Our first featured seller is Tawny B of Tawny Bee from Winnipeg, Manitoba!
Tawny's shop is a wonderful mix of children's accessories, geekery and mama products.
Creativity runs in her family! Of her creative process Tawny says:
"I get my creativeness from both my mother and my father. My mother is an incredible seamstress and taught me how to sew at a young age. My dad designs buildings and that's where I get my design sensibility. I love mixing these two characteristics (sewing and designing) into the pieces I make for my shop."
As does running a business. Tawny share's her business role models:
"Running a business for me is hereditary. My great grandparents owned a gift shop back in my hometown (Lethbridge, Alberta) called Hong Kong Imports. My grandparents owned a Chinese Food Restaurant. And my dad owns his own home design business. They are all my role models. They taught me that I wasn't crazy for having a dream to create something and to pay careful attention to detail. They inspire me everyday to try new things and keep working. And maybe they taught me that people in my family are too stubborn to work for someone else? hehehe. Sometimes being a stubborn hard head has its advantages!"
On getting started on her business Tawny says a gift from her husband got her going:
"I am a stay at home mom and although that keeps me very busy, I found that I was losing a bit of myself in being "just mommy." My husband bought me a sewing machine for my birthday when my son was almost a year old. He knew that I had enjoyed sewing when I was younger and thought a sewing machine was a great gift. He was right! I rewarded him by making him Tux the Linux Penguin (he's kind of a computer geek). Tux became the first and, to this day, most popular item in my Etsy store. I found Etsy when a friend of mine suggested I sell my little penguin creation online and suggested Etsy."
Creating trumps business in Tawny's world:
"I love the designing and creating. The promotion, shipping and money stuff all take a back seat to the creative process. I like to create whatever my heart desires first and foremost. Of course, not all of those items turn out well, or even get sold in my shop, but I love trying to create something new and fun."
Sometimes our customers truly make the ups and downs worthwhile. Tawny shares one of her favourite sales experiences:
"In November of 2009 I received an Etsy conversation from a customer in California who loved the moccasin slippers that I make for children. She wanted one of the pairs that I had in my shop in a different size for her daughter's Christmas present. I said that was no problem because I had enough materials to create another pair. Then she said that her other daughter was obsessed with horses and she just happened to have the perfect fabric for a pair of moccasins. Would I mind if she sent the fabric and I could sew them for her? Cool! The fabric arrived along with foot tracings of both daughters (so I could fit them perfectly). What an awesome experience to make a custom fitted order for two very happy girls on Christmas morning!"
When not creating for her shop and being a Mom, Tawny keeps busy learning:
"I'm always trying to learn new creative things. Right now, I'm working on learning the lost art of Macramé. It's been going pretty slowly, but it's given me a new appreciation for how things are put together. It's also taught me how to design a more detailed pattern, which believe it or not has helped me immensely with designing sewing patterns as well. Maybe I ought to take up painting next? Or archery? :D"
To see all of Tawny's fabulous creations visit Tawnybee.etsy.com and from now until June 9th, use the coupon code: TCETFEATURE2011 for a 10% discount of your purchase.
Other places you can find Tawny B:
Thanks for sharing Tawny!