Friday, June 24, 2011

Featured Artist: Madeline - mmjewelrybox

Today's featured artist is Madeline alias mmjewelrybox! Let's get to know her better!

Tell us a bit about yourself:
What is your background?

When I first joined Etsy I had all intentions of putting my age in on my profile, but when I went into the chat rooms and everyone is talking about their kids, work, and husbands I felt like no one would take me seriously. I felt like I was an outcast and that everyone would not respect my work. I now know and I have realized that is does not matter how old I am, I know that I am talented and I love making jewelry. It does not matter what others think, wither it be my age or my about work. 
I am 15 1/2 years old. I am a freshman in high school, I just got my learners permit, I am a cheerleader for my school, and my FAVORITE thing to do is make jewelry. I really is my passion. I put a lot of effort and time into each piece. I don't want anyone to think that my age has an effect on the craftsmanship of my jewelry.  I have been making jewelry for about 4 ½ years. I grew up watching my mom knit, bead, sew, and felt purses.  I loved to help her and when I was old enough I to start crafting I started to bead right away and I have not really stopped ever since.  Right now I work with a lot of precious and semi precious stones as well as glass beads.  I am hoping to get started with Art Clay so keep an eye open for that! I might be 15 but I am determined to make something of myself. While all of my friends are searching for summer jobs I am searching for craft festivals and trying to find new ways to better promote myself. I know I can succeed, but all I need now is for other to believe that I can do it!

What hobbies or interests do you have?
I love to play sports and workout, I am very active!  In my free time when I am not making jewelry I love to study fashion and interior design.  I love sketching and painting as well. I LOVE anything having to do with art!

Is there a specific design style that you really like?
I would say I do not have just one design style. My pieces reflect all different styles!

What drives you?
My drive comes from the desire to show people that I can be successful even at my age!   My family and friends help me stay motivated.  I put a ton of energy into my brand and my business. I spend a lot of my energy participating in craft festivals and farmers markets!




look at me!
What are you passionate about?
I am very passionate about fashion! I want to go into fashion when I am older and become a stylist.  I love getting inspired by the latest trends!  My goal is to make jewelry that will top off anyone’s outfit!

Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
I chose to start making jewelry and I would not give it up for anything! I am defiantly passionate enough to build a brand around it.  I feel like I have already started to!

What are your goals?
My goals are for more people to know about my jewelry.  My community knows about it, but I would like the world to!  My jewelry makes great gifts and one of my little dreams is for people to go to my site when they need a gift for someone!  I am young and I have a lot of learning and time ahead of me to make my brand better and more successful!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five year I see myself in New York City attended Parson or F.I.T. I hope to be interning at Vogue.  I hope that my brand will have grown a ton! I hope to still have my brand and bring it to New York with me!

Tell us about your shop:
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
I sell affordable kids and adult jewelry!

Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
When I think of my ideal customer a strong mother comes to mind.  I see her being very busy but she always looks very chic! I think in away my ideal customer is my mom. When I describe my ideal customer my mom comes to mind.

What do you want to be known for in your business?
Quality work!

What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
My jewelry is very fun and unique!  My prices are very good! I love to use a lot of different materials when making my jewelry.  I love finding vintage beads to use!

What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
I think the element of my age and my determination is what sets me apart from everyone else.  I have had a lot of people tell me that I am too young, and that they do not think that I am not capable.  I know I am! I am very determined to succeed.  I don’t think age matter, but talent does. I think that I do have a talent for making jewelry.

look at me!
What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
I think my jewelry makes great gifts. I have jewelry starting at $5!  Even if you have a small budget you get still get something beautiful!  I also have started to sell some of my beads because I just have too many!! My beads start at $3!

What is your message?
I want to tell every young artist that no matter what people tell you, you can be successful! I have had a lot of people look down to me and tell me that I am not old enough. I know I am, and I have been successful.  Believe in yourself, your product, and in your business!
My blog: http://busybeaderblog.blogspot.com/   Please follow!




Saturday, June 18, 2011

~Closed~ Giveaway! Octo's ACEO Adventures

Hi Makoccino readers! I'm the shop owner at Windowfog, and I'll be doing the majority of today's guest blogging.
First, I'd like to express my thanks to mako for agreeing to host my shop giveaway. I feel very honored and ecstatic to be able to do my little contest here.

As mako blogged about earlier, I'm introducing ACEOs into my shop. It's been a while since my last giveaway so I thought it'd be a great opportunity for me to do another one. This time around, I hope more of you will enter!

In case you missed the last post, ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. They are the size of standard trading cards and are for that same purpose: to be traded and collected. They are fun miniature forms of art that are both affordable and fun to have as collectibles.


Cards from Windowfog will feature the shop mascot, string Octo. Each card will be a limited edition original, meaning I will only paint so many of one design. On the reverse, each will be titled, dated, numbered, and stamped with my personal seal.

What:
Alright, here's the free stuff. There are two individual prizes to be won. There will be two winners, and each winner will get an original Octo ACEO.

This is from my debut ACEO series: "Octo Studies Abroad". Each card is painted on 90lb cold press watercolor paper and will come in an archival-safe soft sleeve.

Prizes: Octo Japan & Octo Holland

How:
Now, how do you win? Entering is easy-peasy! Shop hearts and follows are not required, but they won't be overlooked either (more on that later). This contest is open worldwide! Just don't forget to include your e-mail address.

The only entry requirement is:
  •  Reply to this post and list in order of preference which card you'd like to get. (required entry)
Want to increase your chances? Okay! Here are a few more options for you. Remember, you must leave an additional comment for each entry method:
  • Blog/Tweet/Status update/whatever about this giveaway with a link to this giveaway. (1 bonus entry)
  • Visit one of our shops and leave us a comment about it. Either Windowfog or Makoccino, or both if you feel generous. (1 bonus entry)
  • Become a follower of this blog or Like the Windowfog Facebook page. Current followers are eligible. Just reply that you already are. (1 bonus entry)
  • Comment with ideas for other card themes you'd like to see. (1 bonus entry)
This contest ends July 2, 2011 5pm EST/GMT -4h.

Good luck to you all and thank you for your interest in our shops! We hope that while you may be here for the freebies, you'll stay because you like us ;).

Hugs and Tangles,
Shop Owner at Windowfog

**Entries that are incorrect or incomplete will not be counted. Once winners have been announced and contacted, each will have up to 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner is drawn.**


Friday, June 17, 2011

Featured Artist: Rachel - RDeSant86

Today's featured artist is the gorgeous Rachel alias RDeSant86! Check out her beautiful vintage outfits! And now let's get inspired!
 
look at meee!
What is your background?
My name is Rachel, I'm 24 years old and I live in
Okemos, MI (near Lansing). I work full-time in property management to support my Etsy addiction, but I love everything I do! I am passionate about vintage clothing and I always have been ever since I was very young. I often feel that I was born into the wrong time period as I am ob-sessed with the 60's and 70's. Everything about it makes me smile...from the culture, the fashion and the innocence of the time.

What hobbies or interests do you have?

I love to be outside during the spring and summer. Be it laying by the pool, swimming at the lake or camping. My boyfriend and I are excited to golf together this summer! It'll be our first summer together since he's been out of the military, so we are very excited. I golfed in college, and he's been a leisurely golfer his whole life, so it'll be fun to hit the links together this year.

Is there a specific design style that you really like?
Vintage is very eclectic so there a many different design styles. There isn't one that I particularly like more than the other. If by design style, you mean era, then the 60's and 70's are my favorite. I really love the 50's style as well, but it's a lot harder to make 50's full skirts and petticoats with modern. The key to making vintage stylish is to not pair vintage with vintage. This simply means, when wearing a great piece of vintage pair it with modern shoes and accessories as opposed to vintage ones. Vintage with vintage makes you look old-fashioned. Modern accessories freshen it up and keep it modern but classic.

What drives you?
My mom was a packrat and never threw anything away, ever. We moved around a lot when I was a kid so it was tough for me to make new friends. I remember finding all her old clothes in our basement from the 60′s and 70′s. I remember pulling them all out and making a huge mess, trying everything on and modeling them for my stuffed animals. It was then that I knew I was born into the wrong time period. I loved those clothes and they became my best friends! My drive is simply to show the world how beautifully and how well-made clothes used to be. They still can be today, but the time and energy put into styles from the past is still unsurpassed in my opinion. I want everyone to feel the amazing feelings you can get through an amazing piece of vintage.

What are you passionate about?
What gets you excited, angry, or motivated to take action? How can you let your passion come through in your brand?

Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market? 
me too!
I chose this type of clothing because it's what speaks to me. I've always been in love with it and it's the coolest place to be in fashion.

What are your goals?
What are your plans for the future, and how does your brand fit into that picture?
Within a year's time I hope to have sold every dress currently in my shop and have an entirely new cycle of vintage finds. I hope to hold a constant inventory of at least 200 dresses at all times.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I'll be able to do nothing but vintage!!!
one more time!

Tell us about your shop:

How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?

I give people a special feeling when they wear something well-made from the past.

What difference do you want to make in this field?
Wearing vintage is not only cool, but it's also green! Instead of going to the mall and buying CHEAP manufactured items from junk clothing stores, I sell pieces of well-made clothing that won't unravel when washed for less money. I'm guilty of it too from time to time, but vintage clothing is in a league of it's own. Think about it: is that $20 sweater going to last 50+ years and be worn as vintage in the future? I seriously doubt it! I've bought clothes that didn't even last a summer. Clothes from eras past are just so well-made and the quality is simply unsurpassed.

Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
E.g. gender, age, hobbies, interests.. How does that affect the styling for your brand? Does your audience share any of your hobbies and interests? Can you convey that with your brand?
My ideal customer is confident, stylish and knows what she wants. My customer can be anywhere from 20-60, there's no age limit on looking your best in a fresh, fun and comfortable vintage dress! My customers come from all walks of life and there is no cookie-cutter demographic that they fit into. We are all very different but we all share one unique taste in quality clothing that we can also pass on to the future world.

What do you want to be known for in your business?
I want to be known as the girl that sold me my most favorite piece in my wardrobe. The girl that opened me up to how cool and modern old clothing can be. The one that sold me one piece of vintage and now it's all I wear.

What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
  • bohemian
  • classic
  • tailoring
  • quintessential
  • ingenious
cheeese!

What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?

What elements of your personality, experience, skills and niche can you blend together to put a fresh spin on your topic? How can you build a brand around that uniqueness?
I think the time and effort I put in to each and every listing sets me apart. With the prepping, washing, picture taking/posing (yes, I model all my dresses which is the most common question I get asked), description writing, and uploading of photos, one dress takes me almost an hour to list. It's a lot of work, but the end result is so worth it and I wouldn't want to do it any other way.

 
What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
Everyone has a story. Yours might be a “rags to riches” story or maybe an inspirational “beating the odds” story. What elements of your story can you bring to your brand to make it more interesting?
I'm just an everyday girl that discovered vintage at a young age. I don' need to convince anyone to buy from me. If you want to look good, do your part to recycle, keep vintage preserved and be the most unique out of all your friends, you'll want to check out DeSantis Vintage. If you don't it'll just be more treasure for someone that really wants it!





What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
The need to be unique and look amazing! You don't have to be getting married or attending a large event to feel special. You can feel special every single day by wearing clothing that puts pep in your step and makes you feel gorgeous.

What is your message?
Stay Glamorous! All day, every day, 365. You don't have to be wearing a gown or a fancy outfit to do it either. Wear what you love and love what you wear. Period. It may surprise you to know how much a piece of clothing can change your whole outlook.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Windowfog presents: Octo's ACEO Adventures

Today I wanted to introduce you to the lovely Windowfog! Her shop offers handmade string dolls and origami garlands. These dolls aren't just made of string – they are made of just a single thread that she carefully turns into a cute string ornament.

One of her more popular items is her cute Octo string doll that has already made a lot of people happy (like me!). And because Octo is thrilled to know about other cultures, he wants to travel around the world to learn about other countries and eat delicious food! In the process, he will take a looot of pictures which he will share with you – of course! 


And that's where the "Octo Studies Abroad" ACEO series begins..


What makes these photographs so special is that they are all one of a kind ACEOs.

ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals". All ACEO cards measure 3.5 in. x 2.5 in. (8,9 x 6,4 cm) - the size of a trading card. In this case, they are little pieces of original art that can be traded, collected, or framed to brighten up a room.

And because Octo and Windowfog will now be adding ACEOs to her shop, she has a little surprise for you!

Next week you will all get a chance to win one of these cute ACEO cards! And there might even be more than one winner!

It will be pretty easy to win so stay tuned for more informationIn the meantime, take a peek at the cards on the official Windowfog Facebook page!

If you want to be first to know, follow us on twitter for the most up-to-date news from our shops! 

So look forward to my next blog post!

~mako

illustration friday

I wanted to start something new and creative. Since I'm following illustration friday for a couple of weeks I always wanted to participate in order to paint/draw more and be creative! 

This time the friday's topic was "swept".



This card wasn't supposed to be for this topic but I have actually found a nice quote that fits perfectly to this picture:

"Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart."
~Mort Walker

This bunny doesn't laugh but I think a smile can sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart too. Like if someone smiles at you or if you have to smile because something made you smile! You suddenly forget about your bad day or things that bother you. Even if for just a little moment.

~mako

Friday, June 10, 2011

Featured Artist: Shawnna - garbaje

Our today's featured artist is Shawnna alias garbaje! She has pretty recycled jewelry in her shop! Please check out her shop!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

look at me!
What is your background?
I grew up in a little country town about an hour east of Cleveland, Ohio. After highschool, I attended a liberal arts private school where I graduated with honors and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Business. I really enjoyed the business classes, however I always felt the urge to take advantage of the liberal arts education and branch out into other areas that the college offered that were unrelated to my major. So I enrolled in as many elective art classes that my schedule allowed for and wound up graduating a semester early because I maxed out my credits every semester. Come to find, this saved me a ton of money!

When I graduated in December of 2008, I immediately found a job and am still employed as a front desk manager of a salon and spa. I enjoy the people I work with and I enjoy what I do, however my favorite part of the day is when I get to be home with my family and set up my work area to make my bracelets after my son goes to bed.

What hobbies or interests do you have?
When I'm not making my recycled jewelry, I really enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, being outdoors, reading when I get the chance, Facebooking (best invention ever), recycling,  the casino, and I'm known to have an occasional glass of wine!

Is there a specific design style that you really like?
My style preference is a direct reflection of the items I make. I don't know if there is a formal design style name that I'd give them, though. Here's some adjectives that I'd use to describe them: fun, funky, bright, unique and ecofriendly. I hate purchasing anything (a shirt, a purse, shoes..) that will only go with one outfit that I own. I prefer to go for the items that I can picture myself wearing on an everyday basis. That's how my bracelets are -- they will add a little fun(ness) to any outfit.

look at me!
What drives you?
I am driven by all the successful people who were told that their dreams weren't realistic! I absolutely love hearing people's stories and listening to how they made it to where they are now. Whenever I am feeling unmotivated, all it takes is for me to revisit some of my favorite blogs (Gussy Sews is my absolute favorite) by young women who have accomplished, and are still working on accomplishing, their dreams.

I'm also very emotionally driven and I have a very strong desire to be truly happy during my lifetime and in my career. For some people, that may mean climbing up the corporate ladder, which I admittedly dreamed of at one point when I was in college. However for me now, I want to be able to combine my passion for creativity and my overwhelming desire to be a stay at home mom. 

Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
I have been making beaded jewelry since I was five years old. I always told my parents that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I had a little shop in our basement where I drew pictures and hung them on the wall for display. The pictures could be purchased for 5 cents and were made to order. Let's just say that my parents where the most loyal customers ever. What's even funnier is that my display of pictures is still hanging in their basement! I'm actually "LOLing" right now :)
In summary, I have been a creative person my entire life. I didn't have to choose it, I have always had it. I've gained the business experience through college and my career and I just cannot wait to combine the two into a full-time passionate business that I'm determined to make it.
What are your goals?
My ultimate goal is to start a handmade business from home that earns me enough money so that I don't have to pay a babysitter everyday and work for somebody else. I feel like I have a very big opportunity to do something very exciting with the combination of my business background and my creative side.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I see myself running a successfully evolving handmade business.

Tell us about your shop:

How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
When I'm at my workstation, I'm doing what I was born to do. With every sale comes a huge amount of satisfaction to me, knowing that I created something that somebody else is willing to pay for and enjoy for themselves.

Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
The ideal customers that I'm trying to target would be women between the ages of 16-40 I'd say. Most of them probably appreciate the idea of purchasing something that is not only one-of-a-kind, but also affordable and ecofriendly. This said woman is not very hard to come by, therefore my opportunity to grow and gain exposure is a definite possibility.

What do you want to be known for in your business?
I want my items to be known for their originality, earth-friendliness, quality, and affordability. Nothing in my shop is over $20, which makes every item a realistic purchase for just about everyone.

What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
My shop truly is one-of-a-kind. The recycled water bottle bracelets that I make are my most popular items and you can't come across them anywhere else. I hand-roll each plastic charm from water bottles and wrap them in brightly colored copper wire. I have another variation of the recycled water bottle bracelet, which is combined with recycled magazine pages and makes for an even more original and standout piece of jewelry.

What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
My story is simple -- I'm a woman/wife/mother who is trying to accomplish her ultimate dream of working at home doing something that she absolutely loves while earning an income and not missing out on a moment with her family :) 

Look at me!
What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?  
People may stumble across my Garbaje when looking for an ecofriendly piece of jewelry. Or possibly just a fun and unique bracelet that boasts handmade. Every single item that is for sale in my Etsy shop comes from atleast one recycled item, whether it be a water bottle, a soda bottle, magazines, or pop tabs. Recycling is very appealing and when combined with fashion can be a very exciting trend.

What is your message?
My message is that it's entirely possible to rock a piece of recycled plastic and look good doing it.  Jewelry doesn't have to be super expensive or mass-produced. A handmade piece of jewelry (or any accessory for that matter..) is always something worth talking about and appreciating.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Treasury Time

Poppies are so beautiful, aren't they? I finally wanted to create a treasury but I had no idea how to do that. Where to start? Should I create a theme at first or just search for pretty things. Therefore I asked the lovely Windowfog for help! And here is the result!

Omg, I NEED this headband!


I'm so happy that I've found this etsy shop! It has so many pretty things! Check it out!

I'm working on some new projects right now and because one thing has to do with poppies I came up with this theme! (Ikea-wall-stickers ftw!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Welcome Octo!

Octo has finally arrived in Germany!! 
He had a tough flight from Maryland, USA so he looks a little bit messy and confused.. 


At first he was too shy and tired to take pictures but I could convince him!


Sadly it was a rainy and sticky weather so he had to to take off his cute scarf that he actually was going to wear!


Let's give him time to settle down before he is going to explore the country!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Featured Artist: Koula - giftforever

Our today's featured artist is giftforever! She has such cute things in her shop! Please check them out! And now... time to get inspired!


muuuuh
Tell us a bit about yourself:

What is your background?
My name is Koula and I come from Greece. I studied Archaeology at the University of Athens and I have an MSc in Architectural Materials Conservation from the University of Bournemouth in England. I am currently working as an administrative secretary and at the same time me and my husband (he is a jewellery maker) design and create some small treasures and we offer them in our shop on Etsy. I got started creating these small things, when my children started painting (they wanted someone to draw with them). We were drawing and my husband saw these drawings and he gave me the idea to create funny, affordable and for every hour of the day jewels. And here we are now!!!

What hobbies or interests do you have?
My hobbies have to do mostly with my children (4 and 1). I want to spend as much as I can with them. So we go swimming, theatre, movies, excursions and everything that parents do with their children.

Is there a specific design style that you really like?
I prefer minimalism, but when I see something that is really unique, even if it is “too rich for me” I do not say no. We decided to present funny jewels because everyone has a funny side. The materials are simple and workable, but most of all, affordable. We use colours for a sunny touch and we hope to achieve the top quality.

What drives you?
At the beginning we saw the etsy shop as a new way of income. Month after month we realised that our small treasures do have fans and some of them did actually sent us encouraging notes and e-mails. Now we can combine the new way of income with the creation of something you really like and love. 

What are you passionate about?
I’ve being motivated by the critique we receive times to times. I am happy when everything goes well and I am angry when someone finds a fault in a product. It is difficult to overcome these emotions, but at the end these are the ones that keep you in constant motion.

meooow

Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
As I have already mentioned, at the beginning we saw as a new way of income, and, of course, it remains an income for my family. It was also a way to express myself. I cannot be a writer or painter, two things that I really love, so I design inspired by my two children (their toys and fairytales) children’s images and drawings. These drawings come to life with the help of my husband who puts, as we say, the final touch.

What are your goals? 
I am hoping to have more inspiration and create more small treasures. I want to keep my customers satisfied. I want to be a better person and reflect that to my work.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Healthy, happy, with my family and friends also healthy and happy. I try to live every day as being the last day of my life. I want my children to grow up (now they are 4 and 1) happy and especially healthy, in a world full of love and peaceful.

Tell us about your shop:

How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
We try to offer something unique and funny to those who want to feel like that.

What difference do you want to make in this field?
My goal is not to make a difference but to keep satisfy my customers so they can be able to come back for something new.

Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
There is no ideal customer. Everyone is unique and have his/her own personality. Our shop tries to meet the specific needs of everyone who visits our little shop.

What do you want to be known for in your business?
We offer cheap but quality creations. I want everyone to say that Giftforever is a unique shop, funny, affordable but with no deductions to the quality of its products.

What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
  • simplicity
  • fun
  • casual
  • unique
  • inexpensive
What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
We love, nature, animals, children. We try to blend these three characteristics in our creations, using simple but quality materials. Our creations are addressed to everyone, from a 15 year old girl to a beautiful 85 year old lady (I am saying that because my grandmother wears some of our products).

I'm a turtle! weeee

What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
I learnt that nothing is for free. You have to work hard and unfold your personality through your work, especially if your family is in need. Our times are difficult and the economic crisis affects everyone, even if some of us do not want to accept it. There is a constant need for something new, unique, optimistic and of course affordable. We believe that our creations reflect all of the above.  

What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
The environment of my current job is not ideal. I was tired and was looking for something that would inspire me. Through these creations I learned to communicate better with my husband, I spend more time with my children and learn new things which inspire me. All of the above give me everyday a breath of fresh air, energy, something that I do not find it in the office. 

What is your message?  
Optimism, we need optimism especially this hour that the entire world watches numb the events in Japan. We need to stand up and do something.

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