"gifts for her"

"aromatherapy", "bath and body", "gift ideas", "gifts for her", "rose"

Uplift Your Heart with Roses!

Lately, I've fallen in love with the fragrance of roses.  I love the rich and earthy scent that opens your heart and instantly feels relaxing.  I wish that I had a rose garden so I could have fresh roses in my house all during the summer, but I'll take any of these above choices instead!  In fact, I use the Lavender and Rose aromatherapy roller by The Living Earth Botanicals everyday and feel refreshed each time I put it on.  Ginger and Amanda add a hint of vanilla to their mix and it makes for a really soothing and calming scent - love it!  By indulging in this set of 4 rose scented items, you can surround yourself with the healing essence of roses all day long.

top left  Rose & Fresh Mint Vegan Soap  ||  Swamp Angel Soap
top right  Rose Lip Balm  ||  Winsom & Green
bottom left  Lavender & Rose Aromatherapy in a Jiffy  ||  The Living Earth Botanicals
bottom right  Rose & Geranium Shea Body Butter  ||  Auriel Marie

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"Mother's Day", "fashion accessories", "fresh five", "gift ideas", "gifts for her", "gifts for mom", "home decor"

Fresh Five || Mother's Day

Our main goal is to bring you the best and brightest on Etsy.  We also want to showcase the latest or "freshest" finds, so that's why we have created the Fresh Five. The Fresh Five will be five items that are new to a shop + share a common theme.  The theme this month is Mother's Day of course!  It's a little over a week away.  I think any mom would be thrilled to get any of these items I have featured. I have my eye's on the ceramic wall art. I think it would look great on a garden wall.  You still have time to find Mom that perfect gift.

Fresh Five
1. leather belt || Blue Mountain Thyme
2. circle wall art || Ce Ce Works
3. wood cut pendant || Cloth and INK
4. hand painted necklace || trees 4 the wood
5. leather tote || Leah Lerner

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"Etsy Shop Introduction", "fashion accessories", "gifts for her", "gifts for mom", "jewelry"

O bliss || Jewellery Formed by Hand

a sampling of Maria's work and packaging

Based out of sunny Queensland, Australia, Maria of O Bliss Jewellery creates unique pieces from recycled sterling silver. She got hooked after taking a silversmith class and from there O Bliss was born.   Working out of a spare room in her home, she creates amazing handcrafted art for you to wear. I really love how she plays with different geometric shapes and her finished product is so unique. She also has found through her shop a love of photography which is evident in her unique + moody images which play with light and shadow beautifully.  I hope you have time to explore her shop, you won't be disappointed! 

stacking rings

Wanting more O Bliss?


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"Etsy Style Guide", "Mother's Day", "earth day", "gifts for her", "gifts for mom", "style guide challenge"

Mother Earth Day || A Style Guide Challenge

1.  arrow head studs | o bliss jewellery
2. ikat scarf | french felt
3.  triangle shelves | Perrodin Supply Co.
4.  triangle necklace | A Quiet Curiosity
5. screen printed cowgirl blouse | zwzzy
Spring is in full bloom. The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and the Sun sets later and later each night. With all this nature waking up from a long winter's sleep it's the perfect time to celebrate this beautiful planet we live on.  Earth Day ( April 22nd) was created to raise awareness of our environment and to protect and conserve our natural resources. Our Style Guide Challenge will merge our celebration of our beautiful planet + Mother's Day (May 12th).  That' why we are calling it our Mother Earth Day Challenge. To kick off this fun combination of holidays we created some gift guides for Mom built around different regions or landscapes.


Style Guide Details:
On the 16th of each month, you can count on us to bring you Inside Etsy.  We work with a team of talented gift guide curators who also happen to be shop owners on Etsy.  Why is that important?  Well, you can trust us when we say that we all spend way more time than we may be willing to admit not only managing our shops, fulfilling orders, and answering questions, but also on creating what Etsy calls a treasury.  It's a tool that you can use to put together a showcase of 16 items together in a group, which then means we spend even more time finding those items by scouting around for favorites!   We know how to navigate around and through our own internal networking, we know where to look for those quality items.  Through our gift guides, we do the hard work for you!  Sound good?  Excellent. 

Over the course of the next 3 days, we'll be sharing our Style Guide Collections with you.  These are theme based collections.  Want to see them?  Click here or on the button over on the side that says "Style Guide".  Presto.  Your personal Etsy shoppers at your service!!

1. head band | Seven White Rabbits
2. silk scarf | by Cinne Worthington
3.  scallop shell pillow | created by storm
4. lavender bath salt | little flower soap co.
5.  earth and sea pendant | Studio by the Forest

1.  coral summer dress | Assaf Pelleg
2. pink striped iPhone case | Red Tile Studio
3.  porcelain wood block vase | L & M Studio
4.  set of paper sculptures | The Vintage Vogue Story
5. hammered wrap ring | lolide

1.  trois wall vase set | Pig & Fish
2.  chalkboard with clay tile magnets | romy and clare
3.  laminated zipper pouch | oktak 
4. daisy stamp | creatiate
5. flower bobby pins | be something new

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"fashion accessories", "gifts for her", "keys to success", "kitchen", "success on etsy"

The Keys to Success || The Story of Oktak

apron and coin purse available at Oktak

1. When and why did you choose to open an online shop on Etsy?

The first time I heard about Etsy was from a friend, Yukiko of Seabreeze Studio (www.seabreezestudio.etsy.com ), who opened her shop in 2005.

At the time, I had my own website with a shopping cart, but was struggling to expand my customer base. Most of the visitors to my site were following the link from my Japanese blog (oktak.exblog.jp), and probably about 80% of sales were to Japanese customers.

I checked out Etsy with great excitement, as I don't think there was a site that specialized in selling and buying handmade goods before Etsy. When I did, I was taken back by the low prices, and had doubts that it was the right venue for me. 

It took me about a year to finally open a shop in September 2006. I thought I'd test the waters by listing things that didn't sell on my own site.
Despite my naïve expectation that sales would be rolling in as soon as I opened my shop, nothing sold for the first two months! My main focus remained on my own site, and I didn't pay much attention to my Etsy shop until 2007, when suddenly, my items started popping up on the front page. This of course led to more sales, and I began to see the immense potential that Etsy had. 

embroidery floss 

2. What got you started in your craft?

My baby.
I worked for the Japanese Foreign Ministry before I had my son. It was a very demanding job, both physically and mentally. I hardly saw my husband during the week because I worked so late every night. It was fulfilling in a way of course, but very tiring and stressful.

When I found out I was pregnant, I decided I didn't want to continue that life style, and started thinking about a different career that was more compatible with family life. After my son was born, I dabbled in translation, and translated books from English to Japanese while caring for him at home.

One day, when my family and I were walking around East Village, I peered into one of my favorite shops that sold handmade bags. As I was admiring the bags, my husband said, "If you love it so much, why don't you do it yourself?" - this was an eye-opening moment.  I'd always loved designing and crafting, but never thought I could pursue it as a career. It suddenly dawned on me that there wasn't any reason why I couldn't.
Soon after that, I enrolled in a course in handbag design and construction at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

just a sampling of current coin purse designs

3. Who or what influences your style the most?

I'm not sure, but I love the bold colors and motifs of the 60s / early 70s, and the clean, simple aesthetics of Japanese and Scandinavian designs.  I also love the unusual and striking color combinations in traditional kimonos, and the happiness and freedom that I see in my kids' art work.
There are so many things that I find fascinating, that I really don't know what influences me the most.  

Aki's Muji notebook filled with her sketches and designs

4. How do you stay focused and motivated?

I try to think ahead and scribble new ideas in my 200 page MUJI notebook whenever something pops up in my head.  When I'm not focused or motivated, I look at that notebook and remember all the ideas I wanted to work on. 

the workspace

5. What would be your insight on " Keys to Success on Etsy"?

I think of my Etsy shop as a garden. If you don't tend to it every day, weeds will grow all over it, bugs will eat up the leaves, and the flowers will wilt due to lack of water. Even if it's just switching your 'featured items' or relisting expired items, you need to do some work on it each day to keep it from getting buried, both on Etsy and on major search engines.

Because Etsy is a huge site now, success relies heavily on how much exposure you can get.
Here are some ways I try to maximize exposure:
1. Add new listings as often as possible.
2. Try to make well-curated treasuries, supporting other shops and showcasing my style to the best extent possible.
3. Improve photography. ( I am constantly thinking about new angles/ backgrounds I can experiment with.)
4. Think one season ahead, and try to introduce new products on a timely basis. ( eg. listing items related to a specific holiday at 4 to 8 weeks in advance.)
5. Never say no to requests for interviews.

Having said that, the greatest key to success is your product. Before everything else, you must have an attractive product. I constantly ask myself why certain products sell more than others, what I should make more of and what I should discontinue, how I can be more unique and produce higher quality products. It's always important to look at your shop with the most critical eyes.

Oktak important information:
Owner : Aki
Founded: September 21, 2006

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"Etsy gift guide", "gifts for her", "valentine's day"

Get into Gear - Valentine's Day Gifts!

top Vintage Letterpress Be Mine by Monki Vintage
bottom left Valentine Heart Art Bowl by Romy and Clare
bottom middle Valentine's Triangle Silk Scarf by By Cinne Worthington
bottom right Rose & Chamomile Sachet by The Living Earth Botanicals

The first day of February is officially here and that means 13 more days until Valentine's Day!  I think it's time to get those gift giving partners in gear with a little inspiration from the handmade and vintage world of Etsy!  Planning something special doesn't have to involve a strategic outline that's pages long—you can keep it simple and still achieve something very memorable.  The thing that I love about buying from Etsy is the personalized attention to detail and the connection with the artisans who run the shop.  So here are some ideas to pass along!

Vintage wooden letterpress type have such a beautiful patina and they are cool decor pieces on their own, but Kiki of Monki Vintage combines them here to spell out "Be Mine" - a neat gift idea that is sure to leave an impression (no pun intended!).  Cute!  Small bowls are something I use all the time and if you're looking for a functional gift, I thought this heart art bowl by Romy & Clare was perfect!  Functional, artful, colorful and in the shape of a heart - the symbol of love.  Red is the color of Valentine's Day, so why not wrap your sweetie in a gorgeous silk scarf by Cinne of By Cinne Worthington - luxurious!  Finally, what spells romance more than the scent of a rose?  Amanda & Ginger of The Living Earth Botanicals offer 3 rose & chamomile sachets infused with Bulgarian Rose essential oil for a gift that is filled with a "dreamy, romantic aroma".

Four memorable gifts - which one will you choose?  Need more ideas?  See my whole collection here!

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