Monday, September 23, 2013

Interview with Ally Shaw of Feral Strumpet

Our team blog has been quiet for a bit as we've been adjusting to our new team leadership and structure.  Join the conversations in our team Forum if you haven't been there for a while!  We are working to make the team more active and promote our fabulous members, and we need everyone to pitch in!

But now you are in for a treat!  I've interviewed the fabulous Ally Shaw, the creatrix behind the Etsy shop Feral Strumpet.  I just adore Ally's aesthetic, her use of vintage fragments and her beautiful attention to detail.  Each of her designs is so very special, yet they are also coherent; you know right away they are hers!  She's been kind enough to tell us about herself and her work.

Photo of Ally Shaw by Gordon Fraser, taken with an antique collodion camera

Dru:  When did you start designing jewelry? Tell us about your journey to being a successful Etsy seller.

Ally:  I started designing and making jewellery as a teenager. Originally the owner of the local bead shop taught me the basics. I think at the time she was just giving me something to keep me out of trouble, but it ended up being my livelihood! That shop is still open almost 30 years later-- The Bead Shop in Laguna Beach, California. In the US I taught writing to college students but when I moved to the London it was very difficult to find work. I had all kinds of jobs before moving to Yorkshire, where it was impossible so I decided to try to sell what I make on Etsy. This is the best job I’ve ever had, in all ways.

Tribal Hoop Earrings in Brass, by Feral Strumpet

Dru:  Your work always looks as though there is a story behind it. From your blog, it looks as though many of your jewellery designs are based on sacred places. How important is spirituality to your work? And how does your artistic process typically play out?

Ally:  I’m very interested in the landscape and fairy tales and myths, especially as they relate to the places near me. I love to go hiking and researching ancient wells and standing stones-- there are quite a few of those nearby. I get many new ideas while walking out on the lunar landscape of the moors-- the heather is in full bloom right now-- purple haze! It’s one of my favourite places to be.

Most creations start with colours and textures, and as they take shape in my hands they suggest stories I’ve heard, or certain aspects of Goddesses, and once I know that, it’s easy the finish the piece and describe it. I would hope there is at least sincerity in what I make, if not spirituality. If it is not sincere,
it goes back to the “works in progress” box.

Wicca Handfasting Earring and Necklace Set, by Feral Strumpet

Dru:  Can you describe your favourite design, and why it's your fave? 

Ally:  I love the Black Hearted Love necklace. It was the first design I made for myself that I wear all the time. Three years ago, a friend of mine saw me wearing it while wringing my unemployed hands, and she asked why I didn’t just sell my designs. It has been one of my most popular designs. No two are the same as they are made with fragments of antique and vintage rosaries I’ve salvaged, and hand carved lacquer hearts. I try to pair stones and Czech glass elements, inspired by the skulls and glass tears of nuns’ rosaries and other prayer beads across different faiths. I especially enjoy replicating the aged patinas on the metals I use so it becomes a harmonious artifact. It is one of my designs that has appeared on the Front Page of Etsy-- so I feel it is almost a defining design for my shop.

Black Hearted Love Necklace by Feral Strumpet

Dru:  I see you are also a tribal belly dancer as well as a writer! How do your different artistic pursuits relate to or inform each other?

Ally:  Writing, making jewellery and running the Etsy shop are all really solitary, sedentary pursuits. I took up belly dancing to have a social, physical outlet that would be more glamorous and fun than just going to the gym! I fell in love with it, especially American Tribal Style belly dance and Gothic Fusion. I think my work making things and talking about them in my shop has become an extension of my work as a writer or storyteller. That’s part of the reason I love Etsy, is it allows for stories.

Witch Ball Grimoire Bookmark, by Feral Strumpet

Dru:  How often do you work shows? Is that a growing aspect of your business, or do you prefer selling online?

Ally:  I love selling at Eastercon, the British Science Fiction Association annual convention. It is the only show I really do currently. The con is full of fans of genre fiction and readers and people who really get the idea of supporting indie, fan-based businesses. Other than that, I focus selling online as it really is just me, and my wires, pliers, hammers and anvil. Selling at shows requires transport and helpers which I don’t always have. I’ve sold at shows where it just wasn’t a handmade market or it wasn’t well publicized. I think it would be difficult in Yorkshire to make ends meet only doing shows. I can reach people all over the world, night or day with my online shop-- it’s hard to compete with that!

Gothic Crucifix Cross Necklace by Feral Strumpet

Dru:  What are your goals for your business going forward?

Ally:  I plan to increase my smithing skills and hope to expand so that I can actually hire a helper or two. Right now I am working at capacity-- it’s wonderful but I would love to have more time to design new pieces.

Men's or Women's Rings by Feral Strumpet and modeled by Sarah

Dru:  What are your hopes for the Folk Reveries team? Is there anything the team can do to support you and our other talented artists?

Ally:  The Folk Reveries Team is the most inspiring team on Etsy for me. It is full of storytellers and artists who have a very seductive aesthetic. Anytime I want a dose of creative energy, I browse the shops there, especially the illustrators, painters and printmakers on that team, and I’m instantly back in touch with this dark, wild woodland folktale world that fuels so many of my designs. I would love to see some sort of collaboration happen between team members, joint storytelling that might take shape in blog posts or online galleries. I really feel supported by this team and am very grateful for that. Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about my work!

Please join me in thanking Ally for this glimpse into her world!  And please visit her shop, about page, blog and twitter!  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jill Hoffman of Forever Pine is our new Team Captain!!

Welcome, Jill!  Jill Hoffman is an accomplished illustrator and has all kinds of goodies in her Etsy shop, Forever Pine.  Outgoing Captain Janeane Wilbur conducted an interview with Jill so we could all get to know her better.  

Janeane:  Please introduce yourself.

Jill:  Hello! My name is Jill Hoffman and I am an artist living in Upstate New York in the Finger lakes region. I live with a lot of cats.

Janeane:  What does “folk” mean to you and how do you identify yourself as a folk artist?

Jill:  To me folk art can be charming, crafted, useful, eccentric, rustic, natural, and magical. To me, It is a creative reflection of who you are and your roots.

I feel that I identify with folk because my work resonates with a lot of people’s love for nature, particularly animals. I also sometimes use found/up-cycled objects to create my work, and rock painting has been done for a very long time. There’s some historical appreciation in that, as well as a child-like love!

Janeane:  When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?

Jill:  I think it was innate, I followed my inclination naturally and it’s led me to this point. Even when I was very young, creating beautiful things for myself and other people seemed like a way of life. 

Janeane:  What inspires you the most when you create?

Jill:  The inherent magic I sense in animals, plants and stories inspires me the most. Because of that, ordinary critters seem mysterious and I feel they have secrets. I see a beautiful animal and feel the need to draw its spirit or essence so to speak.

Janeane:  What is your most favorite working supply?

Jill:  I’d say the pencil. It’s the first thing I reach for when I have an idea. It’s the starting point and origin of my work!

Janeane:  Do you have any creative patterns or rituals with your work?

Jill:  Lighting incense, making some tea, and collecting inspiring photos is typical for me. Creating a clean and calm space is also important. Freeing myself from clutter is liberating. I’m able to get my thoughts down and feel more inspired that way.

Janeane:  Do you have a favorite artist? And if so, why are they your favorite?

Jill:  This question is always difficult for me to answer – I feel like I discover favorites every day! If I had to choose, the Golden Age Illustrators touch me deeply. I love the storybook feel and dynamic compositions that those artists excelled in. The artists are so skillful; the artwork from that time is captivating and enchanting. The color palettes of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac have affected my work a lot.

Janeane:  What is your favorite theme to pursue?

Jill:  Animal spirits and ghosts!

Janeane:  What other jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Jill:  Years ago I worked in local wineries.

I am lucky in that both of my current jobs involve art. When I graduated college, I found an illustration/graphic design job in my area where I could create artwork for children. It was as if fate had planned it!

Janeane:  How long have you been selling on Etsy?

Jill:  I started my Etsy shop on June 2nd, 2010. I really enjoy making items specifically for my shop and custom requests are very fun.

Janeane:  As the team Captain, what is a vision that you have for the team that you’d like to share?

Jill:  I hope that mine and the Leaders’ efforts will contribute to a revived team attitude, and encourage members to participate more. To me, this means strengthening traditions and participation in forum activity, team member interviews, giveaways, treasury challenges and more. I’d love to eventually plan a team crafting meet-up! It’s about feeling supported, inspiring each other, and having a sense of community that you belong to.

Janeane:  If you were able to wave a magical wand and make one thing happen, what would it be?

Jill:  I will simply say I wish for the human race to treat the Earth with more respect and kindness.

* * *

Aho!  Jill has plans to shift some of the team responsibilities, and there are some new rules for membership outlined on the team forum here.  Please be sure and read these - they are very important for our team to move forward!  

Thanks so much, Janeane, for all your work as team Captain, and congratulations, Jill!  Janeane and I will stay on as leaders, along with Chymiera, so don't hesitate to ask any of us if you have questions or concerns pertaining to the team.  And drop by the team forum and give Jill a warm welcome!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Interview with Meghann Rader, fine artist

Meghann Rader is a mixed media fine artist living in Canada.  Her work renders the natural world in a graphic way.

Meghann Rader

FR: Hi, Meghann, and welcome.  Tell us a little bit about your business.

MR:  My shop has gone through a bit of a transformation recently. When I first started on Etsy, it wasn't my main focus. My items were very random and didn't really speak to who I am. I've recently had the opportunity to put a full time effort into my business and I've been putting a lot of energy into making new items and rebranding to create a shop that's cohesive and represents me.

My shop is now focused on my experience living on the west coast of Canada, the landscape here and the plants and animals that live within it . 

Port Alberni

FR: Why did you choose to name your shop and business after yourself? 

MR:  I've used my name because I want to represent myself as an artist, not be a person behind a brand name. I want to be able to take my work to galleries and stay consistent with how I'm representing myself on and offline.

FR: Tell me more about the experience living in Canada.  From the pictures I've seen on your blog, it looks so lovely there.

MR: I live on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. We recently relocated from Victoria, a medium sized city on the south island to Port Alberni a fairly small city that sits in a valley in the middle of the Island. I love that there are green tree lines and mountains in every direction. If you look at my work you will see that the view here has been a big inspiration for me lately.

FR:  How did you get your inspiration to get started with a business?

MR: I guess the cliche thing to say would be I've always loved creating and have always wanted to work for myself, which is true. The real beginning of wanting to be a full time artist happened when I was in my third year of University studying a variety of courses that weren't really leading me anywhere. I needed another elective so I thought I would sign up for an art class. Art was something I was good at and I figured it would be easy. I went to the art department to inquire and was rudely rejected without even having shown my portfolio. I was insulted. “I'll show them” I thought. In the weeks that followed I decided to drop out of the school entirely and I applied to the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design In Vancouver. I like to say I did this out of spite, but it was actually just the kick in the pants I needed to pursue something I actually liked doing. I did get into Emily Carr, which is a whole other cliche-filled story for another day.

FR: I wonder if that professor knows that he actually was a boon to you on that day.  Do you also have a day job, or is this your full-time business?

MR: I spent the last four years working at an art supply store in Victoria. Sometimes I think of it as having a second degree because I learned so much about the mechanics of creating. I love talking about art supplies and figuring out how to turn a concept into reality. When we relocated this past November I was lucky enough to be able to focus on my business full time. I feel like I'm still in the early stages of it but I'm working hard every day to get my work out into the world.

At work in Meghann's studio.

FR: It looks like you're off to a great start.  What's your favorite item in your shop and why?

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like original artwork alone can be a bit of a hard sell on Etsy, so I'm always looking for ways to create artwork with multiple uses. I've recently started making my own pendant and brooch bases and painting little tree line vignettes and animal portraits on them. I'd have to say these are my favorite items right now because I am having so much fun making them. Each one is a little piece of wearable original art.

Add caption

FR: What's your favorite folk or fairytale?

It's hard to pin down one favorite tale. Lately I've been listening to a lot of storytelling on sites like Librivox while I do my work. Librivox offers content that's in the public domain so there are many old stories to be found. There are a lot of wonderful modern folktales out there as well. One in particular that I've been fond of recently is called Night of Hunters. It's a song cycle inspired by classical music, written and preformed by Tori Amos. The story begins with the ending of a relationship. It follows the woman's psychological journey through the night where she is confronted by a shapeshifting being named Annabelle. Annabelle helps the woman examine the destructive nature of her broken relationship and leads her to the Fire Muse who then shows the woman how to regain her strength and to see the world and the loss of her relationship in a new way.
Here is a little video about it:

Please visit Meghann at  You can find her shop at

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Welcome, New Captain!!

I'm so pleased to present an interview with our new team Captain, Jessica Boehman of Hans My Hedgehog!! Jessica is a talented illustrator, etsy-er, and art history professor. Her illustrations are so beautifully detailed, and she has already brought a great new energy and dedication to our Folk Reveries team. I will still be around as a team leader, and I know we'll have a smooth transition.

To help all of us get to know Jessica, I asked her a few questions....

Dru: How did you become an artist?

Jessica: I wanted to become an artist when I was just a kid of maybe five or six. My older brother had a sketchbook...blank pages that it was ok to draw on. Wow, that was such an exciting idea to me. I had always liked drawing and set my mind to it at that point that I would be good at it. No one really tells you differently if you set your mind to it. I took all the art classes I could throughout primary and secondary education, and was a Studio Art/Art History major in college, with a focus on illustration. I only started my shop in January of 2011, after completing my Ph.D. in the History of Art. I knew it was time to start drawing again.

Dru: What are your inspirations and influences?

Jessica: I take a lot of inspiration from stories. I loved reading as a child, and still do. I have dog-eared, broken-spined, careworn copies of books of tales that I still keep near my studio. There's something about the magic of those stories that captures the wonder of being a child. I want to remember that when I draw, because I feel like I am capturing my childhood again when I smell the pencil shavings and feel the paper under my hand. I have a callus on my right hand that will never go away; it developed after hours upon hours of drawing, head bent, over my sketchbook.

I also take inspiration from travel. As a military brat, I lived all over the country and in Germany. As my heritage is half German, I really started identifying with the Brothers Grimm over there. You can image the trolls living in those mountains in the south, or mermaids in the North Sea. As a grad student, I was lucky enough to earn a Fulbright to study for a year in Rome. The beautiful sculptures and paintings, but even moreso the mosaics and tapestries, made me interested in continuing my study of pattern and mirroring that you can see peppered throughout my work.

I love children's books, too, like the subtle, fantastical shading of Chris van Allsburg, the medieval detail of Gennady Spirin, and the elaborate narrative borders of Trina Schart Hyman. I am amazed by the talent out there and it makes me excited to try to be a part of it.

Dru: What is your art practice like? (and any tips on combining it with a day job?)

Jessica: I draw after completing my "homework" for my teaching gigs. I also draw on my commute, part of which is spent on the Staten Island Ferry.

As for the drawings, I usually do a mock-up on photoshop to lay out a composition (that saves me tons of time), and then start with a gentle sketch. I work in tiny sections at a time, bringing it to full-finish before moving on to the next section. It prevents me from leaving a work unfinished (like I tended to do when I worked in washes or layers one at a time). How this will translate to color work: probably not very well. :)

Dru: What are your goals for the future?

Jessica: My goals are to make Hans-My-Hedgehog Illustrations a full time gig. I started on that road by attending the Arts Business Institute annual workshop in February. I learned so much about how to be realistic in planning my future. I also want to be completely eco-friendly, to work in league with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and to expand into children's books. Next up are illustrated pillows. They are gorgeous.

Dru: What sort of plans or goals do you have for the Folk Reveries team? And, what would you like to say to our team members?

Jessica: I'd like to see us revive the original spirit of the team. That may mean taking new members. I'd like to see a dynamic community where we can discuss our successes, setbacks, or questions about professional issues. That being said, I'd like to try to bring the focus back to our folk/fairytale/nature roots...I imagine challenges and blogposts from the team as a whole that talk about our shared experiences with that magical world. Thanks so much for having me! I can't wait to work with all of you--my very favorite shops on Etsy.

Hear, hear!! Thank you, Jessica!!

**Please visit Jessica's shop, her blog, and of course our Folk Reveries team forum.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yes, it's Back!!

We took a nice break from the treasury challenges, literally months!! I hope everyone had a nice Holiday & New Year! And now we are almost into spring!
I have had a really good past few months~ As many of you know, I have Crohn's disease & Ulcerative Colitis which gives me exhausting bouts of pancreatitis. Last year I was in the ER over 50 times, had 2 colonoscopies, and 3 surgeries. By the time October got here, I was so overwhelmed that I really thought about throwing in the towel. Then one of my friends called and asked if I wanted to go on a cruise... I immediately called the travel agent & booked it. I visited & hiked The Mayan ruins, snorkled in Beliz, visited Mexico & Honduras, cruised around the Caribbean sea for 8 days and came back refreshed!

I know many of you have probably thought I had given up on keeping these challenges going, but what I really needed was a pick me up. While I was on my cruise, I came back and found out that a treasury ( not one of our team) that I made, made the front page, and two of my items on other treasuries made the front page. I had a boat load of sales while I was sailing on a boat! harhar.
But it made me realize that treasuries DO help sales!

So, this notice is the "Official Commencement" of the Folk Reveries Team Treasury Challenge.

So get those fingers ready, not just to curate, but to click, comment & share on other team members' treasuries!

The Folk Reveries Treasury Challenges will run every fortnight (by-weekly), then members will be given a week to vote on them.
The curators of the winning treasuries will be announced along with any prizes that will be given.
The winner will also be awarded by having curators use one of their items per treasury made in the following challenge.

All of the rules for making a treasury for this challenge can be found here.

So, our first fall treasury challenge will begin on Thursday the 9th, and run til the 23th- Voting will begin on Friday the 24th and a winner will be announced on or around Friday, March 1st.

To make this challenge even a little bit sweeter, the winner will receive a $15 credit to ANY of my shops!
Anyone else interested in donating a prize, convo me!!
Good luck and may all our treasuries make the front page & bring in lots of sales !!
xoxo Chy

p.s. Make AS MANY treasuries as you like, there is no limit!!!

{Posted by Drucilla for Chymiera}

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mary's Granddaughter Cindy

Well, it's been some time since I updated our team blog, but what can I say - it's a busy time of year to be a maker! But I'm making it all up to you with an interview with one of my favourite team members, Cindy Steiler of Mary's Granddaughter. I was a longtime fan of her work, and then she and I started chatting earlier this year about the direction of our team. I was struck by her dedication to our team and her ideas about it, and thought that asking her to share more widely would help us begin a dialogue about our team. So she kindly allowed me to interview her in this season of busy-ness.

Cindy is a longtime member of Folk Reveries, and a successful multi-media artist. Her work has been shown in galleries and in books and magazines (and was just featured today in Etsy Gifts newsletter!) The women she depicts move among media, from embroideries to dioramas to paper goods. She has much to teach us, Etsy-ers, so gather round!!

Mama and her Girls

Dru: How long have you been a working artist? (or, how did you begin?)

Cindy: I've been making art for my entire life though I have only been selling my own personal work for about three years. I studied art and theater in college and worked for years as a set designer/builder and scenic painter.

The Mender Diorama

Dru: I know that you collect antique photographs. How do your collections (this one and others) intersect with or inspire your art work?

Cindy: I do have a rather large collection of Victorian photos. I am not even sure how I started collecting them. I think I stumbled upon some tintypes at an estate sale years ago and was hooked. I find it a little sad that these photos are homeless and not being cherished. I also collect Victorian clothing, old hangers, buttons, doll parts, found feathers, and odd little things I find at flea markets, thrift stores and estate sales.

I draw inspiration from my collections. They feel like a connection to the past. Sometimes they make their way into my work like the little antique bisque doll arms from Germany or feathers I find. I've modeled some of my dolls from women in my photographs.

(Note: Cindy's vintage shop is Happy Steiler).

Victorian Photographic Garland

Dru: What are you currently focused on, and what are your near-term goals?

Cindy: My near-term goal is to survive the next five months. I have 5 shows between January and April so there is much to do. I feel fortunate to have been awarded a residency through the Brush Creek Arts Foundation in Wyoming. I'll be there for a few weeks next month and the uninterrupted studio time is a blessing.

The new pieces I'm working on are a departure from what I've been doing. I am excited to see where they go. I have also been working in clay which has been a lot of fun.

Dru: Tell us about your typical work day.

Cindy: I wish it was more disciplined and routine! It always starts with coffee and answering emails and ends with my pencil and sketchbook in bed. The in between time is always different. My resolution for the coming year is to foster a more disciplined and organized working environment. I just rented a studio space outside of my home with this goal in mind.

Little Bird in charcoal grey and sky blue

Dru: Your project, "I Learned From My Mother Who Learned From Her Mother", sounds amazing. what inspired it and what are your plans for the stories?

Cindy: My great-grandmother Mary Steiler taught me to crochet, knit, embroider and sew when I was a child. Through her patient lessons I found great joy and satisfaction in creating by hand. While we worked she would share stories from her life. Through these stories I developed an appreciation for the past, tradition and family.

Through my work I hope to capture the essence of my relationship with my grandmother while exploring and celebrating all women and girls; our relationships, our daily lives, and our traditions. I want to use my work to preserve and continue the traditions of both craft and story in a way that honors these lineages.

From this sprang a new project called 'I Learned from My Mother, Who Learned from Her Mother'. Through this project I plan to explore and document traditions and traditional craft passed from generation to generation within families through storytelling and art. This will be achieved through a mix of traditional needlecraft and sculpture and will also employ my background as a set designer to create small installations. The images of the pieces and stories will be assembled into limited edition hand bound books.

If you'd like to contribute here's a link:

You Reap What You Sew No. 2
Dru: What advice would you give to new artists who are selling on Etsy?

Cindy: Etsy is a great platform to sell our work. It comes with a fabulous customer base and it's nearly free to get started. Take the time to learn about tagging, titles and SEO. These are important to be found in searches and not always intuitive.

Stay true to yourself and take all advice you receive, including mine,with a grain of salt. It's easy to get wrapped up in Etsy's merchandising reports and the latest trends. You will hear you must tweet, Facebook, blog in order to be successful. You will have to call orange 'pumpkin' in autumn and 'tangerine' in spring. You will be told you have to make tons of treasuries and join numerous teams. I see many artists spending more time with the above that actually creating. To me that's sad. My advice is to keep Etsy in perspective. It is a selling venue not a lifestyle choice. Stay open and explore other opportunities to exhibit and sell your work as well.

Don't forget why you make art in the first place. Explore, grow and have fun! I ran into the pitfall where my work started to feel like production work. I was constantly and still am asked to remake pieces that have sold. While it's flattering and comfortable it is also boring. It was preventing me from working on new pieces and exploring new directions. I felt stagnant as an artist. Now I'm am working on a new body of work and it feels so good.

Sketchbook No. 2 - Victorian Woman

Dru: What attracted you to the Folk Reveries team, and what are your hopes for it?

Cindy: I was attracted to the Folk Reveries team for a few reasons. First of all so many of my favorite artists who sell on Etsy are members and also aesthetically it was a good fit. I also liked that it didn't seem all about promoting one's self.

I think when you do business in the virtual world connecting with others is important. I would love to see a shift to more meaningful discussions on process, inspiration, opportunities, etc. on the discussion boards. I think we have much to offer each other both creatively and professionally.

Connection No. 4 in yellow and aqua

Thanks so much, Cindy! This is just the kind of looking back and forward that we need to begin the new year.

Be sure to check out Cindy's shop and her blog, and consider participating in her projects (I am!)!

Happy holidays to all of our team members!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sweet Basil Fibre Works

Genevieve of Sweet Basil Fibre Works won the last treasury challenge by a landslide with her home sweet home treasury.

I have admired Genevieve's lovely hand-dyed yarns for quite some time, and wanted to get to know her, so I thought I'd use this as an occasion to see if she would be interviewed for our team blog. She agreed and here are my questions and her lovely words, photos and creations...

Celebrating Autumn

D: When did you begin working with fibre? and what led you to focus on dyeing?

G: I learned to knit when I was a child from my nana. Knitting led me to spinning and eventually to dyeing yarn. My first job as a teenager was dyeing t shirts for a silk screening company. I guess it's not too much of a stretch that 16 years later I am dyeing yarn. Being able to combine my love of colour & with beautiful fibre is my dream job.

Godric's Hollow

D: Tell us about the name of your shop.

G: I have a hard time choosing names. It took me 3.5 weeks to decide on a name for my daughter after she was born. For my shop name I choose the meaning of my daughter's name, sweet basil. I keep a notebook nearby to jot down names when inspiration stikes, that way I always have names for new colourways.


D: How would you describe a typical day?

G: I like to wake up early because I love the quiet stillness. I make hot tea & gather my thoughts for the day. On week days I get my daughter ready for school. Once she leaves I check emails & the shop then make another hot cup of tea. If I am dyeing or have orders to package I head out to the studio & get to work. If I am listing items then I stay on the computer. I walk into town in the afternoon to mail orders & run errands etc.

I am starting another job outside the home soon so things are going to get shaken up a bit.

Lemon Grass

D: What are your goals for the future?

G: I would like to be more self sufficient & to become financially independent through my business.

Maple Rose

D: Do you have any advice for new etsy-ers or team members?

G: I would say to always stay true to your beliefs & don't give up. And I know it's simple but manners & communication are everything.

I would love to curl up by the fire this winter with some of these gorgeous colours on my needles. Thanks so much for this glimpse into your life, Genevieve! Please visit her blog here and her shop here.

Also, the new treasury challenge begins tomorrow (Nov. 1) along with voting on the current treasuries which feature listings from Sweet Basil Fibre Works. Check the team forum and join in!