Tag Archives: spinning supplies

My Right Brain Wrestles with My Left Brain

I’m sitting at my computer feeling guilty about not having blogged in ‘forever’…. and trying to think of a topic that would be interesting and also supportive of my peers in business. I am an artist trying to be a business owner. My right brain and left brain trip over eachother often, yet I think as an artist I have a perspective that benefits my customers.

I recently had a custom request for some roving for a spinner who wanted to make yarn that was inspired by coffee foam. As an artist, I knew exactly what she meant. So we started talking color and texture and exchanging photos. 23 emails later, we came up with this blend of 7 different wool fibers that will emmulate a steamy cup o’ cappuccino.

Coffee Foam Roving

Cappuccino Roving

So, my office is a mess and I always push the deadline to the bitter edge (or just past) and I’m constantly running to and fro.  But I can speak the same language as my customers because we share a creative connection.  My business has become an extension of my art.  I can’t wait to see what the Coffee Foam yarn looks like, or whatever the next inspired project may be.  Custom orders are no problem because I understand when someone says “can we add a ‘pinch’ of a cinnamon colored wool to that?”
Whatever your art, consider where you shop.  By shopping from another artisan who is trying to ‘make a living’ as a supplier, you are supporting “the little guy” and helping someone’s dream come true.  At the same time, you should find that you get excellent customer service because your supplier understands what you are doing. 
So if you can deal with the fact that we organize in piles instead of in files… make an artist your supplier.
Team ESST is the Supply Team on Etsy.  Many of the suppliers are also artists.  Whether you are looking for beads, paper, tools, fabric or wool; you can find it at Team ESST on Etsy.   http://www.freewebs.com/etsysupplystreetteam/ 

Why I Joined Etsy’s Supply Street Team – ESST!

I opened my first Etsy shop, Yarn To Spin,  in early 2008 and my second, Yarn 2 Spin in 2009.  I knew nothing… accept that I love the textile arts and I needed a venue to be able to sell the angora that I get from my herd of angora rabbits. 

It has been a long road… one that I haven’t traveled alone.  I found out about teams on Etsy.  Places where artists with a commonality could network.  I started off joining a local team… Etsywmi Team.  All artisan’s from West Michigan.  That was fun and helpful.  These were people that I could actually get to meet.  And many have now become my friends.

As my business grew, I seperated my supplies from my finished products and now run two stores.

Yarn2Spin.etsy.com – offers supplies and equipment for Textile Artisans.  Spinners, Weavers, Felters, Knitters, etc.  I work hard to find the best supplies and offer them at a fair price.  As a fellow artisan, I am glad to offer help and opinions whenever asked.

YarntoSpin.etsy.com – is the home of my products that I make and the occassional vintage treasure that I find.  A great place to see some of the things that can be made from the products I sell.

I heard about Team ESST from a West Michigan artist.  A team dedicated to supplying artists with quality materials.  A team that promotes Etsy and the Artists of Etsy to the world.  As both an artisan and a supplier, I loved how the team would pull together to promote Etsy as a whole, not just each individual shop.  The Etsy Supply Street Team is truely a strengthening force to the artisan community. 

So, as an artisan… I shop Etsy first for my supplies.  I want to support the shops that support the Etsy community.  If you are an artisan, I’d encourage you to search etsy with “team esst” in your search field when you are looking for supplies.  You can also find the Yellow Pages of the Etsy Supply world on the Team ESST page.

As a supplier, Team ESST has challenged me to be intentional about my business and professional in all areas.  This is essential if I am ever to realize my dream of being a fulltime artisan/supplier.  I appreciate the encouragement and occassional ‘kick in the pants’ from my team members.  It has helped me be a better shop owner and Etsian.