Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Featured Etsy Designer -- Beth from The Bird & Elephant -- plus a giveaway!








Back in December we met Beth - a multi-tasking momma with a FABulous little shop. The Bird & Elephant specializes in 100% organic cotton bodysuits, organic cotton appliques, and hand-carved & stamped designs. We just adore this eco-chic shop full of super soft baby & toddler wear. Read on to learn more about the designer and to enter  a giveaway -- thanks to Beth! 



{1} What made you begin your shop?


It was all really good timing during a really bad time period. The economy was great, my husband's job was great, my newborn son was great, and then came the recession. I had just said goodbye to benefits, retirement plans, and an okay salary, when I quit my full-time job as the Supervisor overseeing equipment and lab space in the Photography Department of a local arts & design college where I had graduated with a BFA. I was a full-time stay at home mom who needed to find a way to add to the household income. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be in this line of work. I was the one gal in my family that preferred the wood shop, big loud tools and working with metals. I loved getting my hands dirty with charcoals and my clothing always had splatters of paint. But none of those things are safe for baby and baby was always with me.


Strapped for money, I was tired of the clothing available for my son, so I began knitting cute, urban style hats and started appliqueing his infant tee's and bodysuits. I used fabric remnants from old art projects, leftover balls of yarn, and recycled his onesies and other clothing to use in my applique designs.  The knitting was pretty easy, but I had absolutely no idea what I was doing with the sewing. I come from a family of great sewers, quilters, seamstresses and doll makers, but I never paid close attention, and never learned the rules. Through trial & error, and a lot of research, I taught myself embroidery and then I began having some success with my appliques. I enjoyed what I was making, because I was transforming my sketches and doodles into wearable art. From there, I became addicted. My fabric stash grew, my threads grew, and my skill was developing to the point that I felt someone may actually purchase one of my creations. And that's where things took off. Since I loved what I was making and had a lot of fun doing it, I decided to give Etsy a try. From there, I've received several requests from brick and mortar shops to carry my products and I have chosen a couple to carry my goods. The making has been the easiest part; learning the ins and outs of online selling and marketing is hardcore.


cupcakeMAG for Littles pick: the Baby Sea Turtle Bodysuit in Pink 

{2} What are some of your other favorite Etsy shops? 

Oh my, that's a tough one! 
I love the artwork of corid: http://www.etsy.com/shop/corid
Amazing lampshades by umbu; quite unique & beautiful: http://www.etsy.com/shop/umbu
Rabbitsmoon has clean, crisp photography to show off the cute plushies and change pouches in her shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/rabbitsmoon
I love the authentic clothing of LittleHouses: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleHouses 

That's a pretty big sampling of my favorites. I could go on forever.

One of Beth's favorite designs: Hand Embroidered Heart Onesie
Another of the designer faves: red heart + tree limb onesie
{3} What is your favorite item currently in your shop?

It's a toss up between these two:
Organic bodysuit with a red heart + tree limb and the sweet little Valentine's heart on a pink bodysuit. I had a lot of fun with the embroidery on this one. 





{4} What is up next for you?

Mommy to 2 is up next for me, with my baby girl Lila arriving mid-March. My son inspired me to create this business, it will definitely be interesting to see what a baby girl will inspire. I plan to eventually add gift sets to my shop that would include hand-carved, hand-stamped stationary to match some of the designs; knitted/crocheted booties & shoes in coordinating colors; and maybe diaper covers. I'd love to expand the wardrobe options to include pants and dresses. Right now, I'm developing an organic line of clothing. I have a background in printmaking, and would love to begin transforming some of my designs to silkscreens and hand-carved wood stamps for printing directly onto fabrics, bodysuits and tees. My hand-embroidered goods can take a few hours to create just one, so finding a way to simplify my work without affecting the work is a future goal. As for down the road, I plan to open a bricks & mortar shop of my own. 


Perfect for the little man in your life - the Red Elephant Onesie
READ ON TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! 




Giveaway: Your choice of ONE of the below items! 


Based on available fabrics, time involved in creating each design, etc., please choose from the following:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/65601103/organic-infant-heart-bodysuit-red-heart
http://www.etsy.com/listing/61537165/baby-romper-chunky-squirrel-hand
http://www.etsy.com/listing/63488626/baby-red-elephant-infant-applique
http://www.etsy.com/listing/51072706/baby-sea-turtle-bodysuit-pink
http://www.etsy.com/listing/61538026/toddler-tee-gnomes-woodland-home-hand




How to win: Let us know what you want to win. This comment is mandatory. You also MUST be a follower of cupcakeMAG and cupcakeMAG for Littles. 

For extra entries you can do the following below and leave us a separate comment for each letting us know. The more you comment the better chance you have to win!

1. Follow cupcakeMAG on Twitter

2. Make sure you "Like" us on our Facebook page

3. Subscribe to our updates (top right corner above) - just sign up with your email!

4. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag -- you must tweet, not just follow.

5. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog and send us the link.

We will select a winner via random.org on Tuesday, Feb. 22th at 11pm. Please make sure you enter the mandatory comment first before doing the extra entries.

60 comments:

  1. I love the little red elephant design. Would look great on my soon to be 1 year old son!

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  2. I also "Like" CupcakeMAG on facebook!!! The little red elephant is my fav!

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  3. And I just signed up to get CupcakeMAG emails! YAY - Again - the red elephant would look awesome on my little Robert!

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  4. the Red Elephant design is amazing

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  5. and I follow on Facebook too :)

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  6. i love the pink sea turtle.

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  7. I love the red elephant!
    (and I'm a GFC follower)
    catherine(dot)alley(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I follow you on twitter @lovemymrmason

    catherine(dot)alley(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I love the toddler tee in Gnomes. :) I follow both blogs too.

    Lorie

    marcandlorie at embarqmail dot com

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  10. Great interview. I love her designs, of those listed I'd have to say the Pink Turtle is my fav! Thanks so much for the chance to win - I'm following cupcakeMAG and cupcakeMAG for Littles (as Amanda Davis)

    Thanks!

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  11. Following @cupcakeMAG on Twitter (@amandapersists) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Also a Facebook fan of CupcakeMAG (as Amanda Davis)

    Thanks again!

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  13. I absolutely love the infant heart bodysuit!

    philadybug AT hotmail DOT com

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  14. follow via twitter (@kpicco)

    philadybug AT hotmail DOT com

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  15. I like you on FB (Kait Picco)

    philadybug AT hotmail DOT com

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  16. tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/kpicco/status/38032462789484544

    philadybug AT hotmail DOT com

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  17. Baby Romper Chunky Squirrel Hand Embroidered Applique Infant Bodysuit

    This would make a great gift!

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  18. The red elephant is too cute. I also now follow CupcakeMAG blog. Thanks!

    mama[dot]riser AT gmail[dot]com

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  19. I follow cupcakeMAG on twitter. {mamariser}

    mama[dot]riser AT gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I like you on facebook. {Laura Marie}

    mama[dot]riser AT gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I subscribed to receive updates!

    mama[dot]riser AT gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  22. http://www.etsy.com/listing/65601103/organic-infant-heart-bodysuit-red-heart

    GFC follow back
    http://aromaticspace150.blogspot.com/
    Liza767[at]roadrunner[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Liza Vladyka face book follows you
    Liza767[at]roadrunner[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  24. The little gnome house shirt is the most adorable thing I think I've seen! I'd choose that one!
    adelzeller@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. following @cupcakemag on Twitter (as @grungezombie)
    adelzeller@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tweeted this giveaway
    http://twitter.com/#!/grungezombie/statuses/38114802287116288
    adelzeller@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I follow both blogs with GFC. I'd pick the Chunky Squirell onesie. Cute!
    kirbycolby at gmail dot com

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  28. I follow on twitter @Aerated.
    kirbycolby at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I subscribe via email.
    kirbycolby at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I tweeted. Thank you!
    http://twitter.com/Aerated/status/38251854668365825
    kirbycolby at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. i would love the chunky squirrel =)

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. i follow cupcakemag on twitter @organicmommyluv

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. i like you on fb stacy lynn b hancock

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. i get your emails

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. i would love the sea turtle bodysuit!! kateandoli@gmail.com

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  36. i like the heart bodysuit
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

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  37. I'm a blog follower!
    DH and I are TTC - this is sooo darling!!!! http://www.etsy.com/listing/65601103/organic-infant-heart-bodysuit-red-heart

    ReplyDelete
  38. I heart " baby-red-elephant-infant-applique"

    ckaylie777(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I follow cupcakeMAG on Twitter

    ckaylie777(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I subscribed to your updates

    ckaylie777(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. http://twitter.com/#!/ckaylie777/status/38543447782596608
    that's my tweet

    ckaylie777(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. follower! And I would totally get the sea turtle!

    snaugle81@gmail.com

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  43. twitter follower

    snaugle81@gmail.com

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  44. I would love to win the heart bodysuit.
    burchard_kim at yahoo dot com

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  45. I 'like' you on FB.
    burchard_kim at yahoo dot com

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  46. I love the Organic Infant Heart Bodysuit Red Heart Brown Branch with Green Leaves.
    jswandrn at gmail

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  47. I'm a GFC follower. My daughter would look cute in the Baby Sea Turtle Bodysuit Pink! tylerpants(at)gmail.com

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  48. Following cupcakeMAG on Twitter (HY2024). tylerpants(at)gmail.com

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  49. I'm a fan on Facebook (Lisa L). tylerpants(at)gmail.com

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  50. I'm an email subscriber. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

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  51. Would LOVE to win the bodysuit with the red heart and branches. Too, too cute!

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  52. I follow your blogs. I'd love the cute Baby Romper Chunky Squirrel Hand Embroidered Applique Infant Bodysuit

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  53. Congrats to Kimberly: kirbycolby at gmail dot com -- YOU WON! We will be in touch soon!

    ReplyDelete

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