Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My tour of Etsy HQ in New York City

Are you an Etsy addict like me? I could totally buy most of the things on there if the budget allowed. Quite a lot of my Piccadilly Market stall holders are sellers on Etsy so was pretty damn excited for the chance to take a tour of this amazing business.

Etsy is located in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in Brooklyn. They employ 400 people of which most are tech based and solely work on the website running like clockwork. They are a B corporation defined as voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. 

As you can imagine they are incredibly eco friendly and do everything they can to do good in the world and make it a better place.

We were so excited to visit, like kids in a candy store and said as much to Mike our fabulous tour guide, he said he feels the same way coming to work everyday. Honestly you would never want to work anywhere else. I took A LOT of photos as it is the best way to see what it is all about. My proper new camera turned out to be a lemon so had to use my phone and was so giddy with excitement that a few are blurry...ooops

This is a new installation and is a living wall entrance.

This is GRIT who is the official Etsy mascot, he gets blinged with lights at Xmas and even gets to wear a Halloween costume

Each of the meeting rooms are named after a combination of food and music. Memos are sent around office and lots of input goes into these quirky names.

Everyone at Etsy uses reusable cups with Etsy cosies on them...super cute.... if they take them to local cafes they get discounts. A good initiative.

A cool hang out room is in here, there are a lot of different hang out zones around the building you can work in and did I mention you can bring your dog to work? Yes you can, there are pooches scattered around the place on their dog beds and just having a wander. LOVE that.

No phones are used at desks, if you want to use a phone you go into a phone right!!!!

Another little lounging area

Love the Fall pumpkin display in the kitchen

They have Eatsy days twice a week where a spread of delicious food is provided for all the staff. That is my kind of workplace. Vegetarians are catered too also.

Whip up a treat for lunch in the kitchen if you choose.

bet your lunch room doesn't look like this...nice right!!

This is action stations, all these screens show how fast the website is performing and all other nerdy, geeky yet super cool stuff. The ultimate goal of the 400 staff is that you have a great experience on line.

Some random office installations

Where it all happens. These floors are super amazing, recycled timber. Every staff member gets a $100 budget to buy from Etsy to decorate their desks. 

This here is techy heaven, every type of gadget is here so the site can be tested on everything to make sure it is doing its thing.

This here is the bumping stump, when you grab a gadget you bump it on the stump and it registers that you have borrowed it. When you return it, bump it back. I love S#$% like this.

I want this in my house.

This is what Piccadilly market is all about.

Just another random installation and break out area

Farewell Grit and Etsy. You were a New York Highlight and the DUMBO area was cool to discover and then heading back over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Love New York for things just like this

Monday, September 1, 2014

Piccadilly's top blog picks

I was very fortunate to be able to attend my 2nd problogger event this past weekend in the sunny Gold Coast.

The view from my room alone was worth the trip.

View from my room at QT Gold Coast

I have had a few friends roll their eyeballs and think this is just an excuse for a getaway, "bludging again" but I will forgive them as they possibly do not understand what they are being negative about. When I started blogging 5 years ago it was a totally different world and very few people were making a living from it. Fast forward and your mind would boggle at what people are achieving and earning online. As Darren Rowse said in his keynote, we were a room full of 550 ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

When you start to hear peoples stories it is so heart warming. Some have started blogs due to adversity, bad experiences, health issues and have built huge communities around them. They educate and uplift their followers.

I do not earn a cent from my blog, it supports my business as a marketing tool but I still love it and enjoy it and wish I had more time to blog more often. Instead of boring you with the ins and outs of what I learnt I thought I would introduce you to some fabulous blog discoveries I found that you may also enjoy.

I LOVED meeting the utterly gorgeous Candice De Ville from Vintage Current. We had a lengthy chat in the ladies room, where all awesome conversations and connections take place. Candice is beautiful inside and out and carries herself with the graceful air of a lady. Check out her lovely blog.

This gorgeous grouping of an outfit totally floats my boat.

Vintage Current

Candice De Ville and Janina Lear

The next blog I discovered was The Merrymaker Sisters, 2 gorgeous young girls who are sisters that decided they were sick of feeling crap from eating processed food and changed their lives for good. Their blog is all about going paleo and being kind to your body. Whilst I am not fully paleo I do subscribe to a huge part of it and their recipes look amazing. My pantry is full of the ingredients already so look forward to trying some new yummies.The girls are off to New York City next week, a city close to my heart, I look forward to following their adventure and seeing what cool food finds they make.

The merrymaker sisters

Confession time.....I am totally and utterly crap at doing hair. My poor girls are subjected to plain old piggy tails, pony tails and ordinary plaits. I always look with envy and jealousy at those fish tail braid thingys that look like they need a degree to achieve.  You can imagine my joy when I discovered Hair Romance, perfect for hair klutzes like me.

Sadly the new book sold out but I ordered mine here and am currently camped at the mailbox waiting for its arrival. 

Wait till the school Mums start seeing my 82, yes 82 new hairstyles that Miss Lola and Miss Bella will be sporting and maybe even me too.

Hair Romance

I was pretty damn excited when I came across Her Packing List that provides female travel advice and packing tips. I am a well travelled person but I never seem to get the packing part right, I take wayyyyyy too much stuff and somehow never have what I really need. So I am looking forward to devouring this site that has everything from what suitcase to take, how to get 1 million outfits from 3 garments (not really but you get the idea), are tampons available in XYZ?

Her Packing List

I used to follow Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim a while back but life got crazy and I feel off and stopped doing my Photo a Day. I am back. I sat in on Chantelle's session and hats off to her for doing something that totally scares the crap out of her. It is always admirable to see people facing their fears. It makes us better people. We had to do a little dance before the session and there was a prize up for grabs. I reckon my moves in this pic should have got me that prize but no it was not enough.

Me dancing 

Chantelle has released a new photo app and its fab. Its called Little Moments and worth the purchase. It gives a little prompt reminder each day for photo a day. I am playing along and will be posting to Instagram and Facebook if you want to follow.

I hope you enjoy my blog wrap up. Feel free to share your fave blogs in the comments.

I will leave you with this quote, my big take away from the weekend. Yes I do want it more.

and these fun photos with my travelling companions.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

In the Spotlight : Smith Originals

Introducing Rebecca from Smith Originals who is not only a newcomer to Piccadilly Market on the 3rd August but also to the whole craft business world.

Loving her unique creations as I am sure you will also.

Tell us a little about yourself?
About a year ago I realised the corporate jungle wasn’t for me so I made a break for it and now I spend my days surrounded by fabric in a little cottage in Hepburn.

How did you come up with your business name?
My last name is Smith, which is far from original, so it’s really an ironic title I guess.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
I’ve made bags for friends for years and found that bags gave a lot more scope for creativity. You can put fabrics, colours and textures together in a bag that you can’t get away with in clothing! As for hats, I’ve always been a hat person. Moving to Hepburn really gave me a great excuse to wear them more, but I couldn’t find the kinds of comfy winter hats I wanted to wear. So I started making them.

How long have you been in business for?
Only a few months.  Glad to have you on board so quickly

What inspires you?
A lot of things. People who are passionate about something, whatever it is. Living in Hepburn. The creative community.

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
Always! My mum and grandmothers were all crafty. Sewing, knitting, crotchet, cross-stitch - you name it. I’ve sewn my whole life.

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m less cool, more nerdy! I learnt Flamenco dance for a couple of years. It was fierce, I’d love to take it up again one day.

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
Russia, or Austria. With a stopover in Toronto to see a friend.

Favorite book?
The Call of the Wild. Or anything Vonnegut.

What is your favorite website(s) ?        
The Oatmeal, followed closely by Etsy. Or any fabric website.

Have you ever met anyone famous?
Not really. I did trip over Andrew Gaze’s foot in a food court once, but to be fair he takes up a lot of space.  Funny!!!

In The Spotlight: Tubtime Treats

Say Hi to Renee from Tubtime Treats who makes deliciously smelling soaps that sound fabulous. She will be at the next Piccadilly Market on 3 August in Geelong.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 29 and just recently engaged. I live in Inverleigh and work full time as a Registered Nurse

How did you come up with your business name?
I wanted to incorporate the fact that I sell products that are mainly for use in the bath and that they are based mostly on yummy dessert type flavours. Hence the name Tubtime Treats.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
I was sitting at Panache in town with a girlfriend drinking a pot of Earl Grey, and the smell was so intoxicating i said to her "wouldnt you just love to be able to bath in that smell." Then I got to thinking and researching how I could make soaps that smell like yumminess.

How long have you been in business for?
I have only been making soaps for a little over 18 months, and have probably only really had it operating as a business for about a year now.

What inspires you?

Well, its pretty clear that I am an absolutely HUGE fan of desserts. I often think that if I bath in my Double Chocolate Fudge rather that eating normal fudge then its not as guilty :) How nice would that be?

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
I dont think so. It really came about later in my life, probably during my early 20's when I attempted to cross stitch a gift for my newly born -niece, but discovered i was definitely no cross-stitcher, but that definitely got my interest up in making and crafting things for people.

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
Ooh, tough one. I think that would have to be Canada. Have always been interested in going there but my interests have grown in the lst few years since being with my partner and growing a love for the outdoors and cold climates

Favorite book?
Can't ever narrow that one down, can I choose 2? Firstly would have to say Flowers in the Attic by V.C Andrews.

But am also an extremely huge fan of (WAIT FOR IT)... Harry Potter...!!! I started reading it in my teen years and just fell in love with the magic and creativity of it all

What is your favorite website(s) ? 
Hmm, probably not very original, but right now i would have to say pinterest, if you want ideas/inspiration, best site        

Have you ever met anyone famous?
I was lucky enough to meet Guy Pearce once and spoke to him for over an hour. Fantastic individual

Friday, August 1, 2014

In The Spotlight: Moiety

Meet Amy and Tiff from Moiety who are a great collaboration of creative minds. You can see them at Piccadilly Market on Sunday 3 August.

Tell us a little about yourself?
Moiety is a collaboration between two friends from different art mediums exploring how art often transcends and stretches traditional boundaries.  Amy Laker Bruni  has been breathing new life back into ephemeral, nostalgic & whimsical pieces of wearable pieces often incorporating upcycled components. As an artist Tiffany Morris North, draws inspiration from her natural surrounds to create botanical inspired paintings and drawings, resembling textured decorative wallpaper or fabric collage. We share a deep love for nature in all it's details, and a curiosity of anything handmade.

How did you come up with your business name?
Moiety is French meaning 'of two equal parts'. We both bring a completely different skillset into creating pieces of jewellery that combines both of these. Tiffany works fine exotic threads into miniature crochet shapes, draws/stitches pictures, or carves stamps that Amy uses to make moulds, where either the works are embedded into clear resin or colours are played around with for their carved line. Others are captured between glass and soldered to create a double sided whimsical specimen.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
 We have individually been selling our own wares at markets next to each other for years, and it was a very natural transition to want to take one form and compliment it with the other. Amy had been using maps & words from old books in her jewellery range. Tiffany had always crocheted and hand embroidered her paintings. One tiny little ring blossomed into a forest of ideas and an ever growing jewellery range.

How long have you been in business for?
 In our respective creating and making fields we have been doing the rounds for just under two decades. Together, the seeds of Moiety were planted last year. We now share a working space at the newly opened Ink & Thread studios in Kallista, which is another of our creations.

What inspires you?
 We are both incredibly inspired by the constant changing and wondrous natural architecture in the world around us. While we both live in the hills of Mt Dandenong with incredibly lush native forests encroaching on our doorsteps, we both grew up and spend many holidays still beside the ocean.
As artists we often find it hard not to be inspired; where senses challenge how we interpret that into a tangible, where emotions evoke how colour is used, where vying away from mainstream consciousness leads to experimentation & a need to try and create something new.

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
Amy:  I debuted the market scene aged 12, but it has been only 'later in life' that I have embraced the serious 'professional artist'
Tiff:  I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing, making, sewing.

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
 Amy: hmmm....I was a ski lift operator in Colorado for a season.  I so wanted to do that
Tiff: That I painted a traditional canal boat while living in England. Very cool

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
 Amy: A year in Greenland. That is random :)
Tiff: Italy

Favorite book?
Amy: The Dictionary, words are my thing
Tiffany: The World of Ornament, pictures are my thing!

What is your favorite website(s) ?  
Amy: Etsy ( & Instagram (lillebeart)      
 Tiff: The Design Files and Gennines Art

Have you ever met anyone famous?
Amy: I met George Harrison and his McLaren Grand Prix team the year before he died, where he personally gave me his metal team pin. Grand ol' days!
Tiff: I used to work in the film industry so I met lots of famous people, but I did have dinner once with Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld)

Moiety will be running a giveaway on their Moiety Facebook page so be sure to check that out too.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In The Spotlight: Stacey INQ

Meet Stacey from Stacey INQ who will be showing her gorgeous Balinese inspired wares at Piccadilly Market on 3rd August.

Tell us a little about yourself? 
Born and bred in Geelong and in my early 20s travelled around Australia and settled in Port Douglas for 7 years. I have spent over 20 years working in the retail/fashion industry. Currently I am working for the Department of Justice and running my own business Stacey Inq importing jewellery, leather bags, clothing and homewares from Bali to sell on my website.

How did you come up with your business name?
I really wanted the business name to be personal for me and felt really drawn to using my surname. It's strong and simple and no one else has it.

Tell us how your product/range came about?
 Inspired by the beauty on the 'Island of the Gods' unique pieces have been hand picked and  handmade creating a range based on my love for Bali.

How long have you been in business for?
1 year. I launched my website in August last year.

What inspires you?
Love, family, friendship and freedom.

Have you always been ‘crafty’ or has it bloomed later in life?
 No, I have never been crafty.

What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
 I love riding motorbikes.

If money was no object what would be your dream destination right now?
Definitely Bora Bora.

 Favorite book?
The Art of Living by Dalai Lama

What is your favorite website(s) ?        
The Cool Hunter, The Luxe Nomad and Magali Pascal.

 Have you ever met anyone famous
I met Greg Norman at a party in Melbourne many years ago.


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