Friday, August 31, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #18

TGIF Greeting Card
from LouBelcher
I am grateful for playing hooky and starting my long weekend a little early! I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to time away from work to relax and destress and return refreshed and focused. I realize that not everyone has that opportunity and I'm very blessed that my time really is my own. It's not always easy to be self employed. Cash flow worries creep in and deadlines can really loom over my head. But the chance to take a nice, long weekend makes it all worthwhile!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #17

Today I'm grateful for my Etsy friends! It's been almost one year since I started my Etsy Shop, AnandaBijoux. In that time I've joined a few teams and participated as a leader on a couple. I've "met" some really fantastic fellow Etsy sellers through this community of artisans and curators!

It amazes me how I can feel such a kinship to people I've never actually met in real life. They are talented and inspiring. They are a wonderful example of support and encouragement. They are always willing to share their ideas, give their feedback and help me with new ideas. What an amazing gift they are!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #16

Wee Sentiment Fabric Gift Pouch
from humbleBea
Today I'm grateful for words of encouragement and compliment graciously shared by friends and acquaintances. These words always come at just the right time when they are needed most. The unsolicited are the very best! It's amazing what a kind word can do to brighten my day. So, to share my gratitude, I intend to pass along some of those words to others when the urge strikes. I'll gladly give a stranger a random compliment and be grateful if it brightens their day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #15

Today I'm grateful that I found Women in Management 12 years ago. I've never been much of a 'joiner' especially of women's organizations. So many women's organizations I've visited were filled with snarky judgement...come on ladies, you know what I'm talking about! But WIM is different.

This is a group of accomplished women from all walks of management and business ownership willing to share their experience and expertise with each other in an open forum. They are my sounding board. They are my mentors and my friends. They are supportive and encouraging to each other and even when they don't see eye-to-eye, they are diplomatic in voicing their opinions. It's an atmosphere of mutual respect and leadership.

I'm so excited to see everyone this evening at the Women in Management Fox Valley EXPO in Elgin! If any of you ladies are interested in the support, education and encouragement from fellow businesswomen, let me know! This group is the bomb!

Monday, August 27, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #14

Happy Monday Bag
from Amaiaisback
Today I'm grateful it is Monday...hear me out!!! I know it's not a popular stance. People blow up social media sites with the Monday whoas...weekend over, returning to work. I can't help but think of how fortunate I am to have work to return to. So many people are out of work and unable to earn a living wage. Things haven't been easy for our household with the hit the construction industry took over the last few years. And because of that I'm even more grateful to have work to do and deadlines to meet. So, instead of complaining about how much Monday sucks and wishing you didn't have to go to work, be thankful you have that job...and be careful what you wish for because you just might get it!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #13

Today I'm grateful for my health and what I've learned over the last three years since losing my health. Three years ago I was hospitalized with a massive blood clot from my hip to my knee with smaller clots forming in my calf of my left leg. The doctors were baffled. One year and many blood thinners later, my hematologist sent me to a vein specialist and they discovered a congenital defect. They diagnosed May Thurner Syndrome...I'm sure many of you always figured I had some sort of syndrome! It's a narrowing of the left iliac vein due to compression of the right iliac artery. A few months later I had two stents deployed to open my vein and keep blood flowing.

For six months after the hospital I was very limited in my activity, only being able to sit for 20-30 minutes at a time. It gradually improved but I still couldn't do the things I had done before "the incident". That down time taught me so many lessons. I learned to respect the signs my body gives me. I learned that it's okay to take a nap in the afternoon.  I learned to ask for help...well, I have more to learn about that one! I learned I have amazing friends willing to lend their hands in my time of need. I learned I am truly blessed! So, today I'm grateful not only for my health but also for the time when I didn't have it because that's when I learned the most!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #12



Today I'm really grateful that my mother taught me to cook and instilled in me a love for creating new recipes and trying new foods. I still use the orange 5-ring binder Betty Crocker Cookbook that she gave me 20 years ago when I was leaving home to set up my own household. I have notes to improve Betty's recipes, tabs for favorites and have even added my own creations in plastic sleeves in the back of the cookbook. I'm grateful that my mother took the time to encourage my love for cooking...despite all the horrific messes I made of her kitchen!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Feature -
Rowan from Violet Star Creations

Clothing that flatters your body, made from earth friendly materials in Michigan USA available at reasonable prices...too good to be true, you say? Not so! I came across Rowan Leithauser's Etsy shop, Violet Star Creations and found exactly that! Rowan's original, custom designs make up a versatile collection that are custom made to your cool is that! I had a chance to learn more about Rowan and her shop. Here's the scoop!

Q: What makes your items special?
Rowan: I strive to create everything as sustainably as possible. This means using organic, natural, and salvaged fabrics, and reducing waste as much as possible in all areas of my business.

Q: How long have you been making clothing and accessories?
Rowan: I’ve been making little wearable things since I was a wee one. You could sort of say I’ve been a fiber artist since I was around 8 years old or so. I've been making my clothes to sell for 10 years.

Q: How did you get involved in your area of interest?
Rowan: I always loved to create. My mother taught me to sew as a young girl and I began by altering my own clothing…then friends would ask me to alter theirs, from there I started making some of my own designs and before long a business was born.

Q: What prompted you to start an Etsy shop?
Rowan: I had heard good things about Etsy from other sellers and wanted to give it a try. It seemed like a good way to get a website out there without a larger investment. I started my Etsy shop 3 years ago.

Q: How did you come up with the name for your shop?
Rowan: As a young girl I used to call myself Violet Star, so that became my business name.

Q: What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Rowan: I really can’t say that I have one particular favorite…I guess it all depends upon my mood and the day.

Q: What inspires you?
Rowan: I am inspired by many things…within my clothing and accessories business, I would have to say my main inspirations come from the interplay between fabric, feeling and form. The way that colors and shapes can be combined to create wearable works of art.

Q: What has been a favorite moment or sense of accomplishment related to your work?
Rowan: Some of my favorite moments come while selling my work at art shows and music festivals. I love the interactions and serendipitous moments that happen. I love watching people come in and play dress up and get EXCITED about finding something that is just perfect for them.

Q: What advice would you offer someone interested in getting involved with your area of interest?
Rowan: I would say to start with what you can handle and work up from there. When I first started my business I mainly worked with recycled and salvaged fabrics and fibers and sold my work at a number of art shows and festivals. This allowed me to get started with minimal expenses, which for me, felt like the right thing to do. Rather than taking on a bunch of debt in order to get started, I feel like starting out with what you can make happen RIGHT NOW is a good thing.

Q What do you do when you’re not working on your shop…hobbies, career, family etc.?
Rowan: I have a five month old son (my first) named Zario, who is the love of my life. We spend lots of quality time together finding new things to gum…and bouncing to whatever music suits the day. I also love wildcrafting…harvesting wild foods and medicines, gardening, preserving foods, and of course eating…I’m a bit of a foodie really.

Q: Can we connect with you elsewhere online?
Rowan: I also have a facebook page for my business: VioletStarCreations

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #11

I was looking back through some pictures and came across son's first traffic accident that happened 18 months ago. And I can't help but be incredibly grateful that he walked away with a few nothing more than a few bruises.

I was sitting on a panel discussion that afternoon and received his call just before we started. I was numb through the whole presentation. The car was towed away and I didn't see it until a couple days later when I went to retrieve my personal belongings. I didn't even recognize it. And I couldn't help but get a little emotional thinking about how lucky Brandon was to be unharmed.

Call it whatever you must to align with your beliefs but the fact that he was safe puts no doubt in my mind that there is a Divine watching over us! And fills my heart with gratitude that my son was spared!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #10

I'm grateful for not just technology but for AutoCAD!!! Had someone told me 20 years ago that I would be so reliant upon AutoCAD, use it daily and like it, I would have thought they were crazy! But I do...I love AutoCAD! I'm so grateful that brilliant programmers wrote the code that lets me draw and revise in the blink of an eye! It cuts so much time off drawing production that I can spend more time being creative.

So, thank you to all those crazy code writers creating the program that makes my life so much easier and helps me be more efficient. Thank you Autodesk!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #9

Screen Print Sign from SpoiledRoyalStudio
It seems like such a superficial thing to admit but this morning, I'm immensely grateful!! I love coffee! I love everything about coffee! I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things Coffee! Everyone is welcome to follow!

I love the smell of freshly ground beans, that rich aroma when the drive thru window at Starbucks opens up and my coffee maker with the timer that wakes me with the smell of freshly brewed coffee! I adore my French press...for some reason I feel fancy using it! I drink far too much and enjoy every sip. I take it black, no cream, no sugar (or nasty sweetener).

I recently discovered The Pioneer Woman recipe for cold brewing iced coffee concentrate, which is to die for! Here's a brief recap:


1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
8 quarts Cold Water


Place ground coffee in a 2 1/2 gallon container. Add cold water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for eight hours or overnight.

Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. I use coffee filters instead of cheesecloth...change them out as they get too clogged. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.

Place coffee concentrate in the fridge and allow to cool.

To make an amazing iced coffee...I said amazing, not calorie conscious!
Pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill the glass 2/3 full of the coffee concentrate. Add a healthy splash of half-and-half and 2-3 Tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine. Adjust half-and-half and sweetened condensed milk to taste.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #8

Antiqued Inspiration Sign
from Sarah at CellarDesigns on Etsy
Today I am grateful for all of you, participating in this 101 Day Gratitude Journey with me! I don't have the words to fully express how uplifting it is to read all the wonderful and miraculous things people are naming. As I read through each day it causes me to recognize more and more people, circumstances and experiences in my life I owe gratitude.

Thank you, everyone for sharing your gratitude each day. You are each a special light in my life and I love that you've joined in! My unscientific assessment...Gratitude is Contagious and IT WORKS!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #7

Ball State Campus Canvas
from madcanvases on Etsy

It was 24 years ago I left my home in northern Indiana for Muncie and Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning. In 8th grade I decided to follow in the footsteps of two cousins and become an architect. I took a little twist and discovered landscape architecture...I just couldn't shake that 'farmer's daughter' gene!

Today I'm grateful for my student loans that made it possible for me to pursue my dream. Without those loans and grants I would never have been able to afford to pay for college. I'm grateful for the opportunities made possible by those loans and even more grateful that they are long since paid off.

To all the students returning to school...Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #6

I'm very grateful for my creativity. I'm fortunate to have two businesses that provide outlets for my creativity while paying my bills. Both connect me to nature, which I believe to be a constant source of strength and grounding in my life. There's something about using my hands to make something that is incredibly fulfilling and I'm completely blessed to have the opportunity to do this every day!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #5

I'm very grateful for my kitty, Sophie. She's not very bright but is the sweetest kitty I've ever lived with. She was a shelter rescue and when we went in the little room to meet her she purred so loudly I knew she was choosing us. She was the runt of her litter and the last to find a forever home. She's a constant source of entertainment with her silly habits and goofy personality. She has to dip her paw in her water and lick it off three times before actually drinking the water. She loves lettuce and hates thunder. She likes to cuddle under the blankets in cold weather and loves to sit in the window and pretend she's fierce enough to be an outdoor kitty. I'm forever grateful she chose us!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Feature -
Jennifer from Nutmeg Naturals, LLC

Aromatherapy is a great complement for balancing your chakras. The best thing, it doesn't have to stop when your meditation ends! Just like gemstone jewelry you can wear anytime to balance your chakras, you can incorporate aromatherapy into your day-to-day routines and practices. Nutmeg Natural, LLC offers a wide range of scents and soaps for everything from personal care to household chores. I had the chance to catch up with Jennifer Knapp, creative genius and soap maker extraordinaire behind Nutmeg Naturals and find out more about her passions and inspirations. Love it!!

Q: How long have you been selling your creations on Etsy?
Jennifer: We just celebrated our one year anniversary on Etsy!

Q: What types of soaps and personal care items to you make?
Jennifer: We started out making cold process soap, and have ventured into related products as well. We offer many varieties of soap, laundry soap, bath salts, solid perfumes, lip balms, solid lotions, wood soap dishes, and knitted items.

Q: What sets your offerings apart from others?
Jennifer: First and foremost is quality. We buy high quality soap making oils, essential oils, and fragrance oils. We are really fussy about our work; if something does not meet our high standards, we aren't going to sell it.

Q: How long have you been making soap?
Jennifer: We have been making soap for a year and a half. Prior to actually making the soap, we took classes from a professional soap maker, read books on soap making and did lots of research!

Q: What sparked your interest in soap making?
Jennifer: One year for Christmas, my mother bought me a giant bar of natural soap. It was fabulous! I have very sensitive skin and spent most of my life using soap that always left my skin dry. I was so intrigued by the natural soap that I started to research what went into soap. The more I researched, the more interested I became. I quickly had this huge desire to make soap. The first batch I made came out wonderfully, and I was hooked!

Q: What prompted you to start an Etsy shop?
Jennifer: I was so enamored with soap making, I couldn't stop. Both my mother and I were making soap several times a week. We were so thrilled with the soaps and knew we had a great product, so I thought I’d give online selling a try. I had discovered Etsy a few years earlier and thought it would be the perfect platform for our online store. I’m really happy with the decision to create the Etsy shop. It has been a great way to connect with customers all around the country, and even in other countries.

Q: How did you come up with the name for your shop?
Jennifer: I knew I wanted a name that somehow related to our state of residence, Connecticut. Connecticut is the nutmeg state, and Nutmeg Naturals just popped into my head one day.

Q: What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

Jennifer: That is a really hard question! If I had to pick just one, I would say our “Old Sheabrook” soap is my absolute favorite. It has a wonderful, salty-oceany type scent that I love. I named the soap after one of my favorite places in Connecticut, Old Saybrook. Our name is a play on words because it is a shea butter soap. I’m so used to saying “Sheabrook” now, I have to stop and think when I actually want to say the town’s name correctly!

Q: What inspires you?
Jennifer: I am often inspired by abstract art and tie dye. I’ll find myself looking at something and think, “How can I make this into a soap?” I love big, bright, bold colors and crazy patterns. However, I don’t make too many wild looking soaps because I’m never sure what other people are going to think of them.

Q: Tell us about a favorite moment or sense of accomplishment related to you work.
Jennifer: The best feeling is having repeat customers who love the products and keep coming back for more. That gives a great sense of satisfaction, to know that others enjoy the products we make.

Q: What advice would you offer someone interested in getting involved with soap making?
Jennifer: There are a lot of soap makers out there, so I would say that if someone is interested in soap making, he or she should find their niche and find a way to stand out from the others.

Q: What do you do when you’re not working on your shop?
Jennifer: Anyone that knows me can tell you that when I am not doing Nutmeg Naturals related activities, I am studying. I am in my senior year at Central Connecticut State University, studying Accounting. I also have a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Connecticut.

Q: Are there any other places online we can connect with you and Nutmeg Naturals?
Jennifer: I have my own website, Nutmeg Naturals. And you can 'like' my Facebook Page. It's an active page and I love to interact with our followers!

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #4

Best Friend Necklace from StarlightWoods
Today I'm celebrating gratitude for life long girlfriends. The kind of friends you may not see often but when you do, it's like you just saw them yesterday. I'm really fortunate to have a number of these women in my life. One was my best friend in high school. Another came along in college. Some are more recent and another came along as a freakishly unexpected and completely sweet surprise...synchrodestiny at it's best!

I'm so blessed to have these women in my life. We share laughter, shed tears, celebrate victories and console setbacks. Each bond is individual and has it's own character and fills my heart in unique ways. Each of these women is a brilliant soul that fills the world with love and light. Thank you, friends!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #3

How could I not be completely grateful for my fantastic son, Brandon? He really is a very cool person. He has the most dry and sarcastic sense of humor...I wonder where that came from! He's always been ready to lend a hand with anything I ask and he doesn't even roll his eyes! He's smart and talented and is a constant source of pride. 

He was a surprise from the beginning and continues to surprise me day after day. I never dreamed I would be a mother and now I can't imagine my life any other way!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #2

I'm so grateful for my parents, Howard and Judy. No matter what chaos I cause they are always there to help, support and encourage me. Believe me, I've put them through the wringer over the years but they are always there. I always feel surrounded by their unconditional love.

They've taught by example through every challenge they have faced. I owe the person I am today to both of them. I only hope I can be half the parent to my son that they have been to me!

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude - Day #1

Today I'm expressing Gratitude for the gift of soul filling love in my life. I count myself extremely blessed to have connected with a man so amazing I couldn't imagine him in my wildest dreams. We met 20 years ago this autumn when we were in college. I knew when I met him that he was special. At that point I didn't have the confidence to tell him so or the self-awareness to express my feelings. I graduated that following spring and life took us in separate directions.

Sixteen years later I received a Facebook friend request and there was Andy's face smiling back at me. I needed those years to realize my dharma, learn a few life lessons and prepare my spirit for this love. What developed is a deep, true and fulfilling love. He makes me laugh. He helps me to see the joy in life. He comforts me, he encourages me and he sees me for who I am. It's a love I not only feel, I know it to the core of my being.

I am so grateful to have Andy in my life, to be with him every day, to share, laugh and love. It's truly a gift and I am beyond blessed. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

101 Days of Gratitude
Attitude of Gratitude

We are constantly bombarded by energy. It comes at us from every direction at every moment i our lives. In each moment we have a choice. We choose which energy to embrace in our lives. Negativity is everywhere! It's in the news, campaign ads, television shows, magazines and online.  It's so easy to be drawn into the drama that surrounds us. The entire reality television industry is built upon this fact!

I find the best way to counter negativity is with Gratitude. It's beyond being positive. It's about recognizing people and circumstances in your life that are blessings to you and being truly grateful, from head to toe, heart and soul.

I have so much to be grateful for and I take much of it for granted. I really should be more grateful. 

So, I'm embarking on 101 Days of Gratitude. Each day I will post one blessing in my life for which I am truly grateful. The countdown starts tomorrow but for today I am grateful for the inspiration gifted to me by my friend Christine Mitchell for 101 Days of Gratitude. Thank you, friend!

I invite everyone to join in to expand the Gratitude in the world. Add a comment below stating what you're grateful for, post it on your Facebook, say a silent prayer...any way that you choose to show Gratitude will shift negativity. Imagine...if everyone showed Gratitude each day we could create an energetic shift and really change the world.

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Feature -
Shell from Solstice Stones

Finding the perfect crystals and gemstones to use in your chakra balancing practices is exciting and inspiring. That's exactly how I felt when I came across Solstice Stones on Etsy where I found high quality crystals and minerals, hand-selected for their aesthetic and energetic qualities by the shop owner, Shell. She was kind enough to share a little more about her journey and how she selected the crystals and minerals she offers. I'm sure you'll be as inspired as I am by her story!

Q: How long have you been offering crystals and minerals on Etsy?
Shell: Becoming an Etsy seller six months ago was a new and exciting challenge, as it was my first time venturing into the world of online sales. With eight years of experience selling crystals and minerals, I was eager to share my passion and expertise with other like-minded people on the web.

Q: I know you offer crystal and mineral formations in your shop. What else do you make and sell?
Shell: I offer high quality crystals and minerals, hand-selected for their aesthetic and energetic qualities. I also create jewellery pieces and shamanic tools for healing and transformation.

Q: What sets your offerings apart from other crystal shops?
Shell: All of my crystals are lovingly hand-selected from the highest quality pieces, chosen for their beauty, rarity, and uniqueness. Attuning to each crystal, I select only those with a clear, strong vibration that would be best suited for energy work.


Q: How long have you been working with crystals and minerals?
Shell: I have been working with crystals for about 10 years, studying their geological and metaphysical properties and using them in my healing practice. They are incredible teachers, and I feel truly privileged to work so closely with them. My deepening relationship with the mineral kingdom is the source of so many new insights and surprises! I am constantly inspired and humbled by their profound beauty and power.

Q: How did you get involved with crystals and minerals?
Shell: As a child, I had an innate affinity with rocks, spending hours and hours on the beach categorizing, identifying, and selecting beautiful stones with which to fill my pockets. My mother (herself a very intuitive woman) started a tradition that we were not allowed to leave the beach until each of us had found a pure white ‘magic rock’ (which I know now to be Snow Quartz). My fascination with rocks continued, and I went on to study geology in university, and moved overseas to Glastonbury in England, where I managed a crystal shop and became certified as a crystal healer.

Q: What prompted you to start an Etsy shop?
Shell: Etsy is a wonderful marketplace, supported by incredibly talented artisans and passionate merchants. I was excited to contribute to the Etsy community, and knew that it would be the perfect place to showcase my crystals and jewellery.

Q: How did you come up with the name for your shop?
Shell: I wanted the name of my business to reflect a strong connection to the land and to Spirit. To me, Solstice Stones embodies celebration, sacred knowledge, and a deep reverence for Mother Earth.

Q: You have so many amazing items, this might be a tough one! What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

Shell: Oh it’s so hard to choose a favourite, I think I honestly have a different one every day! But I do really love the Madagascan Smokey Elestial collection… they have such a pure vibration and totally different energy to any other elestials I have worked with. Some have record keepers, wispy Amethyst inclusions, and a few enhydro water bubbles! I am particularly fond of the double-terminated piece with the special little “diamond” at the tip.

Q: What inspires you?
Shell: Sacred places, the wisdom of our ancestors, moments of feeling closer to Spirit…

Q: Can you tell us about a favorite moment or sense of accomplishment related to you work.
Shell: Hearing feedback from my customers that they love the crystals they’ve bought is truly the most rewarding aspect of what I do! Finding loving homes for all of my crystals brings me so much joy.

Q: What advice would you offer someone interested in getting involved with your
area of interest?
Shell: Follow your passion! Read everything you can get your hands on to do with healing, crystals, geology, metaphysics, and develop your own intuitive relationship with the stones. Crystals work on a profoundly personal level, and your own experience is your best guide! Listen to them, and trust yourself.

Q: Can we connect with you elsewhere online?
Solstice Stones on Etsy
Solstice Stones on Facebook
Solstice Stones on Twitter
Solstice Stones on Pinterest
Solstice Stones Blog
Email Shell at Solstice Stones

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Feature -
Green Leaf Candles

I love burning candles! I always have. I'm not sure if it's the lovely colors or the fragrance...or that I'm a bit of a fire bug, but I love candles! When I came across Green Leaf Candles I was really excited because they are eco-friendly. Rather than being made of paraffin wax, derived from petroleum, they are made from all natural ingredients. This is better for the ecological health of the planet as well as the health of your own personal environment, home or office. I had a chance to catch up with Yvette, the creative force behind Green Leaf Candles to get the scoop on her unique approach to candlemaking and business.

Q: How long have you been selling candles?
Yvette: I have been selling candles for about 2 and a half years, which is also the same amount of time I have been on Etsy.  It was the first place I started selling my candles.

Q: What types candles to you make and sell?
Yvette: I make and sell Eco Friendly candles from soy wax, palm wax and beeswax.  I also use recycled glass containers, available in a wide array of colors for my soy container candles.  I strive to make the most Eco Friendly candles possible.

Q: What makes your Eco-Friendly candles unique compared to other type of candles?
Yvette: Everyone loves something different.  The candles I make are unique for many reasons.  Palm wax, for example, is a really beautiful wax that naturally forms a crystalline appearance as the wax hardens and cools.  It is a much more labor intensive type of candle to create - but worth it.  My soy container candles are also unique because I use a variety of very colorful recycled glass containers that are specifically designed for candle use.  This is important as not all types of containers can withstand the prolonged heat from a candle.  I like the beauty of candles to speak for themselves, which is one reason I choose not put company labels on the outside of my container candles. I feel this would take away from the beauty of the candle and the recycled glass container.

Q: How long have you been working in your area of interest?
Yvette: I first started making candles when I was I kid.  I used old milk carton containers (the waxed paperboard type) as molds and then would tear it away after the candle had cooled.  I have always been the creative type and was always trying out some form of art.

Q: How did you get involved in your area of interest?

 Yvette: Before I started making and selling Eco Friendly candles I occasionally bought department store candles.  It frustrated me how so many of them burned horribly and I didn't feel like I got my money's worth.  They would tunnel, the wicks would get buried in the wax, or sometimes the wicks would break and float up to the top.  So, I started re-melting them.

At this time I began to learn a lot more about wax and candles.  Being a health conscious person I discovered how unhealthy paraffin wax is, where it came from, and more.  I looked around for an Eco Friendly candle but found none, thus I began making my own.

I also wanted to make a candle that burned efficiently, to use as much was as possible if not all of it.  I felt this was important not only from an environmental point of view, but also from a quality and efficiency aspect. I decided to bring my candles to others and show that candles can be enjoyed while being environmental friendly.

Q: What prompted you to start an Etsy shop?
Yvette: I first heard about Etsy from a next door neighbor and decided to check it out.  It looked like a great marketplace to meet other artisans and sell handmade products.  As I wasn't selling online yet I thought this marketplace would be a good place to start.

Q: How did you come up with the name for your shop?
Yvette: I wanted a name that said Eco Friendly and modern.  I did a lot of brainstorming for quite a while.  Many times when I was driving home from my day job I would try to think up new possible names for my shop.  After I had a big list I ran internet searches to see if those names were taken.  The domain websites were helpful with this as well.

Q: What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Yvette: The Modern unity candle is one of my favorites.  It really says wedding to me.  It is one candle with two wicks.  I like that because to me it symbolizes two individuals (represented by the two respective flames) and those two individuals working together as a team, as one (as represented by the one candle).
I guess that's the romantic in me.  I also like the modern and unique look of it.

Q: What inspires you?
Yvette: Nature

Q: What advice would you offer someone interested in getting involved with your area of interest?
Yvette: I would suggest that they first do a lot of research into the type(s) of candles they want to make, and gather as much info as possible. Then practice, practice, practice, and thoroughly test your candles until they are just right.

Q: Can we connect with you elsewhere online?
Yes, you can find me on Twitter @GreenLCandles
And of course I always welcome emails and convos through my Etsy shop.
Click here to email Yvette and Green Leaf Candles