Today I have the pleasure of writing about one of my favorite websites, Etsy. I decided I wanted to dedicate an entire post to Etsy and some of it’s shops because I love the entire concept of it. I find so much joy in knowing that this website is providing all sorts of entrepreneurs with a way to sell their products.
If you don’t already know, Toby and I spent a good portion of last year making our own soaps and candles. It was very fun, therapeutic and was a nice little way to generate some extra money. Although we enjoy it, we just got to a point where we didn’t have the time to dedicate to it, so we’ve taken a break for a while. However, during that time, we learned so much about what it really takes to make your own product. From the the money you first put in to get all of your supplies, to the support of the people around you it takes to get anywhere with it. It definitely is hard work, time consuming and when you first start- it’s a gamble. You’re not guaranteed to make a dime. That’s the main reason I find Etsy so appealing, it’s giving small companies- that are generally based out of someone’s home, a chance to grow!
I come from a community that LOVES to support those small businesses around it, but not everyone is lucky enough to live in an area that has annual festivals, big church events, or a monthly gathering where local vendors are encouraged. And even though we do like to try and shop locally, sometimes you find really cool stuff that may not be local– but you’re still supporting a small business. And who doesn’t love handcrafted goods!?
WHAT IS ETSY?
Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods.
If you visit their website, it’s put so perfectly:
“The heart and soul of Etsy is our global community: the creative entrepreneurs who use Etsy to sell what they make or curate, the shoppers looking for things they can’t find anywhere else, the manufacturers who partner with Etsy sellers to help them grow, and the Etsy employees who maintain and nurture our marketplace.” FOR THE SHOPPER
Etsy is set up like any other shopping website. It has beautiful layout and is easy to understand. You can select from all sorts of categories to shorten searches, pick price ranges, browse trending items, & gift ideas. You can also favorite and save any shop or item you like. You can make different files, and as you start to select items you like, Etsy will generate picks for you that will introduce you to other shops.
FOR THE SELLER
You are able to customize a webpage specifically for your shop. You pick your shop name and you can included a bio about your company- what your products are about, and what makes them unique. Then you add your listings- pricing, descriptions, and photos! You set up your payment methods, and that’s about all there is to it!
I know I enjoy looking at shops that have their products listed on separate links, for easy searching. I also enjoy shops that have a good bio, with links to their twitter and facebook. It’s a trustworthy site that I have been using for about four years now. I have bought various things- these three beautiful water color paintings a young girl did out of Texas, to hand painted light switch covers for our house. I have bought Tegan a backpack, clothes, I have even found some great beauty products and jewelry! Most of the decorations I bought for Tegan’s first birthday came from different Esty shops. So it’s a shop I am familiar with and enjoy using.
When I decided to make this blog, I felt like it was important to include some of the products you can get from there and so I reached out to several different shop owners. I was pleasantly surprised at the response I got- a lot of people were willing to be apart of this and share their products with me, so I can share them with you! Although a few changed their mind last minute, I do have some wonderful products to share with you today!
The first shop I’d like to introduce is-
In most traditional cultures, the value of “art” lies in its use. So in many ways, Nyemay is a traditionalist. As founder and head designer for Nyemay’s Collectables, she creates functional fine art. Pushing the bounds of creativity and education, the collection is distinctive because of its symbolism. Spoken like a true old soul, Nyemay hopes to ‘reconnect Africans throughout the diaspora with their collective culture’. Nyemay uses both Adinkra and Khemetic symbols to inform her clients, while beautifying their environments. Embroidery is the paintbrush. Bath towels, baby bibs, and hooded sweatshirts work as canvas. Nyemay Collectables make the mundane meaningful, the everyday —extraordinary.
Though the business began as a staple on the Brooklyn street festival scene, it promptly grew into a custom-order enterprise with products placed in New York’s most eclectic boutiques. And while widely regarded as the world’s fashion capital, the gritty grind of the big apple can wear on one’s spirit. With that said, Nyemay took a leap into the unknown — she relocated to Atlanta, Ga. Reenergized by the warm weather, southern hospitality, and natural beauty, Nyemay’s Collectables is bringing cultured couture and home decor to a fresh market. With the addition of aprons, pillow cases, placemats and crotched scarves & baby blankets, this spirited collection is poised for prominence.
Nyemay is a beautiful soul. You can definitely tell she loves what she does- it is reflected in each stitch. She’s very compassionate, too. She sent me two gorgeous hand towels and I love them both! I hung up one up in my downstairs bathroom- it goes perfectly, and the other one I will use as a yoga towel. I am so happy to be able share with you her products. She puts a unique spin on everyday items- she brings life and personality to otherwise ordinary things. Her work is fantastic!
The next shop I’d like to introduce is-
About Blue Blossom~
Blue Blossom was created by two sisters, Nicole and Sara, out of their home in Nebraska. They want to make the world a better place, and they understand that toxins and harmful chemicals are not only harmful for you, but for the environment. So they decided to take the steps to make natural, organic and toxin free products. They LOVE their products, and they are confident that you will too. And I tend to agree with them!
These wonderful ladies sent me a bottle of organic shampoo and conditioner to try– by far the best smelling shampoo and conditioner I have ever used. They sent me Sweet Orange and Lavender– oh my gosh, it smells amazing! I was very excited to try it out because we are in the process of replacing all of our chemically filled household items with more natural alternatives, and shampoo was something I was nervous to change. I honestly didn’t know what to expect with the shampoo- I thought it was going to leave my hair looking dull, and feeling less clean. BUT IT DIDN’T! It was wonderful and I have continued to use it.
Something I’d like to point out, which I have in the past when discussing all natural soap- most natural soap/shampoo products are not going to have much of a lather to them– that doesn’t mean it’s not working- same with toothpaste. It takes a little getting used to because you always seem to create suds when cleaning- but it isn’t necessary!
With the conditioner, I didn’t have as much luck as I did with the shampoo. It smelt equally as delicious but was a lot thicker than I expected, and I could not get it out of my hair. I looked like a serious grease ball for the day, but then the next time I used it I didn’t use as much, and it worked great.
They also included a bonus lotion bar and I haven’t used it yet because I am currently using something else– but I doubt I will be disappointed.
On top of the high quality of these products, the packaging was also adorable. I should also mention that these girls don’t just create bath and body products, but also jewelry. Everything is super affordable and they are extremely nice, and talented women.
The next shop is-
About The Body Code~
The Body Code loves simple and organic ingredients. If you visit her Etsy shop, she puts it so nicely!
“We all know the importance of buying organic food, or using organic cleaning products, but did you know your skin is the largest organ in your body?! The average adult is exposed to 168 hazardous chemicals each day. Chemicals such as phthalates, mineral oils, sodium lauryl sulphate, propylene glycol, and parabens, are all commonly used in cosmetics and body care products, and are known carcinogens or toxins that affect the immune, reproductive, and endocrine systems.
Your skin absorbs things easily. Anything that is applied to the skin – such as moisturizers, lipsticks, deodorants, and other cosmetics are absorbed into the body and into the blood stream just as if you’d eaten it.
Most chemicals have not undergone any safety testing. Of the more than 10,000 chemical ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products less then 10% have actually been tested. And of those that have been tested virtually none have been banned. The FDA has only restricted 9 ingredients in 67 years.
So, all-in-all, organic products just work better. Non toxic skin care products are more effective simply because they are made with ingredients that don’t disrupt your body’s natural state. Since what you put on your skin will end up in your body, treat your body well and you will feel and look your best. Our standard of excellence is organic and simple.”
It’s important to check back with The Body Code regularly, as she is constantly researching new materials and adding new products.
Right now she is offering products like organic deodorant, warming salve, calming salve and organic lash.
The Body Code was kind enough to send me some Organic Lash to try and I can absolutely tell a difference. A while back I did a vlog on organic make up, as I was making the switch but I had mentioned that I had not found an organic mascara to try out yet– and that is still the case, because this organic lash is not mascara BUT even when I find one, I will still use them together. This organic lash is a strengthening, growth serum infused with pure lavender essential oil. I have very short eyelashes, so it was very easy for me to notice a difference. But it lengthens your lashes so nicely, sometimes I don’t even bother with mascara. It’s light, it doesn’t clot your lashes, and I love how it smells.
I really enjoyed working with Ashley, she seemed to be genuinely interested in helping me with the blog and I really appreciate that!
On to the next shop!
About Elevator Apparel~
Samantha and Matthew are the creators behind these super adorable clothes that are Elevator Apparel. Elevator Apparel offers lightweight feel good workout apparel at reasonable costs. They have the cutest burnout and jersey tank tops that are a must have if you’re in running, crossfit, or power lifting and want to look cute while doing it! Elevator Apparel is an advocate for being a healthier and more fit you. They encourage girls to start and continue living a healthy life. Definitely take time to go browse their shop because they have some really cute stuff. They were kind enough to send me their pink Refuse to Sink tank and I really like it. My husband really thought it was cute- which surprised me that he even noticed that it was new, but it did catch his attention. I typically wear darker colors, so maybe it’s this beautiful pink that stood out to him. Elevator Apparel offers tanks in multiple colors and has so many graphics to choose from. You’ll have fun just browsing through what they have to offer. One more bonus is that they offer FREE shipping to anywhere in the US!
And finally, our last shop– (one of my favorites)
There is a reason that I saved Arima Designs for the end. Although all of these shops have been so kind and extremely giving- each equipped with a talent, all with the intentions of bettering yourself/the Earth- this particular shop stood out to me the most. This particular woman. I just want to share with you exactly what I found when I came across her shop.
“When I first started printing on shirts, I would write on the tags “Made in Thoraya’s Bedroom” and I wasn’t lying. Thats where it all started- I would design the shirts on my laptop, print the designs on transfer paper and press them on white Hane’s shirts in my room. My friends would go crazy over the shirts… So I just kept printing and started selling to family and friends. My shop moved from my room to my garage, and now Etsy. So much has changed since then- the answer to “Where did it all start?” doesn’t really give a good explanation of the brand. “How has it evolved” I think, will give you a better understanding.
The name of my brand was originally Anima which means soul in Latin and is my mother’s name spelled backwards. But that brand name was taken by a dog clothing company, weird. Now the brand is called Arima which still means soul, but in Basque. What I have tried to do since the start is to mimic the human soul through my brand. Something free, pure, evolving, authentic, and meaningful. And I hope that’s what people take away from it. All the designs on my shirts have a unique and positive message. So that when a customer buys a product, they are doing more than buying/wearing a logo, they are buying into what it stands for, they are wearing what they stand for. I am still the designer/illustrator/typographer of all the Arima shirts and with the help of, Miranda and Bryan, the owners of a local print shop, I am now able to provide a higher quality of my design on shirts with a faster shipment time.”
It may seem simple, but what she wrote really spoke to me. I pictured a girl sitting in her room with all of these beautiful thoughts and emotions just waiting to burst out of her– and she allowed it to happen and created so much! And with the help of her community, and now Etsy, she has been able to expand into something so much more. When I was researching her, and looking through her pictures, I found one of her working on a design. It was that moment that I reached out to her because this is exactly why I wanted to promote Etsy and all that it does.
Thoraya sent me two super cute shirts that I really like. She sent me a tshirt, and a tank. The tank is very loose fitting and flowy, and I really like that. I also love how soft that material of the tank is, and it’s real light. Perfect for yoga.
I am blown away by the kindness that everyone showed me when trying to put this together. I had intended on doing a video blog on everything as well, and still hope too, but I seem to be having some problems with my videos cooperating. But I hope that this was enough to urge you to mosey on over to Etsy if you haven’t before, and I hope that you take a moment to visit each of these shops as well.
I did not try to have a specific theme when reaching out to different shops, but the way it turned out seemed to flow very nicely together, which is fantastic! I wish I would have had a few kid friendly products to share with you– so I might just have to do something like this again soon!!
I just would like to take another moment to thank each individual that put in so much time an effort to create each product listed, and every other product they provide. They are true artist, and deserve so much credit. Everyone was a pleasure to work with, and I will look for more ways to incorporate each shop later on down the road. It was a lot of fun seeing everything show up in the mail day after day. I got try a lot of wonderful things!
If you have a question about any of the shops featured, please feel free to message me, or reach out to them! If you, or someone you know is interested in opening your own Etsy shop please visit Etsy for information. You can also keep up with all of the Etsy happenings via social media! Twitter Facebook Instagram
Thanks for reading and if you order anything from any of the shops featured, be sure to post a picture and tag us in it!