Sunday, July 25, 2010

Meet Christina of UmeOrigami

Please meet Christina, owner of UmeOrigami on Zibbet. Christina resides in Irvine, California.

Tell us about yourself… I am a 24 year old graduate student who folds paper in order to get a little extra spending money on the side! I am working on my PhD in Art History and I have a deep appreciation for Japanese art and design. I am also an animal lover and I have a wonderful cat, salamander, gecko, and boyfriend to keep me company while I fold.

Describe your "style" and how it sets you apart from your competition. Colorful, Precise, Quality! I have seen other origami dolls being sold online, but I take a lot of pride in the quality of my dolls. As I always say, there is a gigantic difference between good quality washi paper and dollar store origami paper. With each and every doll, I fret and obsess over getting the best quality papers with the most beautiful patterns and designs. I think this really sets my work apart. I never worry about people zooming in to see the detail of my work, because the beauty really is in the details.

What is the "story" behind your shop name? When I lived in Japan, one of my favorite pastimes was taking floral photography with my very good friend. I had just discovered the macro function on my camera and I had fun with it wherever I went. One of my favorite “subjects” was plum blossom flowers (“ume” in Japanese, pronounced “oo-meh”). When I tossed around the idea of opening up my shop, the name immediately came to mind. We had such good times together so it is really a tribute to the fond memories of that year. Origami because... well... I make origami.

What is your favorite Zibbet shop? Mizu’s Garden: Japanese Kanzashi and Ribbon Ornaments. My favorite item at the moment is Hot & Spicy Pink Chrysanthemum Fabric Flower. I’ve been eyeing it since it was listed!

How long have you been a Zibbeter? Since February 8th, 2010.

As a seller, what do you like best about Zibbet? It would have to be the community. I always feel that the administration is listening to my thoughts with attentive ears and an open heart. Furthermore, all of the sellers I have met have been nothing short of amazing. Everybody wants to help everybody -- how often do you see that in a marketplace setting? People are open to ideas and I am elated to see the community grow.

As a buyer, what do you like best about Zibbet? The fact that sellers can include widgets in their shop so I can learn more about them. When I am shopping, I really like to get inside the head of the artist by checking out their social networks, their blogs, their photography, etc. Zibbet shops seem more like a whole personal shop as opposed to a shop hosted by a website. As a buyer, I enjoy looking at the way each seller chooses to configure their space. It gives me some insight into their style! My buying experience has been nothing short of amazing.

What else would you like the world to know about you and your Zibbet shop? I am happy to complete custom orders with custom hair colors! If origami dolls are your thing, my favorite projects are creating personalized kimono dolls. Simply send me a message on Zibbet or contact me via my website to set something up. They make wonderful presents, and I will happily add a magnet to the back of each doll free of charge. I am working on making Zibbet my primary venue so any and all sales will be found there in the future! Also, I am always looking for feedback on my work, so please stop by if you have a moment and let me know what you think or what I can improve.

Connect with Christina on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Japanese Origami Paper Doll – Marielle
Origami Earrings - Out to Pasture
Origami Pendant - Harmony on Ice
Bookmark with Origami Paper Doll – Dillon

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meet Heather of NiftyKnits

Heather is the owner of NiftyKnits on Zibbet, where she offers the most adorable handknit meerkats you ever will meet! Heather lives in Tenterden, a small historic market town in the heart of Kent, in the southeast corner of the UK.

Tell us about yourself… Always a tricky question! I live in the countryside with my first husband (I call him that to keep him on his toes!). Our three kids have all grown and flown the nest so we can pretty much please ourselves now, no rushing around playing taxi! We enjoy walking, especially by the sea and that is probably the only time I don’t knit. I used to be a primary teacher but couldn’t cope with the stress levels. I was very amused to see myself described on Facebook by a customer as a “professional meerkat knitter” but I guess that is what I now am! There are only so many hours in the day so I’m never going to be rich, but I’m much more content with my life of 24/7 knitting.

Describe your “style” and how it sets you apart from your competition. I used to knit all sorts of novelty items with some degree of success. My plan (if I had one!) was to specialize in knitted pots of flowers. Then one day I decided to knit a meerkat whilst watching Meerkat Manor. They immediately found a market, and a while later one of my Etsy team-mates suggested dressing them up in clothes. I laughed and refused, I thought it would be silly. A few weeks later I went to a Twitter meet-up and was challenged to wear my Star Trek sweater. Instead, I knitted my first Trekkie Meerkat – and the rest is history! They went viral thanks to BoingBoing and I’d found my niche.

My meerkats are different to others on the market because of their costumes (although I do still sell “naked” meerkats). I design all my own patterns and will very happily create a meerkat to someone else’s idea. My very favourite was a recreation of somebody’s Second Life Avatar, as a meerkat of course!

What is the “story” behind your shop name? I’ve been niftyknits for years, starting on ebay in 2003. I wanted a name which reflected my business. Of course when I joined Etsy I discovered there were a million other sellers with “nifty” in their name, but it was too late to change by then! The main problem is whenever anyone on a forum thread uses the adjective nifty to describe anything my first thought is that they’re talking about me!

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment? My favourite in my own shop is Ian Anderson - I was a 70s teenager and went to a Jethro Tull concert way back then, still remember him leaping about the stage like a man possessed!

What is your favorite Zibbet shop? Jane from A Tranquil Nook is a dear friend from Etsy who has recently joined us on Zibbet. She is very busy on the farm right now so hasn’t moved much stock over yet, but I’m very fond of her felted cuffs. I love the way she uses vintage buttons and gives them a new life.

How long have you been a Zibbeter? I joined at the end of March, this year – still a baby! I still have more stock to add, and more designs waiting in the “to knit” queue!

As a seller, what do you like best about Zibbet? Without question, the referral program! So far I’ve referred 32 new sellers from 971 click-throughs. I’ve always considered it my own responsibility to promote my shops on whichever site I’ve sold through, but it’s fantastic that Zibbet are rewarding our efforts in this way. Thank you!!!

As a buyer, what do you like best about Zibbet? I love the randomness of the Showroom, no matter how great a search engine is, there are always plenty of things you just wouldn’t know to search for (handknitted trekkie meerkats being a case in point!) so it’s great to be able to browse a selection you might not otherwise find.

What else would you like the world to know about you and your Zibbet shop? Please feel free to ask me to design the meerkat of your dreams! Many of my meerkats started off life as a commission for someone, I always say “you name it, I’ll knit it” and I have never been defeated yet!

You can connect with Heather on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Meerkat Star Trek Voyager
Knitting Meerkat
Batman Meerkat
Meerkat Surfer dude with skateboard

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meet Wanitta Ranson of It's My Thing! Designs

Please meet Wanitta Ranson, owner of It's My Thing! Designs on Zibbet. Wanitta lives in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada.

Describe your “style” and how it sets you apart from your competition. The best word to describe my style would be eclectic. My love of art, ancient textiles, and period fashion has always had a great influence on my creativity but quite often it's the whimsical side of my personality that shows through when designing.

What is the “story” behind your shop name? Another passion of mine is music. One day, I was straining my brain trying to think of a fun, catchy name for my business. Then the song "It's Your Thing (Do what you wanna do now)" popped into my head. It was perfect! Designing and creating was my thing and was exactly what I wanted to do. That was the moment It's My Thing! Designs was born.

My logo has a story behind it as well. I love to draw using mostly black ink. Several years ago I drew what is now my logo and she is called Honeysuckle Fairy. She was drawn with black ink but for fun I scanned her into my computer and played around with different colors. I used the olive and maroon version for my shop banner. The purple and olive version is on everything else. Never under estimate the power of branding. If you have a simple yet unique logo, or avatar, and you plaster it everywhere eventually people will think "I know I've seen that somewhere before" thus sparking more interest from potential customers.

What is your favorite item in our shop at the moment? One of my favorite items that I have listed in my shop right now is a pair of earrings I made a few weeks ago. They are called "Factory Girl Edie in Red" and are one-of-a-kind like their namesake. The design was inspired by black and white photos I had been looking at of glamour girl socialite Edie Sedgwick. So tragic but she sure had style!

What is your favorite Zibbet shop? There are several shops that I love but if I can only choose one as my favorite it would have to be Black Heart Jewellery. Her shop appearance is very chique and elegant and makes you feel like you’re entering an exclusive boutique. One of my favorite items from Black Heart Jewellery's shop is called Mara Bracelet.

How long have you been a Zibbeter? Since February 10, 2010

As a seller, what do you like best about Zibbet? I think everyone should have a Premium Account. When I first joined I had a basic account but it only took about 20 minutes to decide that the upgrade to Premium was in order. There are a lot of features that make selling on Zibbet unique. One is the ease of listing and I especially love the Copy Listing feature. Editing is also a breeze. I recently had a sale and was thrilled with how quick and easy it was to set up. There are many other wonderful things about selling on Zibbet but this final one is what really sets them apart from many other on-line selling sites. Customer service! Whenever I have had a question I have always received a helpful answer in an unexpectedly timely manner. This alone should make others feel confident that Zibbet is where they want to sell their treasures. If I sound like I am a huge fan of Zibbet then you would be right!

As a buyer, what do you like best about Zibbet? As a potential customer entering the world of Zibbet I would have to say my favorite feature is the showroom. I love spending time refreshing my way through pages of items to see what catches my eye.

What else would you like the world to know about you and your Zibbet shop? Designing is my passion! Whether it is a new pair of earrings or a cross stitch chart I love the satisfaction I get from creating something new. Much of what I create is influenced by my interests in ancient textiles, fashion and art. I have been designing cross stitch charts for over 20 years and they reflect hints of such cultures as the Celts, Incas and Egyptians. My jewelry designs range in style from Victorian Gothic, Art Deco and Art Nouveau to Modern Elegance, Rock Chic and the just plain fun. I have been designing jewelry since the fall of 2006 and have sold pieces all over the world. Over the last few years I have added many other creations such as wine glass charms, zipper pulls and fingerless gloves. Designing and creating ~ it's my thing and I love it!

You can connect with Wanitta through her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Meet Leta Marie Porter

Please meet Leta Marie Porter, owner of Leta Marie Designs on Zibbet. Leta Marie resides in Albany, Oregon.

Tell us about yourself… I am a Wife, Mother of 2 Grown Daughters, and a School Bus Driver of 12 years. My daughter's encouragement has given me a new passion in my life that I did not realize was missing. I can not adequately express the immense joy I get from creating something that someone else might like. I am pretty anal about how my creations look which has made me slow to begin more on necklaces and bracelets. I want to know all the ins and outs of what I need, how to do it, etc. before I start. I am just Happy to have found a way to make an income (such as it is for now) with doing something that is so fulfilling for me. And it has opened a whole new world of meeting such Wonderful, Creative People too.

Describe your “style” and how it sets you apart from your competition. I don't really have a "style". I like a wide variety of materials. My items have been described as "simple". But as I mature in this I hope to create more complicated items. I do though only make earrings that are not "heavy" pulling down on earlobe. And I only use Ear Wires that can be worn comfortably by people with metal sensitivities like my daughter who can only wear Sterling Silver, gold filled, Surgical Steel, etc.

What is the “story” behind your shop name? I just decided to use my first and middle name, added the word designs, because that is what I am doing. The e in my first name is long and the a is short. My names sound nice together I think.

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment? Black Pearl Earring with Swarovski Crystals. I think it is a simple, elegant looking earring.

What is your favorite Zibbet shop? That is a hard question because there are so many Great Shops to pick from. But I do like the clutches and pendants offered by Blu Skys Boutique. I particularly like this Pink Floral Moda Fabric Purse/Key Fob.

How long have you been a Zibbeter? Since Dec.19, 2009

As a seller, what do you like best about Zibbet? The tools to set up my shop were easy to use. But I really like the fact that if you have a problem or question, the people at zibbet get back to you fairly quickly. And everyone (seller) here has been very Friendly and Helpful even if you sell in the same catagory. I have made wonderful friends here!

As a buyer, what do you like best about Zibbet? I have already bought one item and the Seller shipped my item so promptly I got it much sooner than I expected and it was packaged so nicely. Communication was great too! And so many wonderful shops to Browse through!

What else would you like the world to know about you and your Zibbet shop? I will be adding more items in my shop so please stop by. I offer 10% off future purchases that are paid with PayPal after the first purchase made through PayPal.

Connect with Leta Marie on Facebook, Twitter and her blog.
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