Our Etsy3: Mama Bears and Sassy Wares
We are continuously inspired by creative folks from around the world! There’s so much to gain from others’ imagination, artistry, and hard work. Whether you’re looking to re-decorate your home in the new year, purchase a few gifts for friends, or simply energize yourself with original ideas, there’s nothing like browsing through Etsy for homemade or vintage finds!
Here are 3 of our most recent Etsy faves for your January 2019 enjoyment. This Etsy3 edition’s theme is: Mama Bears and Sassy Wares! Happy shopping, mamas!
Bear Bangle by Danna Valko
Danna from Art by Danna Valko runs her California-based Etsy shop with enthusiasm for making others smile. Often feeling overwhelmed early in her small business venture, Danna found herself searching for her own unique design style and how those designs could be paired with meaning for potential customers. Years of exploring her creativity and being open to client feedback has allowed this artist to create pieces that represent FAMILY, with all the delight and precious sentiments entwined in the meaning of that word.
Bear Necklace by Danna Valko
Years ago, the birth of her sister’s daughter sparked the creative epiphany needed for Art by Danna Valko to incorporate elements of the mother and child design that are so distinct to her shop. Danna takes her job as an aunt very seriously! Her love of animals and her nieces have inspired her to find a voice, drawing on tremendous strength and inspiration from both. As Danna puts it,
“When the maternal instinct is activated, even if it’s not between a biological mother and child, a very powerful magic happens.”
T-Rex Mom & Child by Danna Valko
Danna successfully juggles the demands of her Etsy shop, especially busy during Mother’s Day and Christmas, by slowing down and reminding herself that each step of the process as she creates each individual charm is vital to her art. Danna listens to French cartoons while bustling, trying to learn a new language, or finds inspiration from interviews with musicians, business moguls and politicians.
Bear & Cubs by Danna Valko
Danna shares: “Some of the most heartfelt feedback comes to me via private conversations: from the new mother who finds a spirit symbol for her new child in the baby fox or baby bear to the mother who has experienced loss and chooses the symbol of the baby beluga or baby elephant to wear as remembrance on a chain near her heart, I’m happy to offer something meaningful to others with my art. And I’m ever in awe that I can capture the magic symbolism of the mother and child animal spirit in my jewelry designs.”
Besides the bear charms and t-rex creations that we here at mamabare love, be sure to check out all the incredible choices at Danna’s Etsy shop to find which animal symbol best represents you and yours (like the lobsters, the foxes, the wolves for your wolfpack, or the super cute and minimalist single initial on a necklace).
Mamas, Let That Shit Go by Brooke Leann Art
Brooke from Brooke Leann Art has been coloring and creating since the time she could walk. Her mother is a “maker” so it’s definitely in her blood. Brooke started selling art prints in 2012 and then made the jump to stationery. Before long, her little greeting card business took on a life of its own and now Brooke Leann Art carries multiple products all featuring her incredible, colorful artwork. (Our ABSOLUTE favorite here at mamabare is the mama bear tote! Gah!!)
We Are Brave, Beautiful, Strong, and Fabulous! by Brooke Leann Art
Brooke juggles her Etsy business, located in Mississippi, with the million other things she has going on (hello, mothering an infant?) by living day to day: some days laundry, dishes, business orders, and dinner all get done. Other days, she’s lucky if she gets a chance to brush her teeth. Like so many of us, she’s a professional naptime ninja! And she feels incredibly lucky to have a super hands-on partner. Her husband helps check off the business to-do list or will be on baby entertainment duty and cook dinner while Brooke works.
Sorry (Not Sorry), I Can't by Brooke Leann Art
Mama Bear Totes! by Brooke Leann Art
After becoming a mother for the first time 9 months ago, Brooke had no idea how she could possibly care for a newborn (a new-to-her role) and run her successful small biz. Some of those early days were wrought with overwhelming stress, fatigue, a full to-do list, with only enough time and energy to hold and cuddle her new girl. Ultimately, she realized all her business tasks could wait and instead, Brooke chose to soak in all the baby time she could get, acutely aware that before she’d know it, that time would be gone.
Morning Fuel by Brooke Leann Art
Now that her daughter has started crawling, standing, and commuting with the help of her walker, Brooke is hopeful about family and business life, focused on creativity, growth, and enjoying the small things!
Emotional Baggage, We've All Got It by June Arbor Designs
Mysie from June Arbor Designs felt creatively burnt out following art school graduation so she entered the corporate world. She quickly realized, however, that an office was no place for her. As a creative outlet, she started her small biz on Etsy in 2013 with every intention to keep it a hobby. As luck and good ‘ole hard work would have it, within a year, June Arbor Designs had expanded its product range and had gathered enough business for Mysie to leave office work far behind in order to pursue her Etsy shop full-time. With a brief return to school in order to enhance her skills, June Arbor Designs was officially licensed and Mysie’s been doing this ever since!
Growing a Family and a Business
Back in 2013, Mysie considered her shop her “baby” – she was able to devote all her time and energy to this creative pursuit. With a 20-month-old, in the third trimester with baby girl #2, and with an ever-expanding successful business, it’s been a crazy and chaotic journey. As a stay-at-home mom who also works full-time, Mysie and her husband are finding ways to juggle and make it work.
Mysie’s found ways to become more efficient with her June Arbor Designs responsibilities, but she’s also learning to accept help and delegate. Adjusting her standards means realizing that sometimes take-out pizza IS a meal plan! Mysie’s husband helps with packaging orders and the books after his workdays. Part-time daycare has also been a welcome addition to the struggle and juggle. Early mornings and late nights allow for uninterrupted work session.
One of Mysie’s most creative tricks is setting up “office” in the playroom so mom and daughter can work and play together. As Mysie puts it, “I definitely don’t have it down. It’s always chaos over here… but I wouldn’t change it, because it means I get to keep my career AND be present in my kid’s life.”
Cheers to Parenting
Customer feedback and success are both the most fulfilling and the most challenging aspects of running her Etsy shop! Mysie is proud to have built June Arbor Designs from the ground up – but on the flip side, negative feedback can really crush her, and sales statistics and reports are sources of stress.
Mysie explains her approach to running her Etsy shop: “In any business, just like in life, there will always be people who you just can’t please and mistakes that you have to take responsibility for. It’s really hard not to take negative feedback or even just rude attitudes personally, since I’ve poured so much heart and soul into building my shop. But at the end of the day, it’s just business. And that’s something I just have to keep in mind.”
So She Did Journal by June Arbor Designs
Mysie is especially energized when customers tell their story about why they are purchasing something. Last year, Mysie was contacted by a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse who, along with her colleagues, wanted to purchase June Arbor Designs’ mama bear mugs for Mother’s Day as gifts for each mama with babies in their unit. The nurses were incredibly sweet and wanted to purchase the mugs themselves out of pocket. Mysie was equally incredible and, being touched by how deeply connected the NICU nurses were with these hurting mamas, she offered her products at cost!
With her flourishing Etsy shop, a toddler, and a baby girl on the way, Mysie is set on connection and creativity with her inspiring designs!