Tag: boutique

Featured Items : Down On The Farm

Featured Items : Down On The Farm

The Gypsy Spoonful featured items of the week have been chosen! We’d like to ask you to join us in congratulating those who are featured! When selecting these items, we went with a “Down On The Farm” theme! Isn’t it fun!? The first item is a super cute mini backpack in supple corduroy and has … read more

The Gypsy Spoonful featured items of the week have been chosen! We’d like to ask you to join us in congratulating those who are featured! When selecting these items, we went with a “Down On The Farm” theme! Isn’t it fun!?
The first item is a super cute mini backpack in supple corduroy and has adorable tractors , you can see this item here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/product/kids-tractor-backpack-green-corduory-by-julies-homemade-jems And you can visit Julie‘s shop, here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/vendor/julieshomemadejems
   
 
The next item are whimsical and relaxed fitting Farm Boxer Shorts, what a riot, I love this fabric. They’re ready to ship too! How cute are these? From Lisa, you can see this item here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/product/ready-to-ship-size-4-toddler-loose-fitting-cotton-boxer-shorts-red-barn-and-farm-animals-gift-for-little-farmer-future-farmer-on-muskrat-creek and visit her shop here:
 
Take a peek at the next item, a great tote bag for farmer’s markets, trips to the library or to slip your tablet in and get moving for the day! Farm Fresh eggs bag is created by Michelle and you can see this item at the link below the picture. It’s sturdy and durable and will last a very long time. Farmhouse style is so in, it would be a lovely gift too, wouldn’t it? 
 
Giddy Up Little Chicken! The next featured item is a stick pony BUT it’s a chicken! I love this, what a great idea for a toy that will provide hours upon hours of open-ended creative play. I love the bandana print comb on the top of it’s head! This was created by Misti and you can see this stick chicken here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/product/chicken-stick-pony-ride-on-toy-by-houkreative-creations
and you can see all the super fun and whimsical other ponies and play food in her shop here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/vendor/houkreative/
You’ll never pay extra for shipping at Gypsy Spoonful, it’s ALWAYS included in the price you see. Happy Shopping!
Join our Facebook Group to see our creative community in action, and if you like what you see, fill out an application to open your own small shop featuring your own handmade items.

Another Year of Shark Week Comes to an End

As another year of shark week comes to a close, how are you feeling? Did you get enough shark week? How does this year compare to previous years? Did you have a shark week party? Loving it and wanting more? Well, here it is! Shark Week originally premiered on July 17, 1988. It has been featured … read more

As another year of shark week comes to a close, how are you feeling? Did you get enough shark week? How does this year compare to previous years? Did you have a shark week party? Loving it and wanting more? Well, here it is!

Shark Week originally premiered on July 17, 1988. It has been featured annually since then. It was originally devoted to conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks. Over time, it grew in popularity and became a huge hit on the Discovery Channel with a lineup of new shows all about sharks, including the theme week’s first original movie.

“Capsized: Blood in the Water,” based on a true story, stars Josh Duhamel as the captain of a yacht that capsizes in a Florida storm as its crew is chased by sharks. Capsized: Blood in the Water‘s ending provides a follow-up on the lives of Brad and Deborah following their rescue. After five days without food and water, the sole survivors were picked up by the Russians on October 28, 1982.

One thing that hasn’t changed this year is the shark week parties that are happening. There is one woman that does amazing drinks every year for shark week! Check her out HERE!  Don’t forget the kids! Need fun and food for the little ones during the party? Check THIS out. Looking for more activities for the kids to do during shark week?  Check out this great list HERE for more fun! Speaking of fun, Gypsy Spoonful shops have some great shark items too!!

Like the Crochet Shark Hat Custom Made by A Fairytale Moment

Shark Crocheted Hat – Made in all sizes
Processing time is 3-5 days
Made of 100% cotton yarn.

Shark Hand Sanitizer Holder by Wallowa Wonders

Shark Hand Sanitizer Holder

Do you feel the need to sanitize your hands often when you are out and about?  After touching those shopping carts at the grocery store?  On vacation and need to clean up before lunch?  Working with little petri dishes of germs (AKA kids)?  Great for nurses, teachers, daycare centers, and just about everyone.  Shark case is created with easy to clean vinyl and attached to a key ring and lobster claw to attach to your purse, back pack, diaper bag, or even to a belt loop in a pinch.
Each holder includes a Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel.  Hand sanitizer scent will vary depending on availability. Holds 1 oz. sanitizer from Bath & Body Works or Purell bottles too.

 

Shark Menstrual Pad
One 10 Inch Moderate Flannel Core Reusable Eco Friendly Mama Cloth Tie Dye

One shark pad. This is the 10 inch shark pattern from Happy Hippo. Top fabric is soft woven cotton that I tie dyed myself. Inner core is four layers of cotton flannel for moderate flow. The back is teal blue woven cotton.
These have a hidden waterproof layer of PUL.
Each pad will be a bit different due to pattern placement on the fabric. Selection will be random.
All pad orders come with a drying strap.
Good for your health, good for the environment, good for your budget.

 

Scrub Tops “Sharks in the Water” Medical Shirts

Custom made classic V-Neck Scrub Shirts especially tailored for Men & Women, RN, MD, PA, Vets, School Nurses, Lab Techs medical professionals by ScrubLub

Watch out for JAWS! Can you believe it’s been 40 years since the original movie?? Custom made, Unique, Fun-printed, Classic V-neck SCRUB TOPS to bring out the smiles and the kid in everyone around you!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See all items tagged “Shark” HERE

By the way, in case you missed it, we just finished up with a FLASH auction in our Facebook Group! Great deals and it was a blast! Don’t miss the next one! Get in the group to join all the fun!

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop</font color> Written by Heather aka Goose, Owner/Founder of GypsySpoonful Just an FYI, marketing and promotion for us at Gypsyspoonful;  isn’t just about actual advertisements, that’d be boring! We’re not boring here, we’re fun!  So, what we do here at GS is multi-faceted, … read more

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop</font color>
Written by Heather aka Goose, Owner/Founder of GypsySpoonful

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop

Just an FYI, marketing and promotion for us at Gypsyspoonful;  isn’t just about actual advertisements, that’d be boring! We’re not boring here, we’re fun!  So, what we do here at GS is multi-faceted, as it should be. A good advertising and marketing plan for any business should include a multi-facted approach. Never, ever put all your eggs in one basket. If something happens , you’re screwed. Always , ALWAYS, have a plan B, and C, and D… way to reach potential customers.

I always suggest to all of our new members that they should open an account and have a presence on all of the major social media platforms (for their small business at least) .

Those platforms I suggest are as follows:

Facebook (a page AND a group)

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

MeWe (new)

AllSocial (new)

(I also suggest Redditt and YouTube if you want to be super efficient)

Gypsy Spoonful’s advertising & marketing efforts attempt to cover all of the ways that have potential to reach our market. The reason I believe in a multi-faceted approach is because not everyone is on every social media platform like you.. some might prefer one over the other and if you’re on all of them, you cover all your bases and reach different people on each one.

Here’s a sample of what a good multi-faceted marketing approach looks like:

  • Email campaigns (we do a monthly newsletter plus weekly themed email blasts)
  • Blog Posts, not just to promote our products or shops, though that’s important~ but it’s always important to provide useful content to your blog readers as well)
  • Link exchanges with other bloggers and websites, the more incoming links you have, the greater your rank with SEO
  • Social media (+ boosting some posts) on all platforms
  • Display advertising on niche and specialty blogs
  • Press releases to niche blogs, magazines or newspapers
  • Networking with other small businesses where there may be customer cross-over
  • SEO efforts
  • Paid and non-paid advertising campaigns
  • Submitting articles as guest blogs, or serving as an expert or interview source for other blogs, publications, podcasts etc
  • Google & Bing ad word campaigns (and pay per click ppc programs)

Except for the paid ads and boosting social media posts, the other bullet points is what is considered guerilla marketing, organic marketing, and viral marketing.

There are several books that I have found extremely helpful over the years for organic and viral marketing, and I always suggest them to my fellow small business owners, and to our blog readers, here’s that list:

These are great tools to put in your small business marketing aresenal: (these are NOT affiliate links, so if you buy them we do not make any money)

  1. Guerrilla Social Media Marketing: 100+ Weapons to Grow Your Online Influence, Attract Customers, and Drive Profits
  2. Guerilla Marketing Remix
  3. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you
  4. The No B.S. Guide to Brand-Building by Direct Response: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Creating and Profiting from a Powerful Brand Without Buying It
  5. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, Newsjacking, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Do you have questions? I’d be happy to answer them, drop us a comment and we’ll comment back below. Intersted in becoming part of our handmade community, and having your own handmade small shop? Apply HERE for a shop.

 

5 Reasons To Shop Small : A List By Gypsy Spoonful

There are a lot more reasons than just 5 to shop small, but here’s our top 5 picks. To shop the marketplace, go HERE  See our creative community in action in our Facebook Group Open a shop of your own, apply today!

5 reasons to shop small

There are a lot more reasons than just 5 to shop small, but here’s our top 5 picks.

To shop the marketplace, go HERE 

See our creative community in action in our Facebook Group

Open a shop of your own, apply today!

Hey Girl Hey

Hey Girl Hey

  Hey girl Hey We see you, Hustlers See Hustlers While you’re out there raising businesses and babies, we’d like to invite you to take that hustle to the next level. We’re taking applications for hard working, goal setting, team oriented individuals to join our handmade nation. We’re 100 small shops strong and growing. You … read more

 

Hey girl Hey
We see you,
Hustlers See Hustlers
While you’re out there raising businesses and babies, we’d like to invite you to take that hustle to the next level. We’re taking applications for hard working, goal setting, team oriented individuals to join our handmade nation.

We’re 100 small shops strong and growing. You don’t have to do all the hard work on your own, you don’t have to do this by yourself..

If you’re willing to put the work in to drive traffic, learn SEO, improve your product photography and grow your social media empire…

We want you to apply for a shop.
Our admin team is a group of handmade rockstars- they have 89 collective years of handmade and boutique style ecommerce experience.

We are a 100% handmade platform, a community where we place emphasis on community before competition and adminstratively, we place people before profit.

Check out this page, read what we are all about, and how we do things, and then apply & we’ll be in touch
https://Gypsyspoonful.com/market/join

By the way, if you’re non-binary, or a male, you too are also MOST welcome to apply as well.

We love the diversity of our community and we want to grow in all directions with people of all colors, faiths, cultures and beliefs. You ARE welcome here, we have a level playing field where the opportunity to chase your dreams is readily available to hustlers of all kinds.

 

Handmade Products

The Spring Auction is in it’s final hours!

The Gypsy Spoonful Spring auction is close to wrapping up, don’t miss out on an opportunity to snag some great bargains on over 150 awesome handmade items. Everything for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and to get your Home and Garden all decked out for the impending warmer months! Spring is such a promising time … read more

The Gypsy Spoonful Spring auction is close to wrapping up, don’t miss out on an opportunity to snag some great bargains on over 150 awesome handmade items. Everything for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and to get your Home and Garden all decked out for the impending warmer months!

Spring is such a promising time of the year, re-birth and re-growth is at the forefront, and when you shop with any of our 100 small shops, or bid on an item in our auction.. you’re making a decision to start a new~ shopping with us is an opportunity to live the handmade life, unapologetically!

Handmade items are the BEST quality you can get because they’re made individually, one at a time, by the maker’s own two hands. They’re not mass produced in a factory under bad working conditions, and rushed timeframes and deadlines. Each item is lovingly created with all positive vibes.

Join our Facebook Group HERE

Take a look at our auction album here and place a bid today!

(To bid, just comment with your highest bid amount and you might win!-it’s so easy peasy!!)

 

 

 

Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made YOUR Clothes? Fast Fashion Facts

Who Was It That Made Your Clothes?. Do You Even Know?! That’s Ok, most people don’t know who made their clothes. Unfortunately in the world of fast fashion, where clothing is made to be easily accessible, short-term and disposable, people don’t always truly know WHO made their clothes. The sad fact is that fashion can … read more

Who Was It That Made Your Clothes?. Do You Even Know?!

That’s Ok, most people don’t know who made their clothes. Unfortunately in the world of fast fashion, where clothing is made to be easily accessible, short-term and disposable, people don’t always truly know WHO made their clothes.

The sad fact is that fashion can come with a very high personal cost to the people that create it, and also to the planet.

What can we do about this alarming trend?

Don’t buy it! Mass-produced clothing is not the best quality, nor is it the way to reflect the values YOU hold dear. Society is consuming fashion at a rate like never before. We call this monster: fast fashion.

Fast fashion is the phenomenon we use to describe garments that go from design to store in a quick flash; sometimes within the space of a week! As the price of fashion dives lower, and the accessibility of new trends increases, fast fashion is being put in the spotlight.

Sad Facts about Fast Fashion:

  • Eighty billion pieces of clothing are consumed globally every year.
  • The US spends an estimated $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes every year: worn for one night only.
  • 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years due to the stress of debt they accumulated through buying genetically modified cotton seeds to keep up with demand.
  • The wages of workers in garment factories overseas can be as low as $1-$3  a day.
  • Some overeas clothing factories use forced prison labor to make the clothing
  • Some clothing factories use child labor (sequins and beading can be an indication of this)
  • Fast fashion giants actually make clothing to fall apart: they are obsessed with the bottom line, so will do anything to make you buy more clothes.
  • Using the restroom during a 10-hour shift in a garment factory can cause a major uproar from managers.
  • Fast fashion brands put out new collections every week or month to make it seem like your wardrobe is all off trend. This is the reason you sit and stare at your full wardrobe thinking you have nothing to wear

The fast fashion industry is shocking. When you look at the facts and figures, it’s hard to swallow.Change isn’t going to happen from walling Just like building a house, avoiding fast fashion is easy when you have the right tools in front of you. Head to the Gypsy Spoonful site, we are completely transparent, and when you buy clothing from one of our small shops you will know EXACTLY who made your clothing and don’t have to worry about the circumstances it was created under.

The 100 Handmade Shops of GypsySpoonful

See our handmade community in action in our Facebook group

Shop GypsySpoonful.com
Join The Conversation and let us know how you feel about Fast Fashion. Was this the first you’ve heard about this?
http://facebook.com/groups/gypsyspoonful

Willow and Sage Magazine: Your source for DIY bath and body product inspiration

For the last year and a half I’ve really enjoyed this magazine I stumbled upon one day. It actually had a small hand in my initial interest in learning about creating bath and body items. I don’t even remember where I found it, it might have been Sam’s club (we go there a lot). I … read more

For the last year and a half I’ve really enjoyed this magazine I stumbled upon one day. It actually had a small hand in my initial interest in learning about creating bath and body items. I don’t even remember where I found it, it might have been Sam’s club (we go there a lot). I glanced through it and instantly was drawn to it. This magazine is called Willow & Sage. As stated on their website-

Willow and Sage Magazine

Willow and Sage magazine is filled with more than 70 unique recipes, uses, and beautiful packaging ideas for homemade bath and body products, paired alongside stunning, Somerset-style photography. In addition to showcasing natural bath salts and soaks, soaps, face masks, chemical-free make-up, lotions, sugar scrubs, how to use essential oils, and more, Willow and Sage features refreshing new layout designs that include hand-illustrated tips and educational information, such as eye-catching infographics and the benefits of specific ingredients. Also, if you’re looking for the perfect homemade gift idea, for any occasion, each issue provides DIY inspiration for creative packaging and the most unique gifts or spa bundle

Willow And Sage Magazine

The Willow And Sage Website is equally dreamy


The magazine is a quarterly magazine that starts in Feb. It’s an odd start date but when you look at lumping Jan into the winter issue, it makes sense. I totally understand doing the issues to follow the seasons, but it kills me to have to wait so long between publications! I usually go read it within the first two or three days, but definitely within the first week. It’s always interesting to see all the different ideas brought forth by other creators. I also enjoy the packaging ideas, bundle ideas, and ingredient spotlights. It’s a good way to learn about new benefits as well as help me with potential trend ideas. I have definitely used some of their ingredient spotlights to help focus on what ingredients to highlight to my customers.

So, if you’re looking for a beautiful magazine with a lot of fun diy ideas I would definitely give Willow & Sage a look. A quick side note is, many of the submitted recipes do not have preservatives in them therefore will not last for more than a few days or so.

Written by GS shop Owner, Rebecca Reynolds of JMaeHandmade ,  Stop on by her shop and take a peek at her awesome handmade bath and body products, and Heart her shop while you’re there!

JMaeHandmade Bath And Body Products

Business Builders: Time Management

Business Builders: Time Management

Business Builders: Time Management When you run a small shop, it’s hard to find time to get everything done in the day. However, here are some tried and true tips to help you make the most of the time you DO have. Be as productive as possible instead of spinning your wheels.  Don’t fight your … read more

Business Builders: Time Management

Business Builders: Time Management

When you run a small shop, it’s hard to find time to get everything done in the day. However, here are some tried and true tips to help you make the most of the time you DO have. Be as productive as possible instead of spinning your wheels.  Don’t fight your body clock. Don’t try to become and early riser if you have a history of being a night owl. And don’t stay up late to get stuff done if you know your mind and body shuts down early so that you can get up as the sun rises.

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in the day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

Don’t fight your body clock. Don’t try to become and early riser if you have a history of being a night owl

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible. It may be helpful to journal your energy level for a few days until you figure out when you find yourself the most productive.

 

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Sources: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/dont-fight-your-body-clock.html, https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/dont-fight-your-body-clock.html
Noveenna

Noveenna : Designer Showcase – She made it to the Hall of Fame!

“If  a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.” ― Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures I don’t know about you, but there are a certain few people that I need gifts for throughout the year for Christmas or birthdays, and don’t forget … read more

“If  a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.” ― Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures

I don’t know about you, but there are a certain few people that I need gifts for throughout the year for Christmas or birthdays, and don’t forget Mother’s day, yet I was continually struggling with finding the perfect gift.

I try to support indy, small shops at every moment I can, because handmade and supporting family-owned business is important to me. So I felt right at home on Gypsy Spoonful. I also think it’s awesome that shipping is never extra on GypsySpoonful. It’s always included in the price so there are no yucky “surprises” with exorbitant shipping fees at checkout.

While I was bopping around on the site, checking out shops, I stumbled upon Noveenna . She creates breathtaking, handmade JEWELRY and she’s our featured  Gypsy Spoonful shop of the month

Sometimes you just see a piece of jewelry and think of a person instantly, I sure did this when I came across her shop. I have a wishlist made on Gypsy Spoonful and I’ve been adding a bunch of her pieces to it. (Make a Wishlist on GypsySpoonful too.) What I REALLY like about her jewelry is not only does it look incredibly well-made and awesome quality, but that there are matching pieces in a collection. I can buy a beadwoven collar for Christmas for my aunt, and buy a coordinating cuff bracelet when Mother’s day arrives.

Noveenna

I have a hard time mixing and matching jewelry and I like to wear earrings, necklaces and bracelets (all 3) when I go out or get dressed up. This takes the confusion out of it for me. With coordinating pieces, it’s a breeze to accessorize an outfit without worrying that the earrings might not go with the necklace. Check out her mambo mauve collection by clicking HERE. , It’s so hard to pick just one favorite collection, I also have a soft spot in my heart for her Starlight Memories collection, so vibrant and cheery!

Noveenna

Another awesome thing about her designs, is that her jewelry is the type that you can wear to a variety of outings, or for everyday wear. Some are more statement pieces, and some are more casual. All of them are very versatile and not too over the top. They’re subtle and demure, and her color combinations are way cool.  Many times when I find a style or type of design I like, I like to have a few pieces in this same style, that’s perfect for shopping Noveenna’s shop. If you like the beadwoven collar style necklaces, there are several pieces , each in a diferent color combo that she names.  I suggest, the next time you need a gift, or want to treat yourself, you check out Noveenna’s shop on GypsySpoonful.

Noveenna

 

Drop us a comment and let us know what you thought of this blog! Join our Facebook group so you don’t miss any news about the shops of Gypsy Spoonful.

 

 

This guy has worked for FREE for 13 years! Who is he and Why Did Time Magazine Name Him One of The Most Influential People of 2018?

Steven Pruitt has made nearly 3 million edits on Wikipedia and written 35,000 original articles. It’s earned him not only accolades but almost legendary status on the internet. The online encyclopedia now boasts more than 5.7 million articles in English and millions more translated into other languages – all written by online volunteers. Pruitt was … read more

Steven Pruitt has made nearly 3 million edits on Wikipedia and written 35,000 original articles. It’s earned him not only accolades but almost legendary status on the internet.

The online encyclopedia now boasts more than 5.7 million articles in English and millions more translated into other languages – all written by online volunteers. Pruitt was named one of the most influential people on the internet by Time magazine in part because one-third of all English language articles on Wikipedia have been edited by Steven. An incredible feat, ignited by a fascination with his own history.

Pruitt is deeply obsessed with history, and his love of opera inspired his Wikipedia username: Ser Amantio Di Nicolao, his favorite opera character.

“My first article was about Peter Francisco, who was my great great great great great great grandfather … and if we had an hour I could probably go into the full story,” Pruitt said. “He was a sergeant in arms in the Virginia Senate and there’s kidnapping, potential piracy. If you read the story you would not believe any of it happened.”

Still living with his parents in the home he grew up in, Pruitt has always remained true to his interests.

“I think for a long time there was an attitude of, ‘That’s nice, dear. The boy’s crazy. I don’t know why he wastes his time, the boy’s crazy,’ Pruitt said of what his parents think of his volunteer gig.

That may have changed when Time magazine named him one of the top 25 most influential people on the internet, alongside President Trump, J.K. Rowling and Kim Kardashian West.

This guy has worked for FREE for 13 years! Who is he and Why ?
Steven Pruitt CBS News

How much money does he make from his work? None.

“The idea of making it all free fascinates me. My mother grew up in the Soviet Union … So I’m very conscious of what, what it can mean to make knowledge free, to make information free,” he said.

Pulling from books, academic journals and other sources, he spends more than three hours a day researching, editing and writing.

Even his day job is research, working in records and information at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He joked that his colleagues probably think he’s nuts.

“Because I edit Wikipedia all the damn time, I think that one sort of goes without saying,” Pruitt said.

Wikipedia’s Kui Kinyanjui said the site would not exist without the dedication of its volunteers. It is now one of the top five most visited in the world, among Google, YouTube and Facebook.

“People like Steven are incredibly important to platforms like Wikipedia, simply because they are the ones that are the lifeblood,” said Kui Kinyanjui, WikiMedia’s vice president of communications.

Six-thousand people visit the site every second, bringing a responsibility for the editors to present a diverse and fair platform.

“We know there’s a lot more to be done. That’s why we’re very excited about projects like Women in Red, which seeks to identify and place more content on women on our platform … Steven has been a large contributor to that project,” Kinyanjui said.

“The last statistic I saw was that 17.6 percent of the biographical articles on Wikipedia area about women, on the English Wikipedia I should say,” Pruitt said. “It was under 15 percent a couple of years ago which shows you how much we have been able to move the needle.”

How does he celebrate that victory? “Write another article, make another edit.”

To put in to perspective what it took for Pruitt to become the top editor, he’s been dedicating his free time to the site for 13 years. The second-place editor is roughly 900,000 edits behind him, so his first place status seems safe, for now.


Speaking of Most Influential People:

Some of the shops at GypsySpoonful are  seeking brand reps/influencers to join our rep team.

Please join our facebook group and we’ll connect you with them.


Wiki Wiki Wiki ( I couldn’t resist, lol)

Living Your Most Creative Life (and Cricut Deals!)

Let the holiday shopping begin! Make your holidays very merry with new featured sales each day. Whether you’re new to DIY or an experienced maker, the super smart cutting machines from Cricut will give you that creative edge you need in this crazy competitive market! Awe-inspiring creations start with the right Did you know they … read more

Cricut Deals

Let the holiday shopping begin!

Make your holidays very merry with new featured sales each day. Whether you’re new to DIY or an experienced maker, the super smart cutting machines from Cricut will give you that creative edge you need in this crazy competitive market! Awe-inspiring creations start with the right Did you know they carry everything from Premium Vinyl to Deluxe Paper, Leather, Basswood, and beyond, your next one of a kind masterpiece starts with Cricut!

Cricut is running some super awesome deals that I found for all you crafty folks out there! Their really awesome 12 days of Cricut sale is still going on through 12/16! Take advantage of new deals each and every day including EasyPress starting at $99! Ever since they launched the original Cricut® cutting machine, you guys have inspired them with your amazing creations. And as long as you keep doing your thing, they’ll keep doing theirs: designing and building the tools you need to live your most creative life.

12 days of Cricut. New deals each day!


We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. -Dr. Brene Brown

EasyPress Starting at $99. Valid through 12/16.

Get professional iron-on results without the guesswork. With its unique edge-to-edge heat plate, perfectly even heat up to 400°F, and three new sizes to suit any iron-on project, Cricut EasyPress 2 gives you flawless transfers and lasting results. The EasyPress 2 is super duper amazing my friends, I wish I had one! Maybe if I am a good girl, Santa will bring me one!

The speed of a heat press.The convenience of an iron.

Cricut Easypress 2

Iron-on success in 60 seconds or less.

Cricut EasyPress delivers fast and foolproof iron-on results that really stick, wash after wash.

They also have a GREAT shipping deal right now, click here to save

FREE Economy Shipping on orders $99+ to US and Canada. Use code DECSHIP

Please note that 12/14 is the LAST DAY to order for guaranteed delivery by Christmas using Economy Shipping

Rock The Sock

Goosie’s List : 20 of Goosie’s Favorite Rock the Sock Items on Gypsy Spoonful

Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop Shop  

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Gypsy Spoonful Celebrates Small Business Saturday

Tis’ the Season to Shop Homemade Over 110 small business shop owners join together this holiday season on Gypsy Spoonful to offer you incomparable one on one service for all your holiday needs. From gift giving, home décor and special holiday clothing, Gypsy Spoonful shops are filled with over 6,000 quality, handmade items and all … read more

Tis’ the Season to Shop Homemade

Over 110 small business shop owners join together this holiday season on Gypsy Spoonful to offer you incomparable one on one service for all your holiday needs. From gift giving, home décor and special holiday clothing, Gypsy Spoonful shops are filled with over 6,000 quality, handmade items and all are offered with FREE shipping.

The celebrations have already started around Gypsy spoonful and there are many other upcoming fun ways to explore new venues and support small home businesses all while staying close to home and enjoying your holiday season with just a little bit less stress this year.

Gypsy Spoonful is hosting EARLY Black Friday Flash Sales all weekend long this weekend! You can join the Facebook group and find links to their flash sale items here http://bit.ly/2Qsvs9i. Or, add a little fun to your shopping! Take a look at the Thankful for Handmade Page here http://bit.ly/2AYA9m1. Everything you need for fall fashion and accessories, Hostess Gift Ideas, as well as decking out your home for Autumn and the guests that will be visiting for Thanksgiving gatherings. We’ve also got fun for the kids with a graphic design competition, a fun word search, and a coloring contest too.

 Additionally, Gypsy Spoonful has 3 upcoming events for you to mark on your calendar. Small business Saturday embodies what we are all about! Hosting games, giveaways, contests and flash sales ALL day long. The Rock The Sock Event will run for 11 Days from Nov 26 – Dec 6. Stuff the Stockings Like A Boss And Put Santa Out of A Job This Year! Flash Sales, Small Items and/or Small Budget Items that Will ROCK THE SOCK! Finally, the Holiday Auction kicks off at 6pm cst on Friday and bidding closes 8pm cst on Monday.

Gypsy Spoonful is Creativity in Community and we can’t wait to get to know YOU better. We aren’t just a shopping venue, we are a community~ building relationships between makers and admirers. Makers supporting Makers, sharing our experience, strength and knowledge. We believe in the foundational principle that each of us can make a difference in the life of another person/family by being intentional with our shopping dollars.

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If you would like more information, please contact Heather Kavolino at GoosieGirlboutique@gmail.com.

Theordore Roosevelt The Man In The Arena quote

Motivation Monday Overcoming Obstacles in Entrepreneurship

There is an old saying: Champions don’t  become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. That’s true, if you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier stated: You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the … read more

Overcoming Obstacles in Entrepreneurship: A Lesson From Theodore Roosevelt

There is an old saying: Champions don’t  become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. That’s true, if you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier stated:

You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the action starts, you’re down to your reflexes. That’s where your road work shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, you’re getting found out now under the bright lights.

Boxing is a good analogy for developing bossbabes because it’s all about daily preparation. Even if a person has natural talent, they have to prepare and train to become successful.

One of this country’s greatest leaders was a fan of boxing: President Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, one of his most famous quotes uses  a boxing analogy

Theodore Roosevelt

THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
download PDF of complete speech

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

*TR (Teddy Roosevelt’s nickname) was known for regular boxing and judo sessions, challenging horseback rides, and long, strenuous hikes. A French ambassador who visited Roosevelt used to tell about the time that he accompanied the president on a walk through the woods. When the two men came to the banks of a stream that was too deep to cross by foot. TR stripped off his clothes and expected the dignitary to do the same so taht they could swim to the other side. Nothing was an obstacle to Roosevelt.

Of all the leaders this nation has ever had, Roosevelt was one of the toughest-both physically and mentally. But he didn’t start that way. America’s cowboy president was born in Manhattan to a prominent wealthy family. As a child he was puny and very sickly. He had debilitating asthma, possessed very poor eyesight, and was painfully thin. His parents weren’t sure he would survive. When he was twelve, young Roosevelt’s father told him, “You have the mind but you have not the body, and without the help of the body, the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must MAKE the body.” and make it , he most certainly did. TR began training every single day physically, building his body as well as his mind, and he did that for the rest of his life.

Roosevelt didn’t become a great leader overnight either. His road to the presidency was one of slow, continual growth. He improved himself and in time, he became a strong leader. Roosevelt’s list of accomplishments is remarkable. Under his leadership, the United States emerged as a world power. He helped the country develop a first-class navy. He was that the Panama Canal was built. He negotiated peace between Russia and China, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in the process.  On January 6, 1919 he died in his sleep. Then vice president Marshall said,

“Death had to take him sleeping, for if Roosevelt had been awake, there would have been a fight”

When they removed him from his bed, they found a book under his pillow. Up to the very last, TR was still striving to learn and improve himself.

*Source: Leadership 101 by John C. Maxwell

Slow and Steady Wins the Race Quote

What are the takeaways we can learn from Roosevelt that may apply to our lives as Entrepreneurs?

1. Be FIERCE : obstacles will come, it’s how you approach those obstacles. Are you going to say , “It’s too hard, we can’t cross this stream, it’s too deep” and turn back? Or will you strip naked and lead the way? Nothing in life is easy. Entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies. You have to get in there, roll up your sleeves and be FIERCE. Are you stronger than the obstacles in your path?

2. Even a great leader like TR started off small. He wasn’t expected to survive from his own parents! If that’s not a kick in the teeth, then I don’t know what is! Of all people in the world, you want those who love you and you share your life with to believe in you and your dreams, it’s hard when you don’t get the support you’d like. But what did TR do? He set out to prove them wrong. He was CONSISTENT, he worked towards his goal of strengthening his body every.single.day. Consistency wins the prize in owning and operating a small business. Many times it can be isolating, people in our family would rather share a celebrity’s status or meme on social media. Your loved ones may shop at a big box store rather than supporting your small shop.. you can’t control other people, you can only change how you react to them. Seek out OTHER support from friends, or like-minded individuals and other small business owners. The community at Gypsy Spoonful is a great source of strentgh, knowledge and inspiration for me everyday. I am so thankful to have people that cheer me on and totally GET what I am trying to do with my life. Everyone starts off small, it’s up to YOU to seek out ways to grow and learn new things to embolden your entrepreneurial spirit.

” slow, continual growth.”

3. The mind and body combination is important, It was once said by Henry Ford, “Whether you believe you can or can not, you’re right” . Your mental attitude determines your outcome most of all. TR blazed a trail where no one dared to go before. He traveled all over the world pursuing adventures. Each trip, each adventure prepared him for the next one. He built knowledge upon his experiences. We all fail and fall short, just like the man in the arena~ but do we get up again after we get knocked down? or do we stay down? A product might not sell, a promotion may flop… KEEP LEARNING, learn from your mistakes and build on that. Go forward with the ideas of what went wrong and how to overcome that in your future small shop “adventures”.

If you are looking for a creative community where you can find limitless support from like minded creative folks, and you feel you’ve got a great product to offer the world, Gypsy Spoonful is seeking new shop owners, please go to this page and read what we believe about handmade and how we do things. If you vibe with what we’re doing, please fill out an application. We will be screening and vetting applicants for 2019.  Go HERE

 

 

Meet the Makers: New Shop Chic En Laine

Hand knitting at it’s very best ~ We are pleased to announce one of our newest shops Chic En Laine . Sometimes at Gypsy Spoonful we have a new member join and I fall in love with each and every item they add to their shop, as the days go on and I see them … read more

Hand knitting at it’s very best ~ We are pleased to announce one of our newest shops Chic En Laine . Sometimes at Gypsy Spoonful we have a new member join and I fall in love with each and every item they add to their shop, as the days go on and I see them beginning to fill up the virtual aisles of their store, I say to myself “Oh now THIS is my favorite… ” and then I find myself saying the exact same thing with each subsequent new listing!  I am so thrilled Sophie has joined our creative community, and I am so much looking forward to her growing her business with us even more.  She has so much talent, and her items are absolutely the best knit quality I’ve seen.

Her classic fashions are impeccably made and made to order just for her customers from her home studio located in South Carolina. Whether it’s a sweet little set comprised of a cardigan style jacket with a darling little hat

Beautiful stitching and classic appeal (click the photo to go to this listing now)

or a classic pair of knitted pants with super sweet suspenders, they will not disappoint. Keepsake quality for sure!

Nostalgia Abounds When Viewing Her Timeless Designs (click the photo to go to this listing now)

Perhaps you need a baby shower gift, or a special outfit for a photo session for the holidays? Sophie’s attention to detail is quite obvious on each item she creates.

If you’re looking for an amazing baby shower gift, stop on by her shop and check our her designs. There are also women’s hats available for the mama too!

Boho Style Slouchy Hat is Warm and Soft (click the photo to visit this listing now)

Sophie’s attention to detail is quite obvious on each item she creates.  If you’re looking for an amazing baby shower gift, stop on by her shop and check our her designs. There are also women’s hats available for the mama too! (You deserve it, treat yourself!)

So that you don’t miss out on any of her new listings , events or sales, be sure to follow Chic En Laine on Facebook and Instagram too.

Don’t forget to Heart her shop as well! Click HERE to visit today.

Top 6 Tips To Stretch Your Shopping Dollar This Holiday Season : Tis the Season To Be Smart

Top 6 Tips To Stretch Your Shopping Dollar This Holiday Season This Thursday’s Thoughts turn to how to help our awesome customers at GypsySpoonful stretch their shopping dollars this Holiday shopping season. Nobody wants to go into debt, we all want to maximize the opportunity to make our gift buying budget a little farther – … read more

Top 6 Tips To Stretch Your Shopping Dollar This Holiday Season

This Thursday’s Thoughts turn to how to help our awesome customers at GypsySpoonful stretch their shopping dollars this Holiday shopping season. Nobody wants to go into debt, we all want to maximize the opportunity to make our gift buying budget a little farther – and who knows, if you save enough, you can treat yourself to some well deserved handmade goodness, or a gift card to use at a later date.

Treat Yo Self

Here’s our top 6 tips for the shopper who means business!

1. Many sites will offer a welcome coupon to new visitors on their site, search the site map for it. It may not be publicized widely. (coming soon to GypsySpoonful, YAY!!)

2. Many sites will offer a discount on your first purchase if you sign up for their mailing list. (coming soon to GypsySpoonful as well, woohoo!!)

3. Ask for gift cards for a site for your birthday, Christmas, Channukah,  or any other gift giving occasions, and save your gift cards for when there is a sale, if you sign up for the welcome coupon or the first discount/welcome as well (we call that piling on in the shopping world!)~ Did you know Gypsy Spoonful has a very cool wishlist feature? You can click and add ANY product on the site to your wishlist, so you can direct your family and friends to the handmade GS products you are admiring.

4. Search the terms “Clearance” , “Close Out” , “Discontinued”, “sale” or “discounted” on the site, or do a search engine (such as google) for sites that are going out of business and you may score big!

Top 6 Tips

5. Find out if the site has a loyalty program or an affiliate program where you can earn points or discounts, or even cash back on purchases people you refer to the site. Some sites offer social cred, if you share their products on your social media channels, you can earn points to redeem for merchandise on the site, or bonus gear not available to the general public. (May be in the near future on Gypsy Spoonful)

6. Become a brand enthusiast/influencer. If you love the products, inquire /search and find out if the site has a brand ambassador program. Sites will often give discounted products in exchange for your peer to peer marketing and promotion (which can be as simple as a selfie wearing their clothing, or holding their product and hashtagging the company)~ if you’re interested in becoming a brand ambassador or enthusiast, please email the head Gypsy HERE

Top 6 Tips

I hope that you find these tips helpful while shopping the awesome handmade marketplace, and independently owned and operated small shops on  GypsySpoonful.com. 

We are the new home of handmade where we are un-apologetically handmade with nothing imported and nothing massproduced. We invite you to shop our marketplace, and be sure to drop us a comment on this blog below if you have additional ideas and tips to help fellow shoppers save money and stretch that holiday shopping budget.

New Shop: Wicked Rose : Wire Wrapped Jewelry, Made in the USA

Thursday’s thoughts turn to a new shop, Wicked Rose, Who specializes in wire wrapped pendants and other jewelry. Click on the pic to view this gorgeous Texas red jasper wraped tree of life pendant. It’s not only beautiful but the jasper has beneficial properties as well, it’s great for healing from illness, strength building and … read more

Thursday’s thoughts turn to a new shop, Wicked Rose,

Who specializes in wire wrapped pendants and other jewelry. Click on the pic to view this gorgeous Texas red jasper wraped tree of life pendant. It’s not only beautiful but the jasper has beneficial properties as well, it’s great for healing from illness, strength building and more. Red Jasper is known to enhance strength and energy. It also helps recovering from physical illnesses, is useful in generating muscle tissue and can enhance the effects of exercise. Red Jasper effects the first and second chakras. Learn more about red jasper here.

This blue wrapped agate pendant is so beautiful! The pattern of stripes in the agate is amazing. This would be such a perfect holiday or birthday gift! Click on the pic to view it in her shop.

Rose’s Wicked Wires has a passion for nature, and especially rocks and she wants to share that with you. Every stone in her shop is unique and wrapped in high quality non tarnish wire.

To visit her shop, click here to see all of her beautiful designs

Be Consistent

Consistency is the Money Maker in Small Business

Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is truer than this in small business. It doesn’t matter if you sell handmade products, direct sales products or pizzas at the corner store. You can’t just open the doors, put up a sign and expect the people to pour in to buy your goodies. … read more

Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is truer than this in small business. It doesn’t matter if you sell handmade products, direct sales products or pizzas at the corner store. You can’t just open the doors, put up a sign and expect the people to pour in to buy your goodies.

You have to market your business. You run ads, offer sales and coupons, restock and reevaluate inventory and share on social media. Anything to keep putting yourself in front of people that will eventually lead to sales, hopefully. If your business is not seen, you don’t have a business and you are not going to succeed and grow.

How you choose to “grow and show” your business depends on the type of business it is and where and how your target market will most likely find you. Your personality is also a factor in your marketing efforts. For example, going live on Facebook is an excellent tool to build relationships with your potential customers. You can answer questions, share your product and interact with people in real time. But, if you are like me and you can’t stand the thought of being on camera and can barely stutter your way through it, this is probably not going to be a technique you use much.

Marketing has a rule called the Rule of 7. It states that a prospect needs to be exposed to your message at least 7 times before they will actually take action. In today’s digital age, I would venture that this number may be increasing. The reality is that it is more difficult now to get your message seen in the overwhelming amount of information available now to the everyday consumer.  You need to leave an impact and you need to show up.

Regardless of how you promote your business, the one thing that I and most other small business owners have found, is that to put and keep your business marketing efforts on the right track, you have to be consistent. Now, that does not mean that you need to be doing it constantly. Just consistently. Regularly. If people are used to seeing you post weekly, post weekly. If you can do daily, even better. Here is what does not work. Binge marketing for 3 hours one day and then doing nothing for the next 3 days. It may seem like you are getting tons of work done but a very limited number of people are going to actually see all that effort.

I have to admit, consistency is my biggest downfall and what I have to work the hardest at myself. A couple of years ago, I thought I had found the perfect answer to staying consistent on my social media when I found one of the scheduling platforms that have started to pop up everywhere. While they are definitely helpful, I found that they are not the perfect solution for me either. First, you still have to set up all the posts. You are still spending the time to craft the text and find the perfect image. Second, you still need to spend time tweaking your posts for the various social media and monitor the posts for engagement. Bottom line to me is yes they are an excellent way to cover certain times but you also need to continue to post in real time so that you stay current, trending and let your personality shine through.

Models Vs Mannequins, the great debate rages on

Guest Blog Post: Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best … read more

Guest Blog Post:
Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years

While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best alternative options are amateur models and mannequins.

When deciding between amateur models and mannequins, you’re largely factoring a risk/reward scenario, ongoing costs, and how much you’re willing to manage people.

Models, even amateurs, are more desirable because a live body helps a customer relate to your product and adds a higher degree of professionalism, but it can also make for an unpredictable process. Mannequins are great because they’re affordable, consistent, and easy to work with.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can create quality DIY product photography with amateur models and then we’ll go over the advantages provided by mannequins.

DIY Product Photography with Amateur Models

If you want to take a professional-looking product photos with amateur models, follow these seven steps:

1. Cast a Model

If you’re going to use an amateur, there are three primary factors to consider: Your comfort level with the model, their long-term availability, and your apparel’s fit. It doesn’t matter how attractive your model is if your dress is dragging on the floor because the model is six inches too short to properly fit it.

models vs mannequins

Image credit: Pixelz

Comfort level: Communication is important and the easier time you have communicating your vision, the more efficient you will be when shooting. Also, the mood in the studio comes through in images: If you and the model are frustrated and unhappy, you’re not going to get good photographs.

Availability: Plan long-term. If you want a consistent look, especially since amateurs introduce more body type variation than professional models, it’s beneficial to use just one or two models throughout your photography. You will also find that later shoots become more efficient as you and the model increase your comfort level and understanding of each other.

Fit: How does your product look when worn by your model? Focus on the product’s appearance and make sure it’s flattering and requires as little adjustment as possible—you don’t want to create wrinkles because you’re pinning excessively to compensate for a poor fit. Sizing is key. Pick one size and use that same size throughout your photography for a consistent appearance and a more intuitive understanding of sizing by customers shopping your site later.

2. Setup Your Studio Space

Select a space that allows your model to move freely when following your instructions, but don’t choose an area so large that your model might wander out of frame. Designate specific backdrop boundaries to help herd the model and aim your camera.

Your exact equipment will vary depending on your needs and budget, but as a starting point a white backdrop like a roll of seamless white paper or a sheet is always a good idea. White backdrops are required by many ecommerce marketplaces, simplify post-production, and are easy to light in session. If you’ve never set up a studio before, here’s a guide to how to build your own photo studio on a bootstrapped budget.

Be sure to use a tripod. Camera stabilization allows for longer exposure times, improves consistency, and saves you time between shots because you don’t have to readjust your camera’s aim. The result is usually a sharper image and more of them.

3. Shape Your Light

Renting or buying lighting equipment is a big decision and a critical step when capturing product images. Lighting equipment is expensive, so take your time and invest wisely. It may not be necessary to buy equipment: If you’re not going to use a piece regularly, consider renting.

The most common product photography setups use 1-3 continuous softbox lights or 1-3 external speedlights and umbrellas. If you’re in the market, here’s a shopping guide for product photography lighting equipment.

When positioning your lights, try to mimic the softness of natural window light. Continuous softboxes do so automatically, but speedlights may be too harsh and direct even with umbrellas. If that’s a problem, angle your speedlights to either side of the model and bounce the light off nearby walls, like in the image above.

Test out your lighting setup and experiment with different options—but do it before the model arrives so you don’t waste valuable photoshoot time.

4. Position Your Model

When your model arrives on set, it’s time to communicate your vision and position them in frame. The simplest way to position them is with a classic “X marks the spot” approach. Tape an X on the floor either directly beneath their feet, or closer to the camera but in line with where they should stand (so they’re not constantly looking down). The X creates a target for the model so you don’t have to constantly ask them to move.

5. Shoot with Wide Framing

Leave space on all sides of your model when capturing the image. If you’re going to be selling your product in multiple marketplaces and channels, they may have different requirements for cropping and sizing. It’s much easier to crop down to someone’s standards than it is to try and scale up.

Even if you intend to crop out faces, arms, and legs, always keep them in frame. Again, it’s much easier to edit something out then to add it back in—if that’s even possible. You don’t want to have to reshoot.

6. Give Direction

Stay positive and build up your model’s confidence. Remember that they’re an amateur and that you want to shoot with them long-term, so help them realize their potential.

Give the model the instruction they need to help you fulfill your vision. Be clear and precise: For example, if you want the model to look in a particular direction, tell them to look at a specific object instead of pointing. Keep poses simple, so that you don’t distract from the product or lead your amateur out of their comfort zone.

7. Post-Production

After you’ve captured your images, it’s time to optimize them for the web. You can edit the images yourself with this post-production guide, or you can outsource the labor to free yourself to focus on the creative aspects of your business. At Pixelz, for example, we offer a feature-rich and easy to use interface for creating specifications, uploading images, comparing before-and-after images, and rejecting images that don’t meet your standards.

The goal of image editing is to help you create high quality and consistent imagery. Steps like removing the background will create a professional impression by cutting away your DIY studio and also minimizing file size, speeding up your page loading time. Consider using post-production to make lighting adjustments, touch up skin, remove wrinkles, straighten your product, and perform cropping and resizing.

So that’s how to stage a photoshoot with an amateur model. Now, let’s take a look at mannequins.

The Case for Mannequins

stylecampaign burberry mannequins

Image credit: StyleCampaign

Even for high end fashion brands, mannequins are a budget conscious product photographer’s best friend. You can buy them for anywhere from $60-$600, depending on your needs, and that’s it. There’s no overtime, no rate hikes, and they’re always available for reshoots.

Those are the most obvious differences, but there’s more.

Mannequins Make Product Fit Easy

Whether you’re dealing with a professional or an amateur, you need to spend time when casting a model, have them try on your clothes and see if you like the way it looks. You can improve fit with styling, using pins and clips and other techniques, but you need a good foundation to build on.

Alternatively, with a mannequin, you may only need a few moments of browsing online to find the perfect one. Finding the right fit is simplified when you can click around and see exact measurements. This is especially true if all your samples are the same size and you only need one mannequin.

You’ll have less flexibility with posing, but your mannequin won’t complain about being poked or prodded while you’re styling it.

There are many types of materials mannequins are made from, but none is necessarily superior to another. It’s about a different kind of “fit” here; make sure your mannequin style matches your brand.

Branding Possibilities

Mannequins don’t communicate branding as completely as a fully styled model, but they’re not a blank slate either. We can use Anthropologie as an example; until about two years ago, they used mannequins for most of their ecommerce images. Here’s how they used to look:

anthropologie mannequin

Image credit: Anthropologie

It’s clean, vintage, and subtly decorated by a knob at the top. You don’t want your mannequin to be distracting, but anything that’s being seen by a customer should reinforce your brand positioning. If you’re bohemian, use vintage mannequins. If you’re modern, get something more sleek.

There’s also a 3D technique that’s growing in popularity: the invisible mannequin.

If you want to remove all distractions while still demonstrating fit, you can use the invisible mannequin effect. With a little planning and Photoshop know-how, you can create the effect in post-production yourself. If you don’t have the time or the desire to do it yourself, you can offload post-production to a company like Pixelz.

invisible ghost mannequin

Image credit: Pixelz

An “invisible” or “ghost” mannequin image is basically a combination of two or more images. Your product should be photographed as normal, and then repositioned in such a way that any portion that was originally covered by the mannequin can be photographed. Later, the photos are combined into a single image. For more detail, read this invisible mannequin guide that will walk you from basic principles all the way through post-production.

Which Should You Choose?

Models are essential for projecting a professional standard, while mannequins are cost-effective and consistent.

Many boutiques and brands with limited budgets combine the two with great success. You may want to consider shooting a lookbook with professional models, and using those images throughout your store for branding. You can then use amateur models or mannequins for product images.

A mixed approach will give you the best of both worlds without forcing you to choose between branding and your budget.

What have your experiences been like with models and mannequins? Do you have any tips or questions? Let us know in the comments below!


shopify-author Thomas Kragelund

About The Author

Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years.

Be intentional

Being Intentional: Doing the RIGHT thing vs. the EASY thing.

It’s an add to cart kind of day! The best way to start your day is to be INTENTIONAL. Yes, kiddies, that’s the word of the day.. Intentional… What does that mean exactly? in·ten·tion·al inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective 1. done on purpose; deliberate. 2. done with purpose; intended Let’s take a look at what that means in … read more

Be intentional

It’s an add to cart kind of day! The best way to start your day is to be INTENTIONAL.

Yes, kiddies, that’s the word of the day.. Intentional…

What does that mean exactly?

in·ten·tion·al
inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective

1. done on purpose; deliberate.
2. done with purpose; intended

Let’s take a look at what that means in the context of the “support handmade” and “shop small” movements.

The easy thing to do when you need to buy a gift is to run to your local retailer and pick up a gift card for another retailer, most likely a chain store, or corporately owned restaurant chain… Everyone likes gift cards, don’t they?

The easy thing to do when you need an outfit or accessory for a special occasion is to go to the mall, and look around until something “speaks to you”… or go to the closest big box store and find something there, right?

Well, I am here to tell you that the easy thing is not always the RIGHT thing to do.

doing the right thing

Being intentional in this context is about doing the RIGHT thing, not the easiest thing. Every single dollar you spend is a vote for the type of world you want to live in. Do you really want to line the pockets of CEO’s of fortune 500 companies? Do you want to give that CEO that extra vacation … OR would you rather know that your money is giving a little boy little league, or a little girl dance lessons? Would you rather see a small family be able to go out and see a movie together? or would you rather give that big box store’s corporate management team a big fat bonus when they’re already raking in the cash… or would you like to know that your purchase MEANT something to ONE work at home mom or dad?  I’d sleep a lot better at night if I was MORE intentional with my shopping dollars. Sure, it might make some forethought and planning out to buy a birthday gift for someone from the Gypsy Spoonful marketplace, and it may just be easier to grab that gift card from your local pharmacy store.

Gypsy Spoonful has 165 independently owned & operated small shops~ each one representing a very hard working mom or dad, or a student working their way through college, a person who has a disability and may not be able to hold a traditional job, a homeschooling parent who wants to be home with their children and teach them while also working and adding to the family income. EVERY single sale matters in the life of a VERY REAL person. It makes a difference in their household.

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS the right thing to do.

Shop the Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace Now

Check out what we believe about handmade, and small American business, if you vibe with what we’re doing, and you’re a maker/artist/crafter… apply to open a shop HERE . 

Want to see our community of makers in action, and get to know the person who owns a shop? Join our Facebook Group. You can also request a custom item on the wall in the group!

Do you know who made the items you bought this week?

From the desk of the empowered and crafty woman dropping knowledge on the world, lololol What is happening inside my brain today: (thank you “secret squirrel cbd strain haha)   As we all know by now, Gypsy Spoonful is what we promote as “American handmade”. and no , we don’t have international sellers (yet) .. … read more

GoosieGirl.com

Heather AKA Goose, Owner/CEO at GypsySpoonful.com

From the desk of the empowered and crafty woman dropping knowledge on the world, lololol

What is happening inside my brain today: (thank you “secret squirrel cbd strain haha)
 
As we all know by now, Gypsy Spoonful is what we promote as “American handmade”. and no , we don’t have international sellers (yet) .. and the main reason for that at the onset was because so many imports were flooding Etsy and other marketplaces, and people were reselling imported copies of handmade products. Then it also came down to the shipping issue, if we were giving site wide, shipping for free (aka included in the price), it may not be feasible for us to ship internationally, or if someone overseas made a sale and had to ship it, it might be very hard to figure the cost when including shipping. (That has evolved a little bit over the last year but I’ll revisit that later) .
I am aware that today is International Fair Trade Day (5/12 every year) , and this brings me to something I am very passionate about, When someone purchases an imported item (especially from China) they have no way of knowing WHO actually created that item, OR how it was produced, or under WHAT conditions. I love the fact that the fair trade organization and guarantee exists, because of those reasons. (it’s time for a fashion revolution, people!) 
 
I think it is VERY important to understand, that imported items may have been created in sweat shops, where people are treated inhumanely and very poorly, or there may be human rights violations such as using child labor or forced prison labor. China has the WORST record in the entire world of human rights violations, they are a communist country afterall. Some day, if it’s possible to add international sellers , it is extremely important to me that we know their creative process (to be sure each item is individually handmade and not mass produced) as well as under what conditions they create the items, and that the people are being paid a fair wage as well. For more evidence and information about imports from China, go HERE
 
Just a message from the girl with the Gypsy Spoonful vision she’s trying to impart to everyone. Thanks for reading! Thoughts? drop a comment below and please share using the social media share buttons! 

5 Steps To Get Into Brick and Mortar Boutiques

5 Steps To Get Into Brick and Mortar Boutiques</font color> Learn the top 5 tips on how to get your handmade products carried by local boutiques. My amazing friend, Sarah Shaw of Sarah Shaw Consulting just released a free guide on how to get your small business’ products into brick and mortar boutiques. I’ve considered … read more

5 Steps To Get Into Brick and Mortar Boutiques</font color>

Learn the top 5 tips on how to get your handmade products carried by local boutiques. My amazing friend, Sarah Shaw of Sarah Shaw Consulting just released a free guide on how to get your small business’ products into brick and mortar boutiques. I’ve considered her an expert in her field for a long time now, she’s shown that she knows the proven ways to succeed in this rough market. Just the other day in our member’s only group, we were discussing this very topic! Great timing huh? Don’t waste any time wondering how to succeed at this like a champ!


Sarah Asks,

Are you afraid to call boutique buyers? I was too when I was first starting out.

Sarah has prepared this special guide to share her time-tested formula so you can get your products into the stores of your dreams.

  • You are going to get:
  • 6 ways to find the perfect buyers who already want your product!
  • The “My friend saw your store” copy and paste email script
  • Her “Perfect Follow Up” phone script so you can close the deal
  • And more…..

I know you’re absolutely going to LOVE what she’s sharing with you. There’s no time to waste, so shake a leg sister!

To get started right away and access her free PDF guide, click this link to access your guide

 

Dad Sews

Sew, Fail, Repeat. The Dad Sews Journey (Part 1)

Let’s Get To Know Dad Sews Blogged by our resident Blogger, Donna of Charms Couture Boutique     Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of … read more

Dad Sews

Well, I’ve always wanted to learn to sew. This year I turn 40, and I’m starting to get embarrassed asking my mother to hem my jeans. This is a skill I should have in my tool belt.  Especially now that I have four kids. There are socks to darn, holes to fix, etc. Knowing how to sew is a money saver, and I NEED to save money.

Let’s Get To Know Dad Sews

Blogged by our resident Blogger, Donna of Charms Couture Boutique

 

Dad Sews Blog

Donna of Charms Couture Boutique

 

Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of trousers and christening gowns for her young children. Do you see the trend? The stereotype? That’s right. HER. SHE.

Why is it that we tend to leave MEN out? Men sew too. In fact, back in the 50s, in order to get pants done, or a work suit, communities had TAILORS! And tailors were MEN. Where and when did the conversion change?!

MEN CAN MAKE PRETTY THINGS TOO!

Sew (see what I did there? Yes I know, I’m a lame), why is this important? Why am I even writing about this? Simple. DadSews.

Huh? DadSews? Yes. A Man that Sews. A Sewing Man. A Man that is a Dad that Sews…DADSEWS!

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Christian Lee; the Dad behind DadSews.com.

This guy has really set the tone for all Fathers starting out on their sewing journey!

For anyone who has ever started out on a new hobby, or has attempted to learn ANYTHING new, then you probably know and recognize the faces of failures. The grunted look when you’re concentrating so hard that the slightest sound or question from your S/O or child makes you want to scream; “LEAVE ME ALONE! I ALMOST HAD IT!” The tearful face of finishing a lovely row of stitches just to find out the backside is all wonky and you must find your new best friend: The Seam Ripper. The late night sewing and swear sessions that make you want to throw everything against the wall. WE know these faces, these feelings…and Christian knows them too.

I’ll admit, when I got back into sewing after 10+ years, I joined a ton- and I mean a TON- of sewing groups on Facebook. It was disheartening. I saw all these great projects and even at times people would post, “I’ve never sewn before and didn’t use a pattern… and what they made was essentially a full length rhinestone ball gown! WHAT?! Yea, how do you NOT want to give up after seeing posts like that?

Sewing can be an extremely fulfilling undertaking; as well as a morose self-loathing of questioning our own sanity and skill. Christian understands this process; the endless loop of creating, wondering, failure, and success.

Juggling this often chaotic loop with the everyday aspects of family life can be treacherous. We lose time we’ve committed to our families or to our projects; we need to manage sewing projects against soccer games, dresses against dances, accessories and toys against family game nights. Where is the line?

In asking Christian how he manages his business and family commitments, he explained that every year, he takes a month long break. His kids are involved in his projects which help keeps him energized! He publishes about one DadSews video a week on Tuesdays, he highlights another Sewist on Thursdays on the Live or Spotlight video and his filming is scheduled AROUND HIS FAMILY TIME.

Christian didn’t start out sewing or wanting to sew. His previous career? He was a travelling stand up comic! Which actually works pretty well with sewing! You really need a sense of humor to overcome some of the stresses that come with the territory.

Another stressor? Sewing for people who want couture custom pieces for dollar store prices. In the handmade world that is a big struggle. You want and may need the business but cannot take on the amount of work the potential customer seeks for the price they want to pay. How do we nicely say no but leave the door open to the future?

Christian’s advice? “I just tell the truth, “it doesn’t fit my brand”, or “I don’t have the time to devote to it”, “or “it’s a conflict of interest.” Usually one of those is accurate and understood by reasonable people. Plus, there’s always a block/ignore button. I’m teaching people to sew as I learn as well, so I don’t run into that problem, but I think in the beginning people should charge somewhere between what they’re worth, and what they’re willing to take. Once you’re positive you have the skills, request the bills. ALL of them.”

That’s right ladies and gents! Get paid fairly for what you do!

Sewing. As a society, when that word is heard, we tend to think of women hunched over needle concentrating on mending a garment. Or we think of the 1950s housewife making her husband a new pair of trousers and christening gowns for her young children. Do you see the trend? The stereotype? That’s right. HER. SHE.

Why is it that we tend to leave MEN out? Men sew too. In fact, back in the 50s, in order to get pants done, or a work suit, communities had TAILORS! And tailors were MEN. Where and when did the conversion change?!

MEN CAN MAKE PRETTY THINGS TOO!

Sew (see what I did there? Yes I know, I’m  lame), why is this important? Why am I even writing about this? Simple. DadSews.

Huh? DadSews? Yes. A Man that Sews. A Sewing Man. A Man that is a Dad that Sews…DADSEWS!

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with Christian Lee; the Dad behind DadSews.com.

This guy has really set the tone for all Fathers starting out on their sewing journey!

For anyone who has ever started out on a new hobby, or has attempted to learn ANYTHING new, then you probably know and recognize the faces of failures. The grunted look when you’re concentrating so hard that the slightest sound or question from your S/O or child makes you want to scream; “LEAVE ME ALONE! I ALMOST HAD IT!” The tearful face of finishing a lovely row of stitches just to find out the backside is all wonky and you must find your new best friend: The Seam Ripper. The late night sewing and swear sessions that make you want to throw everything against the wall. WE know these faces, these feelings…and Christian knows them too.

I’ll admit, when I got back into sewing after 10+ years, I joined a ton- and I mean a TON- of sewing groups on Facebook. It was disheartening. I saw all these great projects and even at times people would post, “I’ve never sewn before and didn’t use a pattern… and what they made was essentially a full length rhinestone ball gown! WHAT?! Yea, how do you NOT want to give up after seeing posts like that?

Sewing can be an extremely fulfilling undertaking; as well as a morose self-loathing of questioning our own sanity and skill. Christian understands this process; the endless loop of creating, wondering, failure, and success.

Juggling this often chaotic loop with the everyday aspects of family life can be treacherous. We lose time we’ve committed to our families or to our projects; we need to manage sewing projects against soccer games, dresses against dances, accessories and toys against family game nights. Where is the line?

In asking Christian how he manages his business and family commitments, he explained that every year, he takes a month long break. His kids are involved in his projects which help keeps him energized! He publishes about one DadSews video a week on Tuesdays, he highlights another Sewist on Thursdays on the Live or Spotlight video and his filming is scheduled AROUND HIS FAMILY TIME.

Christian didn’t start out sewing or wanting to sew. His previous career? He was a travelling stand up comic! Which actually works pretty well with sewing! You really need a sense of humor to overcome some of the stresses that come with the territory.

Another stressor? Sewing for people who want couture custom pieces for dollar store prices. In the handmade world that is a big struggle. You want and may need the business but cannot take on the amount of work the potential customer seeks for the price they want to pay. How do we nicely say no but leave the door open to the future?

Christian’s advice?

I just tell the truth, “it doesn’t fit my brand”,

or

“I don’t have the time to devote to it”, or “it’s a conflict of interest.”

Usually one of those is accurate and understood by reasonable people. Plus, there’s always a block/ignore button. I’m teaching people to sew as I learn as well, so I don’t run into that problem, but I think in the beginning people should charge somewhere between what they’re worth, and what they’re willing to take. Once you’re positive you have the skills, request the bills. ALL of them.”

That’s right ladies and gents! Get paid fairly for what you do!

Part 2 …coming soon…

Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker- Feature Showcase , and free shipping coupon code.

Cricut Maker ! Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker. It handles fabrics, leather, and balsa wood with effortless precision. Cuts sewing patterns in just a few clicks. And places more creative possibilities than ever at your fingertips. Meet Cricut Maker – the ultimate smart cutting machine. (Now during the month of September, get free shipping using this link,  … read more

Cricut Maker ! Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker.
It handles fabrics, leather, and balsa wood with effortless precision. Cuts sewing patterns in just a few clicks. And places more creative possibilities than ever at your fingertips. Meet Cricut Maker – the ultimate smart cutting machine.

(Now during the month of September, get free shipping using this link,  http://bit.ly/2gDo9uF 

and coupon code: FALLSHIP)

A whole new material world

Cricut Maker quickly and accurately cuts hundreds of materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to the tough stuff like matboard, leather, and balsa wood. Now your creative potential is exponential.

Sewing crafts, simplified.

Pick a pattern, and Cricut Maker cuts and marks all the pieces in just a few clicks. Saving you plenty of time for all the fun parts.

Select from hundreds of digital patterns.

Let the machine do the cutting and marking.

Sew it together and you’re done!

Cricut Maker

 

Expandable Suite of Tools . The tools you need. Today and tomorrow.

Cricut Maker

With its revolutionary toolset, Cricut Maker cuts, writes, and scores more materials – with greater precision and control – than ever before. Plus, with more tools coming, Cricut Maker grows with you as you master each new craft.

Rotary Blade -Cuts fabrics quickly. Safely. Flawlessly.
The Rotary Blade brings infinitely customizable, precision fabric cutting to the home for the very first time. Use it to cut cotton, fleece, denim, and more. With its gliding, rolling action, it cuts virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material.

Knife Blade-Add a new dimension to any project.
The extra-deep Knife Blade cuts through dense materials up to 2.4 mm (3/32”) thick with unprecedented ease and safety, almost like an automated X-ACTO® blade. It’s ideal for thicker materials like balsa wood, matboard, and heavy leather.
Knife Blade expected to be available by the end of the year. Maximum cut depth and cut radius varies depending on the material.

Adaptive Tool System™- Commercial-grade cutting power.
The heart of our most advanced cutting machine, the Adaptive Tool System intelligently controls the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match your material, so every cut comes out perfect. And with 10X more cutting power, you can take on more materials than ever.  (Watch a demonstration HERE on youtube)

Detail- Little things that add up to something big.

Cricut Maker is full of thoughtful touches to make your DIY experience easier. Extra built-in storage keeps your tools organized and within reach. A helpful docking slot holds your tablet or smartphone. And the convenient USB port lets you charge your device in a flash.

Cricut Maker

Feature summary The power of a professional machine.
The simplicity of Cricut. Cuts the most materials. Cricut Maker cuts hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather.

 

6 reasons why it's awesome to shop on Gypsy Spoonful

6 Reasons Why Shopping Gypsy Spoonful is Awesome

  oh and about that pants thing… don’t blame us… we were kidding… well, kinda… 😉 See ya online while you’re shopping or download the Gypsy Spoonful app today:  

6 reasons why it's awesome to shop on Gypsy Spoonful

 

oh and about that pants thing… don’t blame us… we were kidding… well, kinda… 😉

See ya online while you’re shopping or download the Gypsy Spoonful app today:

 

Why we do it : Who Am I and Why Am I Part of Gypsy Spoonful?

First you may ask; What is Gypsy Spoonful? (or GS for short) By now I am sure you have taken a look at the website and realized just how awesome it is! It has several makers and over 3k listings! That’s right…3 THOUSAND strictly handmade items from small businesses! GS is a website that has … read more

My Why by CharmsCoutureBoutique

First you may ask; What is Gypsy Spoonful? (or GS for short) By now I am sure you have taken a look at the website and realized just how awesome it is! It has several makers and over 3k listings! That’s right…3 THOUSAND strictly handmade items from small businesses!

GS is a website that has an Etsy-like setup. Meaning? Well it means that the website is home to more than just 1 individual maker. It is home to over 112 individually owned shops on one platform that offers everything from pdf sewing patterns to one of a kind products and props. However, unlike Etsy; Gypsy Spoonful does not accept any mass produced items such as knock-offs or China Cheapies. Everything…EVERYTHING is made by hand!

So how do I fit in?

Why am I writing a blog post about this? Why is this important to me?

To understand my blog post you need to know a few things about me first.

For starters; I am one of the makers on GS. I sell custom handmade clothing & accessories as well as handmade soaps that hold no harsh chemicals. I come from a background of giving unto others. When I was a child at Christmas time we got to open our presents and play with our toys for 1 week. After the week was up my mother would tell us to pick our #1 favorite toy that we received, the rest of them we packed up and donated to the local children’s shelter. As I got older and went into HS, I volunteered several hours a week at various places such as Nursing Homes and Bingo Nights. When I became an adult, I began working with children and teens who were labeled with [severe] behavioral issues; i.e. opposition to authority. Many years later many of “my kids” have become mothers and fathers and I keep in contact with them to this day! As an adult not only do I have my shop on GS, I also make dresses and other items and donate them online to Pay It Forward Groups.

This community is incredibly important to me. It allows me to use my creativity to help others! It allows me to be ME and in the process allows me to help support my family. I am a military spouse with an ever growing 11 yr old stepson who resides with us! Every single time someone purchases from my shop, not only does it help MY family, it allows me to continue helping other families! For every bar of soap that is bought, we donate 1 to either nursing homes, battered womens shelters and childrens shelters.

My entire life has been about helping others.

When I began thinking about expanding my business to reach more clients, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to accomplish. I have goals and business morals that I am not willing to compromise and GS has helped me keep to that integrity. I have always been about my clients and ensuring their vision comes true with my work rather than “making a quick buck”. I firmly believe in helping out other makers if I am able and do not see other shops as competition. I see the other makers as collaborators; business associates, even friends if you will.  Without their help and support, GS would not be what it is- just a few short months after its birth!

I wanted to write about my experiences, my beliefs to help those who are either thinking about shopping on GS or even becoming part of the GS family! When you open a shop on GS, you do not do it alone. Other makers are there to lend a helping hand, answer questions and help you get your shop setup correctly so you receive sales! Makers give advice on getting better photos for listings, how to appeal to your target market and how to best answer potential customer’s questions! GS is not just a website that sells handmade products, it is a community of individuals with a common purpose, a common ideal that have banded together to offer quality products! Products that can become heirlooms and keepsakes for generations to come!

This community blog post was created by Donna of Charms Couture Boutique, you can view her Gypsy Spoonful Shop and all the items she offers here.

 

One skein project

One Skein Project. Free Tutorials : Snowdrops Mod Scarf Crochet Pattern by Left in Knots

I was tickled to see this adorable scarf pattern from the amazing Left In Knots. This would be SUCH a great gift for someone. I love the tappered into tassle ends, the ombre coloring is so fun too! Of course, you can choose any color skein but this one is especially adorbs! I love when … read more

I was tickled to see this adorable scarf pattern from the amazing Left In Knots. This would be SUCH a great gift for someone. I love the tappered into tassle ends, the ombre coloring is so fun too! Of course, you can choose any color skein but this one is especially adorbs! I love when makers are generous and share their patterns, so please do me a favor & go to the Left In Knots Site and follow Megan ( be sure to tell her Goosie said hello!)

One skein project

The Snow Drops Mod Scarf is a super-stylish one skein project ~This scarf is made with the star stitch with makes a beautiful-snowflake like texture.  Combine that with the icy colors of Caron Cakes “Faerie Cake” yarn and this scarf is perfect for winter! I also think the Pima cotton yarn would work amazingly well, click to see the shades of blue I’m in love with HERE~  She even has an AWESOME  video tutorial to get you started learning the star stitch 🙂
Here are the instructions (she also has a matching snowdrops skinny scarf pattern on her website)

Abbreviations
ch: chain
sl st: slip stitch
SC: single crochet
HDC: half-double crochet
HDC2Tog: Half double crochet two together (aka HDC decrease)
LOH: loops on hook

Special Stitch
Star stitch: WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE
First start stitch of a row: Ch 2, Insert hook into back loop of the second ch from the hook and pull up a loop (2 LOH), insert hook into front loop of the same ch stitch and pull up a loop (3 LOH), insert into the next 3 sts and pull up a loop through each one (6 LOH).  YO and pull through all 6 loops, ch 1 to make the “eye” of the star.
Star stitch: Insert hook into the “eye” of the previous star and pull up a loop (2 LOH), insert hook into the last post of the previous star and pull up a loop (3 LOH), insert your hook into the last stitch of the previous star and pull up a loop (4 LOH), insert hook into the next 2 sts and pull up a loop in each one (6 LOH).  YO and pull through all 6 loops, ch 1 to make the “eye of the star.

Finished Size:
Approximately 6′ long
Pattern Notes
Chain stitches at the beginning of rows do not count as a stitch
Increases and decreases will all happen on the the same side of the scarf.  This will create the triangular shape.

Instructions
Ch 3
Row 1: HDC in second ch from the hook, HDC across (2). Turn
Row 2: Ch 1, 2 HDC in first st, HDC across (3). Turn
Row 3: Ch 2, make the first star stitch of the row (1 star). Turn
Row 4: Ch 1, work 2 SC into the eye of the star stitch in the previous row, 1 SC in the last stitch (3).  Turn
Row 5: Ch 1, 2 HDC in first st, HDC across (4)
Row 6: Ch 1, HDC across, 2 HDC in last st (5)
Row 7: Ch 2, make the first star stitch of the row, star stitch across (2 stars). Turn
Row 8: Ch 1, 2 SC in each “eye of the star” from the previous row. SC in last stitch of the row (5).  Turn

one skein project

Row 9: Ch 1, 2 HDC in first st, HDC across (6)
Row 10: Ch 1, HDC across, 2 HDC in last st (7)
Rows 11-89: Repeat rows 7-10.  Row 89 will have 46 HDC sts across.
Row 90: Ch 1, HDC across, HDC2Tog in the last 2 stitches (45) Turn
Row 91: Ch 2, make the first star stitch of the row, star stitch across (22 stars) Turn
Row 92: Ch 1, 2 SC in each “eye of the star” from the previous row. SC in last stitch of the row (45).  Turn
Row 93: Ch 1, HDC across, HDC2Tog in the last two stitches (44).  Turn
Row 94: Ch 1, HDC2Tog, HDC across (43). Turn
Row 95-178: Repeat rows 91-94.  Row 178 with end with 2 HDC across.

Make your tassels (pom poms would also look great!) and attach them to each end of the scarf.  And VOILA!  You have a modern and adorable winter scarf. (see this free tutorial on craftsy.com ~downloadable ~ on how to make tassels by hand)

Tassels
If you liked this free tutorial, please stop by Megan’s blog and tell her Gypsy Spoonful sent you and give her a follow.
You may also like some of these crochet items in our marketplace and many other crochet patterns available on Craftsy as well.

Romantic Tea Stained Crochet Denim Coat, size Small

Messy bun beanie wheat color, ponytail beanie, bun hat, crochet bun beanie, wheat color yarn, CraftsbyMert

Minnie Lovey

Mermaid Teal and Purple Urban Knitted Ruffle Scarf Dolly and Me Set Toddler Girl Tween Teen Lady Adult Fashion Scarf

Have a free tutorial to submit to  Gypsy Blogful? Email us!

We’d love to share it on the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

101 Reasons To Buy Handmade

101 Reasons To Buy Handmade

In order to support the handmade community, and promote the importance of buying handmade goods, we asked artists, designers and shop keepers to provide us with 101 reasons why one should buy handmade. Here are their replies: Please help us spread the word, and link back to this page (feel free to bookmark, and subscribe to … read more

101 Reasons To Buy Handmade
In order to support the handmade community, and promote the importance of buying handmade goods, we asked artists, designers and shop keepers to provide us with 101 reasons why one should buy handmade. Here are their replies: Please help us spread the word, and link back to this page (feel free to bookmark, and subscribe to this blog, thank you)!

1. help contribute to establishing a new economic model

2. w/ the exception of postage cost – contribute to decrease in fossil fuel erosion
(purchasing mass produced products generally come from overseas – barging it all over, production costs etc, sweatshops, fair labor etc.)

3. this new wave of craftspeople are using recycled materials. this is CRUCIAL. there is too much stuff in the world already.

4. purchase from artisans/craftspeople who ENJOY creating their wares. the object holds that positive energy and it spreads.

5. support the artisan directly. the artisan needs more support for their vocation – more than most.

6. support local community. thus building.

7. buying from craftspeople is a conscious decision. people need to be more conscious of spending of where their hard-earned money is going, changing hands etc. this contributes to the bigger picture.
Sonja Ahlers

8. My favorite reason to buy handmade is just that – it’s handmade, which means quality, and a whole lot of love!

Another reason:
9. I buy handmade because someone else is using their talents to create gifts and decor that I myself cannot make. Buy handmade today!
Cammi Higley

10. Because handmade = made with love, care, and thought.
Madeley Rodriguez
11. Handmade products are more than just a product. There is love, creativity and uniqueness. And that shows.
Karin 
12. Love. You give gifts with love. When you buy handmade you can be sure that your gift is also made with love. You can think of love as a fairy dust that has been sprinkled over your gift throughout the making and gift giving process. And that fairy dust will make your loved one feel so much better than formaldehyde residue.

13. When you give a handmade gift it’s more like writing a letter to someone than giving them a newspaper gift-certificate.

14. Human rights & ecological aspects. Buy handmade and you support a true artist. You can be sure that human rights are respected in the making of your gift. Handmade gifts are for many reasons often more ecological than mass produced: indie artists are superb recyclers (and we mustn’t forget upcycling, upcycled gifts are a big hit this year!) and of course handmade in most cases outlasts mass produced.

15. Price vs. value. If you buy your best friend a handmade journal instead of a mass produced one and spend twice the money, it’ll be worth every penny. Treasures are handmade with love and thought, not mass produced.
Kaija

16. When something is handmade, very likely the craft person is deliberate and mindful about that next right stitch, next right bead, next just right rusty object that looks more like a dog nose on a found object sculpture than the last rusty treasure they picked up. Handmade products always feel more personal to me. I think about who might have been the artisan and wonder at how they managed to produce the item of the moment I am most smitten with and can’t live without (no doubt, that rusty dog sculpture). I love knowing I’m supporting someone’s passion. And even though I buy from handmade artisan’s in states and countries I’ve never visited, I feel a sense of community when receiving an item that travels from their hand to mine. I like that I know who to contact to say “it’s here! I love it!” – one person to another.
Manny
17. Giving handmade is truly the essence of gift-giving. When you give a friend or loved one a gift, you are really saying “I care about you.” A handmade gift conveys so much more than something pulled off the end-cap display of a mega store. Of course there are the obvious economic benefits of supporting independent makers and artists, but buying and giving handmade is, at heart, a loving act.
Cassie
Clementine Jewelry
18. You are supporting local artisans and craftspeople and not large big box stores.

19. It guarantees that no one will give the same gift as you!

20. The items are much more fashion forward….there is no “wait-time” for large businesses to design and then mass-produce. One indie designer can list something *today* that he/she made *today.* (So it wasn’t designed and planned last Christmas…for this Christmas)

21. Many items are much more environmentally friendly since there is no use of large manufacturing machines, chemicals, labor (some of it probably illegal) and waste. Many Annie and Olive items (for instance) are made from sustainable wool felt that has been naturally dyed, a needle, thread and my two hands.

22. It’s fun to see the creativity and excellence of the very, very talented designers out there. It harkens back to the days of old when craftsmanship, creativity and quality were paramount – You are buying items not mass-produced and impersonal but are very personal not only to the buyer, but to the maker.
Bethany

23. The biggest reason I buy handmade is to support the many talented people out there who are trying to get started with their business. I find the care and love taken in making everything I buy comes through when I get it. I feel a sense of extra worth and pleasure with each purchase knowing I have helped someone get one step closer to their dream. Supporting each other is after all the most rewarding gift we can give each other!
Bueller
24. When you buy handmade you create a direct relationship with the artist or designer of the product.
25. You can be proud knowing that your supporting small businesses.
26. It’s great for the economy
27. You don’t have to say that you bought it at Ikea.
28. You can be the first one of all your friends to discover a great designer…
Avril Loreti
29. “I give handmade gifts because the artist/crafter who made the item probably really enjoys what they do. I know they put their imagination, best craftsmanship, and love into making that gift unique. It has heart and that’s what I want to share with the special people in my life.”
Heather Smith Jones
30. To support the idea that something made from hand from a fellow human is a little more precious than the something which is not.
Susan Schwake
When you buy handmade you …..

31.) are getting something that is made with love by someone who loves what they do

32.) are giving the handmade artist a huge compliment and actually saying “I love what you are doing” which in turn keeps the artist “doing ” it.
33.) are making a personal connection
34.) are telling the gift recipient that you cared enough about them to buy something as individual as they are.
35.) are contributing to an insurance policy that helps to keep the crafting industry alive, in return allowing for more unique and different items to become available each year.
Stacy Altiery
InkSpot Workshop
inkspotworkshop.com
36. -it’s unique
37. -personal
38. -well made
39. -supports an artist
40. -builds community
41. -people appreciate handcrafted pieces
42. -affordable
Mike McDowell
43. Not only are you receiving a beautiful creation made with genuine love and care, but when you are by buying handmade, you are also supporting and BECOMING part of the dream of: freedom, financial independence, being in charge of your own moral compass, having a daily life’s purpose, experiencing more joy, all as a result of doing work you truly love. There’s nothing better.
Marisa
44. Because normally, buying handmade does not require fighting for a parking space, having your ears pierced by blaring holiday music, walking around in a daze under flourescent lights, fighting to push a shopping cart with one bad wheel, or having a cashier you don’t know ask for your phone number and zip code.

45. Because handmade items are what your Great Great Grandma used to buy.
susyjack*
contemporary paper
susyjack.com

46. When i buy handmade i am buying more than a product. i am supporting an artist who has put care, creativity and love into the product. i am supporting their vision. the product has such a personal history and story.
Pamela Sherry
47. Buying handmade is win-win situation : You enrich your life with beautiful handmade goods, and you enable an artist to continue following their creative dreams.
Stephanie Levy
48. You make two people happy. (buyer and seller)
Amy
49. There’s a personal connection between you, the product, and the product’s creator. There’s someone you can email and say “I love your product! Thank you!” and actually get a response back, which spreads the warm and fuzzies around for everyone.

50. Supporting handmade artists, which is absolutely vital in this current economy. We need to support local, small businesses and artists over the big corporations.

51. It’s handmade! Someone’s hands touched that product, and put their time, attention, and love into it. It wasn’t mass-produced in some factory where several people attached one item to create the whole over and over and over again.
Molly Schlemmer

52. ITS THE BEST WAY TO AVOID SHOPPING MALLS!
Cecile Blake
53. Exclusivity: Each of the handmade things is a unique and a one of a kind. There are not two handmade items that are the same, which makes each item a special object. Crafty hands are behind each object fabrication process, from the design sketches till the wrapping and shipping.

54. High Quality: the things I make are things I would buy. Many times I need things and when I look for them at the shops I don’t find anything that I like or that covers my expectatives. And in fact, this is one of the reasons I began selling handmade things. It was common when I made one for me and then my friends began asking me for them.

55. No human explotaition, (but myself and since I enjoy doing the things it can’t be called explotaition!): people that make handmade things usually control the whole ‘fabrication’ process. When we need someone else’s services, we know the people who works with us and pay fair prices for their work. We like to ask for their families and know their children.

56. Environment careful : it is common to use recycled materials when making handmade items.

57. Boost creativity: everyone loves to see and have handmade items around! It makes people feel special! It inspires!

58. Handmade items are great works of art (at affordable prices)!

59. Customized items: how many times you like something someone’s wearing and then you go to H&M and notice it was bought there?…and then, everyone is wearing it and all are uniformated.With handmade items you can be sure THIS will never happen!

60. Encourage traditions: how many happy hours have I spent learning how to knit with my mom and grandmom? There will never exist a knitting machine that can tell so many interesting stories!

61. You can always meet and talk directly with the designer, craftmaker or artist that made the piece you bought!…and we will be so happy to talk to someone who bought one of our handmade items!
Martha Gomez

62. Buying handmade gives me that instant feel-good factor, knowing I’m supporting a fellow artist and that my money goes directly to them. I love the personal touch, whether I’m emailing with a customer or talking to a seller – I get the best of both worlds! The handmade revolution has meant that art is suddenly so much more accessible, and the pleasure derived from having beautiful art in your home is made all the more special when you can email the artist and thank them.
63. Have inbuilt positive energy and soul. Making things is fun- even when it’s your job. It’s the difference between buying something that was made carefully and joyfully rather then buying one of a million made in a factory by a machine. Yay Soul!

64. Money is well spent. Rather then most of the cost going towards the profit margin of a huge conglomeration you’re paying for a fair wage for one (or a few) people.

65. Special and unique. Even something that is handmade in multiples from patterns, cast, etc will still always be a unique and made just for you.

66. One of a kinds. You can have detail and personality in a handmade item that is hard for a machine to reproduce. It is actually better creatively for and artist/designer/crafter to make one offs.

67. Quirkier. Companies won’t commit vast machines/factories to make quirkier, riskier odder things at the risk of not selling 1000’s or millions of mass produced units. But that is exactly what is best and fun about making something oneself. Experimenting with new and different things! Odd shapes and combinations that may not be commercial but are definitely fun.

68. Connection and transparency. It is lovely to know where, how and by who something was made. I’m a born collector (and occasional documenter of said collections) and I love the personal aspect. I particularly love getting little bios with handmade things.

69. Made to last. Unlike Old Navy, Le Chateau, or the many other manufacturers who make things with a purposelessly short (seasonal) lifespan a handmade item will be made to last. This, of course, is much better for the environment. Quality over quantity!

70. Sincerity. People don’t hand craft things just to make money. They’re not just the product of a slick R&D department for profit. They make things that involve years of learned skills, passion, enthusiasm, commitment and sincerity.
Colleen Baran

71. Buying handmade shows our children that not everything in this world needs to be mass produced. It teaches them to love and appreciate the unique and the imperfect. And it inspires them to do their own creating as well.
Jill Bent
Jill Bent Bags and Pillows
jillbent.com
72. By communicating directly with the artist you may be able to customize your item! If Target only sells that scarf in blue and > green, you can’t ask to have it in black and white.

73. Individuals as opposed big groups tend to come up with more unique things. There is less need to compromise to suit the masses of group think. You support inventiveness and originality.

74. Buying handmade celebrates humanity.
Julie (jb) Booth
linkedin.com/in/juliebooth
75. Fosters the value of self-expression and creativity, which in turn will inspires everyone.

76. Is buying directly from the maker, which is a much more intimate and personal shopping experience that isn’t available from corporate companies.

77. Shares a story; whether it’s about the maker, the material used, or the origin, it adds more interest to the item itself. Knowing this increases one’s appreciation of the object and decreases the likelihood of throwing it away.

78. Builds a higher appreciation for things they are made with quality, devotion, time, and care.

79. Embraces how things are made and where they come from. This keeps everyone more grounded and appreciative of things.

80. That are often one-of-a-kind and that in turn makes shoppers feel more special.

81. Delivers honestly made merchandise at a honest prices. Products are not marked up purely for their label, but they’re priced to sustain a living for the maker.

82. Rewards creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and craftsmanship.

83. Encourages independent thinking that breaks corporation’s homogenizing tendencies.

84. Typically supports goods made with greater consciousness of their environmental impact.

85. Embraces and celebrates the diversity of regional cultures, ideas, and resources from around the world.

86. Allows opportunities for customization where shoppers can participate in the creative process to further personalize the item.

87. Inspires collaborations that progressively build upon interesting ideas and products.

88. Celebrates the inherent variety in handmade goods that allows the buyer to more accurately express their own style and personality.

89. Supports the concept of keepin’ it real!!
Chika, Dylan & Jean

90. What everyone said, plus:
Handmade puts humanity back into our lives. You carefully choose something that you love, that was created with love, and will be received and cherished with love (if it’s a gift)
91. Because we’re individuals!
Sophie
duckduckgoosestuff.co.uk
92. Because you are not just buying an item, you are buying a piece of the artist. You are supporting the love, sweat, tears, future, family, confidence, mind, body and soul of that person. It creates an amazing relationship between 2 people: the buyer and seller. You are not just a customer, you are a supporter, a fan, a collector of art.
Kim Quinn Nicholson
93. Avoid the malls! No crowds, no traffic, no sea of same, same, same, no depressing crush of commercialism.

94. As wonderful as the cyber world is, it is virtual, untouchable. In some ways it connects, in other ways it creates a disconnect—it can be all image and no substance. Handmade is a terrific balance to this tendency. Actual objects that are made by hand have a visceral connection to the real world and to real individuals. They connect and root us in the tangible world in a life-affirming way.

95. When you buy handmade, you buy from the producer. You aren’t lining the over flowing pockets of some corporation or distanced executive. You are taking part in a process of revising our economic model to one that rewards hard work, talent, creativity, initiative and personal responsibility.

96. It’s just simply delightful.
Erin Sledd
Key Lime Design
keylimedesign.net

97. I enjoy buying handmade toys for my children because you can’t get toys that are so cool anywhere else. They are well made and many made with recycled items.

98. I also enjoy buying handmade because you can help design what your looking for its a whole different way of shopping.
Crunchy Crafts

99. Because somewhere out there in the world, you are helping sustain someone while fulfilling their DREAMS of being a painter, sculptor, milliner, printmaker, etc. without their having to worry about applying in a big corporation only to be told that “You’re not what we’re looking for at the moment.”

100. Because somewhere out there in the world, you are providing additional financial support for stay at home moms, who have chosen to stay home to take care of their kids & provide personalized care & guidance for their children, who in turn will (hopefully) grow up to be better people who will have wonderful memories of their childhood with a parent.

101. Because you could own the next Rothko, Mapplethorpe, etc!

Click here to be transported to our online, hand-picked, handmade market, Gypsy Spoonful. You buy directly from the designer/artist’s shop!