, scale, texture, material, detail, use, branding, packaging, can all be portrayed through your photos. Use all 5 photo spots in each listing to really give the buyer a sense of what the product is really like. Here are some examples of photos you can take to fill up all 5 spots.

Macro shots – get up close and personal with your products. It makes for an interesting picture and can help show the products features like texture and material. Many cameras have a macro setting but you can also achieve the look by just getting up nice and close.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Splurge, Handmade Therapy, Elle Bee Tree, Marian and Hazel.

Packaging – fill one of your 5 photo spots with a shot of what your product will look like when it arrives to the customer. This is a great way to brand your shop and lets be honest, we all love pretty packaging.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Soph & Oh, Splurge, Medicine River Soap Co., Yarn Ink Studio.

Models – use real life models to show scale and use of your products. Plus it gives buyers an immediate sense for how the product can look on them. Using models can also add some personality to your products and shop.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Khokho Designs, Bubblegum Sass, Handmade Therapy Kids, Maple and Oak Designs.

Options – If you offer your buyers a choice in materials, size or colour for example use one of your photo spots to show the different options. This way buyers know exactly what the final look of their product will be.

Imperfections – if you offer a vintage piece that might have a chip or show some wear be sure to include a photo of the imperfection so your buyer is well aware of what they’re purchasing.

Different Angles – Don’t just show the pretty part of the necklace but include a photo of the clasp as well. Show the back of the headband not just the front. If you print your logo on the back of your cards show a photo of that too so your buyer knows what to expect. Top, bottom, front, back. Think about all the different angles you can take a picture from.

Really think outside the box when it comes to your photos. Think about what you as a buyer would like to see. Photos can be a lot of work but they’re so important so take your time and play around till you’re happy with the final result.

Lindy, Jillian and Hilda

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Billie Boone Vintage

 

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