Monday, December 1, 2008

Shopping with Etsy

I haven’t shopped much on the Etsy shop (gasp!), but everytime I go to it, I wonder why I don’t shop there more often.  The products are original (of course!), imaginative, and often at very good prices.

With Christmas right around the corner, I took a peek at Etsy to see what goodies might be lurking for my prospective Christmas stockings.  Boy, was I in luck!  I came across the cutest products from a very talented artisan named Candy who runs her etsy shop called candyargyle.  See what goodies I found.  You may even want to order a few of these fun and perfect Christmas gifts yourself.

Zipper PUrse - Evelyn

Zipper Purse-Evelyn.

Candy, who runs candyargyle is the talent, brain and creative behind these beautiful products.  I caught up with her and picked her brain about her products and her business.

H&H:  I love your products and choice of materials.  If you had to choose one word or phrase that would describe your design philosophy or approach to your business, what would that be? 

Candy:  I don't think I've ever been able to give just one word to describe anything...that's also probably why I sampled five different pies at Thanksgiving. I just could not decide on one!  I would use the words happy, functional, and funky, to describe my products.  And as far as words to describe my design philosophy and business approach I would have to say determination, research, and passion.  (I know, pretty generic answers).

 Christmas Stocking - Green Winter Vine

Christmas Stocking – Green Winter Vine.   $16.00  LOVE IT!

H&H:  How long have you been sewing and who taught you? 

Candy:  My mom began teaching me how to sew when I was probably six years old, and I am now 27.  When I was in second grade I entered a local sewing contest to make a sweatshirt.  I took second place!  I sewed off and on my whole life while I lived at home, but it wasn't until I had my first daughter that I began to really sew completely on my own.  We had just moved to a new city, I had a seven week old baby, and my husband had to be out of town for nearly two weeks.  So I broke out the ol' Bernina to keep myself busy. I made up my own patterns out of newspaper, and started sewing her clothes. 

A couple years after that I designed my own diaper bag, and thought to myself, "Hey, I should make bags and sell them."  I've come a long way since I first started selling my items.  My skills have multiplied and improved, I sew more than just bags, and I've been able to better develop my true taste and style.  My mom taught me how to put a zipper in by explaining it to me over the phone, and I still call her now and again to ask questions.  She has an amazing mind for the construction of things and is also very innovative.  I hope to keep learning new techniques, and see myself sewing forever!

 Luggage Tag or ID tag - Turquoise Pop Garden

Luggage Tag.  Turquoise Pop Garden.  $10.00.   I need some of these to be able to find my navy suitcases in the sea of suitcases at the airport baggage claim!

H&H:  What or who inspires you?

Candy:  I am undoubtedly drawn toward unique color combinations, fun patterns, and fabrics that make me feel happy. If a fabric gives off a sense of darkness, depression, boredom, or something similar, I steer clear. I pay attention to how a particular fabrics makes me feel when I look at it.  I am inspired by that.  I am in a better mood when I find a fabric that I truly love.

Also, since I first began this business by sewing bags, I find it interesting to observe just what purse/bag a woman uses.  Does she like her everyday purse big? Small?  Leather?  Cotton?  Full of pockets?  Buckles? Zippers?  Colorful?  Muted?  Short straps?  Over the shoulder? etc.

I am inspired for personal reasons and feel a sense of accomplishment after each item is completed.

I am inspired when I think of new ideas, or create items that people simply love!


Hand Tote - Mod Ball

Hand Tote.  Mod Ball.  $28.00.

H&H:  What is your favorite product from your line?

Candy:  Honestly, I think my favorites change constantly. I am in love with the latest diaper bag that I sewed for myself, and I use my zipper pouch, my hot pads, and my baby bibs (for my kids, not myself, in case you were wondering) every day!  One of my favorite products right now is my Dig In Dots, which are circular placemats for kids. I love the simple shape of a circle, and have my kids use placemats at nearly every meal. I also love the luggage tags I have in my shop.


Toddler Tote - Polka Stripe

Toddler Tote.  Polka Stripe.  $14.00.

H&H:  Do you take custom orders?

Candy:  I do take custom orders and have done many! This past spring I think I made about five sets of zipper pouches for upcoming brides, to give as gifts to their bridesmaids. It was fun to see what their wedding colors were and I was able to shop for fabrics that fit their theme and style. The latest custom order I had was to make a stocking for a two year old girl. Their Christmas tree was lime green, turquoise, and blue.  How fun to make, and the customer loved it!

I take custom orders on a limited basis and have actually had to learn how to tell people “no” occasionally. My husband and three young children (ages 5, 3, and 1) are my first priority.

Zipper Pouch - Sofia

Zipper Pouch.  $14.00.

H&H:  What do we have to look forward to in the future from candyargyle?

Candy:  Oh boy…the wheels in this little head are always turning! I’ve had ideas as big as making custom shower curtains, and as small as fabric keychain flairs. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see….


Kimono Baby Slippers - Pink Brown Damask

For those of you with babies or grandbabies or anyone young enough for these gorgeous Kimono Baby Slippers, you are in luck!  These look stylish and comfortable.  They are only $10.00 too.

 Fabric Baby Blocks

And one more for the young set.  Check out these fabric baby blocks.  I think these bright and cheerful fabrics would catch the eye of any baby.  $22.50.


Thanks Candy!  Good luck with your products.  They are so fresh, the materials are so fun to look at and the quality looks impeccable.  Great Etsy shop!


And, a few things I found this week while browsing the web that I love….


Click to Enlarge


Big Man On Campus in Silver & Blue Lamp.  I love the linearity of it, how streamlined it is and how modern.  Fantastic!  From Inhabit.


Polished botticino marble from Turkstone Inc. in San Francisco.  I love the richness and veining in these floors, as well as the beautiful dark taupey-mocha color.  Not very practical in a polished form for the floors, but they sure are beautiful!


And finally….

I didn’t create this blog to talk about movies, but did you catch the movie “Twilight”?  Not a five-star movie, but a great little romance chick-flick! 

Have a great week everyone!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing us to such a great talent Becky! I just LOVE the idea of custom pouches for bridesmaids in the wedding colors. And those kimono slippers are too cute for words.

Now that you've started down the etsy road, there's no going back. It's dangerous indeed :)


Callie Grayson said...

that stocking is so cute..... and do they make those kimono slippers in my size!! I love them!!!!

etsy is one of my addictions. I need to buy a few more christmas presents and etsy is the place:)

nkp said...

Those blocks are so fun and sweet and happy! I love them, nice find. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, glad you enjoyed the post. I look forward to exploring your blog as well.
:0) nkp

Showpony said...

Nice post, I'm hopelessly addicted to etsy.