Thursday, August 25, 2011

Designs by Tenisha

I'm one of those old fashioned people who still sends hand-written thank you notes.  As such, I'm a sucker for creative stationary and paper goods, and was simply giddy when I came across today's featured shop.  Designs by Tenisha offers graphic design services for unique notecards and invitations, as well as prints, bookmarks, and - my favorite - fun and nostalgic "cootie catchers"!  And did I mention that all of these wonderful creations are super affordable!?

Monogram w/ Border Note Card
 CM: Tell us a bit about yourself:
TP: I studied graphic design in college and once I enrolled in my first typography class I instantly fell in love and realized this was the creative path for me. Then after looking into what type of graphic design field I wanted to get into I thought what better then starting up my own business! Around that time, a friend of mine introduced me to Etsy and I’ve been a member ever since.

8x10 Print - Be Grounded

CM: When and how did you start working with paper? Did someone teach you?
TP: I actually started making my own cards earlier this year, but I’ve always worked on the computer, especially in college. From those classes, I was able to figure out how to set up documents so they would print correctly on different types of paper. One thing I was taught in a graphic design class that has become really useful is knowing the different types of paper and their weights. It’s definitely helped me decide what kind of paper I want to print my products on.

Wedding Rings Invitation

CM: How long does it take you to make a piece to sell? What's the process like? Your workspace?
TP: Usually the initial idea gets scribbled down on a note pad really fast, that way everything gets written down and I don’t forget anything. From there, I will spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days working with my camera taking photographs to then spending time on the computer getting the correct: layout, color scheme, and basically everything down to the little points and anchors in Adobe Illustrator.
Cootie Catcher - Typography - Party Favor

CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
TP: I love selling on Etsy, the entire site is very user friendly, and all of the people who buy and sell are supportive of one another. The only challenging thing I’m still working on is trying to figure out what are the best times to post new items, especially with all of the different time zones, and the correct tags.

Lemon Note Card

CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
TP: My favorite item in my shop is my cootie catcher, which I have four designs for sale right now. My friends and I use to make them as kids all the time in Elementary school, and now I’ve designed them to be used as party favors for any event: Weddings, Birthdays, Baby Showers, etc. Each one is customized with the customers own questions/answers and they can select everything down to the fonts and colors. It’s a great way to have the guests get to know the person or couple and I can also include a “Fill in the Blank” section in the center which guests can fill out.

Another favorite item of mine is actually a collection of cards I’ve created. I have taken various fruit and vegetable photographs, turned them into illustrations, and then inserted a simple tag line on the card to describe it: “Be Sour” (Lemon), “Be Squeezed” (Orange), etc.

CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?TP: I came across this Etsy shop a couple of months ago called, vinylclockwork. They create custom vinyl record clocks, which look amazing. And such a neat way to use your old vinyl records!
Table Number Cards - Typography Column

Monday, August 15, 2011

Knotty Notions

When I first came across today's featured shop, the first thing that struck me was the clever name: Knotty Notions.  Entering the shop, it's immediately evident that the cleverness weaves its way into each and every creation.  Owner Debbie specializes in wood burned wedding gifts, signs and other natural products, which are beautifully customized for each customer.  With great prices and unique offerings, this shop is definitely one not to miss.

Customized weddng table decoration. Wooden hearts, burned and rustic

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
KN: My name is Debbie and I'm a 39 year old stay at home mom of 3 kids, and 1 who is out on her own. My background is acting, I have a BA in Drama, but found my passion wasn't there anymore. I run a day home a few days a week and on the other days I run my Etsy store. I've found it to be the perfect combination of being at home with my young children and my teenager and doing something creative that gives me an outlet. My husband shakes his head every day at what I manage to juggle.

Rustic bird house, yellow and blue. Feed the birds in style

CM: When and how did you start working with wood? Did someone teach you?
KN: My husband was the one who suggested wood burning, and my oldest daughter who is in University just happened to have a wood burner. She brought it over and told me to play around with it. I fell in love. The smell, the look, it's really addictive. I am 100% self taught.

Rustic Weddding Keepsake box or Ring Bearer Box

CM: How long does it take you to make a piece to sell? What's the process like? Your workspace?
KN: I wish I was better at drawing, but I'm not. So I look up an image I want to burn. I first sketch, then I burn it, customize it and finally stain it.

It probably takes me 1-2 hours per piece from beginning to end.

The process, what process!! I do bits and pieces when I can in between caring for my children. I sketch when they are awake and we have "arts and crafts time" and I burn when they are asleep, simply for the safety factor.

My workspace is my kitchen counter. Right beside my coffee pot!

Rustic Wedding Wine Box. Personalized with your names or initials

CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
KN: The best thing about selling on Etsy is that I can do it from the comfort of my home, with my 2 year old on my lap if need be. The toughest is that it feels a bit like High School and I'm the shy kid in the corner and not one of the popular kids. It's very hard to not get lost among the big and popular shops.

Wedding Wish box. Personalized for the Bride and Groom. Something blue

CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
KN: I loved how my blue bird wish box turned out. It's delicate and romantic.

Humorous wood burned sign. Phyllis Diller quote. Comes with a chain ready to hang

CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
KN: I have a couple favorite items. This one is a vintage love letter in a pendant.
Just simple and stunning.

And this shop is amazing. Such creativity!!

Thanks so much, Debbie!!