1) Tell us about yourself, your shop and what brought you to the Etsy community.
My name is Melody and I am a very busy mom, first and foremost, raising four wonderful kiddos (Emily-14, Eli-12, Brielle-10 and Zeb-6) with my amazing, incredibly handsome and supportive husband here in our tiny farming community of
. Balancing our active family life and a budding business keeps me hopping constantly every single day, yet I still somehow find time and various outlets where I can pour out my creative genius. Harrisburg, Oregon
I began crafting things from infancy, I am sure.......or at least as far back as I can remember. As I grew up under the wings of my resourceful single mom along with my brother and sister, I learned from her example to be inventive whenever a need arose. My mother was hardly ever able to afford brand new, right off the rack prices, so it became a game in our childhood to use "the creative brains God gave us" to come up with a solution that we could afford. The first question we asked was always, “How could we MAKE one?” Most of our holidays and birthdays were filled with gifts right from our hearts…..and our hands. This lead to my love for handmade things, which led to original handmade gifts....which eventually led to the birth of Lemonade Sun Productions.
My favorite class in high school was art. Not because I was able to spend the whole class in my own little creative world, but because I got to experiment with such a wide variety of artistic mediums. When I was a sophomore, my art teacher pulled me aside after class one day and gave me the name of a local jeweler who was looking for someone to help him out with some of the production of his jewelry line and who would enjoy learning the trade. I was thrilled to have the opportunity. So I spent the next year and a half learning how to buff and polish the silver elements of various earrings without skinning my own self on the buffing wheel, making simple freshwater pearl rings and earrings, and watching as a master manipulated wire into complex, intricate designs. We worked extensively with niobium metal and I watched in fascination as he submerged his designs in water and applied electrical current to the niobium to cause a reaction which made the metal become a full spectrum of colors. Amazing. That was the beginning of my love for making jewelry.
I began carving my own stamps after learning about the hobby of letterboxing back in 2006 (or maybe 2007) after reading about it in Family Fun magazine. That’s all it took and my adventuresome, mystery solving sparks were kindled and I just had to try it for myself! After carving that first stamp, I had a feeling that this would be something I would love for a very long time. Our family found many amazing stamps while we letterboxed and I would always study each one and admire the carver’s techniques. I determined that I would perfect my carving abilities even further with each new stamp
I saw. There was no turning back. I really love carving.
Throughout my life, different people have suggested that I find a way to sell my creations, but I was always too afraid to take that first step. That is, until I partnered with a friend of mine to create a little business selling hand stamped and hand painted baby onesies. We spent lots of Saturdays creating a product line and finally approached our local crafter’s mall about renting a booth. We did quite well (with her handling the financial and marketing ends since she spent many years working in retail, and me handling design and production) until she had to move away. We put the business on the back burner and moved on.
Several years later, I was speaking to some of the women in my MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) when I learned about Etsy. Curious, I took a peek at the site and was immediately sold on it. I could do this! I could make a little shop and sell things on Etsy and make some spending money. So I set out to do just that. Every day since has been a learning experience. I have gained more confidence in myself as a proper business woman in the last year than I ever thought possible. I love the generosity and helpfulness of fellow etsians. I have learned so much from all of you in the forums and chatting in the virtual labs. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights with those of us who need it. Believe me, we appreciate it.
2.) Walk us through a typical day in your life:
7:00am- wake kids and prepare breakfast and pack lunches
7:30am- encourage kids to move faster in order to be on time to school. Say goodbye to hubby and send him off to work. Start laundry.
8:00am- hunting down misplaced homework, shoes, backpacks and coats. Signing permission slips and reminding about afterschool activities.
8:15am- loading kids in car and making school drop offs
8:45am- time for my breakfast and shower
9:00am- check emails, login to Etsy and check for miracle overnight sales. Sometimes I will pop into the forums and see what’s going on, then check the virtual labs schedule
9:30am- package any orders, begin work depending on what day it is on stamps, design ideas, website work, blog, jewelry designs, cards, crochet items or any other things I’ve thought up while I was sleeping.
11:45am- meet the bus at the corner to pick up littlest kiddo now home from kindergarten
12:00pm- lunch with little guy
12:30pm- switch laundry and start a new load. Sometimes this is nap time and sometimes it isn’t. Depends on his outlook on life at that precise moment.
2:00pm- depending on the day it’s cleaning house or running errands
3:15pm- pick up other kiddos from school
3:45pm- afterschool snack and hanging out with kids (maybe a little Wii fun)
5:00pm- I help with homework and remind about chores
6:00pm- dinner prep begins
6:30pm- hubby gets home and we feast together as a family
7:00pm- Bible reading for the day and talking about our days
7:30pm- bath time and we might play a game if the day hasn’t been too long
8:30pm- the two younger kids hit the hay. Snuggles and stories or chatting with prayers.
9:30pm- the two older kids turn in. Snuggles and chats with prayers.
10:00pm- time with hubby all alone. Sometimes we watch a movie on Netflix or a TV show.
11:30ish- hubby falls asleep on the couch and I get back to creating.
2am- bedtime ….when I can’t hold my eyes open any longer
Name your top 3…
I love old books. One day I would love to have a library full of first editions by everyone from Austen to Shakespeare…..this is, of course, after I make my fortune on Etsy J
If I had to choose 3 off the top of my head that I really enjoyed reading they would be:
Hot Zone by Richard Preston
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
I enjoy many different kinds of music. It really just depends on the mood I’m in. Things from Celtic music to rock songs to bluegrass. Here are some of the bands I listen to most often:
Rod Stewart’s- The Great American Songbook
*the only things I don’t like are rap music and techno stuff because they both give me headaches
Movies or TV shows:
My all time favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice.
I love watching romantic comedies best, but I also like a good whodunit and even a few action/adventure movies. I do not do scary movies though. I hate them. I prefer movies that make you think.
As far as TV goes, I am a diehard Gilmore Girls fan and own all 7 seasons. I’m also a little bit of a reality nut, but it is limited very specifically to American Idol, The Amazing Race, and Survivor primarily with some of the clean-it-up shows on HGTV and TLC like Clean Sweep and Clean House coming in a close second.
The man and I like to watch NCIS (if I had to choose only 2 shows to watch in a loop it would be Gilmore and NCIS), 24, and Prison Break when it was on.
4) Where do you hope your shop will be in 1 year?
In one year from now I hope my shop is selling at least 20 items a month and I have become such a success that I will need to hire a helper just to keep up. I would like to be making it to the front page as often as anyone else and I would like to do at least one holiday craft fair.
5) What is one of your favorite shops on Etsy?
One of my favorite Etsy shops is www.shopredleaf.etsy.com
Chris has a wonderful selection of really fantastic soaps in the shop. I was intrigued by the Bubble bath dough when I came across it during a search for a Friday find for my blog (www.lemonadesunproductions.blogspot.com) and ended up buying a sample sized bubble bath dough as well as the black tea scented shaving soap for my hubby. Oh my goodness! Now he smells so wonderful after he shaves! I love it. The bubble bath dough was a huge hit with both my girlies and me so I’m totally sold on shopredleaf. Check them out today.
6) What projects are you currently working on?
Let’s see…right now I am carving about 14 new Valentine themed stamps for the shop and trying to learn how to make pdf pages of printable valentines made from my designs to sell. I’ve also been working on adding content to a website I am hoping to launch very soon. That’s been a huge learning process as I’m learning how to do things myself because I don’t have the funds available to hire someone else.
In the next couple weeks, I will have new longjohns cards listed for Valentine’s Day and I am toying with the idea for something called “littlejohns”……but you’ll just have to keep your eyes open for those whenever they get listed.
7) If you could have 1 super power, what would it be and why?
Well, as my friend Patty says, everyone has a super power. They just need to discover what they can do that no one else can. If you can get this figured out it will save you a lot of frustration and save your family from having a crabby mom. For example, Patty’s super power is that she is the only person in her household (of 10!) that can actually see when the trash is full. Now, instead of getting angry or frustrated when others didn’t see that the can was full, she simply realizes that they don’t have the same super power as she does and she uses her super power to remind someone to take out the trash. No more grumpiness.
My super power is “find-it radar”. I have the uncanny ability, above all the other people in my house, to be able to find anything that’s lost at any given moment. I used to get so frustrated that no one else could seem to find anything. It didn’t seem to matter at all how many times I tried to teach them how to find things correctly, they just didn’t get it. It took me awhile to adjust to Patty’s new way of thinking and realize that it wasn’t that they were lazy (though there are occasions where that is true)…..they just didn’t have my super power. How can I expect them to do everything I can do? Some people are born with the ability to be naturally organized and some people aren’t. Instead of criticizing them about their lack of ability in this area, I should be helping them discover what their super power is and teaching them how to show gratitude when someone else blesses them with help.
Incidentally, my husband is “Mr. Stash ‘n Dash”. That guy can clear a room of clutter in minutes flat no matter how bad it is. It’s truly amazing! Now that is something I just cannot do. I am a little clutter bug-ish and it takes me all day to clear a room of the mess I’ve made. He is a little forgetful and often asks me for help finding keys or a wallet, so we give each other ample practice to hone our super powers to perfection. It’s a wonderful thing really.
What’s your super power?