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.