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Interview with Elemental Handcrafts

Natural Kids: Interview with Elemental Handcrafts

Friday, May 6, 2011

Interview with Elemental Handcrafts

This week we take a close up look at Stephanie in our talk with owner and creator Elemental Handcrafts.


Tell us about you!   
I'm the mother of three beautiful, amazing, compassionate, vegetarian, earth friendly children and wife to one amazing husband. I spent some of my most formative time managing the bunny department at a large no-kill animal sanctuary in the beautiful high Utah desert. 

Tell us about your business!  
My business is here to promote wool items made from humane wool. That is, all of my wool is either recycled, (as in previously loved sweaters), or from a small US farm where each sheep has a name and is part of the family;  never to be bred or eaten. So much of the wool used in other people's crafts, while beautiful, comes from animals that don't have happy living conditions and are not treated in a humane way. I prefer to work with "good karma wool". The wood I use in my crafts is from the US and sustainable harvested. 


What do you make and how long have you been creating?  
I've been creating all of my life, but for my business:  eight years. In addition to my felted breastfeeding and pregnancy dolls, I also make needle felted recycled wool crowns, personalized wooden balls and baby spoons, hand drawn and carved stamps, knitting needles and other natural toys.

Where do you find inspiration? 
My inspiration is my kids, my commitment to the environment and animal rights. I put a lot of my energy into my work and truly believe that when someone welcomes a work of mine into their home or gives it as a gift, a little bit of that love goes with it.


What got you started in your craft?  
I started my business when my second  daughter was born, 6 years ago. We were attending a Waldorf playgroup and decided that the moms would make a wool doll for the teacher who had just given birth. I was to come up with the basic doll and everyone would help embellish her. From there my business of needle felted doll making was born. Since then my creations have mushroomed from humane wool into up-cycled wool, wood and carvings.

What's your favorite thing you have ever made?  
That's a tough one. Probably the felted Mother Earth sculpture I made while I was pregnant with my son. She was beautiful, with an earth belly and wild curly hair. I traded her to a midwife for a view of the most beautiful picture of a woman who had just given birth that I have ever seen. Her smile spoke volumes!


How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?  
I've been on Etsy since Nov 25, 2007 and with 488 sales, I'm pretty happy. I like seeing all the upgrades they've been doing. Now I'm just waiting for the ability to change my store name to Earthetarian without losing all my shop info!


What advice do you have for other Etsy artisans?  
Go for it!!! Etsy is great in that you get out of it what you put in. It is a wealth of info and full of amazing artists.


What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?  
I hope I can contribute advice and answers when I have them and ideas to help the team run smoothly and be a successful jumping off point for all of our artists. I've already gained so much in exposure and pats on the back. If I had enough time, I know many of the artist on the team could become like-minded close friends.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?  
There is no comparison between natural toys and plastic, mass produced toys, especially for young children. A simple, open ended toy that leads a child on a journey can't be improved upon. Plastic toys break and are lost forever. If a natural toy breaks, you can almost always fix it, and because of its beauty you will almost always want to. 

Share the links:
my website is www.ElementalHandcrafts.etsy.com
I also have another shop at www.Earthetarian.com

Thanks for reading! Stephanie

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sofia Britts said...

Now that's an awesome way to show advocacy! I'm quite elated that through your business, awareness for animal rights and promotion of love for nature are being shown to a greater magnitude. There may be other aspiring nature lovers who wish to start something like this. All they need is commitment (getting a loan to start the business, coming up with goals, etc.) and the drive to succeed.

May 10, 2011 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Elemental Handcrafts said...

Thank you Sofia! You don't even need to start with a loan, although that would help make a powerful punch! Start small and build from the roots!

May 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM  

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