In the Spotlight: Horizon’s Ed3e

Georgia began teaching herself how to crochet when she was 11. Her designs are all organic – they’re not made using patterns and are all one-of-a-kind, wearable fiber art pieces inspired by nature, the cosmos and a free-spirited life style.

We caught up with Georgia and asked her to share her story with us:

What’s the story behind your company?
The story behind my business started when my mother passed down crocheting to me. As I progressively got more and more addicted to it, I developed the desire to share and sell my creations in my teenage years. When the drive finally came in full force, the name of my company and its meaning came instantaneously as Horizon’s Ed3e… an illusion, it may claim an end but it is ever expanding beauty if we so chose. Not bound by a certain convention because there is no true or right convention. Where physical meeting spiritual, and when we examine all skills, passions and thoughts this is just what they are.

What inspires you?
I am endlessly inspired by the rich textures, patterns and colors of nature, whether they be the earthy tones found in mountains, forests and the sea or the vibrant colors of nebulas and the cosmos.

What is your favorite product to make?
As part of my most recent collection, I’ve been making one-of-a-kind utility belts. These are definitely my favorite to make as they let my imagination run wild with the possibility of color combinations and embellishments.

How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Vibrant, bohemian, free spirited.

Horizonsed3eIn your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is being able to represent myself in the things I make and create, in that my creations are not only a manifestation of my skills and energy but also a way to create meaningful connections with my customers.

If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I first opened my Etsy shop in 2009 when I was only 17 and had no business strategies or really any idea what I was doing. Now, a few years later, I wish I had pushed myself harder to learn and create a stronger foundation.

Any advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting?
The advice I would give to new crafters is to never get bored with your craft, always aim to expand your skills and passions, there are always new possibilities waiting for you! I would also say don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and expose your work.

What’s next? Any plans for the future?
Just going with the flow, hoping to find more inspiration in future travels or in the beauty of day to day life.


Contact information:
Name: Georgia Diamantopoulos

*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***

In the Spotlight: Oculto Steam Masks

Shay Lhea is the owner and product designer of Oculto Steam Masks, which features a wide array of luxury, wearable disguises which she considers ‘Alter Egos’.

Her adventure began when she planned a trip to New Orleans for Mardis Gras and decided (on a whim) to make masks her herself and her best friend. Once she arrived, partygoers descended upon her like ants at a picnic, demanding where her masks where purchased and how they could buy them and it was then that she realized her mask shop was in her head and desperately needed to escape into reality!

Shay is a creative writer and an amateur historian so when she began constructing her masks, she decided instead of making inanimate ‘accessories’ she would create ‘personas’ that came with full character profiles which meant to breathe life into disguises that would otherwise be static props.

Oculto (meaning ‘hidden’ in Spanish) has taken a number of different pivots and now creates innovative steampunk masks as well as carnival/masquerade style masks, both ready to wear and custom made.

Wonderfully, her masks have not only inspired partygoers and societies to take part in ‘Discarding Themselves and Becoming Their Mask’ as her tagline rings, but have also become popular in the performance world. Burlesque, ballet and modern dancers, opera singers and local rock bands seeking to alter their stage personas have taken on her masks.

She has even provided custom-made masks for masked weddings and birthdays!

The Oculto style is unique, luxurious and raises the concept of wearable art to a new level by giving people the opportunity to check themselves at the door and try on someone else. Perhaps a darker self.

We caught up with Shay and asked her a few questions so you get to know her better:

What’s the story behind your company?
The story behind my company is quite simple really… on a whim I decided to make a couple of masks (which I had never done before) for a friend and I to wear to Mardis Gras. When we arrived we were constantly being approached by people who wanted to know where the shop we bought our masks from was which of course hadn’t been created because it was trapped in my mind! This kick-started my imagination and I followed the lead. When I got home I began creating Venetian-styled masks for a few years and couldn’t sell them to anyone because I didn’t understand anything about self-promotion. I was on the verge of bitterly throwing in my flag when I discovered Steampunk and thus my inspiration was reborn!

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by darkness. By the cold hard reality of our history and what will be our future. What propels others into a deep depression I draw my inspiration from. Am I the anti-christ? Hardly. Maybe more along the lines of Stephen King.

What is your favorite product to make?
I’m a mask designer so my favorite product would be masks, but I would say that my favorite material to use would be glass. Despite the fact that today plastic reigns supreme, there’s something romantic and charming about glass. It can be traced all the way back to Mesopotamia 3500BCE and it still exists today -it’s breakable, it gets grimy and despite it being an out-of-date hazard, we still use it. Perhaps because it reminds us of ourselves.

How would you describe your style in 3 words?
My style described in 3 words: Avant-Garde, Industrial, Heteromorphic

In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
In my opinion, the best part of being an entrepreneur is knowing that I did it all myself. That’s despite being a normal person with no business experience and just another artist who only wants to create, I proved to myself that I was capable of figuring out what I needed to do to become my own boss and then teach others how to do the same thing. It’s empowering and it can be done at any age.

If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
If I were to start all over again I would have put greater focus on who I was trying to get my audience to be and what exact niche I was hoping to fill. It’s what I’m doing now of course, but the realization that this was something extremely important only came after I had been making a completely different style of mask for two years!

Any advice for other crafters who are just starting?
To everyone out there who’s just starting: If your dream is to eventually live off of your work, make sure to make your creations unique enough that they can’t be easily duplicated and keep your eyes and ears open for which of your items people seem to like the most. Keep your online shop always stocked with the items people love as well as pieces you personally love. When I decided to open my own shop I quickly realized that variety within my creativity is important and so is what the public likes. They’re you’re audience so they mustn’t be ignored!

What’s next? Any plans for the future?
What’s next is to head to a few colossal Steampunk conventions/fairs, vend my wares and make the global Steam Community more familiar with what Oculto Steam Masks has to offer. I hope to get my work into Steam-inspired movies, Steampunk TV series and on the faces of some of the top Steampunk bands across Europe and North America.

Contact Information
Name: Shay Lhea

*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***

Accepting Submissions for the 2013 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Calling all designers, crafters, artists and indie shop owners!

Valentine’s Day is five weeks away! Starting today till Tuesday, January 15, 2013 (end of day), we’ll be accepting submissions for our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. If your product is handmade and can be purchased online, please feel free to send us the following information:

Product Name:
Product Price:
Product Description ( 100 – 150 words):
Link to Product page: http://
Company Name:
Company Website: http://
*Attach Product Image (minimum 400px x 400px)

We are looking for all sorts of handmade items related to Valentine’s Day theme; if you think your product would make a great Valentine’s Day gift, please send us your suggestion to and we’ll take a look. Please put “2013 Valentine’s Day Guide – NAME OF YOUR COMPANY” in the title of your email.

Love Bug Happy Valentines Greeting Cards

Please note that we are very picky! We usually receive dozens of suggestions and cannot possibly feature all of them, even though we wish we could. If your product is chosen to be included in our Gift Guide, we’ll let you know.

Tips on how to increase your chances of being chosen:

– make sure your product matches the Valentine’s Day theme;
– provide ALL the information requested;
– make sure your description has a MINIMUM of 100 words;
– make sure your picture is attached, not included in the body of the email and is at least 400px x 400px;
– have your product online, available for purchase or custom order.

If you haven’t yet, please join Craftsyble on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and be the first to know when our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is published!

If you’d like to advertise on Craftsyble, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do to help your business.

A Guide to Pinterest – Tips on How to Become Very Pinteresting – Part 2

This two-part series was written by our guest, Faith Marcus – the talented artisan behind Faith Marcus Designs. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @FMdesigns and, of course, Pinterest!

Thank you for sharing these tips with Craftsyble readers, Faith! Your Guide to Pinterest has inspired us to work on Craftsyble’s Pinterest boards. 🙂

If you haven’t yet, please read Part 1.


Remember : Content is king! So pin images that are the most visually inspiring !

Other ideas that will help spring- board your following :

1) Create a group/community board — invite followers to pin on a board. When you create, (or hopefully get invited yourself — I now receive board invitations almost daily!!) to pin on a group board, the board will post on your page, and everyone who is included, as well as their followers will see this in the pin stream (this is great way to go viral). I would suggest creating a group board once you have a substantial following. Make it a “theme”, as a random board becomes a mess over time. If you create a group board too early in the game, chances are no one will pin to it, and then it’s sort of a “flop”. I am on two of these boards right now, and it’s primarily due to “lack of theme” provided. I am also on five community boards that have thousands of followers, so I make sure I pin to those on a regular basis! Do not ask to be invited to a board. Post great content, and you will be noticed and invited !

2) Pin It To Win Contest : On my to-do list, I will update when I have some results.

3) Do keep up to date with marketing reports, and also Pins that are generated from marketing sources, chances are you will find a lot of valuable information.

4) Use the statistic sites, pinpuff and pinreach to see which boards and pins are popular. Pinreach also provides you with your most influential followers. Make sure you know who these people are, and see who they pin from, and look at their followers. Take some time to see what makes someone with major followings so sought after. Chances are, they have great boards! Use these as inspiration and follow suite, make it you own and do not copy!

5) Use FaceBook and Twitter to share your Pinterest profile, as well as a great board. Twitter is also a great source to find pins, as all major publications are posting updates that will likely have a “pin it” button on their site.

Other Resources to check out:

I hope you have found this information useful, and that it will help you gain lots of followers and help you become a Pinterest rock star!

I would love your feedback! Thank you and happy pinning!!


P.S. Please follow me:

A Guide to Pinterest – Tips on How to Become Very Pinteresting – Part 1

This two-part series was written by our guest, Faith Marcus – the talented artisan behind Faith Marcus Designs. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @FMdesigns and, of course, Pinterest!

Thank you for sharing these tips with Craftsyble readers, Faith! Your Guide to Pinterest has inspired us to work on Craftsyble’s Pinterest boards. 🙂


I hope you will find these tips helpful in building a following on Pinterest, and driving people to your site! There are many marketers and bloggers now offering tips for brands, some of these may be covered in what I will share. This is primarily to help you build a following and to give you the basics on how to create a dynamic Pinterest profile.

I had heard about Pinterest when it was first in Beta, and thought it was silly. I joined in March of this year, and decided to pin just for fun. When I signed up, I had 19 followers. At the beginning of April, I crossed the 100 follower mark, and in mid July, I reached my first initial goal of 1,000. I now have (as of August 5) close to 1700 followers, with an average of 50 new followers daily, and continual visits to my website (which I track on google analytics), and sales! I hope my tips will help you to achieve the same results!

If you are new to Pinterest, and don’t have a good grasp on the basics, I highly recommend you go to “BootCamp”. This is a very insightful video series that will cover all you need to know to get started. Also, follow Jason Miles (search by this name and click on ‘People’ on Pinterest), he provides a lot of good marketing tips for brands. The initial video series was free, but this offer has ended. It is excellent, and highly worthwhile, if you are just getting started, and don’t know where to begin! There is also plenty of great free info on the site for brand marketing, if you don’t want to purchase the program.

“Because storytelling, and visual storytelling, was put in the hands of everybody, and we have all now become storytellers.” — Levar Burton

● Unlike FaceBook and Twitter, where you can shout it out, and communicate with words and images, one of the most important things to understand, is that Pinterest is a site that people (the majority being women) go to be inspired, and to collect images that they enjoy. Your “job” is not to bombard your page with your products, but to tell your own story through images. This will, hopefully, lead people to your page, to follow you, and to find out what it is you do sell, and then will click on your links and visit your site.

● If your boards are all about you, or your brand, you will likely be considered “spammy” and not very interesting, nor Pin “worthy”, so be inspirational (and patient)!

● If you are just getting started, create about 12 – 14 boards. The boards should be varied, with depth! What are you passionate about? Photography, design, cooking, nature, travel, fashion? The possibilities are endless, but think about what you do sell, and try to build your boards from this “core”, before developing boards that do not relate to your product. So, for example, if you are a jewelry artist, you might want to consider well – known jewelry that you find inspiring, period jewelry, gemstones, etc. If you are a photographer, boards on nature, people, places. Where do you come from? Boards about places are great, and add some identity ! Consider each board a “magazine”, remember you want people to repin your pins, and to follow you! Be a visual curator ! This is the number one golden rule of Pinterest! Beautiful images get repinned! People who post exciting, beautiful content get followed — it’s really as simple as that!

● If you have a business name, use it! You will gain much more recognition as a brand with your business name, than your personal name.

Like Twitter, the more people you follow, the greater your chances are to be followed! Need some ideas for developing boards and finding people to follow? Let’s say, for example. you love the color blue, and would like to create a “Blue Board”. Go to the main search bar and type in blue, and see what comes up. Or use the category search to find what you are looking for. If you find a page that is interesting, and fits your style, repin and make sure you follow that person! If you have a follower, and they have pinned something you like, hover over the person they pinned from, and visit that page! Another way to ‘pick up” interesting people to follow. SEARCH is to the left of the Pinterest logo.

● Pinterest has its own set of etiquette, so do not repin more than 3 images from another page and not follow! Be considerate!

● Want to gain the attention of a cool or influential pinner? Then “like”, repin and comment! People who have tons of followers will not always see the comment, as the stream (on the left hand side is a bit time delayed, and only gives you a handful of recent updates), so do not be discouraged! Commenting and liking are not as “popular” as repinning, so this is one way to get noticed and stand out! Do not ask for people to come check out your page — be genuine! Check in with the people who do follow you, and see who they follow or repin from. This is to the right of your profile page. Or, scroll through the list of a popular pinner, and see who follows them. Another way to connect with like minded followers. If you are following someone with hundreds of thousands of followers, chances are they will not notice you, so stick with pinners whose boards and style relate to yours and go from there! Broaden your following list on a regular basis, as the more diverse your circle gets, the more interesting the content pool will be generated.

● Make sure your boards have “interesting names”, don’t just name a board, ‘cookies’, or ‘soap’ or ‘fashion’ or ‘things for my house’, try to come up with something a little more creative.

● Make sure your boards are categorized properly. This will help in others finding you by proper category. Also, using hashtags (the same as Twitter) in your pin descriptions is helpful. Check out the categories which are below the Pinterest logo. If you are adding a pin description, the source of the image is always best: ie, the name of the brand, photographer, etc. Avoid “cutesie” comments like, my daughter will love this, or anything too personal, that someone else will have to edit before they repin it!

● Rotate your boards so that your page looks cohesive, and make sure your cover photo is set with one of your most visually inspiring and dynamic pins. You can rotate your boards by using the “edit profile” feature (see screenshot — and don’t forget to save!). Freshen your page by changing the cover photo from time to time. If you were a store, you would want to change your window every once and awhile, right?

● Your own board should be in the top row, either in first , second or third position. Do not be discouraged if your own products are not repinned. It takes time for people to discover you, and products are less likely to be repinned, so be patient. Do not pin to your own board each and every day! I pin my own work maximum of three times a week, sometimes less! If you do not have an established following (at least 1,000 followers), I recommend that you have only one board for your work. If you are a photographer and a jewelry artist (or a soap maker and a stationery designer), make one board for each. Include your celebrity gifting and press in one
board (chances are no one is going to repin these, they are more for info and showcasing your brand). Make it the best of the best, and cohesive !

● The top two rows of boards are probably the ones that will have the most attention. Profiles with 100’s of boards can be overwhelming. Remember quality, and depth! To see your most popular boards and pins, check your stats with and Keep your less popular boards, or boards you are developing on the bottom. You can always rotate them at a later date.

● Look at your page with an outsiders’ ‘eye’ : do your boards flow, and look inviting? You want people to discover your board content, so give them a “visual reason” to do so !

● Do not make boards of family, friends, customers. etc, wearing/and or posing with your items. Or your pets, home life, etc. These photos belong in your FaceBook photo albums, not on Pinterest! People will not repin them (unless you want them there for your own personal enjoyment!) . If you create tutorials, then put them in a separate board, along with others that are a good “fit”. Tutorials and DIY are great boards to develop, especially if they relate to your brand.

● Don’t pin “tiny” images or ones that are so long they take up three or four columns. They are generally not repinned ! Try not to pin images with very dark backgrounds, they are difficult to see, and do not ‘pop’ !

● If you are pinning others work a board is fine, but, you can also pin these images to other boards. For example, someone who photographs nature, might work well on a “flower” board. If you have a board dedicated to products you love, or color boards are also a good way to vary who you pin and where. Try it both ways and see which one gets more pins.

● In order to gain followers, you should be pinning daily! Yes, make it a habit! At first it may seem daunting, especially if you are not following a lot of people, so pin outside the box! Use sites such as tumblr, google, twitter, blogs, and major websites to generate your own pins. And make sure pins that you originate have a clickable source. Do not just upload them from your computer (see the Pinterest guidelines for this).

● At the point when you reach several hundred followers, you should be gaining 3-10 followers daily. If not, then you are not active enough on the site. Once you get to 1,000 followers, your daily number of followers should have doubled, and now it gets easier, as, if you are pinning regularly, your following will increase accordingly.

● The best times to pin are morning (I am basing this on PST), between 7 – 9 AM, around lunch hours (12-1 PM) and after 6 PM. Marketing statistics will show you that many pinners are working, successful people, so these are the best times to catch the activity. It varies on Fridays (with a pick up of about 4 PM), and on weekends. There is a bit of a lull mid day, seven days a week, so try to pin during these times, if possible. Try to scatter your pinning time, some in the morning, some in the evening.

● If you have thousands of pins and less than a few hundred followers, it’s time to clean up those old pins and start fresh! Much better to catch followers in a brand new stream of activity. Very difficult to gain followers if you have 50+ boards filled with pins that have no activity!

● To price or not to price, that’s a good question. In my opinion, the price tags are tacky. I think it totally depends on what you are selling. Try it both ways and see what happens. When you do add a price, it goes into the gift section, under categories. 99% of all marketing reports I have read suggest this, but I have found the reverse to be true, so do what works best for you and your brand! Pins with prices may not get you repins, however pins with prices may get you more “clicks” via the gift guide. The best way to gauge your stats is with Google Analytics. (Sorry, I don’t know how this works for Etsy users).

I hope you have found this information useful, and that it will help you gain lots of followers and help you become a Pinterest rock star! I would love your feedback! Thank you and happy pinning!! If you liked this post, check out PART 2!

P.S. Please follow me:

In the Spotlight: Jen’s Backyard Creations of All Sorts

Jennifer Cook, a mother and wife, got the idea to start selling handmade goods from spending time in her backyard. About a year ago, her family decided to join the sustainable movement. She says, “We first started growing an organic vegetable garden, then composting and now we are raising chickens….it’s addictive.” Their family rides bikes as much as they can and her husband’s Volvo even runs on vegetable oil.

“I’ve always enjoyed creating art and selling it on just made sense, plus buying and selling handmade products is so much better for the environment,” said Cook. Many of her pieces reflect what you would see in her backyard, which includes a collection of Buddha’s, succulents, fruit trees, an organic vegetable garden and a chicken coop with a living rooftop! She says, “Thanks to my husband’s green thumb, mother nature and my love for creativity…collectively ideas start to flow.”

Contact information:
Jennifer Cook

In the Spotlight: The Silver Buddha

Today I am pleased to feature one of our supporters, Jasmine McCartney. She has always been a creative person so two years ago she decided to open an online jewelry shop. Her shop specializes in hand stamped personalized necklaces that represent the person wearing it. It can be customized with the persons name or initials or important dates. Many items in her store have an eastern spiritual flair with om designs and trinity circles and such. Her items are unique and interesting.

We caught up with Jasmine and asked her a few questions:

What inspires you?
I am inspired by Eastern Spiritual symbols and meanings. Symbols and words that represent harmony, peace, love and happiness. I then apply these in my jewelry to create beautiful pieces.

Could you please share with us your top 4 favorite products?
My top favorite four items are:
1. Copper disc with OM sign and black freshwater pearl.
2. Red wire wrapped briolette with silver initial disc and pearl.
3. Copper disc with the woed peace handstamped on it along with a stamped OM sign alongside is an old Tibet bead.
4. The Chakra necklace.

When it comes to your business, what has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement this far is joining a wonderful group called TAG it stands for The Artisan Group. We create specialty gift bags to top celebrities at red carpet events such as The Oscars and Golden Globe Awards. Currently I am involved in gifting thirty earth friendly necklaces to a celebrity Earth Day event as well as a special gifting to Tom Cruise. It is very exciting and rewarding to be part of this very creative group.

Where can we find you or your products?
My products can be found at as well as . I am currently working on my new website on Goodsie, it will be, watch for it soon!

*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***

Artisans Represented at the 2012 GBK Oscars Gift Lounge – Cake Pop Fusion

Cake Pop Fusion

Cake Pop Fusion is a southern California based company specializing in custom cake pops, gifts, and treats. They ship all over the United States. Owners Pia and Kathleen Kayo began this venture in April 2011, combining Pia’s love of baking and Kathleen’s knack for creativity into a business that provides beautiful, whimsical, bite-size cakes for all events and occasions. Cake Pop Fusion cake pops are baked fresh when you order them and are individually hand-decorated to match any theme.

Cake Pop Fusion is a member of The Artisan Group, Children’s Party Network, and Wedding Wire and Pia and Kathleen have been featured as Doers of the Week on Martha Stewart’s Dreamers into Doers website.

Visit Cake Pop Fusion on Etsy and Zibbet; follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to their blog for news and information on cake pops and more. A portion of all proceeds is donated to research for Intracranial Hypertension, aka Pseudotumor Cerebri, a rare brain disease from which Kathleen suffers.

Contact information:
Cake Pop Fusion
Etsy Shop:
Zibbet shop:

Artisans Represented at the 2012 GBK Oscars Gift Lounge – Release Me Creations

Release Me Creations

Release Me Creations offers unique, whimsical, handmade jewelry and accessories. Maureen Kirchdoerfer, designer and sole proprietor, started Release Me Creations in 2009 as a way to help her deal with her father’s Cancer diagnosis. And out of something very sad came something very beautiful. Her creations are all unique, and always have a touch of whimsy and romance. You can find pieces for all budgets and tastes within the shop. The celebrities at the Academy Awards will find one of Release Me Creations’ Whimsical Silhouette Necklaces within their gift bag. The necklaces each have their own message reminding us to not be afraid to let go and explore our dreams.
Release Me Creations has recently started working with Paws in the City Rescue group in Dallas, TX. Portions of the proceeds from her Doggy Silhouette and Rescue necklaces will go to helping animals in need. The charity is very important to her, as she has two doggy babies of her own that she loves very much.

Maureen is excited about her expanding small business, and looks forward to continuing to bring beautiful jewelery and accessories to those in search of them.

Contact information:
Release Me Creations