Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Marlowe Co. on Hiatus

The Marlowe Co. is on hiatus until further notice. All current orders will be shipped, with immense apologies for delays.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I don't think this will ever stop being exciting.

Our little, green bike found itself on the Etsy front page yesterday.

Ah, so proud. *sniff*

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Do Something

So pleased to finally have these resistor pendants in the shop. They look great (I often wear a black one as a drop pendant) and can convey a message of "I am a geek", "I am an activist" or "I am a geek activist."

They fit in with the bulk of my media intake lately. I have quite fallen in love with British comedian Mark Steel who, along with being funny, smart and very sexy, is an activist and a strong proponent of the belief that even the person who thinks himself most lowly can start a revolution. I'm learning a lot from his writing, his radio programs and his fantastic television series The Mark Steel Lectures (which can be seen on YouTube, as well as being downloadable from his webstie) and finding so much inspiration in his message.

I will soon be in possession of his book Viva la Revolution: A Stand-Up History of the French Revolution and am very excited about it. Learning through humor is my favorite sort of education.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive

I have finally decided to face the fact that the look I've created for The Marlowe Co. (banner, icon, color scheme) doesn't accurately reflect our wares, so I'm administering a tonic to our sickly, meek doctor of a shop identity and waiting to see what sort of man or monster will emerge.

I.e., I'm making Mungo vote on the new banner as I realize I can't be objective about what would look good and accurately reflect what the shop is about.

I can tell you the new look will likely be bold and colorful as our pendants are such playful and bright things. While I'll miss the current look (far from a meek doctor, the look and shop name were inspired by my favorite fictional character, Det. Philip Marlowe from Raymond Chandler's fantastic novels), I embrace the change and look forward to brightening the place up. I hope that it will please all my wonderful current customers and draw new eyes to our colorful candy-like wares.

Has everyone seen the latest Etsy Finds spotlight? If you like the lounge/retro aesthetic, check out Classic Cocktails. I've always been a fan of that aesthetic myself (I have many pieces from the '40s, '50s and '60s around my home), and this is one of my favorite Etsy Finds spotlights so far. I love the fact that a person could pretty well furnish her entire life via Etsy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I may have actually fallen off the planet.

Wow, that was a long lull in posting. I should be ashamed. So I come to you bearing gifts to ask for mercy.

Down Home Girl

My first byhand.me spotlight, and I think I'll be utilizing this tool more often for some themed sharing posts.

Music is like air for me. When I don't listen to music for a while, my internal deejay starts playing songs I hate, apparently in an effort to make me listen to something, anything, to cleanse my brain. I frequently get on band-centric kicks, and right now my listening consists almost entirely of music from Old Crow Medicine Show and the Felice Brothers. Both bands draw heavily from American roots music and inject it with their own amazing energy.

I think of myself as a city girl who grew up on a farm, and my mother was born and raised in the South, so OCMS and the Felice Brothers build a comfortable bridge between my past and my present. This spotlight was inspired by OCMS and takes elements from their songs "Wagon Wheel" and "Down Home Girl". (I posit the theory that Ketch Secor is the sexiest man to ever wield a fiddle.)

If you've never heard of the Felice Brothers, I enthusiastically encourage you to check out this YouTube playlist I made of some of the best examples of their work.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tour de Cure 2009 and Silliness

Wow, I just fell right off the blogging bandwagon, didn't I? Sorry, the "real" job got in the way.

My best friend and shop partner, Mungo, will be riding in this years Tour de Cure in benefit of the American Diabetes Association. He, of course, can use all the support he can get. Please visit his ride page.

Had a silly, possibly genius idea earlier today. I am a fan of a British sketch comedy duo Armstrong and Miller. As in any sketch comedy show, they use a lot of wigs and false moustaches for different characters, so in a semi-promotional-but-more-just-a-fan-sucking-up gesture, I'm thinking about sending them a pair of the moustache pendants. What a pair of grown-ass men are going to do with fake, plastic moustaches, I don't know. (Mungo's answer: Whatever They Want.)

In vaguely related non-news, it was my 36th birthday this past Friday, and one of the most spectacular things to happen was being the 36th person "followed" by Ben Miller, of the aforementioned Armstrong and Miller, on Twitter. This has nothing at all to do with the shop, of course, but it thrills me to no end as this wasn't just a courtesy follow (a you add me/I'll add you deal) but a follow in response to a comment I'd made on something he posted. You can see me right there at the top of his "Following" list, right next to Graham Linehan. So exciting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

You Should See...

Haven't done one of these in a while and decided one was overdue. The You Should See... series is where I showcase pieces from talented Etsy crafters that, while not on my personal Favorites list, are very worthy of attention.

Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe Necklace

I never thought I'd use the word "adorable" in reference to surrealist art, but this Magritte tribute necklace from Rachael Sudlow Jewelry? Frigging adorable.

Willa Necklace

I'm a sucker for this type of wire tree pendant anyway, but the colors of the stones used on this particular specimen from The Pebble Collection are magnificent. It reminds me of the Maple trees that look like they're lit from within when they turn in the autumn.


That's right: I'm bringing the cute today. I'm not usually one to coo and melt over cutesy animal toys, but some of the felted animals out there really get me in my soft spot. This guy from .:do little design:. is one of the worst offenders of the bunch. So sweet he makes my teeth hurt.

Gender Neutral Soap

Something about the name paired with the picture on the label of this soap from Seattle Sundries tickles me. And I really want to know what cocoa powder, vanilla and sweet birch smell like together.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Self - Don't get ahead of me.

My day job is customer service, and it is taxing, to say the least. (I am convinced that if everyone spent a year in a customer service position, there would be far fewer rude and unreasonable customers.) While the day job often leaves me feeling drained, I find that I always get a little thrill and inspiration from working on the shop or trading ideas for the shop with Mungo. So, of course, I tend to daydream about the possibility of the shop becoming successful enough for me to quit my day job.

Last week's increased success seems to be spreading into this week (knock on wood), so that fuels more daydreams about making the shop my full-time job. I just bought a postal scale (which will become necessary if we're going to have more bulk orders) and am planning to buy a printer (to decrease visits to the post office). While I'm home today with a sick Monkeyboi, I'm searching Etsy's printable stationery offerings for good contenders for my new "Thank You" cards (almost out of my fantastic Shag cards) and reading the "Quit Your Day Job" features from The Storque and daydreaming some more.

The thing that discourages me is that the "Quit Your Day Job" stories I read all have elements that I don't have in my own life. Either they already have a successful business that they've brought to Etsy or they have a working partner to support them or a large savings to fall back on. I'm a single mom with no college degree and no real savings to speak of. I am very fortunate that I have my friend Mungo, who originated the idea for the shop, keeps me in stock and is always encouraging, but he has a partner and a young girl to support.

It can all be a bit overwhelming to think about, but then I get some rah-rah cheerleading from my great friend Amanjo or some happy, glowing feedback from customers, and I am encouraged and inspired all over again. I am reminded that success does not come overnight and that I should temper my daydreams with practicality, patience and perseverance.

If anyone has an inspiring story of a single mom who made a success of this internet commerce thing, I'd love for you to share it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I think they're beginning to recognize me at the post office...

The Marlowe Co. has had a great week. I went to the post office to mail orders four out of the five weekdays, and I'm almost out of moustache pendants (never fear: we will restock). And just yesterday, four pendants that had been waiting patiently almost since the shop opened got some love from a gentleman in New Jersey.

Note: That is the first order from a male. (Being still somewhat new to this, little firsts like that still tickle me. Yes, I am a dork.)

I'm still trying to discern what is responsible for this new flurry of activity. I felt fortunate to have an order a week up until a week ago. Having the Pi pendant featured in two treasuries back-to-back might have something to do with it, but I don't know if that accounts for the sustaining flow. Have we just hit a watershed that all successful shops reach at some point? Have I just jinxed us by using the word "successful"?

Whatever the explanation, I'm glad for the results and will be even happier if it proves not to be a fluke.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Pi Day, a.k.a. Free Shipping Day!

Not only is today the first day of our first free shipping special (on all Pi pendants ordered today and tomorrow, 3.14 & 3.15 - you know, just a reminder...), but our saucy, little Pi finds itself in yet another great treasury. And one so appropriate to the day.

Today, the Monkeyboi and I will go out for a slice of pie and possibly slot in a viewing of Pi (though I'm sure that will be more me watching that than him).

Anyone else have fun Pi Day plans?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Slice of Pi

Pi Day comes next weekend, and to celebrate, the Marlowe Co. will be giving free shipping on all Pi pendant orders placed March 14th and 15th. Come visit us and treat your inner (or outer) geek to a little something shiny.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

You can take the girl out of the goth scene...

...but her heart will always be black around the edges.

My Etsy artist spotlights so far have been for items I felt were great and worthy of recognition but weren't items that I had personally favorited. So this time, I'm focusing on three Etsy shops that are on my favorites list. And you'll find that they all have a little something in common.

Madame Talbot's Victorian Lowbrow and Gothic Lowbrow

Satan, skeletons, serial killers and other sinister images adorn the elaborate pen-and-ink artwork of Madame Ashleigh Talbot. Madame Talbot's posters recall times long past when magic was real, quacks did not yet have their own talk shows and sideshows were still a viable source of income. With a grin and a wink, Madame Talbot pays homage to a variety of subjects such as Sweeney Todd, the Black Plague, Robert Johnson, Dixieland Jazz, Lizzie Borden and Man's Ruin.

You can also sample her art through T-shirts, apothecary and mourning dolls and framed curios.

Artwork by Monique Motil

Using her skills as a costume designer, Monique Motil creates gorgeous art dolls with a difference. Monique uses skulls, claws and bones from creatures passed on, then drapes and dresses them with elegant materials and the finest of details to create a vision of decadent decay.

While these creations aren't everyone's cup of finely-brewed tea, there's no denying that they have a unique and fascinating spirit. Author Christopher Moore was even compelled to make them characters in his book A Dirty Job.


foldedpigs offers the perfect dinnerware from which to eat some spicy, spicy brains...or just a hunk of tiramisu. Meredith Host uses her morbid sense of humor and skills with pottery to repurpose restaurant ware for the home. The heart, brain, skull and even the bugs that might feed on all of those parts when they're in demise adorn Meredith's delightfully gruesome plates, bowls and cubs.

Joining the line are Meredith's new brain bowls, handmade in porcelain with interiors painted in lurid red. Imagine eating your corn flakes out of these containers. Brain food, indeed.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I am making some pretty lame posts lately - when I'm making any at all - aren't I? I am properly shamed.

BUT! This short, pale, underfed post is to let everyone know that we've gone global! We are now offering international shipping on all our products.

And not to play favorites... but I can't wait to make my first shipment to Italy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Front Page!

Not only did the Marlowe Co. have the honor of being featured in Weber Photography's "Intellectual Aphrodisia" treasury - in very good company - but the treasury was featured on the front page! To my knowledge this was our first time being featured in a treasury and our first time on the front page, all in one go. So exciting!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Because I need more sites to update like I need a hole in my head...

The Marlowe Co. now has a Facebook page.

Goodness, it does look rather sickly and pathetic with its one fan (that fan being me), doesn't it?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You Should See...

Items for sale on Etsy that have struck me as fantastic:

Balancing Cat Card

I think if I received this clever card from Pocket Studio, I'd want to display it on my desk instead of just putting it back in the envelope like so many other cards.

Power Line Plate

I'm not sure why this plate (and the other Power Line wares) from Urban Soule calls to me, but it does.

Keep Calm and Carry On Spoof Calendar for Men

You can probably learn much about me just from knowing that I prefer the mens' version of this print-it-yourself calendar from little brown pen to the womens' version.

Oops Coasters

One of the things I like best about Etsy is coming across incredibly clever (a word I seem to use often when talking about items on Etsy) products like these industrial felt coasters from Studio Wonjun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stuff 'N' Things

Had a sale on the moustache pendant the day after I posted it! Maybe it's because I'm still a greenhorn, but each sale is a little thrill for me. And a sale on the moustache pendant is especially thrilling since it is our first family-designed piece. It's exciting to think that something my family created is travelling across the country to be made into something marvelous by someone we've never met.

I like the fact that two of our customers are also seller/crafters on Etsy. Every time I make a trek through the other shops on Etsy (which I do often because I cannot seem to do any work on the shop without getting distracted by the shinies and pretties), I find something that impresses the bejesus out of me. So many very talented people making amazing things - it makes me happy to see it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Moustache is Here!

I don't intend to make this a "Look what I listed today" blog, but I am so excited to have this up in the shop that I think it deserves its own post. Please visit Mr. Moustache and read the charming, family story behind it.

(The blog has been quiet because life was a little crazy for a bit with a minor [well, minor in that no one was hurt, but my car was deemed a total loss] car accident, but everything is settling back down.)