Friday, March 29, 2013

A Jones Of All Trades: Mount Juliet's Newest Artisan Shopping Venue

Scenic Mount Juliet, TN
If you love shopping, crafts, and discovering new places in Tennessee, I have some exciting news for you. Opening on May 8, 2013, in Mount Juliet, TN, "A Jones Of All Trades" will be a locally owned and operated craft mall, selling a variety of handmade items for a reasonable consignment fee. Mount Juliet is located close to Nashville and is a cozy town known for antique shopping and an artsy feel. There is a lot of consumer traffic for the unique shopping and dining experiences.

Know as "The city between the lakes", Mount Juliet has plenty of water for recreation and sightseeing. Another boon is the close location to Nashville. It is located near enough to the metro area to have all the amenities and the demand for upscale shopping, yet still maintain a rustic feel. It is also ranked in the top 5 for business friendly cities in Tennessee! See Mount Juliet City Website for more information and directions.

So, now that you know a little bit about why Mount Juliet is a good destination for a trip, what about selling your handmade crafts in this new venue? Read on to find out more about the types of products you can sell at "A Jones Of All Trades", the cost to rent space, and how to contact the owner.

Picture of a Typical Craft Mall
First of all, a craft mall sells all types of handmade crafts and sometimes antiques from many different sellers. The sellers bring in the product to the store and the store prices and displays the products and is responsible for checking out the customers and collecting sales tax. For this courtesy, the sellers pay a percentage of their their sales to the owner of the craft mall as a consignment fee. This is good for busy crafters who want to sell in different venues, but don't have the time to personally man a booth and wait on customers. The craft mall also limits the amount of sellers of a certain product, for example, jewelry, so that the sellers won't have too much competition for one type of product. At the end of every month, the store will tally your sales and subtract their fees and you can come in and collect payment for the products you have sold.

Handcrafted Soap
What types of crafts is "A Jones Of All Trades" looking for to sell in this new location? Pretty much every category of handmade item, depending on size, is welcome; however, they are not accepting vintage at this time. The store will be featuring exclusively handmade and handcrafted items. They need pottery, knits, art, jewelry, soap, housewares, decor, furniture, and more! Of course, you want to get your spot reserved early, since they will be limiting the number of sellers of the same product.

Please remember, no vintage or mass produced goods allowed.

The details for all fees and rental can be found here:
- 3 month contract is required
- 35 dollars a month fee upfront for 20 items (depending on size of items)
-20% consignment fee on sale of item

The Location Is A Former Salon
If you are interested in selling at this new craft mall, please get your applications in ASAP to the owner Becca Jones. She would like to be contacted via email

Opening day is Saturday May 8, 2013. A Jones of all Trades will be having an open house this day. Applications are due along with their $20 non refundable application fee. Rent will be due BY the 1st of May ($35). Each vendor is required to sign a 3 month contract and has to give a 30 day notice or resignation. If no 30 day notice is given or rent is not paid with in the 5 day grace period the items will become property of A Jones of all Trades

Becca also has a Facebook page in the works for the store and some great ideas for decorating and remodeling the area to reflect the artsy, handmade items that will be sold there. Please keep your eye on the Middle Tennessee Etsy Team discussion boards and Facebook page for more updates and pictures. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Isabelle Elizabeth Designs, Handmade Jewelry From Tennessee

Today's featured artisan is Rachel Cunningham, a jewelry designer and crafter from Middle Tennessee. She owns the Etsy shop Isabelle Elizabeth Designs 

Thank you for your time, Rachel and telling us about your shop and crafts!

I live in Nolensville, TN with my husband and 2 girls. I love everything about Nolensville. It's a small, family-friendly community just outside of Nashville with lots of things to do, including my favorite...Shopping at the many antique and boutique shops! 

I enjoy a variety of crafts (sewing, knitting, refinishing furniture, etc.) and I continually experiment with new projects all the time, thanks to Pinterest! My favorite craft by far is making jewelry. I work with all types of beads, basically anything I find beauty in goes into my jewelry. 

Towards the end of 2011, I had a jewelry party at my home. A bunch of my friends attended and we tried on all kinds of gorgeous jewelry. It was such a fun time and I loved the jewelry so much that I looked into becoming a consultant. After doing a little research, I discovered that becoming a consultant was going to cost me nearly $700 and that just wasn’t in the budget for this stay-at-home mom. I started looking at all of the jewelry that I had earned from my party sales and I thought to myself, “How hard could it be?” I went searching for help and I found it on Youtube! I found a ton of tutorial videos and I purchased a few how-to books. From that point on I was hooked!! 

In the future, I would love to see my jewelry in local boutiques throughout Middle Tennessee. This past November, I was successful in selling a great deal of my jewelry to a boutique in Brentwood, TN. I’d love to increase the number of shops that sell my jewelry as well as focusing on increasing my traffic and sales to my Etsy shop,

 I keep track of all of the bead shows that come through Nashville. My favorite one to hit up is the intergalactic bead show – great selection and you can’t beat the prices! I attend the shows quarterly and try and get what I need at those times. My go to online resources would be Both have great selection and ship quick!

My favorite item in the shop right now is our Blue Lampwork Round earrings ( I’m so eager for warm weather and every time I look at these earrings it makes me think of summertime! 

Isabelle Elizabeth Designs is on Facebook and Twitter! 
Follow us on Twitter -

Like us on Facebook

Check out our shop on Etsy

Also, we are currently offering 10% off to all new customers with our coupon code – MTC0613! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

In Memoriam: Rew Elliott, Jewelry Created With Love

A Rew Elliot Original Design By Kristin

Today's featured seller, Kristin, reminds me a lot my story, and how I coped with the death of my husband, Tim, through making crafts. Kristin lost a beloved brother, Andrew, far too young, and began making jewelry to assist in the grieving process. The process of creating can fill a void where it is easy to get lost in sadness and passes the time that one might spend being lonely or angry at the loss of a loved one. Thank you so much, Kristin for letting us feature your lovely jewelry and touching tribute to your brother, Andrew "Rew" Elliot.

1) Where do you live in TN and what is your favorite thing about your community?

I live in Kingston Springs, TN, on the outskirts of Nashville. I'm a big city girl, but now that my husband and I have children we were looking for a change of pace without actually moving far away from a large metropolis. We have several acres - enough to satisfy my sometimes green thumb, to watch deer crossing through our woods, and to enjoy starlight without city lights, but I can still be in downtown Nashville in 20 minutes. I totally can have my cake and eat it too. I like that :)

2) What crafts do you do and how did you get started?

I make jewelry from vintage rhinestones. I hand set each stone into antiqued metals and create custom designs. I first began making jewelry in 2005 as a way to keep my mind and hands occupied after the death of my brother, Andrew Elliott. Rew, as we often called him, was taken at the tender age of 21, far too young and most unexpectedly. 

I soon began to realize that I really liked creating beautiful pieces and that other people really liked what I was making.
So when it came time to put an actual name to my little business and as my vision began to grow beyond making jewelry as a hobby, I was never in doubt as to what I should call my company. And so Rew Elliott was born.

Andrew was a remarkable person, and though he was my little brother, I look up to him in many ways. He had such passion and enthusiasm. He was a risk taker who was always pushing the envelope and striving for the next level -yet he also had such a meticulous nature and such a desire for perfection in all that he did.These are qualities that I try to bring to my business and to my creative process. 

3) What future plans or projects do you have in store for your crafts and business?

Last fall I started doing a lot of art and craft shows, and I am really enjoying them. I am continuing to apply to and be accepted at larger juried shows, so I hope that trend continues. I also am looking to expand into wholesale markets. I've done a few large wholesale orders which have built my confidence in my ability to handle such orders, so I'd like to see that side of my business grow. I still love doing custom bridal and special event statement pieces, so I will be working on more one of a kind, unique pieces and listing them in my Etsy shop. I will be moving away from listing smaller items there and putting the focus on my one of a kind statement pieces. 

4) Any favorite places in TN to buy craft supplies, take classes, or enjoy others' arts and crafts?

I am still getting my sea legs when it comes to the TN arts and crafts scene, but I have been a part of some great shows here and have discovered many favorite artisans that way. I try to "shop small" as I believe wholeheartedly in supporting your local economy and artisans. 

5) What is your favorite item in your store now?
Without a doubt. I love the color in this piece as well as the design. I am very inspired by turn of the century, Edwardian era design. I try to bring those classic design elements to my pieces while fusing them with modern color combinations. This vintage-chic look is a hallmark of Rew Elliott styling. 

6) Do you have any social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest...etc.) to share? How about sales and promotions codes?

LOYALREW13 gets customers 10% off in my Etsy shop!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Anicca, Arts Inspired By Nature

Canvas Print of Original Photography by Melody of Anicca
 Today we are going to hear from our featured local artisan, Melody Ryan. She is a photographer, artist, and jewelry creator, and owns the online shop Anicca. She also has vintage items available in her Etsy store. Her shop name and inspiration comes from nature and the cycle of life and death that each living thing must move through..."although every little thing that arises to exist in this universe will eventually cease to be- will return to the dust; 
for a shining moment in time, every little thing stands still- frozen and glorious in its own special moment of existence."

I live in Nashville, TN. I love it here, because it is filled with art and music. There are so many different areas here that are very unique, and there is ALWAYS something interesting going on. It has a wonderful, deep-rooted artistic community that I am happy to be a part of!

 I dabble in all sorts of crafts and love to create anything and work with any kind of materials, but have recently settled on jewelry-making and photography. My first artistic passion was painting. I still paint occasionally, but photography has definitely won over my heart. I also really love the editing process of photography. I started crafting hemp jewelry when I was younger, which eventually transitioned to making all kinds of jewelry and working with metal.

In the near future, I plan on getting more involved in showing my work at different events and participating in more shows and festivals. But my main goal is that I would especially love to eventually be able to travel around the world to do exotic wildlife photography.

There is a great art supply store here in Nashville called Plaza that also offers a wide variety of art classes. And of course, there is the trusty Hobby Lobby down the road that I always get a little too carried away in. :)

My favorite item at the moment is a long bronze necklace with criss-crossing chains that dangle down and have little feather charms and a blue skull charm hanging from them. 

I have a facebook page at
Currently, I have a happy spring coupon for 20% off any item in my store! Enter the code "BIRD00" (zeroes)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scrappin' In Nashville

Handmade Cards by Ashley 

Today we are going to hear from Ashley, the creator of these adorable handmade cards and owner of online store Iluvmarin. This online shop specializes in handmade, unique paper goods. Thank you, Ashley for taking the time to tell us about your handcrafted items and online shop! Don't forget to like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Cupcake Toppers
Hi! My name is Ashley, I am originally from a small town called Cowan, at the foot of Sewanee mountain. I moved to Nashville when I married my wonderful husband, Michael, 6 years ago. Together, we have 2 beautiful little girls...Marin who is 3 years old, & Adrianna, who is 3 months old. 

I started my Etsy shop 2 years ago, when my first little girl, Marin, was just 7 months old. I named my shop, iluvmarin, because I was just bursting at the seams with love for her.
I left my corporate job to become a stay at home mommy, & in my free time, I enjoyed working on Marin's memory book. That is how I discovered scrapbooking for myself & how much enjoyment I got out of it. My crafts mainly include scrapbooking & card making. In addition, I can make adorable cupcake toppers & festive banners for parties, & I am always happy to take custom orders.

Since we live in a fairly large city, I'm able to find a wide variety of scrapbooking supplies, whether at retail stores or at little shops, to help me create truly unique, one of a kind, treasures. 

Owning & operating an online business takes alot of time and effort but can be very rewarding. I have met people from all walks of life doing the same thing as me, who I normally would not have met otherwise. I have learned valuable tools, such as the importance of social networking & marketing, & although my shop is still considered pretty new, I have learned that anything is possible if you just set your mind to it & never give up.

Eventually, I would love to be able to expand my Etsy shop so that I could have my very own space with a building that houses all my creations & my shop's name on the outside. A place where customers can actually pick up a card & get a real feel for the time & love that I put into each one, a scrapbook with all its different colors & textures...I'm always told after a sale that the item purchased was even cuter in person! 

My favorite item in my shop right now is a set of 4 assorted elephant notecards with coordinating envelopes. Marin loves elephants right now, & these cards all have very sweet sentiments...who doesn't love to receive a sweet card?!

If you are interested in learning more about my shop, please visit me at: and become a fan on Facebook:
and don't forget to follow me on Twitter:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Must Love Dogs

Dog Wearing Handmade Collar By Robin

Today, we will be talking to Robin C. from Murfreesboro, owner of Little Black Dog Boutique. She started her business with homemade, healthy dog treats, but branched into handmade collars and other products. This blog feature is about her new line of collars. They are 100% handmade with attention to detail and made for any size dog. She has a variety of patterns to choose from. See her online store here: Little Black Dog Boutique

About Robin:

It's official, I am a "dog person" - you know, the kind of people that think of their dogs as their kids and treat them as such? That's me! I'm the proud mom of Wyatt - a dachshund/chihuahua mix and Dyson - a border collie mix. They are both beautiful, crazy, loveable rescue dogs, and yep, both black dogs! Hence the name for the boutique.

The seed was planted for the Little Black Dog Boutique a couple of years ago when I visited a dog store that sold dog cookies so cute I would have eaten them myself! Combine that with my love for cooking, sewing, crafting and entertaining, and the idea for the boutique was born!

Blue Dog Collar
About the handmade Dog collars:

-How much do the different sizes cost or will they all be the same price? 

Currently, ALL sizes cost the same! I like to keep the pricing simple and easy. You will find some different pricing soon on a different TYPE of collar; for instance, those made with webbing, luxe collars and martingale collars will be priced according to time and materials. (Webbing collars, luxe collars and martingale collars to be added to the site very soon!) I will also start adding options as "upgrades", such as XL large collars, 1.5" widths and metal hardware.

-How long does it take you to make and ship a collar? 

If, for some reason, the collar is already made, I will ship the same day as the payment received. Generally, I will make and ship the collar within 1 to 3 business days of the payment received. On rare occasions the process has taken up to 7 business days - say the customer wanted something I don't offer or I don't have the hardware. I want to get the product out as quickly as possible!

-When did you learn to make dog collars? 

About a year ago! I was really feeling the urge to get back into sewing, and expand what I was offering in my shop, which was only dog treats at that time. I searched on etsy and found a wonderful shop that offered sewing patterns for dog products and I was hooked! I love sewing, fabric and the wide variety of things that can be created for dogs! I have more ideas than time. 

-Do you have plans for any novelty or holiday design collars you plan to ad? 

Absolutely. I will always have holiday themed collars, and will be expanding the "team" collars, as well. I believe April is autism awareness month, so plan on seeing a collar, leashes and key fobs to bring awareness to that very soon!

-Do you make collars for cats?

You know what? I actually tried to make a few cat collars over the Christmas holiday. I didn't like how they turned out! I am very detail oriented and particular about my product - so if I don't feel satisfied with it, I won't offer it. So for right now, the answer is no - but I won't rule it out completely. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Team Meeting Minutes and Pictures

Amy Averitte Enjoys a Coffee
The first thing I want to do in this post is apologizing for messing up the date of the meeting! I originally had it on Saturday, but announced the wrong date. I apologize for anyone who could not attend because of the this issue. I hope to see some new faces next time. Feel free to suggest a good time for a meeting that works for you, because we will keep having them every 2-3 months. The next meeting will be SATURDAY MAY 25th at 12 NOON at Hasting's Coffee Shop in Murfreesboro on Memorial.  Now for the highlights of the meeting!

Hasting's Employee Is Excited About Handmade Candle
- Try and participate on the team discussion boards once week so discussions don't get dull, although we have NO mandatory treasury making or participation level. There are now stickies for "let's promote", "team treasury", "have a heart game" and "social media links". Feel free to start your own discussion for a shop critique or question. Don't be shy!

- The team tag is TEAMBORO (we were originally the Murfreesboro team, but people from anywhere are welcome). Team treasuries must have at least one team member.

-Team Blog is
-Team Facebook is

You may use the team facebook once a week to promote a sale or promotion and post one new listing from your shop a week.

To get into the team blog, contact Mylana on Etsy to feature your shop, or play in the twice monthly treasury game. The winning treasury gets in the blog and the winner has his or her item promoted as the inspiration item for the next round.

Clare Corcoran Brought Lavender Bath Salt Samples 
Amy Averitte's Custom Made Name Pillow
-Local craft fairs and vendor opportunities are always welcome to be shared on the Etsy team boards and Facebook. Check often for new updates. One of our team members is opening a craft mall in Mount Juliet. There will be a blog post about the shop and how to sign up. Look for that in the blog this month.

-New "Customer Service Stats" on Etsy!
These are found under "Your Shop" category on the upper right. Rumor has it that these may be an eventual replacement for the feedback system; however, it is not official. Currently, you can check your processing times, average conversation response time, and goals for shipping and tracking.

-Do you make "Custom Made"?
Make sure all listings have an accurate processing time listed. If you are drowning in orders and getting overwhelmed, it might be time to raise your prices. You will see fewer sales, but be getting paid more per order and reduce your stress levels.

-Are sales sluggish? Consider asking on the team boards for a critique or help or consider the following:
1) Get your social media up and running (facebook, twitter, blog) and keep it interesting. Look for blogs to feature and promote your shop.

2) How is your Search Engine Optimization or SEO? Are you using all your tags? Are you using the best tags to describe your items? Are you using popular terms for search? Try checking out the titles and tags of your competitors, but do not intentionally mis tag items or label them as the incorrect thing, just to be found.

3) Maybe it is time to have a sale or lower prices. Please note, this usually results in buyers looking for a deal who might not return when you raise prices or the sale is over. Having low prices all the time may contribute to a devaluation of your product to the buyers, who sometimes perceive low price as being low quality. Pricing is a personal decision you will have to carefully evaluate and experiment with. At the meeting, everyone agreed that they had raised the prices over time and decided to work on improving their SEO and shop appearance to make sales. It is frustrating when your prices are low and you get many orders but little profit to show for it.

4) Try making some treasuries or listing items when things get slow. Most team members with over 500 sales have over 100 items. More items = more tags and titles to get found with in search.

5) Try advertising outside Etsy, such as in blogs or facebook ads. You can get a free ad in the team blog by contacting Mylana.

***To get your FREE AD in the team blog, go to "Your Account" and choose "Info and Appearance", then on the left, look for the category "Promote". Select "Etsy Mini" with 2 x 2 thumbnails and send a conversation to Mylana with the javascript code. Your shop ad will appear in the blog shortly!***

-Shop For a Cure was a great success!
Organized by team member Amy Bachman (MyMilkMoney), our team helped raise a lot for the cystic fibrosis foundation. My personal shop, Mylana, was able to donate 35 dollars and I had several buyers comment they found me through this event. Charity fundraisers can be great exposure, but you need to evaluate how much your shop can contribute and which events are really important.

Don't forget the next meeting!
SATURDAY MAY 25th at 12 NOON at Hasting's Coffee Shop in Murfreesboro on Memorial

March 17th Treasury Contest Winner, Amy Averitte

'DANCE. let tuce turn ip the beet' by fAverittecreations

Inspired by Highway80...dancing in the kitchen

Hand Decorated Towels, ...

Live Plant Magnet. Mini...

Lettuce Turnip the Beet...

farmhouse decor, goat, ...

1950 wood hand painted ...

Groovy Watering Can Ora...

Camper Hot Pads / Retro...

pan coaster- turquoise ...

Enamelware saucepan Sov...

Reclaimed barnwood kitc...

Olive Oil Bottle Green ...

rainbow fruit bowl set

Apple Jack Soy Candle i...

Turquoise Banana Holder...

Kitchen Art poster prin...

Knitted Dishcloths Avoc...