Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"How It's Done" with Emma Dear

This Easter weekend, I thought it was the perfect time to visit one of my favorite Etsy shops, Emma Dear. In our "How It's Done" series, we're getting to know women who balance work, motherhood and homelife.

Becky, a designer, seamstress, Etsy vintage shop owner and mom to little Teddy, has a great story and a great deal to share about what it takes to run a successful online business while maintaining a happy home.

I first got to know Becky as a frequent customer in her original Etsy children's shop, Little Empress
. Oh, the things I found in the Little Empress shop! Everything was handmade, hand embroidered and creatively designed using bits and pieces of lovely vintage laces, fabric and trims.

Becky just has a way with combining vintage with new to make just lovely, joyful pieces for little girls to wear. And, as a wonderful surprise, I found that Becky also sold boys clothing in her other Etsy shop, Oscar and Theodore where you could find equally delightful designs with a vintage twist on traditional boy's wear.

But, the CPSIA legislation came to pass, and Little Empress (and Oscar and Theodore) passed away. Initially, Becky made the decision to close her Etsy children's shops due to the regulations regarding testing of children's items. But, in the end, Becky told me that she is very happy with the way things turned out.

She opened her new Etsy shop, Emma Dear, which focuses exclusively on vintage finds, handmade creations and trims - and is having a ball with it!

Happily, Emma Dear also offers many of Becky's handmade items, like darling sachets made with vintage sugar sacks, embroidered vintage pillowcovers and cases as well as hand-quilted vintage patchwork squares and circles.

Here's a bit of what you'll find on the Emma Dear shop home page on Etsy:

"I find an exuberance in collecting the things of days gone by. Life would be no fun without old stuff and so I surround myself with them in my home (much to my husband's dismay) and sell them here in my shop!"

I especially love the "Old Made New" section in the shop where you will find many of the items that were available in the Little Empress shop (thank goodness!) Here are a few of my favorites:

Now, I'm going to stray from the "usual" format in our series which features a little Q & A, and start today with sharing from Becky's Etsy profile for Emma Dear. I absolutely love Becky's description of her life, shop and story:

"My name is Becky and I'm the daughter of junk hoarders. I grew up in a small house on Long Island that was literally filled to the brim with vintage stuff.

Back in the '80's when I was a kid, this was rather embarrassing.

But now it's all hip and chic to collect all things vintage, haul things home from the dump, scout out garage sales and thrift stores. WHEW! I am certainly glad of that!

Not only did I inherit the junk collecting gene from my parents, but also a creativity gene. So you will find various things in my shop handmade by me...

I have a three year old son called Theodore (Teddy) who enjoys picking through my vintage button collection and using my serger thread spools as binoculars as he roams his pretend safari looking for wildebeests (his favorite animal), warthogs and lions.

I have a large house that often defeats me by constantly remaining dirty even though I swore I cleaned it. I love to read and spend a lot of time at night cramming a New York Times Notable as my eyes tear with exhaustion."

Don't you just love it! Come back tomorrow for more about Becky and how she keeps everything in balance.

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