etsy interview

Feature Friday: Aviate Press

Happy Feature Friday!

This week we are featuring Ava Puckett of Aviate Press, a shop of handmade greeting cards and other goods! You’ll be able to find a card for your sassy, funny or sentimental friend from Aviate Press’ amazing greeting card line. We love how Ava has developed her business and how open she is to trying new designs and different strategies to take Avaite Press to the next level. She’s always pushing the limits of where she can go and others have recognized this as her work has been featured on sites like Buzzfeed! Read on to learn more about Ava’s story.

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Well, I am an illustrator, small business owner, full time job haver and dog lover. I’m originally from Oklahoma City, but came to Nashville to pursue music at Belmont University. I fell back in love with art and illustration after I graduated. During the day I work at MerchCave managing day to day operations.

: We absolutely love your designs and the products you create for Aviate Press! How did you come up with the brand’s name and decide to create such awesome greeting cards?

: Thank you! I was originally going to name it after myself because I had already established brand awareness as Ava Marie Doodles via Instagram and a blog I used to have, but then I read something by one of my greeting card idols, Emily McDowell – she talked about how she wouldn’t recommend naming your business after yourself for several reasons. After that, it took a few weeks of brainstorming and figuring out what voice I wanted to have in the greeting card world. I landed on Aviate Press because ‘aviate’ has my name ‘ava’ in it (cool) and because I liked the idea of incorporating paper airplanes into the logo, to go with the fact that it is all handmade. Once I came up with the tag line, I knew it was a winner: ‘handmade goods to lift your spirits.’

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Feature Friday: Emily Keating Snyder

Happy Feature Friday! 

This week we are featuring artist, Emily Keating Snyder! We love her playful approach to her artwork and how she lets her pieces reflect the imperfections of the human hand. Katie was kind enough to tell us a little more about herself, her artistic journey and her pieces. She also made an awesome video to teach you some of the techniques she uses in her watercolor paintings! You have to check it out, especially if you’ve been wanting to get into watercolors, but haven’t been sure how to approach them. Emily will give you the confidence to give it a try and experiment – what artists do best!


“I’m a colorful artist, designer, and art party hostess in Los Angeles. Playfulness and a good sense of humor are huge in my life. My favorite materials to work with are paper, paint, watercolor, collage, and embroidery. I believe strongly in the importance of working with our hands and not being too precious with art. After studying art and art history as part of my custom concentration at NYU, I had a few different art world jobs then made the leap to independent creative (and doggie caregiver) a few years ago. I’ve been grateful to show my work in New York, LA, and other major cities and to be featured by Saatchi Art and The Etsy Blog… and here on Castle Foundations!

I’ve been making art my entire life and to this day the best creative advice I’ve ever gotten was from my kindergarten art teacher. Whenever we were working on a project and wanted to rip it up and start all over after one misplaced tempera paint mark, she would say, “Turn your mistakes into something else.” I don’t think it was purely out of encouragement or necessarily kindness. It probably had more to do with needing to ration an entire school’s paper supply, but it has always stayed in my head and helped curb perfectionism in my art for 25 years.

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Maker Monday: Juleco Design

Happy Maker Monday!

This Monday we are featuring Julie McClements of Juleco Design! We love her amazing and positive typography prints. Julie uses her creative passions to bring encouraging words to those who may need them. A kind word at just the right moment can be all a person needs during a challenging time and it’s awesome that Juleco Design is there to help you say it. Julie’s shop is also great for finding your next inspirational mantra. We are huge fans of creating a space that inspires you, keeps you motivated, uplifts and reminds you of who you really are. Funny that it’s a Monday, as Julie’s prints are definitely the kind that make you jump out of bed, grab that coffee and fearlessly conquer the week ahead! Read on to learn more about Juleco Design and Julie’s journey.

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: I’m Julie McClements, the designer behind Juleco. I have always been a creative person, doodling since I was no age. You will often find me behind my laptop or with a guitar in my hand. I’m a lover of typography, guitar and singing… (and as you will see in my work, I love monochrome!). I currently live in Bangor, Northern Ireland, with my husband David and work full time as lead designer at a full service digital agency called Eyekiller.

: What made you decide to start your brand, Juleco Prints?

: In my full-time job at Eyekiller my main focus is designing websites for a wide range of clients as well as lead the design team. I really enjoy what I do. However, I was missing the creative freedom I experienced when studying at art college and how I was able to express myself through my work. This made me consider doing something different with my creativity in my free time. I have also been on an ongoing journey with fear and understanding my own worth. Throughout this I have had wonderful friends helping me with wise words and encouragement. Knowing how this helps first hand, I wanted to use what I have learned to encourage other people.

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