Sweet and thoughtful are sentiments that I hope I convey in my Valentine's gifts and in turn, hope to receive in mine. It doesn't need to cost a lot in order for me to love a present. For me, it really is the thought that counts.
When my husband and I were dating in college, I was often the recipient of letters, poems and notes. He was quite adept at verse and sharing his musings with me. Those letters are what I treasure the most, above any other gift I have received. Most of my husband's letters were written on yellow legal pad. His paper of choice was not fancy but is now characteristic of that time and makes me smile when I look back on them.
If you would like to create your own memento for your love, the Etsy shop "Love Note". It is a different direction from my yellow legal pad notes, but no less a keepsake for your Valentine.
Shop owner Susan Schaffer packages her "love notes" in pretty paper of varying designs and fills them with crisp white fine art paper, creating notes to cherish. All that's needed is a love note from you. Whether you are talented with words or not, your special someone is sure to love it. After all, it's the thought that counts right?
View more of Susan Schaffer's work at the Art Kitten sister store self-titled Susan Schaffer Fine Art & Prints. Her work can also be seen at on State Street. She also provides a behind-the-scenes view of her work at "The Judith book" which is covered with fancy chairs in pink and yellow. The inside cover page is navy blue which I think adds a nice accent. I also like the illustration style and plus I really like fancy chairs.
What advice do you have for people interested in starting an online store? How do you make the separation between your store and your day job/personal life?
My advice is one you hear a lot on Etsy; take good pictures. Since your customers can't pick your work up and feel it, you have to draw them in with smashing photographs that show the product at its' best.
At first it was really hard for me to separate my personal life from my online shop. I became addicted to checking my shop to see whether I had a sale, or a new heart on a product, and was making stuff all the time. Now (when I am not working as a substitute teacher) I try to do all of my work during the day when my daughter is at school and when she comes home I put the computer to sleep and don't work again until after she is asleep.
What is your favorite local shop in Madison?
My favorite shop is Anthology, a delightful little shop on State Street. I sell my books there and it filled with pretty things: gorgeous paper, handmade gifts and stuff from local artists. Sachi and Laura (the owners) and some of the nicest people in Madison as well.
Etsy is an online marketplace whose mission is to "reconnect makers with buyers." These explorations will connect you with the makers in your neighborhood.