My name is Tiffany Nixon. I am originally from Chicago and moved 8 years ago to the Phoenix area. I have four boys (ages 5 to 12) and have been married for 13 years. We school at home so that we can have active busy lives otherwise. I have coached soccer for the last 4 years,and am passionate about health, nutrition, and exercise. I have lost 56 pounds and counting by focusing on an active lifestyle and raw vegan foods.
What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I make play foods from natural materials and some custom knit and crochet woolies for cloth diapering. I have been crocheting and knitting since I was about 5 (almost 30 years ago).
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the colors of nature and by the delicious and nutritious foods around me as well as a passion to see more natural materials and fewer toxic toys in our homes.
What got you started working with yarn?
My friend and I loved playing with yarn during our summer breaks from grade school. We had huge plans for a five-story-high store which would sell our crocheted goodies. At the time all we could make were chains and long uneven scarves. Of course, we didn’t anticipate the internet or any of those possibilities.
How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I have been on Etsy since July 2006 and have been very pleased. I started out a couple years before that on hyenacart.com and sold my first 1000 or so orders there. Etsy had a learning curve for me but I have been very pleased with the broad customer base and return customers there.
What advice would you have for other Etsians?
I love the teams on Etsy. Find one that really fits with who you are and what you sell and try to really be involved. The support from the teams is really helpful when starting out and when you need new ideas or advice. The general etsy forums gave me great ideas at first but i soon became wrapped up in the busy-ness of it all and had less time to work my business and to craft. I do think social networking is worth it but I do better with a full store and happy customers.
What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
The longer I spend with Natural Kids the more excited I am to be part of the team. I love being able to recommend other vendors with positive feedback and great business ethics to my friends and customers. The networking possibilities as a team far outweigh the individual and the support the vendors give to each other is really valuable to me.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
I remember reading once that some new parents were overwhelmed when promotions for products or even breastfeeding focused on giving your baby “the best.” The experts say that parents who know they can’t afford the top of the line car seat or stroller; who know they have to return to work at 6 weeks postpartum; who can’t buy 100% organic will just go for what they can do and not be as excited about “the best.” The thing is, with natural toys, there are so many great options out there and the alternatives aren’t just a little less than the best, they are toxic. It is worth investing in a few beautiful toys made with natural materials that will last for many many years. I have wooden toys that I bought 12 years ago and play foods that have gone through several children. Playsilks and organic t-shirts have become part of the costumes and the sets for movies my children have written and filmed. Natural toys tend to grow with our children since they are more open-ended. I love buying toys that allow for imaginative play.
Thank you Tiffany!
This interview was by Kat, of kats in the belfry.
For many months my daughter was begging me to teach her how to crochet. We finally learned how to do it with the help of some great books from the local library. Maybe you can see, if your library has Crocheting For Fun by Lisa Bullard. It has many simple crochet projects that little girls will love! Our first project was a crocheted purse. The technique used is quite simple, and you don’t need much in terms of materials to start with.
Here are the 9 easy steps of how to make it.
- When starting your foundation chain leave a 15 inch tail of yarn at the beginning. You will need it for sewing the sides of your purse together!
- Make a chain of 25 stitches.
- Single crochet in the second chain from the hook and in each chain all the way across. Then chain one and turn your project over.
- Go back and forth across the row of stitches until your piece measures about 12 inches. You basically want a tall rectangle that can be folded in half.
- End on the opposite side from where you started the project. You will need another tail diagonally from the first one. Stop and pull the yarn through leaving a tail that is the same length as the first one.
- Fold the rectangle in half and sew together around edges on the sides. Leave the top open.
- Make a strap for your purse by making another chain. Leave tails on each end of the tail. You can customize your strap. Have your child hold it up and measure, how long she would need it to comfortably reach into the purse. We made ours about hip length – 3 feet long.
- Sew the purse strap on by weaving the tails from your chain through the sides or the purse.
- Put your favorite toy, money, or lip balm in your purse and enjoy! We added a little button and loop on the top to keep our stuff from falling out when running! =)
My daughter loved having a matching purse for her doll! You can find the tiny version of this kind of purse for sale in my Etsyshop.