Open your Own Shop on Etsy
Etsy is a great way to start selling your own handmade items, vintage things, and supplies. I enjoy it most, because of the low risk and inexpensive starting fee. You don't have to put thousands of dollars into a store front downtown. You don't have to pay $30-$100 up front for a spot in a craft fair. You get a wide range of visibility with using the Etsy website. Easy to invite friends and join in the community.
So, join me on Etsy! Get started with the offer in the link below, and you and I both get free listings!
Open an Etsy Shop
A couple weeks ago I got pictures done for the infinity scarves and put in the shop. So, this post is a wee bit late!
I am slowly learning how to take photographs for myself and using myself as a model for shop items that are for adults. It's a work in progress, but since I've opened the shop (coming up on a year ago) my photographs have improved quite a bit. At least, in my belief.
Enjoy the photos below of the scarves and how to wear them. I have most of them wrapped once around (two for the jersey knit ones), but you can wear them as a single loop, too.
Click on the photo to go to the shop to purchase!
I have had quite a few special orders lately. All of which were hats. I'm getting pretty good at hats. :p
A majority of them deal with unique designs. So, an example of one is a local high school sports team. You may be wondering how I design said hats. Well, it's actually quite simple.
I use a program called Knit Design Studio by Savannah Winds Studio. The program is free, so if you're a knitter you can definitely download it and use it yourself! It does have a couple set backs, but this is not the post for that.
The first hats I did I had to do free style. The purchaser gave me artistic reign over the design, so I had a bit of fun. It was for a local sports team that didn't have a whole lot of visuals online for me to follow. The mascot design on the school's homepage was too complex for a child's hat, too. I ran with it. Here is one of the designs I used.
As you can see, I have an alternative lettering for 'OWLS' above the big 'H.' The 'W' in the original word wasn't quite right, so I needed to fix it. The draw back is that the program doesn't let you just erase squares willy nilly. You have to go and undo in order, or at least that's all I've found I can do. If anyone reading this is a bit more knowledgeable about the program and can tell me otherwise, please do!
Another design I've had the privileged of doing is for a small business. In this case they already had a business design, so I did my best to follow it. I think it turned out pretty well! The top is the original and the bottom is my design using the Knit Design studio.
I hope to be able to share more of my designs with you as I do them on my own or receive special orders. It's quite a delight to see something I've made on 'paper' be created into something knit!
I know a little boy who is in absolute love with The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, namely the new movie.
By love, I mean he could probably watch it endlessly.
So, when it happened that we would be in town for his 1st birthday party I took the chance to make him a special gift. It wouldn't be a gift by me without making something myself. I strongly support gifts made from home or made by small businesses.
Of course the gift was going to be said Lorax. I could envision exactly what it'd look like: a bright orange ball of softness in the likeness of the Lorax.
I loosely followed Erin Scull's pattern found here. I changed it a bit. Most notably I changed the eyes, mustache, and eyebrows. I didn't like the shaping of the crochet mustache and eyebrows, so I used felt. Felt mustache and eyebrows, because the alternative of using loose yarn would be a bit messy and fall out with the loving play of a child.
In addition to this lovely little Lorax, I added some Truffala tree seeds. Okay, they won't grow actual Truffala trees, but rather giant marigolds in orange, yellow, and white. Like these:
Needless to say both parts of the gift were a hit! I was surprised with all the lovely complements and astonishment of my hand crafted Lorax. Quite humbling.
What gives me the greatest joy is that I can offer a child a one of a kind toy that will hopefully be turned into an heirloom for his family.
*Photo Credit of the Lorax goes to Alika Faythe of Despres Photography*
Why Purchase the Butterfly?
When I began MissNissCraftworks a little over a year ago, I was looking for a way to create a living, have the freedom of being my own boss, and most importantly feed my creativity. I found it hard to be truly happy with the thought of someone else lying out goals I would need to make and the bureaucracy that goes along with working in an overly communal workplace. Some may think I made my decision to get out too quickly, but I'd have to disagree!
Since that moment of clarity, I've had another. This time it has to do directly with MissNissCraftworks.
Over the past year I've quickly honed my skills in knitting, crochet, and sewing. I've slowly begun developing an inventory of items that I want to define MissNissCraftworks, a process that I'm sure will be eternal. I read patterns, I read my peers' blogs, I read books, I surf the web for fresh ideas, I look to nature for inspiration, and I listen and watch to understand the interests of my fashion forward friends and family. I work hard.
What has now been plaguing my mind over the last few weeks is the question, "Why should anyone want to purchase and order from ME?' I mean, come on, there is a plethora of items in the stores that you could easily go to to meet your needs. Not having to become a member of Etsy, no reason to consult me for a special request, no reason to give me feedback... you'd have anonymity doing things that way. You could shop sales. Get things cheap, like I do when I rarely shop in a clothing store.
Sounds pretty great, right?
Truth is it's NOT. There are a few main reasons to why shopping small and/or local is way better.
1. Location of Creation
-- Where your goods are made should play a huge importance in what you buy. A majority of clothing items are made overseas. It's rare to find a garment or textile made right here in America. Why? Because we outsource more than what's good for us. Sure, those people in other countries need to have a living, too. But they're being paid slave wages, in unfit working conditions, mass producing something as cheaply as possibly. Did you get that last part? It'll lead us to our next point. Why would you want to support that with your purchasing power?
Choosing a small business, that does not mass produce and is located in your community, state, or country will help those economies that affect you. It's important to help your neighbor and the more local the neighbor the better. MissNissCraftworks is owned solely by me, all items are made only by me, and I make my living off of selling those items. Helping me provide you with quality, handmade items helps a smaller economy.
-- I'm for saving money, too. The thing is, if you want a well made item you need to look for it. If you know the mass produced items aren't made up your standard chances are they'll wear out faster. Shopping small businesses, in most cases, will give you the quality you deserve. Items made for MissNissCraftworks, for example, are carefully crafted and I ALWAYS make sure the items are of the highest quality. I take great pride in my work and you should count on items that please when purchasing from me.
-- There are way too many things out there that are 'a dime a dozen.' I should rephrase that. There are way too many things out there that are 'a dime a dozen' and those are the items that get all the commercial attention. It doesn't mean that's what you have to buy. With small businesses you get unique items. A lot are even one of a kinds! Be the black sheep and purchase something that no one else has or at the very least, very few. I work very hard to develop items that are unlike the others found on Etsy and especially not found in the stores! Sure some may seem similar, but they're always in MissNissCraftworks' style. I even do special orders for items that are not found in my shop. I've done many lovely orders that I will not offer in shop. All it takes is a quick message and my creative mind will most likely conceive something even better than what you had anticipated.
-- Small businesses work hard to give you the service you require. We're not like the large business that can absorb costs if a few people aren't happy with their products. A small business depends on good communication with a consumer and you are sure to get it! I love my customers. I may not know you and you may not know me, but that does not mean I should offer you anything inferior. I do my very best to keep lines of communication open with my my customers in a punctual manner. I offer quick, tracked shipping. I'll let you know if your order will take anymore time, but most are ready to go in shop! Not to be too corny, but with MissNissCraftworks I am gladly at your service. I won't sell you short of a positive experience.
I am sure there will be more reasons I could add as I continue to digest this idea. Small business, MY small business, is important. You need to know that. When you purchase with MissNissCraftworks, you help me. I am not a cooperation, just an enthusiastic girl who wants to offer the world beauty, comfort, and style through knits, crochets, sewn items, and whatever else I create!
This post is quite honestly very late. Christmas 2012 I made a pokemon toy for my Godson/cousin. It's the Cyndaquil on the right that I made for him. Actually, it's probably the very first crochet toy I had ever made. I got the pattern from WolfDreamerOTH. She has a magnificent library of patterns she has created for game related toys. I even learned a few new crochet skills that I have begun using in my crochet designs as well!
Anyway, my Godson was SOOO excited by the gift. I can't tell you how heart warming it was to see him run around with his cousins and the party with that Cyndaquil always in tow. Heck, I'm pretty sure that if I got an awesome gift like that for Christmas I'd be toting it around with me, too! Even at 25.
His older brother thought it was so cool that he had gotten a pokemon toy that he asked me to make him one too. I was more than happy to oblige, so I pulled up the list from WolfDreamerOTH and let him pick which one he wanted. Of course he chose one of the harder ones, Lugia, which is pictured on the left. ;) It was another growing experience for me, though. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and so was he!
Next time you need a toy gift and you want to make it yourself, I would suggest heading over to WolfDreamerOTH's blog for some patterns. You won't be disappointed.
My name is Annissa, owner of MissNissDesigns. I am a knitter, crocheter, sewer, and all around crafty lady.