Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mary Thomas, A Multi-talented Crafter from NE Tennessee

Thank you, Mary Thomas, of WickdCreation for taking the time to answer some questions about your items and the great things to see and do in Tennessee. Mary operates the selection is always interesting, varied, and colorful. I purchased some wooden flower basket magnets from here that were adorable and well made. She often has Tennessee themed items, like Jack Daniel's whiskey shotglass candles, made in Lynchburg, TN. 

1) Where in TN do you live? What is the nearest major city? What is the geography like and are there any unusual landmarks or historical places?

I live in Duff, TN. That's about 20 minutes from the Kentucky border in the northeastern part of the state and just under an hour from Knoxville. It is very beautiful here, especially up on the mountain I live at the very top of. Our most historical place in this area would have to be the Civil War Trails in the next town over, Lafollette, TN.

2) What are your favorite places in TN for shopping, dining, and outdoor fun? What destination would you recommend near your city for tourists? 

For four years I lived in Johnson City, TN. Aside from the wonderful college, ETSU, it is also a great place to shop, eat, go dancing, whatever strikes your fancy. Knoxville has two great malls, hundreds of restaurants and of course anyone stopping in from out of town has to see the Sun Sphere, which was built for the 1982 World's Fair.

3) Tell us a bit about your crafts. What do you make and how did you learn to make these things?

I am a Soaper, Candlemaker, Jewelrymaker and Papercrafter. I am self taught and I have a great love for all of them. I have worked with paper the longest. I became a scrapbooker in high school but that quickly evolved to cardmaking, collages, etc. I haven't purchased a greeting card in 5 years, not even Christmas cards. I make them all myself. I also learned to make Candles in high school with my best friend. I decided last year to try making glycerin soaps, learned very quickly that I had knack for it and that I was in love with mixing the fragrances and colors to achieve the perfect result. I just took up jewelry making in March of this year, but I have built up quite a large collection of beads, findings and other supplies. My only issue with jewelrymaking has been wanting to keep everything I make.

4) What are your future plans for your handmade items? 

In the near future, I want to learn to make Hot and Cold process soaps as well as expanding my jewelrymaking beyond earrings and the occasional bracelet. My dream would be to open a boutique where I, and other local sellers, could sell a varitey of handmade beauty products and jewelry. We don't have many opportunities to really experience a handmade market in this particular area and I would love to be able to change that.

5) So, you are also the captain of April's Army team on etsy? Please tell us about that team and the money they raise for charity.

Yes, April's Army. We are one of the largest teams on Etsy, and in my opinion, we are also one of the very best. We work directly with April Winchell, the creator of the humor site, Regretsy, to raise money for other Etsy sellers in need. Our wonderfully dedicated team members donate handmade and vintage items to a collective shop right here on Etsy and all the proceeds go to our chosen recipient of the month. Our shop is only open the last week of the month, so that the members have time to create new items and our wonderful buyers have time to re-fill their wallets. During that week, Regretsy and April's Army also promotes the charity recipients Etsy shop in hopes of selling out their current stock and greatly increasing the money raised for their particular cause. So far we have helped a young lady whose fiance needed money for cancer treatment, a lady who lost everything in a fire and a family who needed help with their massive debt after the father's long battle with cancer. Between the April's Army shop and the shops of the recipients we have raised nearly $20,000 in just 3 months. 

6) Can you describe some of the items you have donated to their charity shop and tell us about how we can buy from it?

Well, in the spirit of Regretsy, I have donated cupcake scented Mustache on a Stick soaps and 4 sets of my super special Zombie BFF clay pendants. 
As I stated above, we are only open the last week of each month, but there are plenty of items, lots of variety and something in every price range. During the last week of each month, just check out and know that any purchase you make will go directly towards helping another seller improve their life. 

7) Is your shop having any sales or promotions right now?

Yes, code: FRIENDS20 will get you 20% off any purchase from my shop.


  1. Fantastic interview! Mary is such a sweetheart and her soaps--fantastic!

    As an aside, I just want to share that I've only been in Tennessee once and that was for the 1982 World's Fair! I'd love to go back and explore your fine state some more one day :)

  2. Thanks, Christine! I am brand new to TN myself and I love it. The climate is awesome and I love the tobacco barns and horses in the country. Please look for Mary's items in the April's Army Charity shop, open the last week of every month, too!