Comments on this giveaway are now closed.
This week we take a close up look at This Cosy Life with owner and artist Julie.
Tell us about you!
My name is Julie and I am a single mom to three little girls. I raise my children, a couple of Babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in a very rural area of North Carolina. I’m very passionate about natural birthing, parenting, breastfeeding and simple living.
Handwork is very meaningful for me, it’s where I find my peace, my center. And it’s something I love being able to share with my children. It’s very important to me that they grow up with not just an appreciation of handmade but also the process of making, of creating.
Tell us about your business!
I opened my first Etsy shop in 2007 at the urging of my little sister. I began selling knitted accessories for women, mostly but soon found myself feeling restricted by my shop and uninspired. I changed my focus to the toys and things I had begun making for my own children and took off from there.
What do you make and how long have you been creating?
Now, I make and sell a pretty wide range of simple, natural toys, combining knitting with wood and still some of my originally designed knit accessories and patterns. I have been crafting for as long as I can remember, always making gifts for everyone in my family at a young age.
Where do you find inspiration?
My sweet little girls, the garden and the changing seasons. Beauty and wonder is all around us and my children help me to see it through their eyes and I channel that into something tangible. They also help me to think about how a toy can be used, is it interactive and multi-purposeful.
What got you started in your craft?
My “aunt” Ruthie first taught me to crochet and while I enjoyed it I really longed to knit. I begged my mother to teach me but she only barely remembered the most basic steps. I taught myself the rest. I’m now reteaching my mother and quite a few others. Knitting is something I am passionate about and I love sharing this passion with others, whether I am knitting for them or teaching them to do it themselves.
What’s your favorite thing you have ever made?
My favorite thing I have made is a hooded cardigan I made for my eldest daughter for Easter last year. She still wears it, with just a tank in spring/summer and over a long sleeved tee in the cooler months.
How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I’ve been selling on Etsy for 4 years and I really enjoy it. My business has steadily grown and increased. I do have slumps, summers are pretty slow for me but this just gives me a chance to work on new products for the upcoming holiday season.
What advice do you have for other Etsy artisans?
My advice for my fellow Etsians is always keep creating! It’s really not enough to make one thing over and over. You need to constantly work on new designs and keep your shop fresh.
What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
I hope to learn from the more experienced Natural Kids members, about what works and what doesn’t for their business (would love to glean some insight on beating the summer slumps). And I hope to contribute new ideas and simply a new prospective.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
I think we need to give our children toys that are beautiful and simple and will inspire, without too many gadgets and attachments to get in the way of their beautiful creativity. A child’s imagination can produce incredible things when there isn’t so much ‘stuff’ getting in the way.
Today Julie is giving away one sweet little herb pot of the winner’s choice.
Visit This Cosy Life’s Etsy shop and leave us a comment letting us know what your favorite item in her shop is.
For additional entries;
(leave a separate comment for each entry, if you don’t, they count as one)
Tweet this (include @NK_Store in your tweet)
Share on Facebook
Blog this giveaway
Follow the NaturalKids blog.
And for this giveaway you can gain one additional entry by following This Cosy Life’s blog.
We will choose a winner randomly on August 11, 2011. (Please, make sure we have a way to contact you!)
*Please note; members of the NaturalKids Team and their families are excluded from entering this giveaway. This giveaway is open worldwide but international customer are responsible for any custom fees and taxes.