Today we would like to introduce you to
Etsy shop TheToadstoolForest
TheToadstoolForest has been selling on Etsy since November 2013, they sell waldorf inspired creations for living, learning and playing! Today they are going to give us a little peak behind the scenes of their Etsy shop.
What motivated you to start your shop?
I have always been a crafty mama making toys and gifts for my family. My hands need to be busy. Just over a year ago I joined an on-line swap group where we each made five of the same item, sent them off and received five lovely hand made items in return. I created my first Lantern Children for that swap and they were so well received. Mamas who didn't get one in their packaged offered to purchase them and that started it all. This year's Lantern Children have just made it to the shop. Amazing what happens in a year.
What is the story behind your shop name?
I've always been drawn to toadstool and mushrooms. I find them beautiful and amazing. So when thinking about a shop name that would carry mostly gnomes and other "little people". Toadstool Forest just seemed to fit. I imagine little gnomes and fairies playing among them in the forest and hiding behind them when we human approach. Lucky for us the gnomes I create aren't the least bit shy and love to come out and play.
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I think what surprised me most about having an Etsy shop is the number of true friends I have made, both with customers as well as other shop owners. It is an amazing community which I am so proud to be part of.
What is your favourite creations from your shop?
Oh this is hard. Honestly I only make things I love. I think that shows through. And while I have some old favorites I try to continually create new toys. I guess nearest and dearest to my heart would have to be the Complete Perpetual Calendar set. We have the first one I ever made and use it every day. It is a wonderful morning "ritual" in our home. I also love the Daily Rhythm Gnomes! My favorite would have to be Grain, the Baker or Forest, the Nature Gnome. I truly love them all. It always enjoy hearing what other people's favorites are.
What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
I think the most challenging thing about being an Etsy seller is balancing my job as a mother and wife with my job as an artist. It takes time and commitment to have an Etsy shop. Balance is key but not always easy to find.
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I strive to create toys that are not just beautiful but also serve a purpose while being fun to play with. Many of my creations have a learning element to them. Matching games, calendars, Math and Weather Gnomes as well as story sets. Toys that inspire creativity and fun is what I hope to create. It is also important to me to use all natural materials. I find they feel so much nicer in little ones hands. They have a warmth and feel that can't be matched.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I'm a Waldorf inspired homeschool mama to three wonderful girls. We live in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire and love to spend time out doors hiking, paddling and camping. I also love to cook and bake.
TheToadstoolForest is offering a 10% discount in her shop on orders over $15. To use the coupon visit her etsy store and enter code "ETSYKIDSPROMO10" at checkout. Valid until Nov 15th 2014.