Monday, December 30, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas: PeachyMe

Hey kids! If you are anything like me (that is, struggling to recover from Christmas cookie comas, still tripping over scraps of wrapping paper, and seriously considering a January cleanse) you are just about done with the holidays. At a full week away from home, we are beginning to chomp at the bit here. All of the holiday visiting, hustling and bustling is so much fun, but you know how tired you can feel after a vacation! Luckily, a teensy bit of personal pampering is a great way to relieve some of the post holiday blues.

Hopefully someone in your family was thoughtful enough to slip an Etsy gift card into your stocking, or even a few dollars in cold cash. If so, you'll be looking for someplace to spend it. Look past those little nagging things around the house that need replacing, and take a peek at your closet. Today's featured shop is a great place to find a unique piece to update that wardrobe for the New Year and in an affordable way (because after all the gift giving, we all need to save a bit of money!).

PeachyMe is a small fashion and accessory shop created by a couple in Fair Lawn, New Jersey: Cecilia and Steven. They make lovely one of a kind shirts and scarves, perfect for adding a little bit of something new to a tired wardrobe. Personally, my pick is their infinity scarf in green. I have a few scarves, but I wear the same tired scarf every day. I need to update! This color is lovely, and I don't
have anything green. Plus, that bit of sparkle is so pretty! It comes in a variety of colors, so go snatch one up before they are gone!

Please tell us a little about  you and your products.
n many design projects. PeachyMe mainly focuses on women's clothing. We use a both new and refashioned materials. In addition to clothing, we design materials for print and web.

How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business?

PeachyMe offers unique pieces made by hand in our home. Many pieces are one or two of a kind. Our mission is to make each person wearing our clothing feel unique.

How did you get started as a creative business owner?

Both Steven and I started our creative journey at a very young age. Steven majored in graphic design in college and I majored in fashion design. PeachyMe brings both of our passions together.

What is your favorite part of running a creative  business? The biggest challenge?

 Our favorite part is though process that come before completing a project, from sketching to making our own patterns to actually sewing the very first stitch. We enjoy collaborating on ideas in any project we do.

The biggest challenge we had was not having the proper space to design in. We were originally designing from our small apartment where we had to pack up any project we ere working on ever night. Having limited space was very challenging. We recently moved to a new place where we have a dedicated fashion room. We hope to create many new designs for the summer.

What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for?

The best gift in our shop are our scarves. We created these scarves using material we brought back from our trip to Ecuador and sewed to create the different styles. These scarves are great gifts for women.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas #10: Brittany Lauren Design

Hey Folks! We are nearing the end of the holiday shopping mania, so there are only a few shops left to feature! While most of them have been almost neighbors (folks within Bergen County) the owner of this featured shop actually is my neighbor. Like, I could walk to her house. For realz. Oddly, Miss Brittany Lauren of Brittany Lauren Design and I have never actually met. I imagine that will likely change, this being a small town and both of use having little ones pretty close in age! The toddler park and lakeside mini beach make it pretty easy to run into local mamas when you have a toddler to occupy all summer long!

Brittany is a graphic designer with a wide range of goods in her shop, from iPhone cases and notepads to serving trays and mugs. She has so many wonderful personalized gifts to choose from, but I think her monogrammed apple mug is just perfect for a teacher! Fill it with some sweets, add a set of my seed paper apple note cards, and you are good to go.

Please read on to learn more about Brittany and score a coupon code for her shop!

Please tell us a little about you and your products.

Hi there! My name is Brittany Lauren, and my business is full of heart. I have a background in graphic design and graduated from Ramapo College in 2008. My inspiration for my shop is fueled by childhood memories of sailing on the Hudson River with my family, vacationing in Maine and ferry rides to Nantucket. I love the salty air, the sand between my toes and the serenity that the sea brings me. I adore all of the treasures of the ocean, but my real catches are my husband of three years, Mike, and my baby boy, Benny (my little fish!), born this past June! My business, Brittany Lauren Design is born of salt and sea. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and began looking for a creative outlet while I recovered. My passion quickly turned into my dream, and I said goodbye to my corporate job to start my own business that specializes in personalized stationery and fine gifts. I am proud to write that we exclusively print in the U.S.A. and use the finest materials and paper. Every item is crafted with love. I love capturing the magic of summertime fun and I hope my designs bring you as much happiness as they do for me. I’m so excited to create a unique and personalized experience for clients!

How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business?
I love designing and making something special for someone. My favorite part is working with a customer and learning more about them and why they are purchasing. From buying their first home and needing a personalized stamp or buying a mug for their child's favorite teacher. I love to create happiness. 

How did you get started as a creative business owner?

I worked in the cooperate world for 5 years before following my dreams of starting my stationery and gifts shop full-time. I googled and googled for a long time while I was moonlighting at night to find answers. In the morning I'd commute to my advertising job, during lunch break I'd mail packages or make proofs. My passion for design fueled my heart to keep going. 

What is your favorite part of running a creative business? The biggest challenge?
My favorite part is making a unique experience for my clients. I love to bring joy into their mailbox! The biggest challenge is the non creative part of my job. I had to learn the not so fun side that doesn't come easy to me like accounting and book keeping. 

What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for?
Hands down our stamps! I love them! Bonus they all are handcrafted in the USA! Our stamps have so many uses from using them as a return address stamp or turning them into a stamp you can use for a wedding. 

I'd love to offer your readers a 20% discount using code JOJOBEAN

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas #9: Dymant Designs

  • I'm so glad to introduce you all to Pam of Dymant Designs, the lovely lady who gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get involved in our local farmer's market this summer. We first met at the Etsy Craft Party in June, and she has been a great source of inspiration in all things crafty biz related since then. Pam makes beautiful sewn items, housewares, and gifts, and you can probably find something in her shop for every person on your list. From pillows and baby bibs to personalized cutting boards and pie plates, she's got you covered. 
  • My favorite gift? This set of engraved wooden utensils and cutting board, perfect for any family, but especially for anyone newly married. For Xmas, I'd pair it with his and hers holiday aprons and a copy of The Newlywed Kitchen, because I'm cheesy like that.

  • Please tell us a little about you and your products: My name is Pamella Clark, I am a wife, printer, photographer, designer, craft maker, and the owner of Dymant Designs. I find serenity from the hustle and bustle of the day by rolling up my sleeves to make something unique.
  • When my husband, a US Marine, left for Afghanistan in 2011, I decided to teach myself to sew to help pass the time. When I told my grandmother what I was doing she laughed and said I am just like my grandfather, always needing to tinker and stay busy. My sewing studio is his old workshop, working there makes me think about all the time I spent with him while he too was tinkering and staying busy. Dymant Designs is named after my late grandfather, Sam Dymant, his strong morals are stitched into everything we do.
  • Our products are fun and functional. We sew whimsical owls that are hot and cold packs, pay homage to yester-year with hanging kitchen towels, adorned with vintage buttons, memorialize childhood memories with custom pillows printed with old scans of postcards, and take ordinary kitchenwares and transform them into custom pieces of usable art. We don’t have a finite product line. We love creating custom products that is special for each recipient to love.
  • How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business? Dymant Designs is a lifestyle company. Our mission is to take ordinary useful objects and make them unique without loosing functionality. We help you live in an more organized harmonious state, and share that serenity with others. Pick out a gift that is custom engraved to make the recipient feel special, drop off a pie with a hanging towel to make the host feel loved, bring over an owlie for your cousin who is accident prone all little tokens that show you care.
  • How did you get started as a creative business owner?
    When I learned how to sew, it wasn’t my intent to start a business. But as time has gone on, the plan and direction just laid itself out in front of me. It is amazing being a small business owner, and having the ability to spend time being a maker. I love every second of designing creations for lasering, or chugging along behind a sewing machine. However, every second is also the biggest challenge. Time is ever fleeting.
  • What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for? I would say that in my shop right now, my favorite gifts are for friends and hostesses. We make these beautifully custom engraved / monogrammed wooden utensils and cutting boards. They make a great gift set for almost anyone. (Pair them with Lees Bees Honey for an extra sweet touch)
  • For kids and stocking stuffers, you cannot go wrong with an Owie the Owl! They are just so darn cute!
  • SHOPSofCHRISTMAS lands you a spiffy 10% discount on any of our handmade items.
  • You can find and follow Pam on Facebook here:

Monday, December 16, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas #8: OhYum!

I can't believe it. Two weeks until Christmas and I just finished my holiday shopping TODAY. Thank goodness. Now to wrap, and ship, and bake, and pack until it is finally time to go celebrate! I've been super busy crafting up a storm here, and doing some totally insane things like showcasing my goods at Whole Foods (more on that later...). I have also been doing a teeny bit of holiday pampering, thanks to the lovely Kathy from OhYum, a shop full of treats for your skin. 

I first met Kathy when her adorable daughters came to craft hour at the farmer's market this summer, and after a bit of chatting I found out she was an Etsy seller as well. It wasn't long before we were both vending at the same event and I got to sample some of her delicious goodies. She gave me an incredible honey lip balm that Jude keeps running off with, and I bought my favorite gift for my cousin's birthday. Kathy's sugar scrub cubes are genius. Moisterizing sugar scrubs in single portion cubes that melt in your hands and smell good enough to eat! I chose the Buttercream scent for my cousin Libby and paired it with the matching body butter. For a busy mom of two it was a great little gift for some pampering in the shower. The scrub is exfoliating and moisturizing at once, so you don't even need to put on lotion after you shower on those days when you are in a hurry (and face it, if you are chasing kids and working and running a household, that's every second of every day). For those rare days that you actually have a spare three minutes, the body butter is a luscious layer of extra scent. Because who wouldn't want to smell like buttercream all day? Read on to learn more about Kathy and her products, and don't forget to 'Like' her Facebook page for shop updates!

Please tell us a little about you and your products.

My name is Kathy, I'm a stay at home mom. I have always been a creative type of person. Where some people have a compulsion to clean, I have a compulsion to create. I soap, cook, sew, knit, crochet and photograph. 

How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business?
I want to enrich people's lives through scent memory. Scent is the sense that is most strongly tied to memory. Each fragrance I carry has a story. That story is different for each person who smells it. When I work with my bubblegum fragrance, I'm reminded of a time in my childhood where I would bicycle to the corner store and buy bubblegum in long strips like tape. I used to see if I could chew the entire roll of bubble-tape at one time. I use fragrances to remind people of the joys they have experienced. 

How did you get started as a creative business owner?
Originally when I started OhYum I was selling gourmet flavored marshmallows. I had made marshmallows many times before and several of my friends kept insisting I sell them. During that time I joined several teams and participated in some exchanges, Secret Santas and things like that. When I sent out my soaps, I frequently got feedback asking where they could buy more. Peer pressure lead me to introducing them to my shop. They quickly overtook my marshmallows. I've been up to my eyeballs in soap ever since and loving every single minute of it!

What is your favorite part of running a creative business? The biggest challenge?
My favorite part is when a customer comes to me with a request and I get to play and blend something just for them. Creating something unique always makes me happy. 

The biggest challenge is the paperwork. I have to regularly schedule time to update the spreadsheets I created to track my sales and expenses. Like many creative business owners I want to create, I don't want to be tethered to spreadsheets all the time. Making a point to do it regularly has made a huge difference in how easy it is to get done. 

What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for? 
The most popular item in the shop right now is the sugar scrub cubes. These single serving scrubs are made with solid oils that melt with the heat of your shower and your body. The sugar exfoliates dead skin. Mango butter and coconut oil moisturize your skin without leaving your shower a slippery mess. They are also a great quick manicure for tired hands. 

I created a special coupon code: jojobean for 15% off any purchase. 

You can find me on facebook at

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas #7: Pinkapotamus

I'm so excited to introduce all of you to my newest shop crush, Amie from Pinkapotamus! I met Amie last week at the West Side Holiday Market, and she is such a creative mama! She is a bit of a jack of all trades, and her shop is full of adorable sewn and hand painted items for kiddos, from dress up to decor. I could easily have bought ten things from her table at the market to add to my holiday gift list! I spent more than I made that day (but it's ok! It all helped me meet my Handmade Holiday goal!).

My perfect girl gift from Amie's shop is this adorable crown. She had so many of them at her table in a variety of fabrics and colors. I love them for dress up, for a photo shoot, or for a birthday party! As a holiday gift I would pair this crown with a little handmade cape and scepter, and one of my favorite books, The Paper Bag Princess. Every little girl needs to know how bad-ass she is, well dressed or not. 

My favorite boy gift from Amie's shop is for the art lover. These little art displays are genius. Amie can custom make them with any theme or color for your kiddo's playroom or bedroom! This dino themed display would be an awesome gift, paired with some new crayons or paints, a smock and pad of art paper. The little Picasso in your life would love it!

Read on to learn more about Pinkapotamus and don't forget the coupon code at the end of Amie's interview!

Please tell us a little about you and your products.
My name is Amie Irwin and I am the owner of Pinkapotamus. My shop specializes in unique and whimsical children's decor and fun accessories.

How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business?
My mission for my business is to provide fun products to brighten up any child's decor. Childhood should be fun and I think that your nursery or bedroom should reflect that. 

How did you get started as a creative business owner? 
I got started as a creative business owner after realizing how much enjoyment I got out of creating one a kind, personalized items for my children's friends.

What is your favorite part of running a creative business? The biggest challenge?
My favorite part of being a creative business owner is that I love what I do. I get to be creative every day and share that with my customers. The biggest challenge is juggling everything. I am a stay at home mommy to three lovely little ones, with a hubby, a house, friends and lots of obligations, so sometimes it is hard to find the time to balance it all!

What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for? 
The best gift for a new baby in my shop are my newly created custom name signs. They can be created to match any decor and personality!

The best gift for kids in my shop are the boys art display holders. They provide a great way to showcase all of the fun art projects that come home from school!

The best gift for kids who love to play dress up are my crowns and super hero capes. They bring fun to any imagination game!

Where can readers find you?
My blog is
My Facebook is:
And my Pinterest is:

Amie is also sweet enough to offer a coupon code for all of you lovelies! Get 15% off in her shop with the code JOJOBEAN.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas #6 - Blueid

Hey folks! It's that time again! The next featured shop in the lineup is another family duo, but this time they are husband and wife. Joe and Regina Eid are a creative pair who offer beautifully turned wood, upcycled home goods, and funky vintage finds in their Etsy shop Blueid. I love finding repurposed goods that are well made, functional, and beautiful on Etsy in the flood of so-called vintage flea market stuff! Creating something like that is an art, and these two have it down. From coat hangers constructed of doorknobs and rulers to wooden bowls and vintage button collections, they have something unique for you. My favorite gift in their shop is this crazy cool bowl made from the root of an Arborvitea. I wouldn't ever even imagine looking at a tree root and saying, "Hey, let's make a bowl out of that!" But it's gorgeous! It would be lovely on a shelf filled with fun objects, or filled with fruit on a table. I think it might be too pretty to serve food from, but maybe breads? Ooh, or vintage Christmas tree ornaments. Can you tell I want it for me? 

Please tell us a little about you and your products.

Our names are Joe and Regina, and both of us have full time jobs outside the creative arena, so we try to make our "creating/picking" hours productive. Joe's style is grounded in wood, but his work has increasingly been more about re-purposing wood and hardware to create beautiful, utilitarian items. I am more fiber based, but have found some incredible items to be re-purposed as well, so much cool stuff, so little time!

How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business?
Our mission and purpose is to find and create because it is part of our DNA and it's so much fun! 

How did you get started as a creative business owner?
We started on Etsy on a friends recommendation and have never looked back because it suits our lifestyle, it has a professional look with a minimum of effort and we see and meet the most amazing artisans.

What is your favorite part of running a creative business? The biggest challenge?
The best part of being a creative business owner is the "creative" part. My husband did have his own business many years ago and though lucrative, he did not find it rewarding. The biggest challenge is time- how to carve out it out and use it wisely.

What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for?

Right now the best gift in our shop are the recycled door knob/hardware coat hangers. They can be used anywhere, look great all by themselves, and it's such fun to find the knobs!
What is your holiday show/fair schedule? Or stores that carry your items?
We have no show scheduled for this season- the one we would have done had to be canceled till January. My husband has his work in a small artist community gift shop called Peter's Valley and we are working to stock more of his work and my finds on Etsy as we speak.

* Don't forget to use the code HOHOHOLIDAYS for free shipping in the Blueid Etsy shop and follow them on Pinterest here:

Monday, December 02, 2013

The 12 Shops of Christmas #5 - Giggle Girls' Studio

Happy Cyber Monday, folks! I hope you have all been busy scouring the internet for handmade deals and stocking up on holiday scores! I, of course, have not since I am too busy recovering from my looong Thanksgiving vacation hangover and getting ready for an upcoming holiday  show. I'm sure I'm missing out on scores of discounts, but I refuse to feel badly about it. I'm just going to crank up the Nat King Cole and sip some cocoa, because today means the official start to the holiday kick off in the Bean house!

Last night we took Jude on his first train ride aboard the Polar Express and today is our town's tree lighting ceremony, so we are jumping in with both feet. I hope you all are enjoying the early December festivities, also! If you still need a little festivity boost, you can click over to the shop for my Cyber Monday deal and get free shipping today on all of your cards and gifts using code FREESHIPHOORAY. 

And of course, today's post is all about the next featured shop! I got to meet Monika of Giggle Girls' Studio at our Etsy Craft Party this summer, and she is lovely. She and her sister are jewelry makers who work as a team. I just adore all of these family affair shops I keep running into locally. I love the idea of hanging out with family in a creative way, and it's even cooler if you can turn that into a successful business. Their shop is full of unique pieces in a combination of styles, from lampwork beads to leather wraps. They will also create custom designs if you have a special piece in mind. My perfect gift from their shop would be this Copper Metallic Leather Wrap bracelet. And guess what? It's just for me:) It's simplicity makes it a great layering piece, and I love layering other styles of bracelets with my Alex and Ani bracelets! I love a chunky mix of stuff on my wrist and this piece is perfect for that! Please click over to the shop to see the many other options the sisters have in stock, and read on for their story!
Please tell us a little about you and your products.
Giggle Girls' Studio was started by my sister and I, who love creating, giggling and doing both together! Art and creativity has been a large part of our lives for as long as we can remember and when we started designing and creating jewelry, we knew that this was the artistic outlet that fulfilled all our desires! Once friends and neighbors began asking us to create jewelry for them, we decided it was time to go for it. Our website was born and we started participating in local art shows in the panhandle of Florida and northern New Jersey. 

How would you describe the mission/purpose of your business?
The mission and goal of Giggle Girls' Studio is to create quality pieces of artistic jewelry which our customer will fall in love with and wear for many years to come. It should not only be lovely to look at, but easy to put on and comfortable to wear!

Our pieces are individually hand crafted by us using quality materials and we stand behind all our pieces! We use top quality leather, sterling/fine silver, quality base metals, handmade lamp-work, precious & natural stone/pearls and high quality glass beads.

What is your favorite part of running a creative business? The biggest challenge?
We have found, besides the satisfaction of creating a beautiful piece, that the best part of being in this business is receiving all the fabulous feedback from our customers, first time customers, browsers and especially the ones that keep coming back because they are thrilled with their pieces. 

The biggest challenge is juggling the business side of things with the creative. When you are the artist, purchaser, photographer, seller and bookkeeper, having enough time is certainly a challenge.

What is the best gift in your shop? Who is it for? 

Our website has many items which make great gifts for all occasions and if requested, a purchase can be gift wrapped. You can spend as little as $5 for a delicate leather bracelet or anywhere between $20 to $60 dollar bracelets, rings, and necklaces, for all ages. One of our most popular items this season has been our knitted necklace, "Cleopatra's Passion" for only $28.00. Please check our website to see lots of colors and lengths. (Our domestic shipping costs are only $3.00 and if your purchase is over $50.00 shipping is free.)

There are many items on our website, but we have even more that will be available at shows (items not yet on the website, see the site for show dates). If you mention this blog, we will give you 20% off ONE item of your choice.