The EtsyKids Treasury Team is especially delighted to honor one of our kindest and most helpful volunteers, Stephanie of Two Little Bluebirds on Etsy, as our featured member for August! Stephanie is part of the original crew of EKTT curators, and has offered invaluable services to the EtsyKids Team including the uniquely informative and beneficial blog series she wrote, EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series. Many EtsyKids Team members have improved their shop photos with Two Little Bluebirds' well-researched and inexpensive tips. We want to take this month to thank you, Two Little Bluebirds, for your devoted service to the EtsyKids Team and for the gorgeous treasuries you have curated to promote your teammates! We EKTT curators look forward to showering you with treasuries throughout August!
Stephanie of Two Little Bluebirds on Etsy is an eco-friendly felt artist who spins her original designs into felt crowns, hair clips, and brooches. Two Little Bluebirds crowns will make your child the star of his or her birthday party, but don't let the fairytale end there! Stephanie's accessories are great for holidays, special occasions, and pretend play. Let's get to know the friendly artist behind the fabulous felt creations, Stephanie of Two Little Bluebirds!
EKTT: What is your favorite part of the creative process? Least favorite?
Two Little Bluebirds: I really love brainstorming ideas for new products and designs. There's nothing more exciting than taking a creative vision and turning it into a reality. I love the challenge of trying something new and the satisfaction of seeing a finished product before me. My least favorite part is cleaning up after myself! It's certainly more fun to make a crafty mess than it is to clean it up!
EKTT: What was the journey that brought you to opening Two Little Bluebirds on Etsy?
Two Little Bluebirds: Art has always been an important part of my life. As a young child I loved rummaging through the boxes of fabric, ribbon, and craft supplies that my mom kept in our attic. I remember my dad telling me one year that he wanted nothing for Christmas, so I made him a whole family of "nothings" out of large pom-poms. I even fashioned accessories for them! As I grew older I enjoyed needlepoint and embroidery, but it was in high school that my love for creating really took off. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to participate in an advanced placement art class. It was a challenging program, but I loved every minute of it. I still have all of my drawings and paintings from that year too. Too bad my sculpture made entirely out of stacked lightbulbs didn’t survive. Uh, no pun intended, but it really wasn’t my brightest idea. :) Anyway, my crown making journey began after a very long crafting hiatus thanks to college, a physical therapy career, and the birth of our first daughter. With the arrival of our second daughter, I decided that I really needed a new creative outlet so I took up sewing. As we were getting ready to celebrate our littlest one’s first birthday, I decided that I wanted to make her a very special birthday crown. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was headed with the project when I made my first cut into the felt, but by the time I was finished I was in love with the little crown. So, naturally I had to make another one for my other daughter. My mind began to spin with design possibilities and before I knew it I couldn’t stop making crowns! With a growing collection of crowns on my hands, I decided to try my luck selling online. My oldest daughter, who was four at the time, actually chose the name for my shop. And so it’s my sweet little daughters, my two little bluebirds, who continue to inspire me to create everyday.
EKTT: What is your best advice for sellers of children's items on Etsy?
Two Little Bluebirds: I think it’s important to find your niche. If you love making crocheted hats then become really good at making them, and explore ways to make your products unique and stand out from the crowd. Never feel like you have to make a product that others are making in the same way that they are making it. It’s good to be different! So, don’t be afraid to let you personality shine through your products. And remember creating should be fun. The moment it’s not is the moment you need to re-evaluate the course you are on.
EKTT: Any favorite curating suggestions to offer EKTT teammates? How do you overcome curating challenges when featuring a partner's shop?
Two Little Bluebirds: I recommend making sure that you are signed up to receive the Etsy shopping guides via email. I often find great shops to feature in the Etsy Finds emails. I also utilize Etsy’s Circle feature to find new and interesting listings and shops. Honestly, my biggest curating challenge is finding a solid block of time to create a treasury. That’s why I collect listings and add them to my favorites for later use. That way when it’s time to make a treasury I can quickly fill the majority of the treasury spots with items straight from my favorites.
EKTT: Apart from your Etsy shop and being an EKTT Curator, what are your favorite things to do?
Two Little Bluebirds: I guess I’d have to say being a cook, maid, and chauffeur...Oh, wait you said what are my favorite things to do not my LEAST favorite! After being a cook, maid, and chauffeur there’s hardly any time left in the day for anything else especially when you try to fit in sewing too! I really do love being a stay-at-home mom though, and my favorite moments of the day are spent cuddling my girls and soaking up their sunshine. If there’s any free time left over you’ll find me making something for my home or my girls. I have a serious crafting addiction!
EKTT: What is the one handmade possession or craft tool you could not live without?
Two Little Bluebirds: Oooh, that’s a tough question! My first instinct is to say my sewing machine, but I’d also be lost without a sharp pair of fabric scissors. You can’t cut out tiny pieces of felt without scissors. We’ll just have to call it a tie!
EKTT: Please share one really weird compulsion, habit, or fixation of yours--we know you've got one!
Two Little Bluebirds: You only want me to share one! I probably have enough to fill a book! Lets see....I have an obsession with recycling. You know the shows about the extreme couponers? Well, they ought to make me the star of a show about extreme recycling. If it can be reused, repurposed, or recycled you better believe it will be around here. It makes my poor husband crazy that he has to recycle every scrap (and I literally mean scrap) of paper and plastic that comes through this house. I have a whole system set up for recycling various “hard to recycle items” many of which require special trips to nearby cities. Yes, I know I have a problem, but I figure I’m doing okay...until I start digging through my neighbor’s trash looking for recyclables! I guess you could say I have an aversion to landfills. The thought of them piling up with perfectly reusable stuff makes me shiver! Oh, and I hate, hate, HATE cockroaches! Hmmm....maybe there’s a connection there.... :)