The online art-and craft site Etsy is a marketplace with a mission: to "reconnect makers with buyers." On TheDailyPage.com, Megan Larson highlights the work of Etsy shop-owners from the area in her twice-monthly column, "Madison Etsy Explorations." Here are some of her recent finds.
I don't own a dog, but the collars at Sugar Plum Collars jumped out at me. Sewn with fabric that is bright and colorful, each one is adorable. The patterns are fun and certainly not ones that you have ever seen used for a dog collar before. A Sugar Plum collar would definitely make your pup unique on the block.
Christine Schultek, owner of Sugar Plum Collars, understands that fashion doesn't need to take a backseat when it comes to pet accessories. Her collars are hip and add the perfect touch of style to your already cute bundle of fur.
"My workspace is my dining room table...close to the coffee pot," says Schultek, who, like many Etsy sellers, shoehorns her shop into her day-to-day life. "It's nothing fancy and has taken over a few cabinets in our kitchen. I can create and cook dinner at the same time."
The right fabric can be transformative. Reupholster an old chair of Grandma's in a modern print and it can become a contemporary piece. Aime Meyers recognizes the importance of good fabric in her eye pillows. Relaxing in style is easy with these lavender-filled sachets. Packaged in a cute carryout box, her eye pillows make the perfect gift for a stress-ridden friend.
Meyers carries many other gifts geared toward the home and family. These include office and kitchen supplies and baby items. "It's difficult to pick a favorite piece," Meyers says. "Currently my favorites are a new 'desktop collection' I am working on. These are everyday, useful items...beautified, such as large tin buckets, clipboards, pencil cups and magnets that all coordinate. What I love about this collection is that all ages and genders can use them. My children have all of the above and use them frequently. The buckets were their Easter baskets and now sit in their rooms holding Legos or cars. Clipboards are great in the car and doctor offices; I use mine for grocery shopping and my business."
Catherine Boldt has taken recycled craft pieces to another level. Boldt repurposes cast-aside vintage ties into fun, brightly colored headbands. They uniquely tell the story of bygone eras; an outdated print is modern in its new form while paying homage to the fashion and culture of its original time. It's easy to let your mind wander and imagine what the ties' first owners were like. Boldt names each headband after the person she imagined wore the tie originally. For instance, I'd like to introduce you to "Carter." Carter wore this tie to his sophomore formal and held onto it for years after as a good-luck charm. To me, Carter is a little too garish as a tie but has a nice retro pop as a headband. Recontextualized, Carter is a fashion do rather than a fashion don't.
"Doing custom memorial work has given me the most satisfaction," says Boldt. "I have made headbands and rosettes for some women out of ties that were worn by their fathers who have passed on. One of my friends couldn't clean out her father's closet until she asked me to create headbands and rosettes from the ties that she found there. She had me make things for her daughters, sisters and nieces and gave them to her family on the first Father's Day they were without their father. Now they have something very personal to wear whenever they want to remember him."