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chibi (created by hand indie brand, Int'l.)

November 20th, 2011

CHIBI_GRANNY TOTEchibi. (created by hand indie brand, Int’l.) was formed sometime around 2003 by Yuki Nagai Morris with her friends and loved ones’ support. chibi. is based on Yuki’s love of yarn + textile, mixing old to new, and being unique. So everything is designed that she would carry, wear, or use it. Together with a wonderful group of people, she continues to build a brand with new ideas and old-fashioned handwork.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? I can’t stop making things and unfortunately I can’t keep them all. So I decided to share them with everyone. and Yes. I still have a day job. But I am in the creative field all day.

CHIBI_zippouchWhat do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them? I like the moment I finish a project is the best!

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? best –  meeting cool indie creative open mind people. worst – dealing with crazy weirdos.

What are your creative influences? people i meet, on the streets, books, movies, and music. These are text bookCHIBI_TRIANGLE-BIB answers. I often see my next project in my dreams.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your business or craft practices? Don’t quit when times are down. And be nice to your fellow crafters.

How do you stay inspired? Running into people walking around the city(sometimes out of the city) wearing my bags and accessories.

Nothing New Treasures, picking apart once-loved items

November 20th, 2011

Some things come very naturally to me and some things…not so much.

Naturally, I sew. To me, sewing is like a puzzle and I’m addicted to the challenge of putting the pieces together in any way I want. Needle to thread, fabric in my hands, the cush of the rotary blade as it pushes into layers of cloth— I’m intoxicated by all of this. Hence why I sew for a living. And sewing makes up about 1/2 of Nothing New. The other 1/2 doesn’t come so naturally….

Thrifting. I was really lucky to have a thrifting friend throughout my childhood. My best friend Shannon and I had limited funds to outfit ourselves, and she was always taking me to new thrift stores. I loved her company, but wasn’t very fond of the stores. They were a bit dirty, smelled funny and you had to dig. I remember saying to Shannon, “I got this great jacket but I can’t put it on. I just can’t shake the fact that someone has worn it before.” Can you believe me?! But Shannon kept dragging me to those thrift stores and little by little I began to relax.

It took scads more friends carting me along to the thrift stores and garage sales before I began to really accept them on my own level. College was an even better teacher, what with the need for $20 couches and the like. I learned about Craigslist and Freecycle. I learned about waste, fossil fuels, exploited labor and my carbon footprint. I learned about mass-produced products and ethically I just wasn’t down. I made myself into a thrifter, and it took a really long time. Now I’d even call myself a Thrifting Queen, but that title has been earned.

Now transforming old discarded items into new treasures only adds to the challenge (and thus my delight) of sewing. I’m picky – everything has to be washed immediately, sometimes even twice. But I can take the old dresses and curtains and rip them apart to use them like fabric from a bolt, or I can use elements from them that I like. I pride myself in finding the ugliest possible dresses – the test is if they make me laugh – and turning them into something beautiful.

My first impulse is still to buy new. Being a child of the 80’s, I can’t help it. But I can deal with that impulse. I have to remind myself that I have come to expect instant gratification, but that is a modern, western phenomenon not available to everyone. I can usually wait. I have to tell myself to step back, take a breather, and think of the environmental impact of something new: shipping, fuel, materials etc. Then I tell myself to consider getting it second hand. And you know what? It usually happens way faster than I expect. And I’m into all that crazy manifestation business, you know- the Secret, you create your own reality, etc- so that usually plays in my favor as well. I don’t always catch myself in time. I’ve had plenty of experiences that set me back, but they have only served as lessons. I still buy way too many new things, but Nothing New allows me to combine both my passion for sewing and my concern about our environmental impact- and make a small solution available to the lovers and dreamers like me.

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Fibrevolution, the crochet revolution

November 20th, 2011

My name is Gwen Reichert and I am the sole proprietor of Fibrevolution (that means it’s only me!). This year, I quit my “day” job and relocated Fibrevolution from Boston to LA. I design and hand-crochet chunky hats, scarves, hoods, and wraps. It all started when I had an image in my head of a brim hat I wanted but I couldn’t find it in stores. So, being a resourceful artist, I made my own (I learned to crochet my first year of college). Then everyone started asking where I got it… can they have one… can they get it with a stripe… can they buy one… So 4 years ago, after gifting everyone to death, I decided to open my own business, Fibrevolution. I’m an artist, so it seemed that Fibrevolution would be the ultimate outlet for all my creative needs, such as fibre work, sewing, photography, digital editing, graphic & web design. Fashion designing hence came by accident.

I wear all of my own pieces, so I just make what I like to wear and enjoy making. Making timeless, unisex designs that will endure physically and fashionably is my passion. As long as the design is spot-on, the colors of the pieces may change to dictate trends and other expressions as style preferences change. To ensure my BBSF customers can score the color and style they want at the show, I’m offering a pre-order discount through my etsy shop! Order now to get 20% off your order by using the coupon code ” bbsfpreorder “, and then I’ll issue a shipping refund so it can be picked up at the show on December 3rd or 4th! Can’t wait to see you so stop by and say hi!!!

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Sydney Designs – vintage wallpaper note cards, jewelry & art!

November 20th, 2011

My name is Kristin Norman and I am the artist behind Sydney Designs. When I am not crafting with vintage wallpaper, I am running around with my 4 year old son. When I was in my early twenties, I decided I wanted to “make something and sell it” in order to stay home with my future kids. I worked with a lot of different materials and earned a degree in studio art from the University of Washington.

While I was in school, I scored a collection of vintage wallpaper from an old farmhouse in the Midwest, and Sydney Designs was born. I believe sometimes our materials choose us instead of the other way around. In my case it was 650 rolls of wallpaper from the thirties and forties. All of my products are handmade by me in my home studio.

I work mostly at night, when my son is asleep. Each night I come into my studio and sit down to whatever project I need to work on. Sometimes it’s cards, so lots of glue and paper cutting. It may be pendants, which involves cutting glass, wrapping and soldering. Rings are all about glue, and the encaustic panels let me melt wax and use a heat gun.

The best part about what I do is the time I get to spend with my son, and that I get to be creative everyday. The worst part would have to be the mild isolation. When you work for yourself you don’t always have people around to bounce ideas off of. I rely heavily on my local craft community.

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Infinitus Designs links to delicate chainmaille jewelry

November 20th, 2011

My name is Greg Sandzimier of Infinitus Designs. I’ve always had an admiration for metal-rich, medieval looking armor and jewelry. I decided to take a stab at making my own pieces using the same techniques crafters used hundreds of years ago to make chainmail armor. My pieces are a much more refined, though. I use smaller metal rings to craft fine jewelry and accessories. I take pride in all my hand crafted items and am always happy to see others enjoying my creations.

I originally started making jewelry as holiday gifts for friends and family. After the holidays were over I would continue to get requests for more of my items, and at a point I figured it was time to make it a business and share my creations with the public. I still maintain a full time job and do this as a hobby.

The creative process for my designs is often spontaneous. It mostly revolves around the materials and how they look and how they work together. I meticulously weave the rings by hand and other materials to create the items that you see.  Sometimes the creation process doesn’t work out because of the very fine tolerances between rings of various sizes, but most of the time the end product is a stylish one.
The best thing about what I do is seeing peoples’ reactions. I love seeing people wear my creations and hearing their positive commentaries. The worst part is the labor. Although I find my craft meditative and peaceful, the many hours required to make some pieces becomes tiring and stressful for my hands, but it is always worth it.

Feel free to check out some of my creations at

Mother/Daughter Collaboration: Enchanted Squirrel

November 12th, 2011

Enchanted Squirrel is a Mother/Daughter Team that began in July, 2010. My mom, Billie, is a master knitter who has had numerous publications of her original hand-knitted afghan designs & has also won numerous national awards. She has run “The Yarn & Craft Shop” here in our little town of Cloverdale, in Northern California, for almost 30 years. She has a loyal following & people even come by our house or call with “knitting emergencies”!

My background is a bit different. I have a Masters Degree in Audiology & practiced as a Pediatric Audiologist for many years, before becoming a Neurophysiologist in 2004. As a Neurophysiologist I worked mainly in Cranial & Spine Surgery, monitoring brain & spinal cord function during the procedure. During this period of time, my son, now 18 years old, developed a chronic illness, which gradually worsened. In February of 2010, I realized I could no longer properly care for my son as a single working mom. So, I quit my job, moved in with my parents & devoted myself to getting him well. My mom had always wanted to go online & I have had a long-standing paper obsession, thus Enchanted Squirrel was born! It was a way to make something good out of a bad & stressful situation. We have slowly built up our business on Etsy & our private website & I have had a few of my works published! I started out making collages, then learned to make jewelry, both illustrated & gem based. I now have begun making Art Dolls out of clay & my decorative tins & mirrors have been a big success. Soldering is the current task that I have taken on & I am using this skill in my jewelry, as well as some fairy/bird cages that have been floating around in my brain for a while.

Mom & I collaborate on our sewn goods. I shop for & choose the fabric & do a lot of the design work & she is the “sewing monster”. And of course, she also can knit anything, which is wonderful!!

My work tends to be whimsical @ heart. I am mostly inspired by Fairytales/Storybooks. I also love the Regency (Jane Austen) & Victorian Periods. There is very little about this job to hate. I work when I want to work & sometimes do not make it out of my pajamas. It makes us both happy when someone really loves something that we have created. The world is in a bit of a bad state @ the moment. It’s nice to be able to create something that makes people smile, or keeps them warm or is just beautiful to look at……our little contribution to a better place!

We currently have a coupon running on our Etsy site. When you use the coupon code WHIMSICAL you will get 10% off of your entire purchase. This code is good thru the end of the year!

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Dorklandia, goofy little things

November 12th, 2011

My name is Kayte Kelly, and my business is called dorklandia. I sell plush toys and accessories out of a customized ice cream cart.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? Crafting has been a part of my family for generations. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was quite young, and I remember sitting behind my mom’s table at craft shows. A friend of mine asked me to make a chicken hat a few years ago, and from that point, I just kept making more silly things. I made over 150 hats for favors for my wedding!

I got the idea for the cart while watching the real ice cream vendors in Dolores Park; I thought it would be funny to sell plush ice cream that way. The first cart I made was for the Maker Faire in 2009, and it’s been evolving since then.

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best part of having the cart is that I get to meet and see so many people! I love being able to wander around at shows. The hardest part is that sometimes people mistake me for a food vendor, and they get disappointed when I tell them I don’t have anything to eat!
Anything else you would like to tell us about your business?

I run a monthly contest on my facebook page: where you can enter to win a tiny octopus!

Etsy Shop:

Harriet’s Purse Library

November 12th, 2011

The look, feel, smell, and of course content of books has been a constant in my life. It led me to become a librarian. Part of the job was discarding books that were out of date or damaged. Some were just too special to trash. I started experimenting with hard cover bindings, illustrations and text. Combining them with recycled cigar boxes and treasures found at garage sales, I make purses, table top boxes, blank paper notebooks and light switch covers that reflect what I treasure in the content of a book, and my own quirky sense of humor.

I’m no longer working as a librarian, but my recycled book creations make it possible for me to share with others the beauty of the printed book. I started selling my creations on Etsy after getting enthusiastic responses to the purses I carried.

I select books at garage sales and library used book sales based on the cover design, illustrations and subject matter. I buy cigar boxes at cigar stores, or receive them as gifts from cigar smoking friends. I match book and box based on size, then dissect the book and select the text and illustrations that most complement the cover and content. I spend a lot of time preparing and finishing the paper.

The best thing about making purses, boxes, notebooks and light switch covers is that I keep improving what I make, and coming up with new ideas and techniques. The worst thing is parting with the pieces I like best.

Etsy Shop:

Leilani Joy's illustrates Art NuVogue

November 12th, 2011

Born and raised in the Sacramento area, I like to say I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon. In 2009 I graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a degree in Fine Art Illustration, and achieved my first solo show shortly after graduation. I’ve since had my work shown in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury, as well as numerous art events in the Northern California. Heavily influenced by fashion illustration, anime, and the female form, I strive to blend my passions in unique ways. Within the last year I founded Art NuVogue which encompasses my product line featuring my original artwork and also my video blog show in which I demonstrate my creation process and share my artistic inspirations. You can find my video blog at

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? In 2010 I received an invitation through my Etsy shop to participate in Kat Von D’s Pink Parlour Festival in Los Angeles, CA. The entire show was to feature only female artists and crafters- primarily with an edgy or indie flair. I was excited by the idea and decided to give it a try. I took the little merchandise I had and borrowed a couple of tables and headed down there. I ended up selling nearly everything I had- including an original painting. I fell in love with meeting my cliental face to face and getting real feedback from the public on my work. For me being a vendor is not just about selling my product- but perhaps more importantly about marketing myself, meeting new people and building real relationships with my customers and collectors. I left my office/desk job in early 2011 and have been a full time business owner and freelance illustrator ever since.

Describe your creative process when designing/making your product line: All my paintings begin a little differently and the inspiration comes from a variety of places. I often begin by gathering photo references, then proceed to a sketching/brainstorming phase. After that I begin tighter more refined drawings before beginning the painting process. Once a piece is finished I produce it on my other products; prints, jewelry, buttons, magnets, keychains, mirrors, and cards. I recently began a blog on Tumblr where I share all things that inspire my artwork. It’s a great place to share ideas and see what inspires my followers as well. My inspiration blog can be found at:

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best part of what I do is seeing someone’s face light up when they fall in love with one of my paintings. It’s incredibly satisfying when someone really connects to a piece I’ve created. Art is so personal, and a piece of my self is in everything I create. When someone gets excited about my work and walks away smiling with a piece of my art work I couldn’t be happier. The worst part of the business is having to be 20 people at once- artist, bookkeeper, web designer, package designer, sales person, promotor, blogger, agent, etc. I often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get all my tasks done. But for me- the rewards out weigh the hardships of being an entrepreneur.

To see my full product line, original paintings and giclee prints for sale please visit me at: Please use the code, “VIPBUYER” to get 15% off your first purchase! You can also find me around the web at the following links –
On YouTube:



Bird Mafia, cut paper design

November 12th, 2011

My name is emily. I love baking, “adventuring,” biking, climbing rocks, sewing and cutting paper and I am the artist behind bird mafia, a company I  started (with my super side-kick and husband, Scott) as a way of sharing my  love for the boldness and beauty of cut paper by hand-making crafts  hand-printed with cut paper designs, as well as constructing cut paper art  pieces. We make every effort to always use the most eco-friendly materials  we can get our hands on and, as vegans, we never use any animal derived  materials.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job?  I love “making” more than just about everything (with the exception of some special people). Whether it’s baking vegan goodies, making handmade candy,  sewing a stuffie or cutting paper… a day is not complete without making  something and happily, bird mafia is my full time job.

Describe your creative process when designing/making your product line.  I call what I do “cut paper design,” because that’s exactly what I do.  Every one of my original designs begins as a single sheet of hand cut  paper. I draw out the design –> cut the design by hand with an xacto knife –> burn that design on to a screen –> screen-print the design by hand –>  and then finally, get to the sewing machine! This way each of my designs looks like cut paper… because it is! I also create fine cut paper art,  like my cut paper shadow boxes.

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?  Best thing is, of course, doing what I love. The worst, bookkeeping (hands  down.)

Use promo code “RESPECTTHEBIRDS” at to receive 10% off your purchase this holiday season!

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