Monday, July 30, 2012

Team Member Interview With Adrey of AnACreate

Tell us a little about yourself.
  Hi, I'm Audrey, and I'm the supermom of a classically-homeschooling, hobby-farming, craft-loving, large family! We live on 2 acres and have crammed every possible thing onto it! After all, our home is  our school, and we see chores and responsibility, rather like the dad in Calvin & Hobbes, as character builders. J We have dairy goats, chickens, rabbits, geese, cats, and dogs to name a few animals. We also grow much of our own food and have several large gadens and an ordhard. We have 6 children from ages 1 to 13. We love our school years with them.

How did you begin working in your craft and how did it develop into a business?
The Etsy shop(s) we operate grew out of a desire to teach our kids how to run a business.  From the large gardens we mentioned above, we sell excess produce at our local farmer’s market.  One of our daughters started making reusable shopping bags to sell at the market, and another daughter started making aprons.  One of our sons grew zucchini to make into zucchini bread and sell at the market.  We wanted each child to learn about running a business as soon as they were old enough to understand rudimentary math and economics.  An added benefit was learning more math skills as they made change at farmer’s market.  But farmer’s market only runs for 5 months of the year and so we encouraged them to look for other places to peddle their wares…and the Etsy shop(s) were born.

1974 Calendar Bag

We try to do “unit celebrations” with the curriculum we study, and a few of these have really been memorable.  For example, when we were studying Victorian times, we hosted a Victorian Tea Party.  We made authentic food for the era, everyone came in costume, and we made Victorian crafts before tea and played parlor games after tea.  I made everyone’s silhouette for them to take home with them.  (You can see these in the background.)

What advise would you give to other homeschool families who are also trying to run a home business?
I’m not sure what advice to give others about running a home business because our Etsy shop(s) are a twist on that.  We put pretty high priority on our kids running their Etsy shop(s) because it is one of the most concrete examples of real life training we are giving them.  They will have to make an income some day!  We give them time every day to maintain their shops and consider the time very educationally spent!

Carrot Apron

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
Our daughter who makes the reusable shopping bags haunts antique stores for antique tea towels which she upcycles into her bags.  With added ribbon handles, they are fantastic!  Our apron-making daughter loves to find exciting, inspirational fabrics on the internet.  She has also opened a photography Etsy shop, and her inspiration for her photographs is found in nature. 

What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

Reusable Shopping Bag

Do you have specific goals for your business or for your homeschooling? Would you share some of those with us?
Our goal for our children’s Etsy shops is for them to gain real-world, practical experience in running a business.  Without getting political, I think it will be very important for children of the future to know how to make money with as much debt as our generation is leaving their generation. 
A personal goal is to start my own Etsy shop!  I would love to sell vintage item and supplies, and hand sewn items.  (After all, I was the one who taught my daughters to sew!)
This year in our homeschool, we have several new beginnings: we are starting our 4 year history cycle over again, our oldest will start high school studies, and two of our youngest start 1st grade, so our plans for the year revolve around these things. For example, this time through history, we will focus on art and architecture. Last time through we focused on music and geography and next time through we will focus on timelines and inventions. This adds new interest to repetitve material. In general though, our goal in homeschooling our children is to teach them to learn...because then they will be unstoppable! Yes, we will be working ourselves out of a job, but that will give us more time to do things like run our own Etsy shop!

Do you have any other websites that you would like to share? ie, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Shop...
I would love it if everyone reading this interview took time to check out our children’s 3 shops:  (I haven’t mentioned this one yet, this shop belongs to our photography daughter who also loves to craft things from clay.  She has the neatest idea for personalizing clay figures…you should see what you would look like as a princess, witch, or mermaid!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Interview With Lora of CrochetRUs

How did you begin working in your craft and how did it develop into a business for you?

Hand Crocheted Mermaid Tail Photography Prop
 A Sunday School teacher taught me the basics at 8 years old and I pretty much took off with it. I started out doing orders for friends and family, then when I was around 12 or 13, my father discovered Etsy and introduced me to it.

What did you like best about being homeschooled?
I love the flexibility of homeschool! And that has kind of leaked over into other parts of my life; I am a very flexible person.

What is one thing that you liked least about being homeschooled?
Speaking honestly, one thing I disliked about being homeschooled was that because of my personality (in person, I tend to be a little shy), I feel like I don't have that many friends. Not that I didn't have opportunities to make friends (I had plenty). So maybe that is not necessarily because of homeschool but that's what I thought of when I read the question. :-)

What extracurricular activities were you able to participate in?
I participated in LEAH (Loving Education At Home) co-op.

Flowered Visor Beanie Banana Espresso

What advise would you give to other homeschool students who would like to start their own business?
My advice is to never put your business ahead of school work! I had to learn this the hard way. Soon enough, you will be out of school and able to craft whenever you want. And dream BIG! One of my favorite quotes is, if your dreams don't scare you at least a little, you're not dreaming big enough!
Ephesians 3:20

Navy and Light Sage Striped Beanie

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

I find inspiration for my work just about everywhere - nature, New York City, etc. but especially in young children (those I babysit, my own siblings, and others).

Funky Striped Stocking Cap 

What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

This is my favorite item right now: I love the bright and fun colors, the style, and of course, the adorable baby.

Peekaboo Flowered Visor Beanie

What are some of your specific goals now that you have graduated?
My goals right now are to put in to my website what I wasn't able to during the last few months of high school. I really want this business to go far. I also plan to go to culinary school this year.

Do you have any other websites that you would like to share?
My fan page is

Photography CrochetRUs is provided by the following:
Chaunva LeCompte Photography!
Jen Priester Photography!
CA photographer, Dominic Williams
Daisy Mai Photography!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Featured Member's Etsy Mini

Special thanks goes out to Shelley and Shannon for yesterday's all Sheteam treasuries! They featured so many wonderful items from our fellow team members. Thank You!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meet Suzy Mae of TillyTilda

Tell us a little about yourself:
Hi, I am Suzy, I am 32, I am married to Tani and we live in England with our 5 girls, Emmy 14, Boo 8, Matilda 6, Seraphina 5, Nola 1.

Suzy and her youngest Nola.


How did you begin working in your craft and how did it develop into a business?
I was inspired to start making Waldorf Dolls by my girls. My 6 year old daughter Matilda had speech delay and didn’t speak until she was 4 years old. She loved dolls though and would often make up imaginative stories for them. I believe that the interaction and friendship with her dolls helped encourage those first words.

Nature Table Doll
What is one of your favorite homeschool memories thus far?
Oh there are many! I think that just simply being able to be together , growing and learning is an amazing thing. Just being able to simply pack up a picnic and ramble off to the park on a sunny afternoon is a wonderful thing.

Waldorf Gnome Doll
What advise would you give to other homeschool families who are also trying to run a home business?
I would say that all the elements of running a business are inspiring and motivating for children. I see it as a positive. Children love to model and I have found that my girls have really learned so much by watching me make the dolls and see the process of how a small business works. I think it can really integrate well into family life and even becoming a great learning tool as long as there is balance.

Waldorf Birthday Crown

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
Nature’s textures, colours and the changing seasons. We live near the countryside, I think the English countryside has been a big inspiration to my work. I am also inspired to create something that is made naturally and ethically. I am drawn to the idea of a simpler time and a simpler childhood. The drawings and stories of Elsa Beskow are also an influence in the way I design and the elements and imagery I use. And of course, lastly but not leastly my children are, of course a huge inspiration.

Handmade Wooden Buttons from Robin Hood Country
What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
My favourite item is my “Forest Fairy” Waldorf Doll as I call her. She has such a bright, gentle, magical spirit.

Custom 12 inch Waldorf Doll

Do you have specific goals for your business or for your homeschooling? Would you share some of those with us?
My goals for the business is that the dolls will find families and children that will love them dearly. I would love to be able to make Waldorf Dolls and toys for a living. I really want to promote ethical, natural, handmade toys for children. In the future, when the children are a little older I hope to run Waldorf Workshops for other Mamas too.
As for home school, my goals are to continue to facilitate my children’s passions and give them lots of good memories along the way.

10 - 12 inch Waldorf Doll Clothes

Are there any other on line sites where we can learn more about you and your lovely items?

I have a homeschooling blog A Soulful Life
And a Pinterest account : Marigolds Garden

I hope to have an online gallery of my dolls soon! I have to get my techie hubbie onto that one though; I’m not very techie.