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.’
This week we are featuring Melodie Burns of Art of Melodious! We love her cards and the way she mixes quirky greetings with fun illustrations. A lot of her work features animals and each one has such personality. It’s no wonder so many people immediately think of someone her cards would be perfect for or instantly think that a particular card matches their personality to a tee. Melodie’s interview is just full of amazing advice so make sure to keep reading to learn more about her, how she started Art of Melodious and how she has gotten to the point she’s at today!
: We would love to hear a few things about who you are! Introduce yourself!
: Hi my name is Melodie Burns. I am an illustrator/wife/entrepreneur living it up in the countryside in Ontario, Canada. I love animals and you can tell firstly because the majority of my artwork includes creatures and I have a growing fur family of 2 dogs and 2 cats, soon to be 5 chickens! My artwork can be found on the cards that I create for my store Art of Melodious and let me tell you I love creating artwork for cards.
: You started Art of Melodious with homemade cards. Tell us a little about your background and how you got into creating cards and then starting your own shop selling them!
: Growing up I loved drawing and horses, so I drew, painted and rode horses. The great thing is I still do all those things!! In 2009 I graduated from Sheridan College with a Bachelor in Illustration, I had pursued post secondary education mainly to work on my traditional drawing skills, which I did, but I also expanded my breadth of creative outlets. These outlets after school led me to developing the style I use today for my cards today.
More about the cards now. Again growing up I made all my cards, cards for fathers day, mothers day, birthdays, wedding, Christmas, I even made my family’s Christmas cards every year to send to relative and friends. It was always something I loved doing, it was fun thinking up a funny idea for the recipient and getting creative with the artwork. Fast forward to me meeting my husband in 2011 (at the time bf) he encouraged me to take some of the artwork I had created on my own time and put them on cards. Honestly I had never considered greeting cards, even though I loved making them, my main goal was doing freelance illustration. But I decided to trust him and put out a couple designs and people loved them, and the rest is history haha. The more cards I create the more I loved them, it allows me to share my humour and connect people together. I hear a lot ‘oh that is so him’ or ‘haha that is so me’ It’s cool that people can see themselves in my artwork and also help bring people together.
We’re excited about today’s feature with Cherylyn of The Felting Dorcas and think you all will truly love the wool products she creates! The wool she uses not only looks so amazing (who else wants to just touch it!?) but we think it’s so important that they’re free of chemicals and harsh dyes. Cherylyn puts so much heart into what she creates and wants to use her work to impact others as well — supporting various causes with each purchase. We are huge advocates of making purchases that have a greater purpose and love makers that use their gifts and talents to give back. So while you may love what The Felting Dorcas creates, supporting her brand has a larger impact! We can’t wait for you guys to keep reading to learn more about Cherylyn and the gorgeous wool products she handcrafts.
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: I’m Cherylyn, currently residing in Melbourne with my family. I am a cat lover and apart from creating, I also love baking! I started my Etsy store, The Felting Dorcas, in 2015 – it focuses on making handcrafted items out of high quality pure wool, like baby mobiles and garlands.
: We love your felt decor! How did your shop, The Felting Dorcas, get started?
: After some experience in the corporate world, I want to run or work in a service-based business that will allow me to use the proceeds to support a needy community. I’ve always liked working with my hands – I used to make cards for friends, was into flower arrangement for a while – so it seemed natural that I started this product-based business that leant into that passion of mine, creating products that I like myself whilst allowing me to contribute more to disadvantaged children and mothers in other parts of the world.
This week we are featuring Annika Chicharro of ChicharroDesigns! We just love her quirky greeting cards! Creativity runs in the family and so does making a career out of it! Annika is not only a graphic designer, she also has her own Etsy shop where you can find all of her amazing greeting card designs for every occasion imaginable. If you want to give a sweet card with a little sass added in, Annika is your girl! To learn more about Annika’s card making journey, read on!
: Tell us a few things about yourself!
: I’m a graphic designer based in London, UK. I like to to make people laugh every day and my best friends are my 4 siblings. My three favourite things are my miniature schnauzer dog called Boris, peanut butter on toast and napping. I’m a queen napper – you’d be surprised at the places I’ve managed to fall asleep in.
: As a graphic designer and illustrator, what made you decide that cards were the perfect format for displaying your designs?
: I always made hand-made greeting cards for family and friends on their birthdays. I would get complimentary comments about them and people would often recommend that I start producing them to sell, so I thought I’d give it a go!
This week we are featuring Chanine Hameetman Illustrations! We love Chanine’s illustration style! They are such a representation of happy moments and make us smile just looking at them. Many of her illustrations are representations of her daily life and they make you want to jump right into the drawing and join the fun! Read on to learn more about Chanine, how she discovered her style and her goals for Chanine Hameetman Illustrations!
: Tell us a few things about yourself! : My name is Chanine. I’m 27 years old, born and raised in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands, which is a small town near to Rotterdam. I’m happily married to Marius and we live in a cozy apartment with our bunny ‘Gijs’. I have attended an arts academy for one year, but then decided to become a primary school teacher. I’ve always loved to draw a little in my spare time. Nowadays I’m almost always carrying my drawing stuff with me. My friends and family are used to see me drawing all the time.
: Your illustration style is so fun and original! How did you get to where you are in terms of determining what your illustrations would look like and finding your own personal aesthetic? : Drawing always kept my attention. For this reason I followed an illustration workshop last year. The illustrator of this workshop told us that the best way to develop a style is to complete at least one drawing every day, for forty days. I followed her advice and from that day started to draw and share my drawings on Instagram for forty days. I drew everything I experienced and saw in my daily life. This experience caused my style to self-develop, because automatically started to draw the way I liked it the most: black lines first and then coloring it with bright colors.
This Monday we are featuring Danaye Shiplett of young@art! We love how Danaye speaks through her art. Her pieces are an expression of herself as well as a story she’d like to tell. The imagination behind Danaye’s work leaps off the page. Each character has personality and a message for the viewer to interpret, an attribute that is sometimes lost in more commercialized art. Danaye stays true to her artistic roots and desire to create for herself, and gives her customers the opportunity to share in her creative journey- something we think is truly special about maker’s shops! Read on to learn more about Danaye and how young@art came to be.
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: Every introvert’s dreaded nightmare! (Kidding.) So, my name is Danaye Shiplett and I am a 30-something geek, bookworm, introvert… well, you get the idea. I’m married, live in the South (though I was raised on the East coast), and have two adorable fur-babies. I can’t have children so they really are my kids. (I don’t dress them up or anything, though. Promise.)
: How did young@art get started and what was the process behind getting it off the ground?
: young@art stemmed from my desire to create a professional brand around my art. Something that people see and immediately get a sense of who I am and what I create. It fits me. I am a huge kid at heart and my creations (I hope!) reflect that sense of wide-eyed innocence and wonderment that we have during our early years. I like to think I’ve kept a little (lot) of that even as an adult.
Happy Feature Friday!
Today we’re featuring the work and maker behind the brand East and Market! We not only love the accessories and decor Renee makes, but are so enthusiastic about how she repurposes fabrics and materials! She transforms these fabrics into something both beautiful and useful and we are true fans of how sustainable her business is. She also takes on custom projects and you can send her your memorable fabrics to get a new upcycled creation in return! Renee created a video for us showing her creative process and not only answered our questions, but gave some more info on East and Market so you can learn even more about the brand!
This Monday we are featuring Elizabeth Looney of the Looney Collective! We love how eclectic and varied Elizabeth’s creations are. If there is something that she can make instead of buy she is going to try her hand at it. Elizabeth truly has the spirit of a maker and we think it is awesome that she decided to share her pieces with the world. You can find the Looney Collective on Etsy, or just shoot Elizabeth an email for a custom request. Read on to learn more about Elizabeth’s journey and advice!
: Tell us a little about yourself
: I’m Liz, a stay-at-home mom with a shrinking amount of free time and an ever growing list of things I want to make! I’m a maker to the core, from making my own cleaning supplies and general health care products for the house to the quirky pieces of art and eclectic bits and bobs I sporadically add to my shop. It gives me some strange thrill to repurpose and breathe life back into forgotten and found objects. You’ll see “vintage” and “upcycled” items in my shop.
: How did you get started with the Looney.Collective and selling your creations through Instagram
: I would say the shop was born from necessity and fueled by intensity. Lol I started making things for myself that I needed or wanted but couldn’t otherwise afford. Every time I learn a new skill or find a new hobby that I greatly enjoy (which is almost all of them) I get this intense urge to just make as as much and as many as I can for several weeks. So this intensity, of course, leads to excess which in turn brings a need to purge the excess. I started off selling and trading the extra wares and goods I was making but then began to create intentionally; the ideas never stopped flowing.
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!.
This week we are featuring Michelle Bolick! She is the maker behind all the amazing creations of PineNeedle Stitches. We love everything Michelle is doing in her shop from her wood slice paintings, hand stitched books to ornaments. When so many things are made in the masses and digitally viewed it’s nice to see natural medias and hand created notebooks still in use. She is also doing great things through the sale of her products through her initiative the, Love You More Project, benefiting Alzheimer research and awareness. As most of you guys know, we think it is so awesome and impactful when people use their talents to give back. To learn more about this project and Michelle’s journey behind PineNeedle Stitches, read on!
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: My name is Michelle and I am a high school art teacher by day, artist and small business owner by night. Creating is my passion and my high school art teacher inspired me to be where I am today. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my husband, family or my sweet basset hound, Winslow!