Tag Archives: etsy

Shop Spotlight: Susan Knittman on Etsy

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Susan and I officially met in the spring of 2012. She was hired to be the newest Assistant General Manager at my job, which meant she would be my direct supervisor. From day 1, we immediately connected and really hit it off. We both eventually said our goodbyes to the ice rink and embarked on new professional journeys. We have always kept in touch and still remain friends.

In January, Susan decided to open up an Etsy shop, Susan Knittman, and sell handmade knitted goods. While in between jobs, it was a great way for her to keep up with her long-time hobby and also make some extra money in the meantime. From scarves, to headbands, to napkin rings, her shop has it all. With business booming and her shop on the rise, I wanted to share Susan’s shop with all of you.

Susan and I talked over coffee and got to catch up last week. I purchased custom napkin rings from her and I was super excited to see the finished products. They were absolutely adorable and incredibly creative! You don’t see knitted napkin rings every day!

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I love the buttons on these! So adorable! (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)
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These remind me of Christmas time! They look like a pair of elves socks! (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)

Joanna: “When did you first learn to knit?”
Susan: “I was probably around 12 years old and my mom taught me. First it was needlepoint, then knitting.”

J: “When did you open your Etsy shop? What prompted you to do so?”
S: “January of this year. So 2015. It sounds funny, but every winter I would keep my hands busy by knitting. I would start a new scarf every year. First I started with arm knitting and then needle.”

J: “What types of products do you typically make and sell in the shop?”
S: “Scarves, baby bonnets, blankets, napkin rings, hats, headbands. A little of everything. My best selling items are scarves. I have these really cool asymmetrical scarves that have a few buttons on the side and wraps around. It’s my best seller. “

J: “Have you considered making this a full-time thing (expanding beyond Etsy), or is this just a hobby? Would you eventually like to turn this into a standalone business?”
S: “Personally, I don’t think I have the stamina to do this full time. I did it while I was in between jobs. I am looking to expand and attend craft shows in the fall. There’s some local ones I want to look into. I’ll start small at first. Knitting will stay a side business for now.”

J: “What products are you hoping to add to the store, if any, in the future? Is there something you are hoping to perfect and offer to your customers?”
S: “I want to do a lot more, but I’m not sure of the demand for certain items. I have these antique Parisian buttons that I would like to do more with. They are actually from Paris and they were purchased by a family friend in the 70s. She gave them to me. I would love to do more baby bonnets. I did a custom Batman hat for a friend. It looks like there is a lot of superhero-type items in demand. I’m going to start working on Harley Quinn and the Joker hats too. I am very open to custom orders. It’s just about finding the patterns. My brother wants to add some items to his comic book shop too. I did a Batman baby headband so far. It looks like I’ll be doing a lot of superhero items, but I will do whatever is asked of me, and with little turnaround time of course.”

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                         Custom Red & White Striped Napkin Rings (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)
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             Custom Pale Blue & Ivory Chevron Stripe Napkin Rings (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)

The possibilities are endless. Susan was kind enough to make our napkin rings as a custom order. I was able to choose the colors, styles, & buttons that I wanted. She is willing to do whatever necessary to meet your specific needs. There is a warm knitted gift for everyone! All items are proudly made by Susan in the USA and can be hand washed. I wish her all the best as her business continues to grow! Susan’s products will soon be available for purchase at her brother’s comic book store, East Side Mags, as well. Be sure to check them out if you’re in the Montclair, NJ neighborhood!

You can browse Susan’s full collection of custom handmade creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SusanKnittman.

Warm Regards Always,

Joanna

Fabric Textile Products, Inc.

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20 not-so-traditional Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

momMother’s Day is Sunday May 10th! I firmly believe in recognizing all that my mother does for me every day, but it’s nice to have an extra special day just for her. Mother’s Day is a time for us all to say thank you to the special women in our lives (mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends, etc.) and show them how much they are appreciated. I like to change it up a bit each year and treat my mother to something different. Of course there is the traditional sappy Hallmark card and flowers, but I like to keep things interesting.

This year I decided to buy concert tickets to see one of my mom’s favorite country music duos (Florida Georgia Line anyone?). She will be spending the weekend with her best friend at the shore for the concert and enjoying a mini vacation. She works so hard every day to provide for my family and she could use a few days to herself to unwind and have fun. I’m sure we all could say the same the special women in our lives.

For this week’s post, I decided that I wanted to highlight some great Mother’s Day gift ideas. Flowers and greeting cards are sweet, but sometimes it’s fun to go beyond that! Below you will see my list of 20 ideas. Hopefully it serves as a source of creativity and inspiration for you this Mother’s Day!

  1. Concert tickets for her and a friend
  2. Theater tickets for her and a friend
  3. treat her to brunch at her favorite restaurant
  4. Alex and Ani bangle (My mom loves these! http://www.alexandani.com)
  5. Spa day
  6. Mani & pedi
  7. BYOB group painting class (Pinot’s Palette is my favorite! http://www.pinotspalette.com)
  8. Fruit bouquet (www.ediblearrangements.com)
  9. personalized stationary
  10. framed art print(s) of work by her favorite artist
  11. Birchbox subscription (www.birchbox.com)
  12. day or weekend trip to her favorite local travel destination
  13. Winery/Vineyard Tour
  14. Yoga class registration
  15. gardening tools and starter seeds
  16. hand-crafted jewelry (Etsy is the best source)
  17. Custom quilt using old t-shirts (check out kentshirtquilt.com)
  18.  Painted portrait of her pet(s)
  19. Polaroid camera (yes, they still exist!)
  20. last, but certainly not least, a heartfelt “thank you” for everything she does

Every Mother is different. Each has her own personality, style, hobbies, and wit. Giver her a gift that she will enjoy, but most importantly, let her know she is loved and appreciated. A little thank you can make all the difference.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Enjoy your day this weekend!

Joanna

Fabric Textile Products, Inc.

Photograph disclaimer: Please note photos credited to Fabric Textile Products, Inc. belong to myself and our company. All others images belong to the owners/businesses that have been credited and/or directly linked. I do not own those images. They belong to their rightful owners. Thank you.