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Meet the Maker – Blue Lake & Rocky Shore

Looking for comfy cozy home decor? Look no further than the nearest “Blue Lake & Rocky Shore” 😉 Read on to learn all about Jillian and her company…

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario with my husband, two kids and two dogs. Before I had my children, I worked in the IT field in downtown Toronto. After becoming a mother, I decided that I really didn’t want to return to that career, with the commute and the long hours. I started really getting into sewing many years ago, and decided that I’d like to try and make a living doing what I love. I initially started doing alterations for people in my neighbourhood, but soon decided that I needed a better creative outlet. After coming up with many design ideas for decor products, I decided to take the plunge and start making my own designs to sell to others.

I grew up on a lake in Northern Ontario, and as a result, am continually inspired by the landscape of the Great Canadian Shield. I love creating items that remind of me the outdoors and of being at the cottage (or “camp” for us Sudburians!) I’ve lived in Southern Ontario for many years now, but I still like creating items that remind me of home.

How do you balance parenthood with your business?

Working out of my home has been great in allowing me to be available to my kids when they’re not in school. I can set my own hours and work when it’s convenient for me. My kids are older now – 18 and 14, so it’s not the kind of hands-on parenting that younger children require, but I still want to be here for them. Before my daughter got her driver’s license, it was great to be able to chauffeur her and my son to all of their after school activities. If I’d been working a typical 9-5 job, that wouldn’t have been possible. This business has allowed me a lot of flexibility, for which I’m grateful.

My daughter is set to move away for school in September, but my son will still be here and I feel very lucky that I can be around when he gets home from school every day.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

I think my favourite item would have to be the Lumberjack Pillow Cover. It’s red and black buffalo plaid flannel, and it’s made to look like a buttoned-up flannel shirt. The buttons have moose on them, for an even more outdoorsy look. I called it the Lumberjack because the flannel shirt look reminded me of what a lumberjack might wear to chop down trees. Because it’s flannel, it’s soft and cozy, just like a good flannel shirt should be.

What is the story behind your business name?

My business name, Blue Lake & Rocky Shore, comes from a line in an old Canadian classic song, called, “Land of the Silver Birch.”

The song goes as follows:

Land of the silver birch

Home of the beaver

Where still the mighty moose wanders at will

Blue lake and rocky shore

I will return once more…

Can you describe your process and how long it takes to produce a piece?

I keep a sketch book handy and I am constantly drawing pictures of the ideas that pop into my head. Usually when I get a new idea, I’ll spend some time drawing different versions of it, until I find one that I think will work. Then I make a prototype. Sometimes I’ll have fabric already that works for what I want to make. Otherwise I’ll get what I need and start cutting and sewing. Sometimes I think I’ll be making one thing, and then during the process, I change it into something else. Maybe I was going to make a 14″ x 14″ square pillow, but then I decide to make a bolster instead. How long it takes entirely depends of how intricate the design is. Products with appliqués take much longer than those without. Once I’ve finished sewing, I’ll decide if it needs anything else – trim or buttons or some other detail. Once I’m satisfied with how it looks, I make note of the design elements and keep all of these in a pattern file on my computer.

Describe your work-space and your top tools are.

My work space used to be a combination of my kitchen and dining room. I used to keep all of my materials upstairs in my master bedroom and my current projects spread out on my dining room table. I would haul my sewing machine into my kitchen each day to work. Needless to say, this was not very convenient!

Last fall, we had our basement finished and I now have a whole big section of it as a dedicated work space. I turned the unused space under the stairs into a closet where I store pillow forms and shelves of fabrics. It’s great to be able to close the door and not have all of that clutter out in the open. I have a sewing table, and big storage hutch and a nice, big cutting table. Most days I’m down in my studio working, listening to music or podcasts (true crime are my faves!) It’s such a pleasure to have this space to work in.

My top tool is of course my sewing machine! I also love my rotary cutter and mat. They make straight cuts a breeze.

Do you receive many custom orders and if so, how much input do clients have?

I receive many custom orders and clients typically have as much input as they’d like. I recently made new couch cushions for someone’s cottage, and she chose the fabric herself. Sometimes people will ask me to make a personalized blanket for a baby or child, and other than telling me the child’s name, they leave the design up to me. Or sometimes they’ll give me an idea as to the room’s theme, or something the child really likes, and then I’ll take it from there.

I’ve also made a few memory quilts. In those cases, the clients handed over their items and didn’t see them again until the quilt was complete. I think they liked the surprise.

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

I try to sneak in a few projects for myself once in awhile. I used to make clothes for myself pretty regularly, but I’m too busy for that now. Being tall, it was great for me to be able to make things that actually fit me properly. Usually if I have a little time for a personal project, it’ll end up being something for one of my children. One tradition we have is that I make them pyjamas every year for Christmas.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m a swimmer and have been swimming with the Richmond Hill Masters for the past 14 years. Not only is it a great workout, but we’re a very social group and I’ve made amazing friendships with my fellow swimmers. I am also an avid reader and have belonged to a book club for the past 13 years. As much as I love reading, it’s really the other women in the book club that make it so much fun. My favourite thing to do on a Friday night is to binge watch whatever series I’m currently into on Netflix. I especially like the Nordic noir shows from countries like Sweden and Denmark. I also love British mysteries – whether in television or book form.

And of course spending time with my family is number one!

Trail hike or lake swim?

Definitely lake swim! I had the wonderful privilege of growing up on a beautiful lake in the city of Sudbury, called Long Lake. Every day in the summer I was in the lake, swimming with friends. We had a peddle boat that my best friend and I would take on adventures down the lake. In winter, my father would shovel a huge rink on it and flood it with the hose to make it smooth for skating. We’d also snowmobile and cross-country ski on Long Lake. My bedroom faced the lake and at night, I’d fall asleep to the sounds of the water. I can’t imagine a better place to live than on a lake. Trail hikes are nice, but lake swims are the best!

Come meet Jillian at our Made in Canada Market on September 23, or check her out online at

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/BlueLakeRockyShore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blue-Lake-Rocky-Shore-552639408267681/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blue_lake_and_rocky_shore/

Meet the Maker – Lovely Element

Have you ever looked at something and thought “How the heck did they do that?!” Well, Alice of Lovely Element will make you think that for ALL of her creations! A paper-crafter Extraordinaire, Alice takes Origami to the next level! Take a read below to find out more about her wizardry 😉

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I have been a crafty person since I could remember as a kid. During my spare time I like to work on different kinds of craft projects that involve sewing, paper craft, drawing, fashion design, computer learning and more.

Where did your business idea come from?

The Origami crane symbolizes peace, long life, good luck, prosperity, love & joy. In 2010, my special year, we used origami crane as our wedding theme. I used fabric material to fold paper cranes for table centre pieces. I also made tiny paper cranes and placed them into small glass bottles as wedding favours to our guests. Since then I got more ideas on making tiny little cranes and putting them into small glass vials and making them into wearable pieces. Two years later Lovelyelement Origami Shop was born.

What was your inspiration to start selling your creations?

The reason why I really started selling online was because of my dad. He was a knowledgeable person and also a maker. He used to work in accounting, tailoring, and toy design. He had a factory for plastic toys where he made his own designs, toy moulds, and produced them. Growing up I always thought one day, I have to make things I love and enjoy and be like my dad to start my own business. I also enjoy the feeling when people talking about my work. The feeling outweighs the final end product.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

The micro origami lucky paper stars necklace is my favourite piece. It took me the longest time to create and finish. Each paper star is made from 1 mm wide origami paper and I have to make sure 6 stars are all the same size and shape. If any of them look like they do not match with the other paper stars, I will re-do it. I love to have a clear finish for each paper star and a perfect fit for each glass vial.

Any advice for a new Handcrafted Maker who is setting up a shop?

I would say good photos of items / products, use good keywords and be unique.

Do you have a home studio or do you work at another location?

Currently I have a home studio / office to make my items and also prepare all shipping packages.

Ice Cream or Cake?

I love cakes especially Japanese cheesecake and green tea million crepe cake.

Find Alice’s amazing paper-work at our Made in Canada Market on September 23rd or you can follow her on all of her social channels.

Etsy: www.lovelyelement.etsy.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lovelyelement
Instagram: @Lovelyelement

Meet the Maker – Liliput Kingdom

I LOVE felt creations and am always excited to find a new and interesting thing that can be made of felt.. Hila of Liliput Kingdom takes felt to a whole new level with her animals and food items! Read on to find out more about Hila and her creatures.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I’m 38 yeas old, live in the lovely quite town of Richmond Hill, enjoying the sun and the flowers after a long winter. As a new comer the weather is quite challenging 🙂 I have been working with babies and toddlers for almost 20 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Anthroposophy and Science. And I love what I do!

One interesting fact – The meaning of my name is the light around the moon. And also like aura. I love my name and the connection to the nature it holds.

Where did your business idea come from?

While studying Anthroposophy, I did a lot of crafting and I began to sew and knit for my pleasure. At first I sewed for friends , birthday gifts and slowly the demand rose and the idea of making a business out of it came up and turned the hobby into a business.

What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

I think the move to Canada was very significant for me in many levels, of course, also business wise.

From a successful small local business I opened up to the big world, opened a ETSY shop and the business jumped up a step.

I came to Canada a little more than a year ago and I’m still in the process of learning, enjoying the road very much.

Where do you get inspiration for developing new products?

My great inspiration comes from nature and from working with children. I love hiking and I always discover something that amaze me. I can find myself looking at ants for a long time, or looking for the magical shapes hidden in the flowers. Nature allows our imagination to fly freely. In children the connection to the world of imagination is more natural and present, watching a child playing fascinates me no less.

How long does the average item take for you to create?

I sew a lot of animals. The average time for sewing an animal will vary from one hour to one and a half hours.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

I think so. I really like my secret gnome.

Seeing how this tiny gnome makes adults and children such a big excitement – It’s a big pleasure. It is also one of my first products.

City Living or Country Dwelling?

Definitely country Dwelling. I like to get up early, hear the birds, smell the morning dew (yes, it has a smell) and the closeness to nature fills me and widens my heart.

Find Hila’s wonderous creations at the Made in Canada Market on September 23rd, or you can check out her social channels online!

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/LiliputKingdom
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liliputkingdom
Instagram: @liliputkingdom

Meet the Maker – Amanda Brittin

If you’re in the market for an inspiring and beautiful piece of jewellery, Amanda Brittin is your go-to! Read on to find out more about Amanda and how she comes up with her creations..

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I work with hammer and torch to create hand-forged rustic sterling silver, bronze and gemstone jewelry. With a background in Anthropology and Archaeology, I am very influenced by the jewelry pieces that have been excavated from ancient Roman and Viking sites and this has been the source of inspiration for my recent “Unearthed” series of bronze and silver work.

Although I no longer work in Archaeology, I still occasionally design and install museum exhibitions!

How Does your work reflect your personality and overall approach to life?

Form and function are very important to me! When I go about my day to day life, the pieces of art that I enjoy the most are the things that I “use”, the functional things that are handmade and beautiful and I can enjoy as more than just a piece of art on the wall. I love my visual art too, but I get the most pleasure out of things that I can actually use; things like my hand-thrown tea pot, my funky mosaic toothbrush holder and my lovely hand-made bird feeders. Over my years as an artisan making a big variety of artwork, from floorcloths to mosaics, concrete sculpture to jewelry, this has always been the thing that informed my work – make stuff that is useful and beautiful, whether it is personal adornment or a mat in front of a kitchen sink.

What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

One of the more challenging aspects of business is to keep on top of business development. I may make beautiful jewelry, but unless I can get it out there in the public eye, no one will appreciate it and sales will not happen. Keeping up with daily activity in social media and maintaining frequent contact with clients has been something that I have had to become quite disciplined with. I have noticed that when I am really busy with other things and don’t keep up with my Etsy listings, Instagram and Facebook feeds, my business can really lag. I have developed a pattern now, where I choose a certain time of day and make sure to post or be active at that time!

How long does the average item take for you to create?

The average sterling silver and gemstone ring will take me several hours to design, but once I know what I want to create, the actual time to make it is usually 2-3 hours. I find that the sketching and mulling over of a design idea is a time consuming part. Once I have solved the problem or come up with creative idea, then execution of that idea comes together fairly fast. Of course, there are always a few pieces that can take a whole day!

Describe your work-space and your top tools are.

I have a very small and joyful studio space that is connected to my house. It is only 9×11 feet in size and I pack a lot in there! I have two work benches set a different heights so that I sit at one and stand at the other. All my electrical equipment and my torch for jewelry-making are attached to these two benches. A floor to ceiling set of shelving lines one wall for shipping and packaging and my music system. My products are nicely set up in a little alcove to the side for clients to shop. I still manage to bring in a couple of lovely plants and have some great artwork on my colourful walls. My favourite aspect of my studio is that I have set up several bird feeders outside my big studio window and I have a pond out beyond those – what a view! How could this not bring joy to me as I work away creating jewelry?

Do you receive many custom orders and if so, how much input do clients have?

I think that the biggest reason for my success is my willingness to work on custom jewelry, largely driven by clients’ special requests. Even an Etsy inquiry as general as, “I saw this rounded triangular ring on my last trip to Latvia…could you make something like that?” will get my creativity flowing and I will try it out for a client with no expectation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it is not quite right, but the times that it is perfect and the client is thrilled, that makes it all worthwhile. I love to experiment and have no interest in mass production work, even though it is more financially feasible, so customized orders are my main business! I would say that customized and made-to-order account for half my business!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I am an avid bird-watcher and traveler with a passion for hiking in the American southwest. If I have a bit of free time during the week, I love to enjoy the wonderful forest tracts in York Region and will head out with a friend for a hike! I usually take my camera as there are almost always birds to see and capturing one or two on a hike makes the outing just perfect!

You can find Amanda’s gorgeous creations at our Made in Canada Market on September 23rd or you can follow her online!

Etsy: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/amandabrittin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandajanebrittin
Instagram: @amandabrittin

Meet the Maker – Grizzlie

With the cooler seasons approaching (I know it’s too soon!) you’ll want to have some comfy cozies on hand. Tracey from Grizzlie can help make sure you’re taken care of. Read on to find out more about the creator behind the wool!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I started my Etsy business almost 7 years ago, and it was one of the best decisions of my life! It took my hobby of knitting to a whole new level. I have learned so much along the way about running a small business, marketing, photography and social media. The pieces I knit are a true reflection of my outlook on simplicity, nature, and the world around me. I am very blessed to be able to share this artistic fibre art with others.

I have been happily married for 23 years, have three wonderful children and two adorable dogs. I am Vegan and consider that another good decision I made!

How does your work reflect your personality and overall approach to life?

I live my life very simply. I take inspiration from nature, trees and landscapes with a rustic feel. The colours I choose are more calming and natural. The textures I toy with are on the simple yet interesting side. Less is definitely more when it comes to my designs. Like in my personal life, I enjoy the simpler things. A cup of tea, a walk with my dogs. Sitting and having conversations with my family on our back porch.

How long does the average item take for you to create?

I am always creating in my mind! Knitting comes with me everywhere! In the car, to appointments, I have even been known to knit in a dark movie theatre! My smaller baby items can usually be completed in a day or two as sometimes they take more work as, where a chunky hat or scarf can be completed in a couple of hours. My dream vacation is where I just sit and knit all day long..

What is the story behind your business name?

When you open an Etsy shop it is so important to create a brand. For me, Grizzlie came from my love of anything rustic, farmhouse chic looking. Nature and knits go so well together. I imagined a snowy forest and a giant Grizzlie bear looking for berries. And so the name ‘Grizzlie’ was born. Although if I did see a giant Grizzlie bear I think I would pass out!

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

I rarely make anything for myself which I find so sad! This summer I vowed to change that. I found a beautiful chunky sweater design and am knitting myself a large cardigan. The kind that is oversized that you just want to live in come the colder months. I have completed the back and love how it is coming along.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Believe it or not, in my free time I still knit. That is how much I love what I do. I also love organizing and cleaning, I know that sounds strange. Of course spending time with my dogs is top of the list. We got a new puppy this summer and he takes up all our free time. But he is so cute he is worth it.

Any advice for a new Handcrafted Maker who is setting up a shop?

My advice would be to make what you love, not just what is trendy or what you ‘think’ might sell. Have a cohesive feel to your shop so people can spot your items a mile away. Your Etsy shop will only work if you put in the time to make it work. It is a lot of work and learning. But the benefits, opportunities and amazing people you will meet along the way are totally worth it.

What is your bestselling item? Why do you think it is the most popular?

I would say my bestselling item is my slouch hat. It is warm and very comfortable and the kind of hat that you don’t want to take off even inside. Through the years I have made them in every colour under the sun, with flowers and hearts, for babies, children and adults. But the plain one in natural colours is the most popular. It even got the attention of actress Tori Spelling!!

You can find Tracey’s cozy knits at our Made in Canada Market on the 23rd of September or you can check out her stuff online!

Etsy: www.grizzlie.etsy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/grizzlie

Instagram: @grizzlieknits

Meet the Maker – Wildgrove Apothecary

Did you know that soap starts out as oil and water? The science behind soap making is fascinating and one that I love dearly (I used to be a soap maker..) I love how simple Elizabeth’s creations are – tapping into the goodness that mother nature has to offer! Read on to find out how Elizabeth started out!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I am fairly simple. I love being outdoors, dogs, and knitting.

Where did your business idea come from?

Like many people, my business developed from personal need. My skin is extremely sensitive to all the chemicals in modern skin care products. Even some well known ‘natural’ products would cause it to break out or became red and irritated. So I created my first products–the Lavender and Frankincense moisturizer and cleanser–out of pure desperation. When I saw the changes to my skin after using them for a few weeks, I started making it for family and friends. And, my business grew from there.

How does your work reflect your personality and overall approach to life?

I am a nature-loving, simple, organic type of person and my products reflect that fully. They are 100% natural, organic and made with simple and pure ingredients.

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What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

My biggest learning curve since starting my business has been social media. Being visible on social media does not come naturally for me, so learning what and where to post has been a deep learning experience.

Where do you get inspiration for developing new products?

My inspiration comes from two places; family and friends, and the plants themselves. When a friend or family member approaches me with some kind of health or skin issue, I start playing around in the kitchen trying to come up with an effective remedy or recipe. My friends call it “Kitchen Witching”, because it usually involves a lot of herbs, a mortar and pestle and great smelling essential oils. For example, I formulated my Hot Flush products after a friend approached me because she wanted relief from the discomfort of hot flashes. My Healing Skin Balm was devised for a friend suffering from eczema. My Honey, Lavender and Frankincense Cleanser and Moisturizer duo were designed for me, who has hyper sensitive, aging, yet prone-to-breakout skin. The second way I receive inspiration is from the plants themselves. As I discover more and more about their amazing healing gifts, I devise products designed to showcase these medicinal uses. For example, I’m working on a soap made from nettles, which is amazing for inflamed, irritated skin so it would be great for people with rashes, eczema, or psoriasis.

How long does the average item take for you to create?

It depends on the product. Soap can take a few hours to make, but then takes 4-6 weeks to cure. My lotions and balms can me made in an hour or two.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

My faves change depending on my needs. Right now I’m having trouble sleeping, so I am in love with my Dream Cream. It’s a body butter that has been formulated using essential oils renowned for their relaxing and sedating qualities. Using it just before bed helps me sleep soundly.

What is the story behind your business name?

That is a good question. I wanted something that represented what I did and what I valued, so it had to be a name that made reference to the woods or forest as so many of my materials come from trees and plants. The apothecary part came from what I was doing with these plants–taking them from nature and formulating them into products that nourish and heal.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love getting out of the city and heading to the cottage. A walk in the forest or swim in the lake, always rejuvenates me. At home, when I can’t get away for any extended period, I love walking my dogs in the wooded ravine by my house.

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Any advice for a new Handcrafted Maker who is setting up a shop?

Just keep going, one step at a time. It will definitely seem daunting and feel overwhelming at times, but just keep moving forward one task at a time. Oh….and make sure you use tags…

What is your bestselling item? Why do you think it is the most popular?

My Healing Skin Balm is my best selling item. It’s popular because it works. It’s rich and creamy, smells great and helps ease the discomfort of eczema or psoriasis. I love to put it on my feet at night. When I wake up in the morning, my feet feel fantastic!

Do you do this full time? If not, how do you balance your day?

No, I am a full time high school teacher. I balance my day by taking advantage of my evenings and weekends, as well as any time off. Summer vacation, Christmas and March Break are all times I work crazily on my business. During the school year, it’s weekends and evenings.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a creative business owner?

For me, the most challenging aspects of being a creative business owner has been social media. I am fairly shy and introverted by nature, so being visible on social media has been a struggle. I am learning though.

Did you take classes to learn the skills you utilize or are these self taught practices of trial and error?

Both. I take lot of classes on herbalism and plant medicine making, as well as aromatherapy, but my products themselves are often trial and error. Even though I might have the right formulation of plant and herbs, I sometimes have to experiment with the best way to get it onto the skin, whether it should be a lotion, salve, cleanser, balm, etc.

Find all of Elizabeth’s concoctions at our Made in Canada Market on September 23rd, or follow her online channels!

Website: www.wildgroveapothecary.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildgroveapothecary

Instagram: @wildgrove_apothecary

Meet the Maker – YFL.Art

I am thrilled to introduce you to Yolanda Fernandes of YFL.ART – One of my fave artists, creating beautiful, freeing paintings and SUPER CUTE character pins & paintings. Read on to find out more about her and her process.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I create original art, illustrations, enamel pins, buttons & more! I love mixing traditional forms of art such as watercolors with modern digital elements. Most of my work is nature-themed, since that is where I find most inspiration. However, since I am also a mom of three, I have branched out and have a kid’s line of illustrations & flair.

An interesting fact is that I have a fine art background and have another shop for all my fine art paintings. I have had the opportunity to showcase my work in galleries around Toronto and exhibit my work at local fine art shows.

How do you balance parenthood with your business?

I try to have a balance but it doesn’t always go as planned, and I’m comfortable with the unexpected nature of parenthood. I go with the flow as much as I can. I have very productive days and incredibly nonconstructive days. I often involve my kids in the process as often as possible. They help me pack my orders for customers by choosing with washi tapes to decorate the packaging. They sit with me as I draw all their favorite characters, letting me know what to include and leave out, with raw honestly only a child would have.

What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

Patience. When I market my products and I wasn’t seeing immediate results I used to get disappointed. But I learned it just needed some time. Understanding what my customers are looking for and learning how to market my products to attract new customers is still a work in progress.

Where do you get inspiration for developing new products?

I get my inspiration from my love of nature which clearly translates to my watercolor pieces of my galaxies and milky way scenes. My kids are my next biggest inspiration, as they have allowed my life to be full of colour and of course, superheroes. ;D

How long does the average item take for you to create?

It really depends on the piece and medium. Most of my pieces can take from a few hours to an entire day depending on how long it takes to get my exact vision on paper.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

It is very hard to pick a favourite. But I am a big Wonder Woman fan! So my illustration of her and my enamel pin have become one of my favourites, as well as a popular item in my shop.

What is the story behind your business name?

A simple story. I wanted to simplify my long name. To the point, and memorable. My shop name is an acronym off my name Yolanda Fernandes Ly

Can you describe your process and how long it takes to produce a piece?

I first do a few sketches of my thoughts and ideas. Followed by thumbnails with various colour schemes. This can take a few hours to several days as I work out my ideas. Once I have my envisioned design and mock up, I create my final edition. I then digitize my design and do some final editing in Photoshop to make it print ready. This process can take anywhere from a few days to an entire week!

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

Often! Almost all my designs come from my desire to create what I love. So essentially, I am always making things for myself that I then get to share with everyone.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Reading and working out.

Do you have a home studio or do you work at another location?

I have a home studio. I converted more than half my basement level into a studio. I have designated work sections. A drawing table for my watercolours, illustrations and such. Another section for my large canvas paintings. A packing station with everything needed to get orders out to customers. And lastly a button and accessory making station.

A vacation relaxing on the beach, or exploring the local culture?

A VACATION on the beach!!!!! I’m always on the go, so if I can have a moment to relax, I’m staying still.

You can find Yolanda at our upcoming Made in Canada Market on September 23 or you can follow her artwork on her social channels.

Etsy: yflart.etsy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YFL.ART

Instagram: @yfl.art

Meet the Maker: Winter’s Woolies

Here on the Meet the Maker series we hope to introduce you to the local artist’s and creators of the York Region. For episode 5, I want to invite you to meet Winter White of Winter’s Woolies.

I’ve looked at you shop and your items are adorable! What got you started into knitting and how have you grown into your craft?

I started knitting and crocheting a few years ago, every time I would visit my grandmother s
he would knit me these special slippers, it kind of became a tradition and it dawned on me, “who would knit these slippers after she is gone?” Wanting to keep the tradition alive I asked her if she would teach me, thus began my passion of knit and crochet. I then began making things for myself, which lead to my friends wanting their own handmade items. Shortly after, I was approached by a local shop in town that agreed to sell my work and from there i decided to branch out into the Etsy world.

Do you have a favourite piece?

My favourite piece would have to be the animal hoodies – they are so playful and can be work by all ages and genders. It truly is a fan favourite and a best seller of mine – I think they are great because you can customize them with different colours and styles. (See images attached).

Do you do this full time? If not how do you balance your day?

Winter’s Woolies is definitely a labour of love, I currently work full-time as a Special Event Planner for a municipality and find time over the evenings and weekends to squeeze in knitting time.

What are your goals for Winter’s Woolies? Is this something you’d like to do full time in the future?

Winter’s Woolies is a very dependent on the Fall and Winter seasons and is when I make most of my sales. Definitely some new and exciting collections of work coming out in September. Needless to say I will be working diligently over the summer to roll these out and have them featured in the Made in Canada Market on September 24, 2016. I think the main goal is to keep creating work that my customers will love. I have a few new exciting ventures coming my way, plan to be featured in a few new shops locally come the fall and just really trying to build my Etsy business and online presence. I am not sure I am interested in turning Winter’s Woolies into a full-time operation, to me it is more a hobby/personal interest project and am content with the size of my workload currently – but you never know what the future holds!

As a seller, what is your favourite Etsy feature?

As a seller, and a full-time event planner timing and organization along with timelines and deadlines are super important. I like that Etsy will keep you updated on specific orders and the time frame that you have to ship out an order, I find that super helpful when tracking orders.

Do you have other hobbies on top of knitting?

Winter’s Woolies is not only knitting but crochet and any other handmade items I decide to try my hand at (no pun intended). I am huge DIY fan and love creating things, but mainly my business will consist of hand knit, hand crochet and hand sewn items.

Camping or Sailing?

Defnitely camping!

You can find Winter’s Woolies at the Etsy York Region Made in Canada event September 24th in at Aurora’s Cultural Centre. Click here for more details.