Today's talented featured Etsy seller is Michelle. She runs two shops, "Seaweed & Sage," which features all vegan and organic bath and body products, and "ModGypsy Designs," which is a boho inspired jewelry shop. Keep reading to learn more about Michelle, and be sure to visit her shops!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you create?
My name is Michelle and I grew up in a rural, small town in Canada. I have always loved creating since I was little - whether it was making wooden decorations that I sold at the local hardware store, or handmade cards, beeswax candles, or whatever I could get my hands on!
I just opened two Etsy within the last month - my first shop Seaweed & Sage is all vegan and organic bath and body products. My second shop - ModGypsy Designs is my jewelry shop - which is mostly comprised of boho-inspired jewelry (it's still in the early stages!)
Is it difficult running two Etsy shops?
Since I just opened both of my shops - I'm still getting used to it all. Right now I'm working full-time and still taking classes at University so I'm often busy but my Etsy shops are a "good" stress and I love being able to be creative everyday!
Were you always interested using organic and vegan ingredients for your bath and body products?
I was always interested in creating products that were organic - I eat organic foods and use organic products myself and I try my best to always buy organic products. I believe in organics and wanted products that weren't full of chemicals and artificial scents and colours. I wasn't sure at first about creating vegan products - but I wanted to make sure that all my ingredients were the BEST ingredients that I could find - and often I found vegan ingredients were just that. Currently I am vegan and I'm also gluten-free - although I don't market my products as being gluten-free!
What sparked your interest in jewelry design?
When I was about 12 or 13 my mom showed me her jewelry box full of jewelry from the 60s and 70s. I had never seen anything like it and loved all of it! She had amazing earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces - I had found jewelry that I adored! When I moved to the city I found a great jewelry supply store that was full of gypsy-boho-inspired pieces combined with treasures from all the world that reminded me of my mom's jewelry. I started playing around with creating jewelry and fell in love. I'm still growing everyday - and hoping to find more time to create more jewelry. My notebook is full of ideas!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I still use my mom's jewelry box for inspiration but I find inspiration in everything - everyday things but I'm a nature girl at heart. I love being in nature and I understand how important it is for humans to be connected to nature. I love working with organic and natural materials, like wood, metals and leather. My partner works with metal - so I often tell him my ideas and he cuts the pieces for me.
How did you get started selling on Etsy? Do you sell or showcase your work anywhere else?
I had a friend tell me about Etsy a few years ago, and I fell in love with Etsy. I never dreamed about opening an Etsy shop but I started to create bath and body products and knew that I needed an online shop. I knew Etsy was the perfect place to open an online shop.
I also love going to local craft shows, sales and farmer's markets.
Do you wear any of your own jewelry pieces?
I do! All the time actually! I find that it's very rewarding wearing my pieces because that's when I get the most compliments. I realized that I should start selling my pieces when strangers wanted to buy the jewelry I was wearing, so I started to giveaway a lot of what I made. I only make jewelry that I would want to wear!
Do you have any advice for others thinking about selling their craft online?
I only started selling online recently - so I'm not sure I'd have too much advice yet! I already convinced a friend of mine to open a shop :) I think Etsy is the perfect place to open a shop if you are just starting out. It's a great community and there are so many people out there who are willing to help out newbies and will give you great advice.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love reading and taking baths (and preferably both at the same time)... It was while I was taking a bath one night that I had decided to start creating my own bath and body products.
I also love being out in nature, traveling, and learning new things.