Archive for November, 2008

I Heart the Holidays!

Getting ready to start my Holiday shopping and here are a few of things I have my eye on!

Envejewelry:

Petalandpink:

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What’s Old is New Again….

Remember Hasenpfeffer?
I wrote a quick post about them a month or two ago after finding them on Facebook. Well Daniela was kind enough to do a more thorough interview for “Handpicked Handmade”. One of my favorite things about Hasenpfeffer is that their eco-consciousness. Daniela explains in more detail…..

Hasenpfeffer Incorporated
Hasenpfeffer.etsy.com

Location:
Camano Island, WA

Ships To:
Wherever a mail carrier will go

What materials do you use for your ECO friendly products?
We use just about anything that anyone else deems worthless for its intended
purpose. Usually it’s thrift clothing on its way to the dump, but we do buy
the occasional dead stock or vintage remnant. We use poly-dacron fiber fill,
but only because it’s hypo-allergenic and affordable. For that and our
thread, we buy American-made products. We don’t have a problem with imported
products–we have a lot, in fact–but most imported essential materials are
made primarily with cost in mind, and that usually translates to sketchy
labor and/or manufacturing practices. We can’t feel good about the things we
do if someone suffers.

Why did you decide to make ECO friendly products?
It makes us sick to see good things go to waste. Most people are
pathological consumers, and in their wakes they leave a lot of “garbage.”
Some of it really is garbage–cheap, low-quality articles that fall apart or
stop working. But then there’s a lot of stuff that no longer fits a trend.
That’s not true garbage. So we try to make enduring things from those
materials. In a sense we’re doing well by doing good: we’re giving people
high-quality things made out of stuff that would’ve become landfill.

What inspires you?
Seeing something like a shabby old wool sport coat come to life as a
critter. You can find some beautiful materials in clothes that nobody would
dare wear anymore. I don’t think people understand the energy and investment
required to make even simple materials, and to see them acquire a second
life is a gratifying thing. Then there’s the thought that we kept one more
piece out of a landfill. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s like eating an
elephant: the bites add up. If everybody took a bite, we’d really get
somewhere.

How long have you had your shop on Etsy?
Seven months (give or take)

Is this a job for you or a hobby?
A little of both–sort of like everything I do. I’m a graphic designer by
trade, but I chose design because it’s a lot of fun for me. So in a sense my
work is a hobby that just happens to put some jingle in my jeans.
Hasenpfeffer Incorporated wouldn’t sustain me financially…not yet at
least.

How did you get into your craft?
Curiosity. Well, that and it’s fun. I sewed a lot when I was a kid, and
doing it now reminds me. The curiosity part was whether or not people would
actually buy things that I made. I mean it’s a foregone conclusion that
SOMEONE will buy SOMETHING, but the success I’ve had is humbling.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?
Find something that you love doing and do it. If you do that, you’ll find
success. I think a lot of people put the cart before the horse: they pursue
success and try to come up with a means to get there. There’s no passion
there. But if you do things success be damned, you’ll inevitably find it.
Then the persistence comes naturally: you’d do it whether or not you got
paid. And that’s really the key to success: passion and persistence. Of
course there’s that whole thing about making people fall in love with your
work, but that’s almost incidental–there’s a lot of junk out there that
people buy. If you’re passionate and persistent, your audience will find
you.

Anything else you would like to add?
Make your own reality. We’re so conditioned to buy into a mass produced
version of someone’s dream. What legacy is there in that? Just leave a trail
of neat stuff in your wake. If it sells, great. If not, at least the world
will be a better place for it.

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