Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The SteamTeam is Going to Sunnyvale!

As a team, SteamTeam is still a fairly new group, still growing and learning. This leads to a lot of exciting firsts, and this weekend will mark a huge one! The Etsy SteamTeam will be having its first group sales event!
The team will be vending as a group, at Steampowered, a steampunk convention being held in Sunnyvale, CA Friday Oct. 31st - Sunday Nov. 2nd.

Members have mailed their work to the organizers, who will be manning a group of tables at the convention, and selling team members work. So members from far off places, like, say, the East Coast, can join us in spirit and show their work at one for the first Conventions of its kind!

In addition to the group tables, and entire section of the Dealers Hall will be occupied by individual Team members who will have tables of their own. This makes the SteamTeam the single largest presence in the entire hall!

Members represented on the group table include:,,,,,,,,,,

If you're in attendance, come see us and say hi! Just look for the SteamTeam banner!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Grandma Was A Floozy

Name: Evie Manieri
Shop Name: Grandma Was A Floozy
Shop Link:
Location: New York City
Ships To: Everywhere

What inspires you?
Stories inspire me more than anything else, and in many forms. I'm fascinated by the way pieces of information somehow converge into a narrative. I love the stories that people tell, and the stories that emerge from people's lives. When I create something, it's with the idea that it's going to become a part of someone else's narrative, of their story. I find a modest but meaningful kind of immortality in that.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy?
I listed my first pieces in October, 2007. At first I only had a few of the long scarves, and they didn't seem to attract too much attention. But when I listed the long cuffs that have since become my signature piece, I started to see lots more hits, and soon I was making sales.

Is this a job for you or a hobby?
I consider it a job, although it's not profitable enough to be my only job. I'd love that to be true someday, but the daunting amount of time it takes to create my pieces makes that very difficult, unless I were to significantly raise prices. I'm trying to find ideas that will help me grow the business and make it more profitable, but without sacrificing my intimate connection to the work.

How did you get into your craft?
I've always wanted to "make things". When I was a little girl I spent hours and hours in our damp (and creepy) basement, tinkering around with tools and bottles and jars of things that I had been expressly forbidden to touch. (The basement door creaked, so I always had fair warning!) Every Christmas I asked for crafting kits and supplies. I learned to embroider when I was about eight, and I did that for years and years. When I became pregnant with my daughter about six years ago, I decided to learn to knit. Of course I became completely obsessed. Then one day in the craft store, buying yarn, I saw a pattern book for the most intricate and impossibly fussy crocheted doilies. I bought the book on the spot, along with a steel crochet hook, and a ball of thread. Then I found a web tutorial on how to crochet, picked the most complicated doily in the book, and got to work. It was an utterly ridiculous project to start out on, but a little overconfidence can go a long way! I must have pulled out that first one a hundred times, but when it was finished, I sure knew how to crochet.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?
Think long and hard about pricing your items! It's much easier to lower prices and have sales than it is to raise prices. Pricing is very tough, as you'll see if you spend any time at all in the Etsy forums. I've found that having a memorable shop name has served me very well. And personally, I find that shops with a particular focus make the best impression on me. I get very excited when I find a shop that does one very specific and unlikely thing - like a shop that only sells cravats. I mean, really - cravats! I think that kind of dedication deserves to be rewarded.

What do you love about Steampunk?
I love that steampunk honors and rewards ingenuity, creativity, and craftsmanship. Of course I love the strong narrative aspect of the characters that people create, and the way their objects, inventions, and dress are such an integral part of that narrative. But what I love most is that Steampunk rejects the idea that objects are necessarily mass-produced and disposable. In Steampunk, everything we touch or that touches us is precious, the product of human hands and minds, and worthy of our care and respect. And that challenges us to treat ourselves and each other with that same degree of respect.

Anything else you would like to add?
Steamteam rocks!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Atelier Choklit: Adornments for Tarts

Name: Choklit Chanteuse
Shop Name: Atelier Choklit: Adornments for Tarts
Shop Link:
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Ships To: Anywhere at all!

What inspires you?

Oh, so many lovely things! I'm absolutely inspired by the textures and colors and quality of my materials - sometimes I wonder if I didn't start all this just so I could buy excessive amounts of luxurious ribbons and shiny things.

I'm inspired by my dearest friends and family, the people I love who surround me, many of whom are just as shameless about their appreciation for ridiculously fine costuming as I am, and who endlessly inspire me to new heights of beauty in the things I make by being so inventive, gorgeous, and stunningly creative themselves.

I also sing in a rock band, so I'm inspired by constantly coming up with new things to wear on-stage as a tribal neo-Victorian quirky rock diva.

I'm inspired by soiled doves and seductive mermaids, sideshow freaks and street thieves, by secretive alchemists and elegant dandies, by traveling minstrels and ladies of ill repute, by gypsy puppeteers and mad poets, burlesque dancers and absinthe drinkers and airship pirates and workshop tinkerers.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy?

I joined Etsy as a buyer in 2006, but listed my first item for sale in May of this year, 2008. Not long!

Is this a job for you or a hobby?

I have a full-time day job, so it's definitely not a job, but it's more than a hobby. I'm one of those crafters who is driven to squeeze in my sewing and beading late at night after the days' work and band practice is done. It's something of a constant juggling act. How I long for a 24-hour craft store to fill my midnight crafting needs!! And just one more free day in each week, please?

How did you get into your craft?

I've been a maker of things for as long as I can remember. As I child I spent countless hours painstakingly hand-sewing miniature Victorian ball-gowns for my dollhouse dolls and making up inappropriate risqué stories about them, which I found far more satisfying than playing house with those same dolls. By the age of twelve I had discovered beads and was selling beaded jewelry at local crafts fairs. I've always loved to do tiny and detailed work with my hands, and I love especially to make things out of beautiful materials. For many years I sewed and beaded only for myself and for friends, and it wasn't until about eight months ago that the current manifestation of my craftiness came about.

For years I had been making Victorian and Edwardian - inspired costumes for myself, and people kept telling me I should sell them. But I knew there was no way that I could make that sustainable on top of a full-time job, and that the amount of time I put into making each costume rendered them virtually impossible to do for someone else without charging an unmentionable sum. I had rather recently discovered and fallen in love with the Etsy community and was overtaken by a desire to be more than a consumer in it. So I started thinking about what small piece of my aesthetic, and my love of neo-Victorian costuming, I could re-create and share with others on Etsy... and the idea for the adornments was born. Once I realized that I could justify collecting more and more pretty ribbons and jewels and feathers if I kept making things for the shop, I was hooked.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?

Take really beautiful pictures. That's what draws me to a shop more than any other single thing. On the level playing field of the Etsy interface, really stunning photos will make me look twice. And definitely get involved in the Etsy community, that's the most rewarding part! The more active you are, the more exposure your shop gets, so get out there and make some great connections.

What do you love about Steampunk?

I love the hybrid nature and cultural fusion of the Steampunk aesthetic, which allows for all sorts of delightful freedoms when creating costumes, environments, and stories - there's magic in that melding of the historic and the futuristic.

I've always been an inhabitant of the places where the sub-cultures intersect - a boundary dweller, one might say. I love taking pieces of vintage circus and vaudeville couture, the style of Burning Man, tribal cultures, Gothic Lolita and neo-Victorian fashion, and mashing them all up into one un-classifiable freaky aesthetic. So Steampunk was a natural fit when I realized it was all about re-imagining the refined but somewhat restrictive style of the Victorian age, which I've always loved - but through the lens of technology and modern progressive thinking, with a dash of adventure.

I also adore the Steampunk movement's appreciation for hand-crafted things, the challenge to mass-produced and homogenized culture, the individuality that comes out when people strive to make truly original artwork and designs. I love to see what is born of that passion for making things by hand.

Oh yes, and corsets and goggles. I can't get enough of either - and when worn in combination... *sigh*.

Anything else you would like to add?
I'm quite honored to be part of such an active and madly talented team as the Steam Team, and I'm so grateful for all of the connections and new friendships with like-minded souls that being part of the team has afforded me. Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Winona Cookie Creations

Name: Ramona Szczerba
Shop Name: Winona Cookie Creations
Shop Link:
Location: San Diego, CA
Ships To: Anywhere

What inspires you? Honestly what inspires me most is people who like my art. Sometimes I feel like I'm giving form to what's in your heads, because I don't know where half of this stuff comes from! I create worlds I'd like to live in inhabited by people and creatures I'd like to meet. That said, I'm very inspired by other artists and I particularly appreciate the art nouveau genre, in general, and Alphonse Mucha in particular. I also am a huge fan of Ed Gorey, Maurice Sendak and many other illustrators. As far as my craft goes, I find great supplies inspiring. I have a studio crammed with fascinating little items that make realizing my pieces such a blast and help create really special results!

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? Since January 2008, so not even a year yet!

Is this a job for you or a hobby? It's both. I am a practicing psychologist, but I only see patients 3 days per week. I've been simultaneously doing design and illustration work for many years. I also design figurines for a large collectibles company, and do other commissioned art (such as portraiture) and commissioned illustration.

How did you get into your craft? I've always been an artist, but working in the steampunk genre with the collage work I am doing is very recent. I had been doing collage cards and other pieces for a while, but when I opened my Etsy shop, the steampunk pieces came out of nowhere and they have taken over my life a little bit! My other art genres can be seen on my website, or on Flickr:

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? I doubt my sales numbers are the envy of anyone, but I'll give it a shot... I believe we, as artists, dictate the value of our work - not many professions get to work that kind of magic, so I would say don't undervalue your talent and your time. Really think about whether you are capable/want to do volume business, or whether you want to sell fewer pieces (maybe less often) for higher prices. Selling on Etsy is a lot of work - just because someone will buy something from you for 10 bucks doesn't mean it's worth your time to sell it for that. Best piece of Etsy advice I've gotten? If you don't have an expensive item in your shop, you can't sell one.

What do you love about steampunk? What DON'T I love about steampunk! Like a lot of people, I feel like steampunk is a conglomeration of aesthetics and ideas that I have been drawn to my whole life, like everything I ever loved or thought was SO COOL ended up in one place, meaningfully integrated. It's complete fantasy embodied, operationalized and lived, and that's very magical. I love the sense of community as well, and who I find in it. I was at Comic Con this year in my getup and I could see other people, similarly attired, their eyes skimming along the crowd for the fellow top hats, goggles, waistcoats - and then they'd meet each others eyes, nod a greeting and grin. It was really neat.

What else to add? I have really appreciated the support and the camaraderie of the SteamTeam. I'm not a big joiner, I'm an introvert, but this is an amazingly warm, talented and FUNNY group and I am very proud to be a part of it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gabriella Lucretia

Shop Name: Gabriella Lucretia- The shop is named after my 12 year old daughter. Just so I don't slight the others, I have 2 other children Donovan and Brandon.
Shop Link:
Location: Beautiful San Clemente, California
Ships to: United States but I have shipped to Australia and Canada, so anywhere is negotiable

What Inspires you? First myself and then fashion. Most important to me is that I wouldn't make anything that I wouldn't wear myself. Second, is I love fashion. It gives you the ability to define yourself with your clothes, accessories, and style. You can be as individualistic or conforming as you want purely with what you wear. I love that. If we all walked around naked what a very boring world it would be.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? Opened in April 2008 and my first sale was in May

Is this a job or a hobby? Lucky for me I have a graduate degree in a medical field that has served me well for many years. So this Etsy adventure, is just that, an adventure. But, I love every minute of it and know it will be a full time career for me someday.

How did you get into your craft? Well, many, many moons ago I was going to go to fashion design school in NYC but things like fear of leaving home, kids at a young age, etc., kind of derailed me, so I took another road. So I have always been creative and 'crafty' but only as a hobby. I have had many creative phases in my life. My most favorite phases has been sewing costumes, making leather purses, and currently re purposing vintage jewelry.

Do I have any advice for fellow shop owners?: It sounds so very cliche but sometimes that is the best advice. Make whatever you love to make! Then be positive and happy with it, be patient, and the buyers will find you. It's a big universe with lots of unique individuals, sometimes it just takes time to find you.

What do you love about steampunk? It's funny because steampunk found me. That's because, I like to take vintage pieces, mostly antique and Victorian brass and reinvent them with things you can wear with today's fashion which in a sense is the essence of steampunk.

Of course to purists, steampunk is more blending of the Victorian past and a technological future but that's a whole other blog.

I just love steampunk because it's about reinvention.

Anything else you would like to add?: The Etsy Steam Team is a great group of eclectic, very intelligent, supportive and talented artists. I don't think I could have opened my shop without the support of everyone in the group. Thanks everyone!!!! Donna (my real name)

Monday, September 1, 2008


Shop Name: GrenadineBijoux
Shop Link:
Location: For now, Kansas City, Mo.
Ships To: Anywhere the government will let me. I love the concept of One on One International trade. Damn the postal rates! Who ARE those people?

What inspires you?
That's a big list.
Clockworks and clock cases, antique clothing, the idea of time travel, astral travel, reincarnation,everlasting life of spirits, poets, circuses, the history of design, nature, Magick,deja vu, and the materials..all of my life I've gotten most of my ideas just from handling the materials I used. The associations that they have with the things listed above, usually surface then. I don't plan very much of my work. It just kind of births itself. Makes me sound like a bit of a Mothership, but mebbe I am.

I get a big buzz from looking at New Orleans' brick moss too for some reason. MIcrocosms? Living in New Orleans, (before Katrina shot me out of her cannon), impacted my work in a long lasting, introspective way. It was a constant source of inspiration to me. I was really in touch with who I am down there.

Plus a 2003 Polish Bros. Film> Northfork>the angels..their costumes woke me up to steampunk without being labeled as such. I had an epiphany of sorts when I saw them. I was choked for words when I saw gadgets and contraptions so holistically incorporated into them. "that's that THING!", I kept saying over and over.

The punk cirque buskars of New Orleans. They have a vision for costumery that is endlessly inspiring. They really put the notion of recycling via reUSE into action. If you're ever in the Bywater neighborhood, in the upper 9th ward, keep your eye on who rides by on bikes..they appear and disappear like faeries, but you'll see them.

Victorian stage magic. The theatrics of it..the gas lamps on stage, the tuxedo, the corseted assistant. I love it all. My father was Harry Blackstone Sr.'s apprentice,when he was young, so I grew up hearing Harry's stories about the old magicians from the Victorian era, retold at the dinner table.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy?
I have two Etsy shops that have only been open a few months. I opened first, then when it became apparent that my jewelry undertakings were overtaking my little found objects emporium, I opened GrenadineBijoux a few months afterwards. So, I'm still relatively new to Etsy.
I signed up as a buyer long before I began to think of it as a viable selling format.

I had been listing jewelry on ebay, and had developed a following before Katrina. I was slowly rebuilding that,post K., when I was encouraged by a friend and fellow Etsian, to sell on Etsy.
I'd become, like so many people, disenchanted with Ebay's fees and red tape, so, I moved, and started over again! It's such a user friendly format, I'm happy to be part of it.

Is this a job for you or a hobby?
I'm not fond of the word hobby, it sounds like you either, aren't serious about what you do, or that it's a little obsession you have. For me, jewelry assembly is another part of my full time art studio, Gypsy Tinker Arts, where I make paintings, box art, shrine art, murals, and jewelry. I've been running my studio full time without a devoted 8 hr. "day job" since 1994.

I wouldn't say that making jewelry is the primary focus of GTA, but it's becoming a bigger part of it. I still prefer one of a kind pieces that I can intuit the designs for, as I go along.
If the rent depended only upon the finding of discarded broken jewelry, and my manufacturing each piece on a deadline, I'm sure I'd have to do it differently, but since the rent depends upon my other love of painting, I'm still free to be more personally invested in each piece of jewelry.

How did you get into your craft?
My father, who was a stage magician his whole life, liked by sparkly things, (I think it goes with the territory), and he could draw like no one I've seen since. He invented his own tricks, and built all of his own equipment, so since he was an artist too, he always had a pair of needle nose pliers in his hand tinkering with chains and pendants, and a pencil because he was constantly sketching ideas with me. He even had a small jewelry shop for a little while. He taught me to draw perspective at age four. He was a multi-talented intriguing figure,and he passed away way too soon. I still have so many ideas I need to talk over with him. I have to give him credit where his credit is due. He was a driving force for me creatively. He died in 1993, and to this day I still unconsciously reach for the phone to call him with a question, or to tell him that a painting sold. Making the things we wanted was just a way of life for us, so I would have to say that I got into my craft pretty much without realizing it was happening. Born to it, whether I meant to be, or not, I guess you'd say.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?
Be true to your own vision, because your following will develop over time. It's too tempting to jump on a popular trend, and hope it brings satisfaction and prosperity. Thing is, it just makes you into "another one" doing the same things other people are doing.
Make what YOU want to wear, or see on YOUR muse, or in YOUR living space.
Think about what YOU want to say. Ultimately, you have to live with your own voice, not someone else's, or you won't recognize yourself anymore.
Strive everyday to push your expectations of your craft one step higher than your last one. Even baby steps count. You'll be amazed by the positive way people will respond to your
loyalty to yourself, and to your individuality.

What do you love about Steampunk?
Everything. During the Industrial Revolution, big thinking was in vogue again. I think that's why designers of this era have embraced this genre like they have. Big thinking is in vogue again NOW too. The notion that we can look to an object like a tiny GEAR, and see SO many other things in it's symbolism is pretty magickal. (everybody say OM )

I also like the slightly anarchistic verve with which Steamers appreciate art, history, literature, music, and adventure. It's street theatre, and it's got costuming integrity. It's the marriage of form and function that was so hotly debated a century ago. I love attention to detail, and I love artists who raise the bar for each other. I've found all of that in this genre. When I see an artist who does good work, unique work, it makes me try harder to improve my craft. And it isn't just about jewelry! There are so many avenues it can take. It's mimicking a Victorian life that never existed except in the imaginations of brilliant people. It can go anywhere.

Anything else you would like to add?
An additional 12 hours to each day, a personal chef, an assistant who'll work for free, and a time machine you can hold in your hand. Somebody should contact Apple. That might be how we could get those 12 hours back. :) Oh, and I'd like to add the return of the nonstop direct flight by air travel. I hate connecting flights.
Oh! You mean to this article! No, not really. More is enough :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Frozen In Time Contest

The SteamTeam has a contest running for it's member's creations that have to do with them theme "Frozen in Time"

The Contest is open to EVERYONE, if you are not a member of the time, we would still LOVE for you to vote! There are a lot of great entries!

You can click on the entries to see the Etsy listing, see more pictures and the listing!

If you have a moment please come by and VOTE!

Thank you!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Name: Madelyn Smoak
Shop Name: MadArtjewelry
Shop Link:
Location: The Triangle area of NC
Ships To:Everywhere

What inspires you?
Objects inspire me. When I get a fresh shipment of found objects or watch parts something will catch my eye and I will start pulling out other pieces from my vast and growing inventory. Then I let these items visit together in a composing area over a few days and they sort of gravitate toward each other until it looks like something I want to make. Although often a trip to the flea market will get me so excited I will come home and have to make something immediately.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy?
I started my shop on November 20, 2007.

Is this a job for you or a hobby?
I would say neither. It is more of a passion. I am driven to make things and have been since I was a child. Many of my earliest memories are of making stuff.

How did you get into your craft?
I am a former Art major (painting!) and have always had a creative side to my life, from fiber to 2-D work. I got into metal fairly recently-only about 6 years ago. I had been making beaded jewelry and wanted to be able to create components for my work. Since then the metal has just taken over.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?
My personal philosophy is that I only list things I would want to buy.

What do you love about Steampunk?
The steampunk aesthetic closely matches my personal aesthetic. Worn brass with a patina of age makes my heart beat faster and
I also love the aspect of it that the simple mechanisms that served us so well in the past can still be appreciated and enjoyed. Getting to play with all the wonderful old found objects to make jewelry is just such a pleasure!

Anything else you would like to add?
Being a member of the Etsy Steamteam has been a wonderful experience. So much energy, support and creativity in one place!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Front Page Treasury

Late night on August 22nd the Steam Team was featured as an Etsy front page treasury! The treasury was curated by Cognitive Creations and featured the following artists;

As well as other members of Etsy that have steampunk goodies! Congratulations to our members that got on the Front Page! I hope it generated some sales for you!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Designs by Victoria/Miss Victoria’s Vintage

Name: Victoria Shaffer
Shop Name: Designs by Victoria/Miss Victoria’s Vintage
Shop Link:
Location: Tukwila, WA
Ships To: Everywhere, although international customers should contact me for shipping costs before purchasing.

What inspires me?

I’ve been an avid reader since I can remember. It’s my mother’s fault. She was reading me the Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit before I could do so myself, and no matter what there was always the money for a new book. She was a librarian, and I’d go with her to work all summer long and spend the entire day curled up in a book cubby with the stack of the day. So I’m always dreaming of fantastical far away places and the people who inhabit them.

It’s hard to pinpoint one area or idea as a single source of inspiration. My subconscious is my greatest ally. It remembers little things that I see or read, and little things that I’ve got stashed away here and there, and when I’m in that grey netherland between wide awake and either falling asleep or waking up, suddenly *poof* all the pieces come together and there’s a grand idea. It plays havoc with my sleep patterns, but I consider it to be all in a good cause. Most of these ideas end up improbable to make into reality, but the process of trying is so much fun that I don’t mind, and I absolutely love taking random odd bits and bobs and making them into a unified piece.

How long have you had your Etsy shop?

I created the profile for my Designs by Victoria shop in February of 2007, but it took me about 8 months to actually start listing pieces. My vintage shop was just begun at the beginning of August, as I’ve got this terrible habit of picking up fascinatingly nifty stuff at yard and estate sales and thrift stores and such, when I’m supposed to be looking only for supplies.

Is this a job?

This is currently a hobby, although it would be fantastic to be able to make it my job. I’d love to be working for myself, but I’m in a tough crowd, as jewelry is a very populated category. That’s why I’ve begun branching out into a few other areas, like photography.

How did you get into your craft?

In college, I was working in a little boutique in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and we got in some new merchandise, some wine glasses with wire-wrapped stems. I didn’t think they were very well done, and apparently I voiced this opinion one too many times to my coworker, because one day she told me “Like you could do any better!” I took this as a challenge, and a month later presented my boss with some of my own work. The store sold my work for the rest of my stay in the city. When I decided to make a go of this as a business, I realized that I needed a bit more variety of wares, so I began the jewelry making, and nowadays that’s my main line, as the jewelry is so much easier to transport. I am starting to work on costuming pieces as well, with hats and parasols being my main love, and this year for the first time started showing some of my digital photography.

I love variety, so you’ll find many completely different styles in my shop, with lots of one of a kind pieces. I love the creation process, so I’m always wanting to try something new, and also don’t want to get into the rut of making the same things over and over again.

For most of my career as a business, I’ve been concentrating mainly on craft shows and fairs, so this world of internet commerce is a strange new beast to me.

What interests me in Steampunk?

I’ve been playing “dress up” for as long as I can remember. My father used to teach theater, and the school bus would drop me off at his office after school. I’d haunt the costume department, and beg fabric scraps from them, and go home and make outfits for my dolls and my model horses (!). For myself, I started first thrift-store costuming, sometimes with alteration, sometimes not, for the pieces I found. About 6 years ago, I bought my first sewing machine and progressed to making my own outfits. What’s completely endeared me to the Steampunk aesthetic when I discovered it was the openness, where your creative imagination is your only limit. Although Victorian is the general time frame, you can also cultivate a style from the 20’s or 40’s, or the 22nd century, and still steam it up.

What advice for new Etsy sellers?

Three simple things:

1) Your shop appearance is very important. Take the time to fill out your profile and shop announcement, as well as the details for each piece you are selling.

2) Don’t undervalue yourself! I see so many artists with amazing work, selling for peanuts. What we do is work, just as much as a job in any other industry. Ask your friends what fair prices are, do research to see what similar items are selling for, and make sure you’re correctly calculating how much in materials you are putting into each piece.

3) If you have questions, ask for advice. There are lots of folks out there who’ve been where you are, and plenty of them will be willing to give you pointers.

Anything else you would like to add?

Create because you love to do so, share it because you delight in inspiring others, and take inspiration from what others love and share with you.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Name: Wenchie (Brettney Perr)
Shop Name:
Wenchie's Sacred Relics
Shop Link:
Location: Los Angeles
Ships To: Everywhere that the items are allowed

What inspires you?
Items of antiquity are first and foremost; I've always harbored a love and awe for the craftsmanship of antique and ancient items, where as they were pieces of art rather then just another thing. (My love for antiquity mainly comes from partially being raised by my great grandparents who came to this country during WW1 from Czechoslovakia.)
Other times I get inspired by going to a museum, the ornate facades of an old building or the sculptures (grave markers) in an old cemetery. However, more so recently the parts that I have laying around inspire me or practically make themselves in a way.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? Wenchie's Sacred Relics since Jan 24, 2008

Is this a job for you or a hobby?
It's a jobby? I don't really have any other steady income right now so it is a job but I'm not really making enough to live off of so I started a supply shop on etsy as well as doing acting and other random craigslist jobs.

How did you get into your craft?
I've always been an artist or crafter of some sort, I have been drawing and doing sketches for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I made dreamcatchers which I also sold, and taught an art class for doing paper mosaics. With getting into making jewelry that started with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Egyptian Jewelry Maker Kit.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?
Do your research on what you've made or are planning to make, so you don't copy someone, and so you can accurately market what you have made to those looking to buy the item. Secondly, keep challenging or reinventing yourself and your techniques to make more ambitious and incredible things that will set you apart from the crowd as an established artist.

What do you love about Steampunk?
I love playing with vintage things and old parts the items that are made now a days don't last for 100 years so I really admire what I'm working with. I really get bored of making the same items over and over again so with the Steampunk genre it basically gives me the "one of a kind" item escape from repetition. I also adore the dress up and character creation aspects of it as well.

Anything else you would like to add?
Don't let your imagination become stale, always push your boundaries and limits to create things you never would have thought you could.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TotusMel Tats

Name: Pamela Quevedo
Shop Name: TotusMel Tats
Shop Link:
Location: Merced, CA
Ships To: Anywhere

What inspires you? I am inspired by a lot of different styles and designs from Gothic and Victorian to simple and modern. I like to start with vintage patterns and turn them into something a little more wearable and unexpected. Other artisans constantly provide me with ideas. I enjoy trying to recreate only styles of jewelry with tatting though sometimes the results are less than spectacular.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? I started on etsy in April of 2006. It is my very first and my only selling experience.

Is this a job for you or a hobby? My job is my two daughters and my family, but my tatting has been slowly gaining momentum as of late and could one day be profitable enough to consider it my job. I would, however, continue to tat for the sheer joy even if I never sold another piece

How did you get into your craft? I'm a lifelong creator of stuff, but I only discovered tatting a few years ago. I taught myself with the aid of the internet and a few books. It began as a much needed break from more time consuming knit and crochet projects, but quickly became my favorite pastime as I began to design my own jewelry and accessories. The versatility of tatting continues to amaze me with each new project.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? While I am no great success story, I have been very happy with my etsy experience. I think it's because I really enjoy what I make and try not to take any rejection too personally. Etsy is a big place and though I'm not a very sociable person, making friends on the forums and in teams has made the experience beyond selling much more enjoyable.

What do you love about Steampunk? I love the dichotomy of the many steampunk genres. While many folk see it as broken watches, gears and keys, I see it as a way for us to find what we like in different eras and styles and mash them together in interesting and amazing ways. It is like creating an alternate reality through fiction and art. To imagine a future, but from the past, is a creative experiment that I for one thoroughly enjoy!

Anything else you would like to add? I would just like to thank all the many creative minds that I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with throughout my etsy adventure. I have had nothing but good experiences with the steamteam and I highly recommend them as sellers and friends!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Figments by Kathleen

Shop Name: Figments by Kathleen
Shop Link:

Location: Indiana
Ships To: Everywhere

What inspires you? I don't think there is any one thing that inspires me. Often I will see or pick up an object and get an idea of what I could do with it. Some pieces just seem to make themselves, others take some prodding.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? I started out on etsy with my first shop just about a year ago. Then in September I opened Figments by Kathleen and turned my other shop (Eclectic Miscellany) into a destash shop.

Is this a job for you or a hobby? I would say it is more of a calling than either a job or a hobby. To me a job is something you have to do to make a living but it isn't necessarily something you enjoy. I do not depend on my etsy income so I suppose it could be called a hobby. But I don't think hobby is really the appropriate word either. I feel the need to create things and hope that others love my creations as much as I do.

How did you get into your craft? I started out doing beadwork. I have done beading off and on since I was a child. About a year ago I was doing so much beading that I ended up having more jewelry than I could ever wear. At that time I read an article in our local paper about etsy and I was hooked. I was constantly exploring new styles and looks and came upon the Steam Punk style and was hooked.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? If you love what you do it shows and others will see the beauty in your work. Don't get stressed out about slow sales right now. The economy sucks (to put it bluntly) and things are slow right now but there will always be a desire for art so just hang in there. Promote yourself locally and on the internet. You can't just sit back and expect people to find you if you don't put yourself out there.

What do you love about Steampunk? I love the aesthetic and the mixing of periods, styles, textures....

Anything else you would like to add? Not off the top of my head. Follow your muse and see what happens.

Monday, July 21, 2008

banbury cross by adicat

Name: adrienne everitt *no capital letters please, for i find the capital a esthetically unpleasant, and i am an improper noun*

Shop Name: banbury cross, art and oddities

Shop Link:

Location: Oakville, Ontario Canada ~ just west of Toronto

Ships To: Anywhere and then some!

What inspires you? Oooh tough question! i would say that my main sources of inspiration are fandom and the natural world. Fandom is the culture that is born out of the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy, comic books, movies, books, television shows... William Morris and the arts and crafts movement are also a really big deal for me, the idea of putting FORM before FUNCTION and reflecting the natural world... There is something so compelling about the idea of an artist's utopia, where people work together to create things of beauty, everything is made for the individual by the individual~ true artisan culture, which is why i think that i am so attracted to Etsy and to the Steam Team.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? Not so long, since just before this past Christmas.

Is this a job for you or a hobby? Another tough question, frankly i have to do this, it is my job, in the sense that this and my work in Fandom and costuming, gives me an identity and a sense of purpose, outside of being a mum. i was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder after much torment, following the birth of my second son. Having always know that i was different, and that things were harder for me emotionally, i got to a point where i had to seek help, eventually it came to a decision between my career in, at the time, retail, and my children, clearly my children needed me more. So that is where my attention is focused. Financially my art helps us have the extras that a double income family would have, as it is just me and the kids. But more importantly my art gives me an outlet and a sense of accomplishment. I speak freely of this because i believe to not talk about mental illness is to foster the stigma and prejudices that are so prominent in today's society. Historically speaking art and bi-polar disorder, also called manic depressive illness are intricately tied, i take comfort in that.

How did you get into your craft? i have always had a need to create and modify things, i do not remember a time where i was not involved in some form of art, there were formal lessons growing up, as well as more domestic and crafty pursuits, when i was younger i used to make miniature horse blankets, saddles, and bridles for my Breyer horses! Sewing and making jewelry became refined as i wanted more and more costumes!!!

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? Be yourself, be kind, and do not get discouraged, i have not had many sales on Etsy, but many people look, and have 'hearted' my shop, to me this is rewarding too, that my art is being appreciated, however, more sales would be nice too!

What do you love about Steampunk? Steampunk represents so much hope, and determination, Airships and submersibles, adventure and beauty. We are given a romanticized view of the world, a world that shines through rose tinted goggles. In literature, Steampunk often follows a theme of uncertainty and turmoil, yet there is comfort in the fact that the machines can be fixed by our own hands, that we can see the pieces working and know their place. In today's world we cannot touch the workings of our machines, most of us only have a simple grasp of how a computer works, or how our television works, Steampunk allows us a world where we can take control of our surroundings and get our hands dirty.

Anything else you would like to add? i would like to encourage people to think about how they shop, think about how your purchases affect the environment and the world, when you are shopping for a gift, or something new for your home, think about how the item was made, who made it, what type of legacy of waste is your purchase leaving behind? Buying handmade, is good for the economy, its good for the environment, especially as many people are finding new ways to use things, diverting them from the landfills~ You have power when you buy, you can chose to buy handmade items, helping individuals and the economy at the same time. You can choose to buy fair trade items, that help developing countries build schools and medicines. You can choose to buy things that use less packaging. There is so much power in how you choose to spend your money. You can make a difference.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Name: Sarah Dungan
Shop Name: Industrial Fairytale
Shop Link:
Location: San Francisco, CA
Ships To: Where so ever you dwell.

What inspires you?

The world around me. I believe all imagination is born from your observation of reality, and as a child I was told, and made up myself, many fantastic stories about the forest where I lived. I've been lucky enough to have been able to travel a lot through out my life, and I would encourage anyone who can to travel with their children. Even places I don't remember that clearly I remember in terms of fantasy and imagination. Everything you see as a small child seems a larger then life, and has the potential to be a fantastic magical place and an adventure into the unknown. I try my hardest to put that sense of wonder into everything I do and to hold onto it as an adult.
Of course I have some favorites. I love the rocky windswept coast of Northern CA, and spend as much time on CA 1 north of San Francisco as possible. I enjoy the art and art history of the middle east and northern Africa a great deal. And the grand scale and ruggedness of the American west still inspires a sort of awe whenever I get the chance to experience it. And its certainly worth pointing out that I love reading other peoples imaginations at work, and seeing how other artists see the world, what they choose to point out and dwell on, and what interests them. Urban/Dark Fantasy, steampunk, and western stories are some of my favorites, and as an animator I always enjoy a good film - animated or not.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy?

Only a few months, its a very new adventure for me. We'll see how far I can take it. I love new adventures!

Is this a job for you or a hobby?

Its so hard to separate, but because it doesn't yet bring in a level of income that could justify taking 'work' time for it, I would say its either a start up business or a hobby. I would like for it to someday be a real part of my job.

How did you get into your craft?

I've been a professional animator and designer since I graduated college, and I was sculpting and drawing and sewing and all sorts of things all through growing up. But as to the jewelry making, I actually haven't got the slightest idea. I did some metal-smithing and jewelry design in school, but I suppose it really started because I had wooden disk beads for a very long time and wanted to do something interesting with them. And then, someone at the studio I worked for at the time did a little lunch time tutorial on making wire loops for beading and I just knew what to do with them. I started on Etsy mostly because I was starting to run out of friends to give jewelry too!

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?

Look around your community and make some friends, people are the most valuable thing you can get out of most any experience like Etsy.

What do you love about Steampunk?

The imagination and innovation behind it. I see people building steam powered cars for no reason other then they would like to see if they can, and refitting computers with brass typewriter keyboards and just the fact that someone is doing it makes me happy. To often as a society we are encouraged to purchase, conform, and think inside a box of what is acceptable; the best kind of punk steps away from all of that and encourages people to create and invent and find their own path. Steampunk reminds the world of a time when we didn't feel like everything had already been discovered and invented, and encourages us to remember that everything HASN'T been discovered and invented quite yet.

Anything else you would like to add?

I feel like I'm only just starting out, and I'm exciting to see where it all goes from here.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Name: Alexandra Sforza

Shop Name: Heterodyne Designs

Shop Link:
Location: United States

Ships To: Worldwide upon request.

What inspires you? I draw a lot of inspiration from fiction. Ever since I was young, I've always been driven by backstory, finding out more about characters, and always found the items they might have in a story to be fascinating. I wanted to be able to create magical items like that, with a story all their own!
How long have you had your shop on Etsy? Only two months now, though I've done shows and sold wholesale for years.

Is this a job for you or a hobby? A little of both, but mostly a hobby.
How did you get into your craft? Honestly? It was to be able to reproduce things from fiction that no one ever sold! I can remember, when I was 10, making myself "Zelda" pendants, because I wanted to have them!

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? Stay original. Even if someone has an idea that selling well, this should be about the art, not about the money.

What do you love about Steampunk? The fact that it encompasses so many genres without limitation. I also think keys and clock parts are beautiful, and steampunk is a way for them to be seen and admired!

Anything else you would like to add? Long live the Wulfenbach Empire! (Thanks for interviewing me! Yay steamteam!)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Fatal Attraction

Name: Gale and Brad Bez Shop
Fatal Attraction and Jewlgurl (Chloe Jewels)
Shops Link:

Location: On the Banks of the Mississippi River (one hour north of St Louis)
Ships to: Global (and universal, when Sir (Virgin) Branson gets it in the air - wink)

What do you do?
We (my art partner/hubby) collaborate on most of our artwork and jewelry output. I design, choose the materials, prep the components and take care of any beading. Brad does the torch work and much of the cold joinery. We both finish out the pieces. We laugh, saying “We would be wa-a-a-y up that stinky creek if either of us lost the other.” We’re utterly joined at the hip when it comes to our jewelry making and we like it this way!
We work in several areas of jewelry design. Many of our Fatal Attraction found object pieces are Steampunk, Industrial, Gothic, Neo-Victorian inspired, while our nature referenced Chloe Jewels Collections are made with precious metals and gemstones.

Brad has worked in the automotive industry ( for 30 some years. He’s translated his formidable metal working knowledge into the smaller form of working with jewelry metals. He’s an amazing wizard when it comes to figuring out how to make things. To this day, there isn’t a design that I’ve taken to him that he hasn’t been able to make. Although, he has ‘stress-tested’ a few of the pieces, by throwing them across the room. Not every day or project is a smooth ride, right?

I’ve worked as a professional artist for 30 some years (in between and around raising two daughters). The creation of art has never been far from my hand at any time. Lots of non-profit arts volunteer work over the years, have served as art show curator and hung those shows, taught art classes, done arts PR/marketing work, worked with state Arts Councils, choreographed for our local town theater group and I’ve been a chanteuse all of my life.

How long on have you been on Etsy?
We’re still newbie-babies at Etsy. We opened Chloe Jewels Mar 21, 2008 and then opened our second shop, Fatal Attraction May 22, 2008. We’ve worked in mainstream arts and jewelry for a long time and have always worked in the Steam vernacular (before it was termed Steampunk), using found objects and recycled materials to make jewelry, sculpture and room installations. So, although we’re new at Etsy, we’ve been on the art scene for many satisfying years.

Is this a job or a hobby?
A fulfilling, challenging and lovely job! If we didn’t make art, we don’t know what we would do…it’s such a large part of our day to day existence.

How did you get into your art?
We’ve always made stuff with our hands! It’s in our blood………
My Mom says, when I was just a tiny tot, I carried a little cloth bag of pencils and crayons everywhere I went. Anything that wasn’t moving was fair game as my art canvas. Early on, my parents recognized and nurtured my burning flame to ‘make’ stuff. They made sure I had the opportunity to develop my knowledge and love of the arts.
Brad has always had a superb eye for design and beauty. His father (with whom he turned wrenches, at a young age) taught him about visual proportion, mechanical invention and quality of materials, Brad says his seminal arts experience came when he was in High School. He had the opportunity to see a touring show of the Russian Imperial Eggs created by Faberge and his Parisan Ateliar of Artisans. Brad was profoundly impacted by this experience. He says, “I’ll have to live 5 lifetimes, working as a jeweler before I come anywhere near the expertise of Karl Faberge, but what an excellent goal.”

What do you love about SteamPunk?
It’s so raging OUT OF THE BOX! Wide open to interpretation because of the many layers and references where Steampunk artists draw their inspirations. I love art work that’s impossible to classify in a neat and tidy package - let’s make those art historians work for it - heh!

Do you have any words of advice for Etsy shop owners?
Do and make what you love. Your creative vision will shine through, touching your buyers, in good profitable times and in slower economy times. Don’t contrive work to fit the market - create your own niche with your own unique artistic voice. Diversify your art jobs, when you can. This will help you get through the slow times.
…..and remember, the pendulum always swings back bringing fortune with it‘s movement. Just try to hang in there for the long haul.