Market Bags

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Farmers Market season is upon us! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to have fresh local produce in my kitchen. I know it won’t be for a few months, but I can’t wait for fresh tomatoes!

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Inspired by the local market in Salem every Thursday, I have been working on a line of 100% cotton market bags. They’re incredibly stretchy and have a durable strap. Best part is they go right in the wash!

Do you have a favorite local market you enjoy?

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Patterns by Patti: Crochet Cloche Hat with Bow

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I am so excited to share this crochet pattern with you. Patti at Color My World Crochet has published her Cloche Hat with Bow pattern and it’s available for purchase! Patti had asked me to test out the pattern for her, and I was delighted with the result. The bow adds a nice girly touch and dresses up any cold weather outfit. I have gotten so many compliments on this hat and three of my coworkers have already requested I make them these hats as well!

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One of the occasions I have worn this hat has been commuting to work. This day was kind of chilly, kind of rainy, you know typical New England. This particular day, it wouldn’t decide if it wanted to rain or not, and it was a little windy. I also oddly decided to break in a pair of new shoes (and I now have the blisters to prove it…)

*This is an awkward outfit post* I never really have done an official outfit post on the blog before, so here goes nothing. I was feeling inspired by the lovely Boston Bloggers :)

 

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Hat: Color My World Crochet

Top: Modcloth

Coat: Coach(older)

Bag: Tory Burch

Shoes: LK Bennett

Pants: No Idea

 

The hat requires a couple skeins of bulky yarn, and the difficulty is easy. You should know a few basic crochet stitches. It’s okay if you are unfamiliar with them, because Patti has provided some great links for tutorials. click here for the link to purchase the pattern

 

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Thank you to Patti for providing me with this crochet pattern.

 

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This Spring I Will…

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Yellow Cotton Yarn

I always like to make a seasonal list for myself. While making this one, I realized there are no typical “spring activities”. I guess spring is just a time for regrowth and to get your body and mind back in sync.

Here is what I have:

Take more walks
Eat outside more
Give the apartment a spring cleaning
Start wearing more colors (because all of my clothes are black)
Make fresh smoothies for breakfast
Regularly practice yoga
Organize my closet

 

I also cannot wait to design more accessories! I am planning on making a line of cotton farmers market bags. I love the idea of having an eco friendly bag to use while picking out the freshest produce. I love feeling inspired!

A New Chapter Has Begun

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In the past month, a lot has changed in the world of Salem Style. Mid February, I accepted a new full time position and completely changed my career, as well as my lifestyle. I went from working 55+ hours a week selling cars at a dealership on the North Shore, to a 9-5 opportunity in Boston’s financial district.

 

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Traveling into Boston every day is something that I am enjoying now that I have the hang of it. I am a very anxious person and I really didn’t think I would be brave enough for this change. I am thankful for the big push outside of my comfort zone. And for the first time in my career, I feel like I am a part of something bigger.

 

The change has been one of the biggest for me in the past few years. It is the first position in which I now take the commuter rail, and leave my car in its little parking spot. The normal hours now have given me time to focus more on my blog as well as my Etsy shop, which has been great. This whole change has also inspired me for blog post ideas, as well as new item ideas for the shop. Having nights and weekends off has allowed me to reconnect to my friends and family, as well as allow me time to do activities I enjoy.

 

Salem Style is going to be better than ever. This spring and summer I am going to be inspired and create more crocheted accessories and I am going to live life. I can’t wait!

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Five Favorites: Statement Necklaces

Statement necklaces are everywhere! They are very colorful and can be a bit over the top, but they are versatile and change the whole mood of any outfit. I thought it would be such a fun idea to add a statement necklace to my jewelry collection. I noticed that a lot of my closet contains basic pieces, and just the idea of adding a little color and sparkle sounds like a fun idea.

While I have not made a purchase yet, these have been some of my favorites that I have found.

 

Crystal Jewel Choker Necklace - Chic wish

Crystal Jewel Choker Necklace – Chic wish

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Mint Gold and Crystal Statement Necklace – icravejewels

Braid and the Beautiful Necklace - Charming Charlie

Braid and the Beautiful Necklace – Charming Charlie

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MARINE CONTESSA BIB – Bauble Bar

Braided Necklace - Panacea Nordstrom

Braided Necklace – Panacea Nordstrom

 

So many to choose from! With all of the styles and colors, I am definitely overwhelmed. :)

Spring is Coming!

Can you feel it? We’re already cruising along through March. I have been so excited to be making my new accessories for spring! Because spring weather can be temperamental, you will still need a cute headband to keep your ears warm.

Here are some of the newest items in my shop, as well as some designs I am working on.

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I am playing around with the idea of Mason Jar Cozies as well. What do you think??

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Etsy Seller Interview: On3 Designs

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When it started becoming the holiday season in 2012, I first found out about Etsy’s holiday bootcamp. Julie and I found each other and thought we would make a great team to help improve each other’s shop. Julie has been incredibly helpful and I always enjoy running ideas past her. Although I have never met Julie in person, I am glad to call her a friend!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

For about 15 years, I sewed clothing, made curtains and special event dresses for myself and others part time.   I constantly heard “Do you sell your stuff on Etsy?  You should.”   They were so right!  And when I had the opportunity to start my business, I officially launched On 3 Designs in April of 2012.  Etsy was the first place I sold items to customers outside of friends and family.  Then I was hooked!

Where does your inspiration come from? 

Inspiration sneaks up on me sometimes but many times its from color, animals and architecture, which is reflected in the collection.  You’ll see lots of bold shades, patterns (do you see the fish scales?) and graphic prints.  My sketch book overflows with pictures and drawings.  More than a lifetime’s worth of material!

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How does your personal style influence your business? 

My personal style mantra, much like my grandmother’s, is “I wear it because I like it”.   I love to collect clothing, hats and jewelry that have been passed on from my family members and incorporate them with items that I’ve bought over the years.   I even have items “saved” for my daughter.  My business mission is to create accessories for women that have a curated wardrobe like mine.   I want them to feel like they are adding a piece to their collection too!

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

Transitioning from corporate America to make my hobby a business is a huge personal accomplishment.  I am grateful for my previous experiences and use many of the best practices I learned and skills I developed through the years to run my handmade business every day.   I used to sit at my desk dreaming of the day I could start my business full time.

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What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

I think getting found is one of the most common and toughest challenges on Etsy.  People that I meet in person expect me to have an Etsy shop and will often go to the site to make a purchase.  But, making the connection with your customer through Etsy search is much more difficult.  I try to make sure my titles, tags, descriptions speak to my customer to help make the connection possible.

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Connect with other sellers.  It really helps to have someone else to turn to with questions and ask for feedback, etc.  I met Lianna (the one and only from Salem Style) in 2012 during Etsy’s holiday boot camp.  We attended the online labs and discussed our plans for making improvements to our shops.  It was great to have the support from someone going through the same process.  Best part is we still check in with each other from time to time!

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What are your plans for the future?

Grow and expand!  I’d like to continue to grow my Etsy business.  I love knowing that Etsy has turned On 3 Designs into an international business over the past year…that is so cool!   To better satisfy my customers, I’d like to continue adding new, unique products such more fiber jewelry and clothing options made from my hand printed fabrics.

Be sure to check out On3 Designs: https://www.etsy.com/shop/On3Designs

Etsy Seller Interview: Baltimore Bauble

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Lynsey and I have known each other for about 8 years now! We went to college together, became roommates, and still to this day, we remain friends. I miss her so much because she is in Baltimore, but I know she is having a great time. We both decided that after college, we were going to live somewhere new from our hometown. I have a necklace that Lynsey made for me for my 21st birthday and I love it. I am so excited that she has opened her own shop on Etsy. I wish her nothing but success :)

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy?

I decided to open an Etsy shop because everyone who saw the pieces i made for friends and family said i should sell. It was always something I thought I might do and I had sold pieces in my mom’s Interior Design studio before and it was well received. So Etsy seemed like the logical next step!

Where does your inspiration come from?

I took a break from making jewelry to focus on my “day job” and my inspiration to get back into it stems from my residents at my job. I work with mostly dementia and stroke patients, I began making jewelry with them as a form of therapy. They ran with it and now they wish we made jewelry everyday so I naturally, i was inspired to get back into it in my spare time.

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What are your favorite materials to work with?
As far as inspiration for my individual pieces? I get inspired by the individual stones and anything that is going to create movement in a piece as well as my pet hedgehog Amy :)
How does your personal style influence your business?
Turquoise and coral color are one of my all time favorite combinations. I like the rough look that turquoise offers. I also love to work with chain, I think it has more of an impact then a simple beaded bracelet.I’m a loud, quirky, and colorful person. I think the jewelry I make reflects that. I wear a lot of colorful scarves and I love how that looks with a nice pair of earrings so that might be where my brain is when i’m making these statement earrings!
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What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?
Participating at a Small Business Saturday Event. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as SBS and I participated in a vendor fair with other small businesses to remind people that Small Businesses matter!
What are your toughest challenges so far?
My toughest challenge so far is learning the art of internet selling. I’ve sold pieces in person many times and breaking into the internet has been a new experience but i’m excited about it and what it will bring for the future.
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What are your plans for the future?
I would love to in the future grow my business to add a portion that focuses on traveling to senior communities and teaching jewelry making. I think they find so much joy in making something themselves that I want to spread that past just the one community I work in!
Be Sure to check out Baltimore Bauble at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BaltimoreBauble

Blog Better Boston: Hub Links

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These local bloggers were chosen by Blog Better Boston’s guest curator, Holly of Holly Dolly to represent the best of the best "handmade" posts this week.

Show these blogs some love:

  • Don’t want to go out? Rules for the Modern Girl shows how she replicates her favorite fish tacos at home.
  • This girl must have an amazing handmade wardrobe. Oh, She Dabbles shows off two of her most recent makes.
  • Styled By Jess shares a super simple and quick way to make your own thank you cards.
  • Make your fish (or chicken) dishes go from ‘eh’ to ‘yum!’. A Lovely Life Indeed shares her mother in-law’s secret.
  • Salem Style’s Etsy interview series is so lovely! Find out what she learned about Witch City Wicks candles.
  • Looking for a quick update to tired clothing and accessories? Put a stud on it! Style Wire shows you how.

Want to be featured in the next edition? Sign up for the {hub}LINKS newsletter and submit your posts!

Etsy Seller Interview: Shop Holly Dolly

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I have been reading Holly’s blog for some time now. I discovered Holly Dolly when I reached out to the Boston Blogger community. Holly has such great style and it didn’t surprise me that she was also incredibly creative. My eye was attracted to the esthetics of Holly’s blog because it is very refreshing and modern. It’s design is very chic, and her pictures are always beautiful. (Plus she has an adorable cat, Henry). I had the pleasure of meeting Holly at the Boston Bloggers’ Meet and Greet this past December at Warehouse Boston. Holly is just as sweet in person as you she seems in her writing. I am delighted I have the chance to feature her!

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy?

My shop has actually changed and evolved quite a bit. When I first opened it, I had just graduated with a degree in Fashion Design and wanted to sell some of the clothing that I had made here and there. And I’m a maker and a crafter. I’m always making something. So somewhere along the line it slowly evolved from clothing to accessories to jewelry. And that’s where I’m at today :)

Where does your inspiration come from?

Honestly, a lot of it just comes from experimenting with the supplies that I have. But I sometimes I’ll see something in Anthro or some place similar, and it will just dawn on me that I could make something similar. Or even better.

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How does your personal style influence your business?

Well, my biggest sellers are my bow necklaces and hair clips. And those both came about just because I LOVE bows. Seriously, my personal style could be summed up with just the word ‘bows’. And honestly, I would never make or sell anything in my shop that I wouldn’t wear myself. I do wear my own jewelry all the time, actually!

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

I was recently asked where the farthest has been that I’ve shipped an order too. And I’ve shipped to Denmark, Sweden, Japan, and Australia. I think that’s pretty cool!

I’m also pretty proud of the fact that, because of my Etsy shop, I’ve been able to sell my jewelry in a few different local shops. Currently, I have a display in Crompton Collective in Worcester, MA.

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What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

Exposure can be a challenge sometimes. There are so many people, and so many amazing shops on Etsy, so getting yourself seen and heard takes some work. Having my own blog helps, as well as advertising with fellow bloggers. But I’ve also recently started getting back into making Etsy treasuries. It’s actually a lot of fun to make them. And a lot of people will return the favor and make a treasury themselves featuring an item of yours, which equals more exposure. And who knows, if you’re lucky maybe one of those treasuries will make the front page :)

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Good photos are important! Invest in a good camera and learn how to use it. Good product photos goes a long way.

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What are your plans for the future?

I really like working with leather. So I’m thinking of perhaps adding things like little pouches and clutches. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll start selling clothing again :)

Be sure to check out Holly Dolly at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopHollyDolly