Posts Tagged interview

Meet Meerwiibli, An Eco-Friendly, Mermaid Loving Clothing Designer

Please meet Sarah-Maria of the eco-friendly clothing shop, meerwiibli on Etsy. She is a talented designer who opened shop on January 1st of last year! If you would like to learn more about her, check out her facebook page or her website.

Describe yourself.

I’m a fashion designer/seamstress/photo researcher who lives in the Catskills but grew up in Switzerland. That makes my clothing Swiss made in the USA!

What makes your clothing eco-friendly?

Well, we all create waste and even making clothing from environmentally responsible fabric creates pollution and waste but it also creates jobs. I love using bamboo knits. Bamboo is an amazing fiber which is also super-soft, draws moisture away from the skin and it’s naturally antimicrobial. I also use organic cotton and most of my fabrics are made in the USA or Western Europe, where there is a high anti-pollution standards for manufacturing.

How did you get started in the world of crafting/design?

I grew up in Switzerland, handicrafts are quite important there and I learned knitting, crocheting and sewing starting in 3rd grade in school.

Your etsy shop is called meerwiibli, does this have any meaning to you? How did you choose the name?

Meerwiibli means mermaid in Swiss-German. My family crest is a mermaid and I’ve always been completely obsessed with mermaids so it was quite an easy choice.

What is a typical day for you?

Sadly I still spend most days at my day job. So my sewing time is between coming home and dinner and on the weekends. I end up working about 60 hour weeks between my day job and my shop but I love it. I’ll be trying to cut back hours at my day job soon though, yay!

What inspires you?

Beauty and nature. It’s all around us. Plus I have a serious fabric buying habit. I often buy the fabric first and design around it after I have the fabric, not the other way round.

What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?

I’m always a sucker for my coats and jackets and they seem to be my bestsellers usually. What I love about outerwear is that you can just put on a great jacket and the whole outfit is saved.

If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?

I should have opened my shop much earlier than I did. I thought I needed items in stock and while it sure helps it’s not necessary. I had a hard time getting started because I just didn’t have the time to create stock.

What are some of your favourite etsy shops?

Fairysteps is making me a pair of vegan shoes, her work is amazing! I really want a piece by Leanimal of Project Runway fame, her work’s been hugely influential to me. I’d love to have one of WoodlandBelle’s terrarium rings and emiliefriday has made some amazing felted figures for me.

Do you do any other types of crafts?

Well, nothing as well as sewing though I’ve incorporated needle felting into my sewing before, love doing that. I used to be a doily-crocheting maniac in middle school….

Is there any craft you wish you knew how to do?

Shoe-making! Oh my goodness I really need to get on that! I’m a shoe addict but also a vegetarian – not a good combination, it’s really hard to find awesome non-leather shoes that are cool and good quality.

Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?

I’m going to have to go with pirates as the Pirate School books, written by my husband Brian James, always crack me up!

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Eco-Friendly Jewelry

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting 2 wonderful and local jewelry designers. First on twitter, then in real life. They are Emily and Corina behind the beautiful jewelry line jake+cleo. What makes their shop special and unique is that their jewelry is eco-friendly.  Please read this interview, like their facebook page, follow them on twitter, and read their blog. While you’re shopping, check out Emily’s other etsy shop, emms gems.

Describe yourself.
We’re 2 girls with a shared passion for design. We met while working as kitchen designers and became fast friends.

What makes your jewelry eco-friendly?

We are excited to work with an eco-friendly medium like Art Clay silver, which is made with 100% recycled silver, water and an organic binder. Our design process is also environmentally responsible in that all scraps, shavings and dust are collected and reused in jake + cleo creations.
How did you get started in the world of crafting?
E: It’s in the family…or maybe it was as a Brownie.
C: I enjoyed building models in design school, does that count?

Your etsy shop is called jake + cleo, does this have any meaning to you? How did you choose the name?
We wanted a catchy name that represented us as designers. There are 2 of us, we own cats named Jake and Cleo, we like modern design with a twist, masculine yet feminine. Plus, we thought it sounded better than Corina + Emily.

What is a typical day for you?
E: I start just about every day with a bowl of Mini Wheats cereal and a glass of orange juice – NO PULP! But before that, Cleo the cat gets a good scratch behind the ears, and the other cat gets fed.
C: Every day is a little bit different. That’s what is great about working from home.

What inspires you?
E: Smiles. Giggles. Colour.
C: A deadline. I do my best work under pressure.

What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?
E: Nothing beats a great pair of earrings.

C: I love the Green Like Grass ring. It’s my favourite thing because it was the first ring that we designed and it’s still a top seller.

If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?
E: practice taking photos at ALL times of the year!
C: I feel under-qualified to give people Etsy advice having only opened our shop in September 2010. But, have patience, it takes time to build relationships, followings and for buyers to find you.

What are some of your favourite etsy shops?
E: Emmsgems 😉
C: Emmsgems, definitely. I was Emily’s spokesperson/model before we started jake + cleo together. My latest favourite is Chrisssmith22, aka The Art of Zen…Crochet. Her latest crocheted ‘gypsy’ scarves are amazing.

Do you do any other types of crafts?
One Christmas we each made pencil crayon fabric roll-ups for our nieces. We SEWED them ourselves!

Is there any craft you wish you knew how to do?
E: Embroidery for sure!
C: I’m not so crafty. I sure would love to learn how to lay hardwood flooring.

Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?
E: That’s easy: none.
C: Yeah. Not so much. If you’d said werewolves…go team Jacob!

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I’m Feeling A Bit Spicy

I have a problem in my kitchen. It is a nice size but there are too many windows and doors and a poor layout so there isn’t much counter space. Taking up precious counter space for me is a rotating spice rack filled with many spices that came with it that I will likely never use. I am sure a lot of people struggle with the same thing in their kitchens. But there is a solution!

Meet Katrina, of Salt City Spice on Etsy. She makes gorgeous magnetic spice racks which you can hang on your wall that are often upcycled from old pieces of metal. You can get a spice rack that is both gorgeous and functional!

Describe yourself

I’m married to my college sweetheart with a darling 13 month old daughter. I pretty much love everything related to food except, ironically, the word “foodie.” I’m a terrible liar and like to think I’m funny (my husband doesn’t always agree).

How did you get started in the world of crafting?

I’ve always loved crafts – drawing, making doll clothes, and creating jewelry were favorite activities growing up. My mom encouraged me by supplying seemingly endless supplies like markers, fabric scraps, beads, kits, and even a knitting machine at one point! I wish I still had that in fact – I would use it to make bodyless sweaters. Wait, what do you mean they’re called arm warmers?

Your etsy shop is called saltcityspice, does this have any meaning to you? How did you choose the name?

I’m sure you’ve figured out the Spice part, haha. We moved to Syracuse, NY (aka, the Salt City) a few years ago and thought we’d be missing out on our favorite big city restaurants. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Syracuse has its own small, but strong food scene and that people here are placing more and more emphasis on local products – I want to help support the Buy/Eat Local movement in any way I can, so I figured my shop name was a good place to start.

What is a typical day for you?

I wake up at noon, put on something fabulous, read the paper while sipping a perpetually hot latte, then spend the rest of my day cooking something intricate for dinner. Ok, not really – I’m a stay-at-home mom so a typical day is a bit of a juggling act, but I love and appreciate every day I’m home with my daughter and wouldn’t have it any other way.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by creative reuses of materials, either by salvaging what most would consider waste and turning it into something beautiful and functional, or upcycling an item into something more useful or relevant than the original piece. I’m constantly looking at things and wondering what else they could be with a little imagination.

What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?

This Chalkboard Spice Rack

I had the idea to make a combo spice rack/chalkboard like this when I first opened up my shop but couldn’t get the materials quite right at first. As soon as this one was done, I immediately made another and put it in my own kitchen!

If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?

Really treat it like a business right from the start – take your time to figure out your focus, put together a cohesive shop look, and get a business plan in place. Also, ask for help when you need it! There are people out there willing to give you honest, constructive advice if you just ask.

What are some of your favourite etsy shops?

Well, there’s this one shop that sells gorgeous hand-knit items called ImpossiblyAlice! Really, I have so many favorites – lately, the organizational junkie in me is loving the posters from Popchartlab and the functional art side of me loves the unexpected edible creations from andiespecialtysweets.

Do you do any other types of crafts?

Only for my own intents and purposes – I’m proud of having made most of the decorative items in my daughter’s nursery like her bedskirt, mobile, and wall art. If cooking counts as a craft then I do a lot of that too.

Is there any craft you wish you knew how to do?

I’d love to get my hands on a letterpress and do a little old-fashioned graphic design. I like the result of the words actually imprinted into the paper – it’s such a lost art form.

Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?

Pirates (they all look like Johnny Depp right?)


Please visit her blog, follow her on twitter, and most importantly, visit her etsy shop and buy a spice rack!

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Meeting Alejandra

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Alejandra , the artist and owner behind Aldari on Etsy. If you would like to know more about her, please visit her website and blog, like her facebook page, and follow her on twitter.


Describe yourself

My name is Alejandra, I am 28 years old, I am from Mexico and I live in British Columbia, Canada

How did you get started in art?

I´ve always had a passion for all forms of art. I´ve been and artist and photographer since I was very young, started painting when I was 15, studied graphic design and love making vector illustrations.

Recently I started making mandalas digitally with my photography and art. Due to their depth, shapes and symmetry, Mandalas have always been special to me.

Your etsy shop is called aldari, does that have any special meaning to you? How did you choose the name?

“Aldari” has been my artistic signature since I was 15. “Al” comes from Alejandra, “Da” from Danel (my last name) and “Ri” from Rivera my second last name (in Mexico we use both).

What is a typical day for you?

Get up 7 am, check my Esty shop for sales and convos, make treasuries, blog, and promote on Facebook and Twitter. In the afternoon I print and ship sales. After that I work on new digital designs, jewelry, paint, photos, among others. Many days I work from morning until night.

What inspires you?

I find inspirations everywhere! In particular, textures and colors in nature.

What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?

Actually, I have four favorites.

Elephant and Little Friend

This illustration I made it for my little niece Isabella before she was born.

Round Rock

This photo, because I love its simplicity and the circle is my favorite shape.

Singing Bird on Branch

I love the composition of this photo, the rich blue sky, and I can hear the bird sing.

Eternal Flow Mandala

This one is my favorite mandala because I created it from an original painting of mine called “Ripples of Water”.

If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?

I would begin promoting on all social networks asap, and would join teams immediately.

What are some of your favourite etsy shops?

I have so many! These are only a few:

Do you do any other types of crafts?

Yes, I enjoy making jewelry especially out of my mandalas. You can find pendants in my shop and I just started making really cool earrings which aren´t available yet, but keep checking I will have them for sale soon!

Is there any type of craft you wish you knew how to do?

Yes, I would love to make my designs into silver jewelry in the future.

Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?


Isn`t she great? Don`t forget to click on the following links to get to know Alejandra better!