This weeks featured Etsy Mama is Emily, designer and owner of Squares of Flair.
**Be sure to check out the Squares of Flair Giveaway here on Mom Fuse!**
MF: Hi Emily, Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop?
E: My name is Emily and I am 38. I am a busy mom to boy/girl twins who are in the second grade and a son who is 5. I have been happily married to my college sweetheart for almost 14 years now. We moved to a small suburb of Boise, Idaho almost 4 years ago, but are originally from Portland, Oregon. I used to work for a dot.com and then my twins came along and I’ve been home with them ever since.
Last year I wanted to make a photo pendant of my children so I researched Scrabble tile jewelry online and learned how to make one. My friends loved it and told me that I should sell them. So in October I started Squares of Flair, squareofflair.etsy.com, and it has been a lot of fun!
MF: What are the inspirations for your designs?
E: I love graphic and bold patterns, yet I am one to always wear solids. I find a Scrabble tile with a pop of color or pattern is just right to accessorize an outfit. I have always enjoyed scrapbooking and various papers so naturally I use a lot of those in my designs. I also adore photography of children and my products allow people to wear them in a new and different way.
MF: In your opinion, what makes the items you sell unique?
E: Scrabble tile jewelry has really taken off on Etsy these days. There is a lot of competition! I do find that my bookmarks, charm bracelets, rings and custom photo items are unique and more difficult to find.
MF: Which items have been your best sellers?
E: The custom photo bookmark and pendants have both been extremely popular. Also, anything with birds or owls on it sells well.
MF: Do you welcome custom orders?
E: Absolutely! I love to create things for my clients. Recently a customer wanted a clever gift for her cousin who was getting married. He would not accept money and would only accept recycled items. She came up with a keychain from a scan of a dollar bill that says “Eye Do.” It turned out really cute and these are the kind of projects I love! I also worked on an order for a wedding party where I scanned some vintage fabric in and made pendants with each of the bridesmaids initials on the back. They were very special and unique. I have also designed some beautiful charm bracelets that combine photos and a child’s artwork that are very special and sentimental. Another creative gift idea I did for a client was to turn her cousin’s ultrasound image into a ring. She gave it as a shower gift and it was a big hit!
As far as custom photo items go, I can make pendants, keychains, rings, charm bracelets, and bookmarks with your photo or child’s artwork.
I also love to work with clients on fundraisers. Recently I did a fundraiser for the YMCA Strong Kids program in which I created a tile with the definition of the word “strong.” I’ve also done a fundraiser for a school and the MAGIC Foundation. Send me an email if you want to develop something for your organization.
MF: Do you have any advice for other moms interested in starting their own business?
E: It is a lot more work than I ever expected it to be! It is wonderful to be working from home so I have the flexibility to put work time in when it fits my schedule, but also, there is that feeling that there is always something that needs to be done. It just never goes away and it makes it difficult to relax. It is important to set a schedule and keep to it and make time for family (and myself) as well.
MF: Are you offering any “special edition” items for any upcoming holidays/seasons?
E: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are fast approaching! I am starting to list some new Mother’s Day pendants this week with sayings such as “World’s Best Mom, Mama Rocks, Super Mom, Super Grandma” that can also be turned into bookmarks or keychains. Of course, all of my custom photo items make wonderful Mother’s Day gifts!
For Father’s Day I will be introducing cuff links and bookmarks and keychains are great for those Dads and Grandpas, too.
MF: What are your “words to live by”?
E: Live. Laugh. Love. – That just says it all!
MF: Do you have any other link besides etsy that you would like to share with our readers?