etsy owner

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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Feature Friday: LITTLE BATCH Candle Co.

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re so excited to be featuring our very first candle company, LITTLE BATCH Candle Co.! Andrew crafts the most unique and true to their name scents and we love how much is put into each product — from the packaging and design, to the work to create the perfect scent! We are huge candle lovers (you should see the collection we have going!) so it was great to get to test out a few of these candles ourselves! What we really loved about them, was that the scents were dead on to their name and they truly fill a room. LITTLE BATCH offers so many scents so we’re sure you’re bound to find one that fits you perfectly! Keep reading to learn more about how LITTLE BATCH came to be, why soy wax is so beneficial, and the whole process behind bringing these scents and candles to life.

: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

: My name is Andrew Kruep, and I have my own “little” Etsy shop called LITTLE BATCH Candle Co; an artisanal candle company focused on making high quality, 100% hand crafted, and fully customizable soy candles. I’m also a very proud resident of Jersey City, NJ (about 15 minutes from Manhattan), which is where LITTLE BATCH is based!

: How did you become interested in making and selling your own candles? And how did you learn to do it?!

: Well, I have always been an avid candle lover. I absolutely love walking into a room after a candle is lit; I feel like it can completely change your entire perspective, or mood, in one moment. Because of that, I was spending WAY too much money on candles (truth!) and I wondered what it would be like to make my own. I went online and bought a small, run of the mill, soy candle making kit (a few days before a huge snowstorm here on the East Coast) and fell in love with the process of creating candles on my own. Of course, it was a kit that came with standard options, so it was very limited. Naturally, I wanted to learn all I could, and create more candles that were tailored to what I liked!

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Maker Monday: Mollycat Mosaics

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Hollie Graze of Mollycat Mosaics! Her mosaic pieces range from small accent decor to large artwork that’s bound to be the focal point of the room! Although many of us have seen a mosaic in our life or remember pasting little pieces of tile on a popsicle stick frame, there are so many factors that can make working with this medium a challenge. Hollie has definitely risen to meet that challenge and we love how her social media gives us a peak into her process. It truly shows how much Hollie and fellow makers pour into their work to give you a unique piece of art. Read on to learn more about Mollycat Mosaics!

: Tell us a little about yourself. What are a few silly things that make you, you?

: What makes me, me? hmmm. I like new projects, the ideas and planning and problem solving are invigorating. I love my balcony and watching birds. I trained my cat to sit and do paw. I have not figured out how to make him not meow for food at 5:00 in the morning. I create part-time and also work as school-based occupational therapist supporting students with disabilities. I have a deep need to contribute, whether by helping others or creating beautiful mosaics that make people happy every time they see it on their wall.

: How did your shop Mollycat Mosaics get started?

: It’s funny, people ask me this all the time. I have no real definitive memory of when I started making mosaics or even what my first mosaic was! I dabbled in so many mediums, basketry, painting, ceramics, stone sculpting, etching. I was always starting something, trying something new. One day I just started mosaicking and never stopped!

Feature Friday: Ever After Enchanted Decor

Happy Feature Friday!

FullSizeRender(1416)Today we’re excited to hearing from Rosanna of Ever After Enchanted Decor! She works alongside her husband to create beautiful reclaimed wood decor to really spruce up your home! Their pieces are the perfect way to show what your family is all about or add some inspiration to your walls. We love how passionate Rosanna is about creating pieces that are of amazing quality and bring joy to customers just by looking at them! The way her and her husband transform these pieces of wood, there’s no way they wouldn’t bring joy! We think you guys are going to love what the two of them create and we can’t wait for you to hear their story! Keep on reading to hear more about the brand and see some of the amazing creations Ever After Enchanted Decor offers.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself!
ever after: Hi, my name is Rosanna, I’m 39 years old and I have two boys, a 6 year old and a 19 year old. My husband and I have always been big dreamers and have wanted to have a business together where we could create beautiful things, express our creativity, and spend more time together. I’ve always wanted the freedom and excitement that come with having my own business. In 2015 I decided to open an Etsy shop. I wasn’t happy at my job and I wanted to start this shop with the hopes that it would grow and that I could do it full time. The company that I worked for was bought out and I ended up being laid off from my corporate job. To me this was the perfect opportunity to put all I had into the business. Our goal is to take this business on the road: travel in our RV, book shows all over the country to bring our décor to people, and have fun doing it. My husband Eric currently has a full time job and is in a punk band with his brother and friends called TLB.

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Castle Logo: How did Ever After Enchanted Decor get its start?
ever after: I had the idea for my business when my husband and I were finally able to purchase our home. My goal was to have a home before my oldest son Ethan would leave for college. This did happen! We purchased our home his senior year of high school. I was so happy and I didn’t want to go to the store and buy just anything to fill our home with, I wanted to create beautiful décor that was special and meant something to me. I purchased some pieces from other makers on Etsy that I really loved, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I was inspired to create my own pieces. Once I started painting and creating things I just kept finding more inspiration, and one day it just hit me: start a shop that has beautiful décor, inspirational, magical, feminine pieces that are close to my heart.

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Maker Monday: Charest Studios

Happy Maker Monday!

This Monday we are featuring Dave Charest of Charest Studios! We love his eclectic and varied work. You can find everything from amazing wire baskets to folk art on his shop! We love that Dave continually experiments with different types of art and pursues his creative wanderings. It has lead him to produce an array of interesting artwork and the ability to turn his creating into a full-time career!  Charest Studios also has functional items that can bring artistic flair to any space. We can’t help but think all produce was meant to sit in one of Charest Studio’s hanging wire baskets! To see more of Dave’s work and learn more about his journey keep reading!

: Tell us a little about yourself.
: I live in Bantam, Ct. with my wonderful wife, two chihuahuas Brody and Chica and our cat Bella. I am a full time artist who is fortunate enough to have a separate studio on my property that is even bigger than my house. I love making and designing things and doing many various types of art work.

: You have been making art for over 20 years, but started selling your work on Etsy after hearing about it from a friend. Can you let us in on how CharestStudios started, its early days, and how you got to where you are today?

: After several years of making and accumulating art for my own pleasure, I was encouraged by family and friends to try and sell my work. In 2008, one of these friends told me about Etsy. As soon as I heard about Etsy, I became excited to check it out, and i opened my own shop that night. I started out with mainly mobiles and small wire sculptures. I was very excited with my first sales and became interested in offering other items. As I was working with wire and making the mobiles, I became familiar with wire and became interested in vintage baskets from the depression era. I started experimenting with various basket making techniques with wire. One of these baskets was a large table bowl type basket. I liked the basket, however I felt that it needed something. I remember picking up the basket and looking at it from all different angles.. It was then that I got the idea that if I could make the shape more round, put an opening in the front and make it a hanging basket, that it would be something that I would really like. And thus the sphere basket was born and it was a great success. It still remains the most popular item. This also encouraged me to work on other basket designs, which led to the whole Charest Studios basket line. As well as the basket line, I continued to add mobiles, folk art, lighting, abstract art or whatever comes to me.

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Maker Monday: Bear Co.

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Sara Sparks of Bear Co., a shop of cultural and bohemian wonders for all the free spirits out there! You will find products from bootcuffs and necklaces, to home decor and bags all in her shop. We love that Sara celebrates different cultures through her art! We think it is awesome when an artist can speak towards the environment they are most familiar with and at the same time expand their viewpoint to the beauty found in other’s perspectives. Many of the pieces found on Bear Co. are a thoughtful expression of the cultures that have directly inspired Sara through her travels or dream destinations, and each piece is always handmade. Something we think is pretty special in and of itself. Read on to learn more about Sara and her shop!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Oh boy! Where to start! Well, I’m 25, engaged to my middle school sweetheart, and a registered Occupational Therapist (OT… that just so happens to love making jewelry and all other crafts that I seem to run into! I am a complete animal lover, outdoor adventurer, world traveler, and a total introverted extrovert. I am also biracial – Iranian American – and complete enjoy celebrating my Iranian culture. My heritage and fascination with all things culture have a huge influence on my Bear Co designs.

: How did your shop, Bear Co., get started?

: It all started while I was in Occupational Therapy (OT) school. I was living the broke grad student and needed a creative outlet to relieve some stress. My fiance actually brought up the idea that I start an Etsy shop, because he recognized my situation and stressors. At first I was super hesitant, due to all the responsibility that would come with starting a business venture, but now I am so glad that I did! Starting Bear Co. has definitely helped me with my initial motivators – stress and money – but it has also helped me meet new people, venture to new stores and locations, and even enabled me with a new sense of creativity!.

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Maker Monday: Kate Tangney Studio

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Kate Tangney, a letterer and abstract artist! We love how her art expresses the ups and downs of life and how they connect. There’s a lot of heart and meaning behind her pieces and we think that is something that is often overlooked with abstract art. Kate also finds a way to make it happen when it comes to creating. The general responsibilities of life can make little time for many artist’s creative process, but Kate has found a way to work together with her busy schedule to be an even more productive artist. Her creative journey tells a similar story to her paintings as they both reflect creating beauty out of difficulty and finding space for your passion to flourish. Read on to learn more about Kate’s story and work!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: Hi there! I’m Kate, and I am an abstract artist and hand letterer, living just south of Boston, MA. I was born and raised in the Boston area, and I have the accent to prove it! I’m married to a wonderful guy and we have two little kids (my daughter is 5 going on 15, and my son is one). I’m also the middle of three sisters, and I live next door to both of them, as well as my mom. So it’s usually very busy around our house! Other than that, I am pretty much a big dork, and love classic rock, watching cheesy action movies with my husband, and buying houseplants that I will never remember to water.

: We absolutely love your hand lettering and abstract art. How would you describe your style and the theme behind all of your artwork?

: Thank you so much! My inspiration generally stems from the idea that life is raw and it’s hard, but there’s also a lot of beauty and resilience there. That juxtaposition tends to be reflected in both the texture and composition of my work. Each piece is a combination of raw, unrefined marks, and some sort of graceful lines – either using detail work or lettering.

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Maker Monday: Dog Color

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are happy to feature Masako Roberts, a pet portrait artist! We love how she captures the spirit of your fur baby and turns it into a piece of art you can showcase in your home forever. We also love Masako’s overall passion for having your pets turned into works of art. Just like we have photos on the wall of our family, Masako makes sure your pet isn’t left out and gets their rightful place among the frames of family members. To check out more of Masako’s work or to get your four-legged best friend’s portrait visit her shop, Dog Color, and to learn more about her creative journey, read on!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: My name is Masako Roberts. I was born Japanese and did my undergraduate at Missouri Western University. I graduated from Maine College of Art with an M.F. A in 2001. I met my husband in school in 1999. My husband and I moved to NJ for opportunities and possibilities. I was attracted to the New York art scene and had a dream of making art. I worked in Chelsea as a gallery assistant, an artist assistant, retail sales, a translator in NYC etc. We currently live in Newark, NJ.

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Feature Friday: LHE Bakes

Happy Feature Friday!

20170225_143618We are incredibly excited about today’s feature, because Lisa He of LHE Bakes creates the most beautiful baked goods! We love how her business has grown since the start, now creating dog treats, custom cookies for clients, and even cookie subscription boxes! She isn’t afraid to try new techniques or experiment, and we think that’s what makes her creations stand out and be so well executed! She’s gotten to where she is through practice and balance — and has some great advice to give through her own creative journey. Keep reading and get ready to seriously crave some cookies!

Castle Logo: Tell us a few fun facts about yourself!

lhe logo 3: Am a software/medical device project manager by trade, but love to use my hands after my “day job” is over.  I am slightly obsessed with my dogs. I know I’m going to have dogs for the rest of my life. My husband and I are pretty dedicated to fitness! We eat a “if it fits your macros” lifestyle and lift weights 4x a week– we were feeling really out of shape after getting our first jobs out of college, and realized that it was time for a change so we can live better, longer. We also LOVE doing obstacle races (for fun, not competition).

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Castle Logo: How did you discover you had a passion for baking and wanted to pursue it to start your own home bakery?
lhe logo 3: This was a complete accident! One day in college (this was in like 2008) I came across a photo of a French Macaron. They were SO ADORABLE that I became instantly obsessed and spent YEARS trying to perfect them. These beautiful little treats definitely sparked my passion for baking. Over the years, I’ve always maintained some form of creative outlet aside from my day job– because I need a well rounded life to be truly happy. I finally took the plunge last year and started this little gig on the side– haven’t looked back since!

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