Meet Etsy Seller Xanderdoo Stitches

Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This week we meet Etsy seller Xanderdoostitches. Xanderdoo Stitches has been selling on Etsy since 2014 and the store carries fun embroidered bibs, bonnets, burp cloths, and many more baby and household items.

Monogrammed Onesie, Ruffled Onesie, Skirted Onesie, Peplum, Baby Outfit, Custom Baby Bodysuit, Layette, personalized baby, baby shower gift   Childs Christmas Apron, Personalized Christmas Apron, Monogrammed Apron, Monogrammed Smock, Girls Apron, Custom Childs Apron

What motivated you to start your shop?
I love to craft and it gives me great joy when others enjoy receiving something I’ve made. I work full time at a law office as an appellate assistant and crafting is a great way for me to unwind and do something I really enjoy and feel fulfilled doing. For many years I participated in the craft show circuit. And, while I loved speaking with customers and being with other crafters, I felt I just couldn’t reach enough of my target customer to make this type of venue worth the expenditure of the limited amount of time I had outside my full time job, family, church and other activities. Many friends and family suggested I sell on Etsy, but I was afraid of the commitment and the unknown about following such a venture. Then one day a woman in my office told me she was an Etsy seller. Aha, finally someone I can talk to about this scary thing called Etsy – someone who could answer questions! Someone who had already been through the process. After a few conversations, I decided to jump in and give it a try. So here I am, working on my second year as an Etsy seller!

What is the story behind your shop name?
Oh, I am so proud of my shop name – XANDERDOO STITCHES! I love it. It wasn’t the original name I wanted for my shop, but after searching Etsy to see if the name I wanted was available, I learned it wasn’t, and any combination of that name I could think of was taken as well. I decided it was too common, was not distinguishable and just simply would not work. So I began racking my brain and then it hit me. My youngest grandson’s name is “Xander”. Its not a common name and I thought perhaps I could work with it to come up with something unusual, catchy and memorable. It is an unusual name with a strong meaning: “Defender of the People”. While I know my shop will never defend anyone, I still hope it will live up to being strong and successful. And so was born XANDERDOO STITCHES!

What is your favourite creations from your shop?
Hmm, good question. My main selling items are embroidered baby bibs. However, I have created my own tote bag pattern which is available as a digital download in my shop as well as on Craftsy. It was also available for a limited time as a featured product at San Francisco Stitch Company with one of their applique designs.

What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
Definitely the amount of work that goes into having a real business of your own and convincing others that this IS a real business and not just a hobby.

What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
There is a lot to learn when you first start selling on Etsy. So much to read and fumble through to get on the right track. But I think overall, figuring out key words, search engines, and social media to locate and entice target customers is the most challenging for me. I think the second most challenging thing for me about being an Etsy seller is the inventory and bookkeeping aspects of owning my own business. Right behind the bookkeeping would be photography. I tell everyone I know that I am no photographer.

What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I have been sewing and crafting for more than 30 years and my family and friends have been the happy recipients of many of those projects. Because I value my customers, I am commitment to creating each item I sell with the same love and care I would as if those items were for my own family and friends. I use high quality blanks, fabrics and supplies to ensure a product that is beautiful and can proudly be used for many years to come.

What do you do when you aren't working?
When I’m not working at my full time law office job or in my sewing studio, I enjoy spending time with my family, attending and participating in church activities, and walks and bike rides with my husband and Lexie, my Siberian Husky, at metro parks and nature trails with a few trips to the dog park thrown in for good measure.

Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
Many of my projects have been shown in the galleries of a number of online embroidery shops, and a few of my projects and tips have appeared in Sew News, Designs in Machine Embroidery and Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine over the last few years. I have also written and am currently working on self-publishing my first children’s book which I hope to sell at Xanderdoo Stitches and on

For more information on my sewing and embroidery inspiration and story(a/k/a "The Story of the Lime Green Pants"), please read my About Page at: and follow me on Facebook at www.facebook/com/xanderdoostitches.

I'm a proud member of the EtsyKids Team!!!

Xanderdoostitches will offer a 10% discount code for Etsy kids followers. Just use the code ETSYKIDS10 which expires 12/31/16.

September Design Challenge Winner!

Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September's Design Challenge had the theme "My Little Princess!".
We had lots of lovely entries from our team member but the winning entry with the most votes was...

the girly twist on the marc brown quote, "sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero." one of the biggest moments in a little girl's life is when she becomes a sister...mark the occasion for our "sometimes being a sister is even better than being a princess" canvas wall art.

Here are some more lovely items from reneststudio

the script stripe monogram canvasjust keep swimming frameable - perfect for finding nemo parties!customized fabric swag - perfect for parties, to dress a mantle, or as a photo backdrop!merry everything. happy always. customized holiday home decor - perfect for christmas!
hawaiian fun and floral canvas wall artyou are my sunshine canvas wall artmini monogram canvas wall art - customized and personalizedtulle princess birthday party wand - great for little girls' birthdays!
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Meet Etsy seller The Puzzled One

Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This week we meet Etsy seller The Puzzled One.  The Puzzled One makes handcrafted puzzles and toys. They have been selling on Etsy since 2009.

Rainbow Butterfly Stacking Puzzles Game Color Matching Puzzles with Fabric Tote Bag Rainbow Peacock Wooden Tray Puzzle Color Matching Game The Color Wheel Puzzle  Waldorf Toy - Wooden Childrens Puzzle - Color Matching Game - Rainbow Puzzle Wheel

What motivated you to start your shop?
 When I first got my scroll saw I started making simple 3 pc unfinished animal puzzles and I made a set of dinosaurs for my nieces and nephew. They had so much fun painting them I thought to myself I can sell these. So I made a whole bunch of animal puzzles and bought a whole bunch of little paint sets and headed off to the farmers market to strike it rich. I was sadly disappointed. Everyone kept saying you don't want those baby puzzles and walked on by. So I went back to the drawing board and started branching out making puzzles and toys for all ages. After opening my web site I was always looking for other ways to market my puzzles and I heard of this web site called Etsy that sold handmade goods. I said that's perfect and I signed up right away

What is the story behind your shop name?

Originally My web site was called Puzzled! and my web address was well about a year after I opened Another company called Puzzled inc said that I was infringing on their trademark and that I was going to lose my web site and all the profits I'd made thus far. I freaked out for a couple of days and then it hit me all I need to do is change my name but it had to still make sense with my web address or they would still be able to claim it. So I played around with the words for a day or two and then it hit me. The Puzzled One It was perfect it was a play on words and related to my web address and yet it was just different enough that when I went back to the other company and told them that I would change my name and put a disclaimer saying that I was not puzzled inc and made a link to their site they were satisfied and that was the end of my troubles.

What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?

How quickly things can shift as far as sales go. In 2012 I introduced my wedding guest book puzzles and for the first time I was actually making money after seven hard years I was actually making a tidy profit then at the end of 2013 it stopped I didn't get a sale for four months. As the years went by things got worse and worse. I didn't turn a profit for two years then three months ago I changed the design of my tree guest book puzzles redid the pics and listings and added a new custom designed puzzle called a unity ceremony wedding puzzle and it all started back up again now between my two stores I am getting orders every other day sometimes two or three in one day. Its just amazing how quickly things can change

What is your favourite creations from your shop?

It's hard to pick I have so many favorites. Every time I make something new it becomes my new favorite. But if I had to pick just one it would have to be my stacking butterfly puzzles It's a set of six butterfly 3 piece puzzles each butterfly is colored a different color of the rainbow and is a 3 piece puzzle each butterfly has its own special shaped knob and they stack on top of each other in many different ways. So the child is learning about matching colors , matching shapes, their learning how to put puzzles together they are learning about balance and weight distribution They are also developing fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. This toy is a valuable learning tool and just so much fun too!

What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?

Finding time to fit everything in. When you have a shop there are so many things you need to do besides just make puzzles and toys. There photography, and marketing, there's book keeping and product description writing and seo and checking with your competition and so many other things I have a hard time finding time to fit it all in while still making time to fill all the orders and come up with new puzzles and toys for my shop. But I've found if I do my puzzle making during the day and then painting and all the rest at night I can fit it all in.

What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?

I want to make learning fun! I want to create open ended toys that inspire creativity, encourage imagination, and develop the mind and body while being so much fun to play with that the child won't want to put it down. I create toys that are creatively designed, durably made and heirloom quality. Toys that will be well loved from one generation to the next. One of the great things about being a handmade toy maker is that you can create any type of puzzle or toy that you like. So I encourage custom designs. If a customer wants a different color scheme or wants their toy personalized or maybe they have an idea for a puzzle I can do that. I want them to make their puzzle or toy their own. I want them to know their puzzle or toy was specially made just for them. Some of my greatest puzzles and toys have come from custom requests It's my favorite thing about being a toy maker is creating something new or different. To see an idea come to life is an amazing thing!

What do you do when you aren't working?

When I'm not working (which is rare) I spend time with my family and friends and my adorable dog Layla. Whether it's getting my nails done with my Mom or having dinner at a friends or walking round the block with Layla I treasure each moment with the ones I love.

Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
What’s been one of your absolute favorite experiences, creating and selling your wooden toys and puzzles? I was commissioned to make a giant wooden mandala puzzle for a retreat center. The mandala was an olive tree set in mosaic stone like puzzle pieces It measured a whopping four feet in diameter. At first I wasn't sure how I was going to make it because it needed to be made from Poplar which only comes in widths of aprox. 12" So I spoke with my Dad and told him my dilemma and he worked with me and taught me how to laminate boards together to create one large board. Then we planed and sanded it and it looked as if it had always belonged together. Then we used a jigsaw to cut down the puzzle into bite size pieces small enough to use on my saw. Then I cut the rest of my puzzle and sanded over the edges and stained and sealed the puzzle It looked gorgeous but the best part was working with my Dad. I learned a valuable technique and spent quality time with him doing the thing that I love best.

The Puzzled one is offering a 15% discount to the readers Just use the code "etsykids" 

Halloween Pumpkin Stacking Game Wooden Stacking Toy Pumpkins Jack-o-Lantern Stacking Game With Fabric Tote Bag Personalized Toddler Wooden Tray Puzzle Whimsical Bugs Mosaic Wooden Mandala Puzzle - Waldorf Toy -   Diamonds

September Design Challenge. It's time to Vote!

Posted Monday, September 21, 2015

For September our Design Challenge theme was "My Little Princess!" We have lots of lovely entries from our team members, browse down and vote for your favourite item! Voting is open until 27th September.

Treasury Challenge #68 - Modern Kids

Posted Saturday, September 19, 2015

The theme for the EtsyKids Team treasury challenge #68 was "Modern Kids".
Our team members created lots of beautiful treasuries featuring some amazing items, but the winner is...

Play in the leaves!
Hazel leaf cushion and Silver Poplar leaf cushion  | Decorative leaf shaped pillow
SALE - La Paloma Wallet // Folklorico Wipe Clean Wallet // Birds Laminated cotton Purse // Fold-up Wallet
Reindeer PATTERN DIY costume mask sewing tutorial creative play pdf woodland animals ideas for kids baby children holiday Halloween gift
Bear Tote Bag Handmade Tote Bag
CLOTH DOLLS, black doll, superhero doll, fabric doll, dolls, african american doll, toys, superhero cape, boy dolls, doll like me, doll
Art Print Hedgehog,Child Room Picture,rain,covering head with leaf,nursery room,baby hedgehog,smiling,
Letter M Wooden Fairytale Tree Trunk Initial DIY Printable Monogram Photograph Instant Download
Made to order! - Personalised Crochet Case - Personalised Phone Case - Personalised Eyeglasses Case - One of a kind gift
Bear On Bike Art - Bears On Bikes Art Print
Girls Toddler Fall Outfit - Girls Thanksgiving Outfit - Fall Festival Outfit - Pumpkin Patch Outfit, Girls Shirt and Elastic Skirt
Ombre Style with Pendant Unpolished Baltic Amber Teething Necklace - Any Size- Adult or Child
Zé Lion: animal costume plush | Lion soft doll | ooak plush doll in colorful outfit | kid circus nursery decor |  id card and circus costume
Waldorf toy WOODLAND ANIMAL SET, Set of 8 wooden woodland animals and Autumn Tree / Handmade Wooden Toy Waldorf Inspired
Crochet Gold Crown, Princess Crown, Prince Crown, Dress Up Crown, Baby Crown, Kids Crown
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Thank you atelierspatz creating such a lovely treasury!

AtelierSpatz sells a real assortment of beautiful items for kids. From dress up outfits (perfect for Halloween!) to everyday clothing, play mats and bibs! These stunning red robin wings are a perfect match for this treasury! Visit her shop to see more of her wonderful creations.

Treasury Challenge #67 - Autumn Kids

Posted Saturday, September 05, 2015

The theme for the EtsyKids Team treasury challenge #67 was "Autumn Kids".
Our team members created lots of beautiful treasuries featuring some amazing items, but the winner is...

Fall trends by JoellesDolls

Handmade gifts created by members of the EtsyKids Team
Vintage Scarecrow Print Toddler Sundress or Jumper etsykids team
Autumn Toys - Waldorf Sorting Acorns, Bowls, and Leaves - Autumn Colors - Brown, Red, Yellow, Orange - Montessori Sorting and Stacking Toy
Traditional Fall Woven Headband with Removable Korker Hair Clip
Girls Monogrammed Brown Corduroy Jumper Dress -- Perfect for Fall
Girls Ruffle Pants- Tribal Print  - Made from Viola Lee Pattern "Emma Lee"
Pick-your-own-color diaper cover and hat set - great for everyday wear or as a photo prop for babies
AUTUMN Memory Game - Wooden Children's Matching Game, Celebrate Fall, Thanksgiving, October, Halloween
Boho Chic Infinity Scarf - Autumn Colors - Butterfly Print Cotton Voile Fabric - Modern Fashion Accessory - Ladies Teens Gifts Under 35
Size 2 Reversible Toddlers Jumper or Dress Ready to Ship
Baby Bib - Autumn Fox Minky Baby Bib
Orange flowers cats reversible baby dress 18-36 months with with wide leg bloomers Amy Schimler prints
Distressed/vintage wooden rainbow stacker toy
Teen Girls Luxe Lace Shabby Chic Dress vintage inspired Junior Bridesmaid dress EtsyKids Team
Boy Thanksgiving Shirt - Pumpkin shirt, Thanksgiving Shirt, Custom Shirt, Pumpkin Truck, Tractor Shirt, Thanksgiving Outfit, Fall Baby, M2M
Baby Shoes Booties  Girl - Fall Leaves
Autumn tones Scrappy Skirt Custom Sizes 2-12
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Thank you JoellesDolls creating such a lovely treasury!

JoellesDolls sells unique art dolls, cloth dolls and other anmials. We love this witchy halloween doll. Visit her shop to see more of her wonderful creations.

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