Monday, December 26, 2016

Occasion Cards

Handmade Birthday and Wedding Cards!



Winter Birthdays and Weddings...it's hard enough remembering to bring more than 1 gift and most often you quickly sign a small piece of paper in lieu of a card. Or in this tech age where it's easily and readily available to send a digital card via a simple click of the cursor...cards are often left out of the equation. 

What happened to the times of when receiving mail with your name on it written from a friend across the continent was the most exciting time of your day? Simpler times. 

You spend hours in a card store searching for the PERFECT Birthday card- a card that speaks to you and what you're style or the style of your loved one.

Why continue to spend that time searching for a card that most other people will receive as well?  Spending $10 for ONE card...ONE?!  

Well...GIVE A YARN on Gypsy Spoonful can help with that! They make and sell handmade cards (they also make and sell crochet items!)! How COOL is that?!

 Each card color coordination is different, so even if you have 5 birthdays in the same month, the card is not the same!  The inside is left blank on one side with the other reading the traditional HAPPY BIRTHDAY- which leaves you with enough space to write what YOU TRULY THINK AND FEEL!!! 

For a handmade set of 5 cost is only $10. (Shipping in U.S. is $3)  or spend the total $13 on ONE dime-a-dozen Hallmark or Walmart card.






Do you have a Winter Wonderland Wedding to attend? Give A Yarn also provides cards for that occasion as well! It's great for placement with weddings gifts or anniversary gifts!


Cost: $3 (includes shipping and handling)


Love the idea of giving a handmade card? Pair it with a handmade gift! Shop small...shop HANDMADE!


Card Designer:  Give A Yarn
Designer Email: Giveayarn@gmail.com

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Birthday Celebrations!

Happy Birthday AND Merry Christmas?!

Ho Ho NO!


I decided to wait a few days to make this blog post. Why? Because it's MY BIRTHDAY! and in honor of those who have birthdays that compete against major holidays (such as Christmas), I am posting some pretty awesomely cool stuff from the designers I have found that would make great Birthday Gifts!

*Hand Stamped Personalized Kids Name Necklace* from Delena Ciastko Designs




Growing up sharing a Birthday so close to Xmas was a bummer. You usually got a combined gift with a combined card that read, "Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!". What gives? Just because you are a summer or spring baby doesn't make your birthday any more important than mine. These necklaces are double cool if you also have a unique name! Unique as in- you will never ever find it in the gift shop on a keychain tag during a school field trip- kind of unique.

However, Delena delivers a special take on "personalized necklaces"! Each name and/or phrase (she gives a 35 character limit), is hand stamped with love! It makes the possibilities endless. Delena also includes in the necklace:  Swarovski birthstones and 24" sterling chain!

Even though the title is classified as "Kid's Necklace", You can easily take it and put it onto an already owned wristlet as Charm, or onto a chain you haven't used in ages bc you were you searching for, "that special accent".

For someone who has to compete with Christmas, this is a gift that would make me feel special and unique, and allow me to feel that I stand out. No more Merry Christmas AND Happy Birthday!

And if you have a budget...this tops it off! It's ONLY $24.99!!!! With shipping being $4 this is a gift that would fall under the $30 limit range!

So go support a small business!

Merry Christmas!

If interested in ordering from Delena here is her contact information:

Delena Ciastko
delena@dcdjewelry.com



Sunday, December 11, 2016

12 Days of Christmas: Meet the Makers: That's So Addie

In our 12 days of Christmas blog series, we are getting to know the core members of Gypsy Spoonful (those that have been with us since the beginning). We'd like to introduce you to a fantastic designer, one who brings so much to the table of Gypsy Spoonful!




1.When did you "open your doors"?
  • 2005

  • 2. How did you get you decide on your name? 
  • My daughter's name is Adalyn. I started creating because I wanted all the pretties
  •  for her when she was born. That's So Addie is a product of that. 
  •  I would sew something super cute or over the top and say
  • ....ahhhh, that's soooooo Addie

  • 3. What is your process when creating, do you have it all mapped out?
  • Or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants?
  • I don't have as much time to create different items & new styles as I would like.
  • I have found a niche of what sells and tend to stick with a base of about 5 different styles but using different fabrics or putting a small spin on them.
  • So, I guess I am more of a mapped out seat of my pants girl.

  • 4.What crafting medium /technique would you like to explore that
  • you haven't had time to?
  • I would LOVE to learn to crochet. My grandma tried to teach me when I was
  •  young but she gave up on me. She was one of those straight shooter kind of ladies.
  •  She just flat out told me I wasn't going to figure it out. She has been gone for 
  • over 12 years, but I wish I had learned to crochet before she passed away just 
  • so I could have been like "Look Grandma! I did figure it out!!!" 
  •  And stick my tongue out at her. One of these days....lol.

  • 5. Where do you find most of your online sales?
  • How long have you been there?
  •  I have been the most successful through Etsy. I have been there since 2009.  
  • I was on ebay before that. I use facebook to direct sellers to my online venues.
  •  I haven't had a ton of luck selling directly on facebook for years.



6. What do you like most about where you sell? Least?
I like the exposure. I like that I have many repeat customers who know where to find me.

 I like that most people know etsy as a household name now. I do not like that 
I have to compete with overseas manufacturers who can underprice me
 and cheapen the market.  

7. What are you hoping to find here at GypsySpoonful?
I am excited for a new venue with the homegrown ideas of handmade like we all love.
 I love the idea of inspiring a nation that to make our country thrive, 
we need to go back to the bare bones and start supporting the little guy. 
 We have lost sight of community over the years and I am excited for that too.

8. Where do you see your business next year?
 I am actually pretty happy with how my business is going. I am just the right
 amount of busy to keep me out of trouble but not so much that I feel like 
I need employees. Ultimately, I would like to expand my business into more
 venues (locally & build up through Gypsy Spoonful) but 
I am kind of in a happy little lull right now. 

  9. Tell me one great Customer Experience you've had,and one awful one. What did you learn from the awful one?
One of my favorite customer experiences was sewing 28 Grinch dresses for a dance team going to Bermuda to perform in a Christmas parade. (I guess that wasn't really a customer but an experience) I can't remember any awful ones. I have pretty good crazy radar so if I start to sense a customer is going to be a whackjob, I totally will tell them I am unable to complete their order. If they have already paid, I will refund them immediately and tell them I am sorry and let it go. Life is too short to let awful people take up space in your world.



10. What's the one thing you wish people knew about online selling of handmade items?
I wish people knew how much work and behind the scenes heart & soul go into each product we make--from designing to choosing the perfect mix of fabrics, to making it and trying to present it well with photos. It is also really hard to portray your quality online. No matter how amazing your photos are, nobody can turn it wrong side out and really look at your seams or at your stitching. One of the most common compliments I get after someone orders is how impressed they are with my workmanship. Like they expected crap work and are surprised? Another thing I wish fellow designers knew is that you have to bust your butt. I think a lot of people don't realize you have to be out there constantly. You can't give up or just pop in & out of venues. It's like having a brick & mortar storefront. If you don't have regular hours where people can count on you being open, it doesn't take long for people to not bother stopping in to shop. Be ever present, even if you are slammed or on vacation. Always have your shop on the radar, even if it is only stocked with a couple things.


Click HERE to see all of That's So Addie's GORGEOUS items available on Gypsy Spoonful! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

An invitation to Gypsy Spoonful


A little bit about Gypsy Spoonful: Gypsy Spoonful is a site dedicated exclusively to handmade products~we are the only site like this of it's kind.

You will find nothing mass produced or imported in our maker's listings. They may source supplies and materials from various places, but their finished products are made with their own two hands.

The quality of a handmade item can not be surpassed when comparing mass produced products to them. The love, sweat and workmanship that goes into each and every item offered on the Gypsy Spoonful site is incredible. The dedication our maker's have to each of their small businesses is what sets us apart. You will find totally unique items in the shops located at Gypsy Spoonful that you will not find in the mall, big box stores or chain stores.
Each item is designed with forethought, attention to detail and is almost as if a piece of that maker's soul goes into it.

I am the leader of this band of creatives, and I take great pride in that! I'm Heather (most people call me "Goose" ) and I own Goosie Girl. I've been in business for about 12 years. Over that time, I've learned so much about marketing, selling and developing an independent small business with a focus on handmade items. I've designed for a multitude of a-list celebrities~ my designs have been featured on fashion runways, at awards shows, on television, in magazines and on blogs. My experience in helping others grow their businesses has sort-of piggy backed onto my handmade business and that is why I wanted to provide a venue that was strictly HANDMADE.
I was disappointed in another venue (which will remain nameless) when they began allowing mass produced, and imported items on their site. There is no way our small businesses can compete with counterfeit handmade items being produced at a rapid rate in factories, and especially those overseas where their currency is manipulated and their workers are only interested in quantity and not quality. I wanted to provide a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD for all of my creative friends where our items did not have to compete next to imitation items for WAY less than ours.

We are currently using a blog format to sell our items, and we've been open for almost 8 weeks, in that time, we have had an incredible amount of traffic to our marketplace (20,466 page views as of the writing of this) . I am developing a full-on multi-vendor marketplace as we speak, where sellers can have their own little shops and have automated checkout, and I'm trying to make it so that digital downloads are possible too!

To view the marketplace... CLICK HERE
I invite you to take a look at the amazing talent I have assembled. Their items can all be purchased right there in the listing ~ and buyers have protection built right into every transaction via paypal, even if you don't have a paypal account and want to pay with e-check or credit card! Buyer's financial info never is seen by us, so it's a completely secure shopping experience.




We ARE taking applications for makers , and I invite you to email me ...HERE
If you would like to be a part of our movement. We are looking for "fire in your belly" makers. People who are in pursuit of their dreams, and growing their small businesses. You have got to WANT success, and be relentless in going after it to be a part of this. We need people who are familiar with selling items online, and also familiar with social media on a variety of platforms (instagram, pinterest, facebook, twitter etc) . If you are up for the challenge, then please contact me as soon as you can, we have a limited number of spots open. It's an AWESOME opportunity, for the right people.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Day 1: Designs by Danielle

For the next 12 days we are going to be featuring one Gypsy Spoonful maker each day. We want to introduce you to our active members, and help you get to know them better.
All of our maker's are dedicated to their craft and very talented!


 Today we will be getting to know:
Danielle of Designs by Danielle

1.When did you "open your doors"?
I started my business in 2004. I opened my storefront on 2007 and closed in 2013 when I got pregnant again. I just started back into things again this year!

2. How did you get you decide on your name?
My name started as My Posh Baby which evolved to My Posh Baby and Kids to appeal to a wider audience. I am still using My Posh Baby and for my childrens products. This year I added a second business Designs by Danielle for my products that are beyond kids. I decided to use my own name since I am the designer.




3. What is your process when creating, do you have it all mapped out? Or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants?
I usually do whatever comes to mind no process~ just ideas. Once I have an idea I try to make a collection of items that compliment each other. (Mom and me shirts, Family shirt sets, Holiday themed shirts and ornaments etc)

4.What crafting medium /technique would you like to explore that you haven't had time to?
Florals I wish i could make beautiful wreaths and centerpieces

5. Where do you find most of your online sales?
At the moment Facebook I just add them to my pages place an ad and take orders.

6. What do you like most about where you sell? Least?
I like being able to post items as soon as I have them created I wish I had a more permanent website to keep everything organized.




7. What are you hoping to find here at GypsySpoonful?
A place where I can direct my customers to that is an official marketplace.

8. Where do you see your business next year?
I see it growing and expanding. I plan to have more holiday decorations and special occasion signs added to my shop.

9. Tell me one great Customer Experience you've had:
Any repeat customer is a wonderful expeirence. It lets me know I am heading in tbe eight direction. The best thing to do is to learn from what disappointed a customer and try to improve on their critique. Not all customers will be happy and Im aware that, that is business.

10. What's the one thing you wish people knew about online selling of handmade items?
That each item is created by hand and that it takes time to make and design a custom product.

Here is a handy link to browse all of Danielle's listings in the Gypsy Spoonful marketplace: Click Here

Thursday, November 3, 2016

There is Always Something To Be Thankful For





With the arrival of November, we turn our attention from Halloween to Thanksgiving! With the approach of Turkey Day , we not only look forward to that fabulous meal where we fill up our bellies with all the trimmings and that glorious bird we've waited all year for~ but we also gather with friends, and family to reflect upon all of the blessings and how fortunate we are.

As we turned the calendar, to the 11th month, the last few days my facebook news feed has been filled with "thankful posts" . My friends, have been sharing things they are appreciative of. Believe me, this year it is incredibly refreshing to read of all the nice things they have to say rather than dissenting political posts and negativity~ haha!



I thought I'd make a little list of some things I'm much obliged for:

1. The growing creative community of Gypsy Spoonful, we're growing slowly but surely every single day. We've added new members at a steady rate since our marketplace's official launch on October 7th.

2. The members of Gypsy Spoonful and their helpful, giving natures. They're always ready to lend a helping hand to each other. Whether it has to do with getting a new member assimilated to our  maker's group on Facebook, or helping a new member learn how to create their first listing in our marketplace. They're generous with their time, and it's truly becoming a community atmosphere. I love getting to know each and every one of them. I appreciate them individually and what they bring to the table as a group.

3. The development of the new multi-vendor website that is underway behind the scenes for Gypsy Spoonful. We didn't expect to need this new venue so quickly and it's just plain AWESOME! The functions we will have in the new marketplace, blog and discussion forum is going to be super. Right now we are using a blog format with each maker installing a "buy now" button rather than automated check out, and we will have all of those features built right in!

4. The fact that Gypsy Spoonful is truly serving a NEED in the Handmade community. So many people have told me this is going to be an overwhelming success because there is a void; and this network will meet it and then some.

5. I am designing / making again! I took and extended hiatus after dealing with some personal/family issues as well as health issues and a serious neck surgery last November at this time. I am doing well, personal and family issues have been resolved for the most part and my creative mojo has returned. It's funny, when you're dealing with stress and added physical pain how creativity seems to be the first thing to go, and the last thing to return. I feel really good about getting back in the studio~ and I seem to have hit my zone again. I'm cranking out some really cool designs, and am very pleased with the quality of creations I'm making. I feel free again, and I love stretching those creative muscles! I am listing my pdf patterns/ebooks that mentor fellow small business owners on my website as well as Craftsy and You Can Make this, and of course Gypsy Spoonful. My tangible designs have appeared in the markeplace and they're available for purchase. You can see all of my personal items that are on deck by clicking here.

I saw this video on you tube and wanted to share it with you as I feel it really hits the nail on the head as to why it is AWESOME to support handmade businesses, the makers if you will, won't you please take just a few minutes to view it? and then take a look at our maker's Thanksgiving listings below and make a purchase today? the photos and links are all hyperlinked to the individual listings and can be purchased directly from each maker. Thank you for supporting our new journey delving deeper into why we are THANKFUL to be able to be in business for ourselves , creatives in community!





FireFly Threads Crochet Football Hat Made to Order





Buttons n' Bolts lap sized Football Quilt
























Fun & Festive Turkey Flower Bow From Bows and More by T





















Happy Turkey Day Hair Bow by Bows and More by T



















Crochet Turkey Hat (if this isn't the most fun & whimsical hat, I don't know what is, LOL!)





Friday, October 21, 2016

Driven and Courageous, That's what we are!




“Handmade makers are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every design, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because handmade makers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that dress, that necklace, that new vinyl decal design, or that new line of party supplies. Handmade makers are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart. The smile on the face of a child or a sweet email from a happy buyer makes it all worth it. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”


This is why we do what we do... not for the paycheck, but for the lifestyle. It's to feed our creativity. For the freedom to be our own bosses, or to stay at home with our children~ or because our health, might dictate a normal 9-5 job is not something we can manage. We might not want to "slave" for the man, we may need some extra money for dance lessons, football, baseball, or for fun money on the side. We might need a flexible schedule because we are a caregiver to an elderly parent, we might be a military spouse who re-locates frequently and moving a lot isn't something traditional jobs work with. There are many reasons we do what we do, but the main reason is outlined in the beautiful words above (adapted from a quote about musicians, for the handmade community). 




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thank you Mr. Zabelin, Wherever you are

"Save money , Live Better" 

This is a current catch phrase used by Walmart in an advertising campaign.
Is cheap better? Does saving money really equate to a better life?
Let's unpack this a little bit...
sure, we all want to have extra money at the end of the month, having some money left over would be nice. However, let's talk about something I learned about from my high school consumer education teacher, Mr. Zabelin wayyyy back in the day; let's talk about "opportunity cost".


Opportunity cost represents an alternative given up when a decision is made. Example: If we decide to choose to shop at the least expensive places such as big box stores as Walmart's ad campaign suggests we do, we may sacrifice some things in the process, such as quality, or maybe even some of our own personal values (with or without realizing it in the process).  Settling for the least expensive products on the market through places such as a big box store, or a discount chain store, can give us the least expensive choice, but can often give us a product that soon needs replacing due to lack of quality, it may not hold up very long or stand up to much wear and tear as something handmade might. When items are mass produced, many times, it's about quantity and not quality. Often, it's about meeting a daily quota in a factory, and not about getting seams straight, or making sure each item is made to specifications, and what happens when the person making things in factory isn't as invested in that product? the quality lacks greatly. An item that is individually made or made in small quantities is more likely to be more expensive because much more time and care is put into each item, but what results when that happens? you get a much better made product, a higher quality product results. When a person who owns the company is making the product himself or herself you are definitely going to see a big difference in the quality of each and every item being produced by that company because their name and reputation is on the line with every piece going out the door. 

What do I mean by sacrificing some of our own personal values with or without realizing it when we shop at discount or big box stores? many times when we purchase items from places such as these, we dont' think about where the products have originated from. We only concentrate on the bottom line, the price tag. We want the cheapest price. We want the best deal possible with no thought of WHY we are getting these items so affordably. There is a back story to every single item up for purchase in the marketplace today~whether handmade or mass produced, some with a nice story, and some with a not-so-nice story. Some of these items that are mass produced may have been produced overseas with forced prison labor, or child labor. YES, this really does happen, still in this day and age. It is not rare, it is not a thing of the past, many countries importing goods into the United States have horrible human rights records, and it's up to us as consumers to do our homework. When you purchase a handmade item, you are assured of who made it, there is no question this is not the case.




The next time you see an ad paper, or sale flyer and see rock bottom , or dirt cheap prices, you need to ask yourself, if cheap is really the way you want or need to go. Can you get something better by paying a little more? What is the opportunity cost to the local economy? Can you get something much better quality, and you know it will last a great deal longer if you buy something individually made rather than mass produced? Can your shopping habits make a difference in an individuals life rather than a corporation? Can you intentionally use your shopping dollars to reinforce your morals and values and beliefs? 

Is saving money, really living better? ....
It's all about your perspective, I suppose.

Author:
Heather (GoosieGirl)




Thursday, September 8, 2016

Why Handmade?




We are building a fully functioning HANDMADE marketplace!! 
WOOHOOO!!
We've heard it has become increasingly difficult for people to support handmade artisans/makers/designers. We've also heard sites that used to be strictly handmade have changed their policies and are now allowing mass produced and manufactured goods to be sold alongside handmade items which makes us very sad  Why Buy Handmade?
  • Handmade is made with care
  • Handmade is made just for you
  • Handmade is made with love
  • Handmade supports a real person
  • Handmade does not pollute the environment
  • Handmade supports a small business
  • Handmade supports a local economy
  • Handmade is not made in a foreign country
  • Handmade is not made by forced prison labor
  • Handmade is not made in a sweat shop or by child labor
  • Handmade is often a stay at home parent's extra income
  • Handmade often pays for a child's piano lessons, sports activities, dance lessons or extra curricular activities
  • Handmade can often provide a military spouse's income when they relocate so often
  • Handmade gifts are thoughtful and unique
  • Handmade businesses provide jobs in a time when people are losing jobs in a rough economy
  • Handmade businesses boost the economy because they buy supplies and other products from other small businesses because they understand and value small business
  • Handmade items hold more value because they are made better
  • Handmade items can be better for the environment, you can purchase completely organic or reusable items to replace plastics or other disposable items.
  • Handmade items can be completely customized with embroidery, iron ons, and monograms making them perfect gifts or completely individualized just for you 
Do you support the "Handmade Movement?" Why? Are you a Handmade Maker? What are the benefits to you , your family, or your community? Do you buy handmade goods? Why? 
Please leave a comment on here and let us know, we'd love to hear from you! 

**Did you know we have a discussion forum? Click here to go there now:

Discussion Forum


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Presenting Gypsy Spoonful: A Bohemian Community

Welcome to a new sort of community and marketplace :
Gypsy Spoonful is a "Bohemian Community" 


The Vision: 

To attract all of those who are free-spirited, open-minded individuals and give them what they can not find in the mainstream...

Off the beaten path, we are individuals of like-mindedness, those who explore: 

  • Deliberate support of independent artists, makers and designers
  • Art
  • Music
  • Alternative lifestyle choices
  • Nature
  • Transforming your home into a sanctuary

What's Coming...

RIGHT HERE we will be blogging about all things bohemian for free spirited individuals. Interesting human interest stories, recipes, tutorials, DIY ideas, photography/art/music and opinion articles. 
 Exciting news exploring alternative lifestyle choices such as 


  • The Handmade & Maker Movements  (Shifting your shopping dollars away from big business and learning how to shop small & support local businesses IS an alternative lifestyle) 
  • Homesteading, Gardening and Growing your own food
  • Homeschooling 
  • Eco-friendly/Green products & lifestyle choices
  • Off Grid Living/Prepping life
  • Tiny House Community and Other Alternative housing
  •  Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten Free and Other Recipes 
  • The Lifestyle of Thrift 
  • Stay at home parents/Work At Home Parents
  • and much, much more


We will also get to know our community members through interviews and blog stories.
while offering a full marketplace with all styles of handmade clothing, accessories and boutique items from independent makers, from handmade clothing, home decor, accessories, festival wear,  Children's clothing, accessories and gifts from creative designers, makers & artists.



Once a day we will highlight items from our makers in a "Featured Item Post"  as well!  We look forward to this adventure, please visit our discussion forum and introduce yourself and let us know what topics you'd like to see on this blog!