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June 29, 2017


Since 2004, I've been incredibly grateful to be a professional artisan, hand crafting luxury — and more recently, expendable — goods.

One of the awkward challenges of this path has been the frequency with which I've encountered a common misconception: that artisan goods should cost less than mass produced goods specifically BECAUSE they're hand made (because they're home-spun, imperfect, and/or made from materials any resourceful person could obtain.)

What people forget to take into account — very innocently, I believe — when they think this way, is that hand made goods that are priced fairly (covering time spent, materials costs, and unique skills, without undercutting pricing "to be nice," as a favor, or stemming from a lack of confidence in product, self, or sales potential) will always cost more than factory-made products due to:

1) Labor Costs — Factories are automated and can perform the work of hundreds of hands in a much shorter time than a single artisan ever could, even w...

April 23, 2017

This sly little imp was sold yesterday on Facebook. Thanks to everyone who visited the Bear Collectors Anonymous Facebook group to catch BEAN's appearance in their Great Worldwide Online Bear Show.

I'm so happy my first piece in a really long time was wanted. You might think I'm confident every piece will sell since I've been doing this so long, but you'd be wrong -- every listing sees me biting my nails with anxiety about how my work will be received. I don't lose sleep over it or anything. I don't cease to function. I don't need, like, therapeutic intervention over it. But I do feel worried, and I think maybe that's a natural part of being a creative person professionally, to worry about whether one's audience is still watching, and still willing to buy.

I had lots of fun interacting with fellow bear makers and all those sweet collectors again, especially in this sort of venue where things happen in real time. Thanks to fabulous bear artist and long-time friend Kim Russell for invi...

March 5, 2017

For someone who loves tinkering with graphic design so much, I sure have dragged my feet when it comes to wrapping up the long overdue rebranding of Shelli Makes Studio, some elements of which have been live on this website for months (eek.) Both business card & hangtag will have gloss fronts & uncoated backs -- pretty! And what a relief to have them finally done. Whew!

March 4, 2017

I've had insomnia lately -- not fun. I've also been in something of a creative slump for many months now, which is why I haven't made new bears or finalized the branding and business setup for my soap making hobby -- or even made soap, frankly. It's not depression; I'm fine and healthly, and life is good and happy, so please don't worry about me. It just happens sometimes, that I need to unplug and take a break from being creative, especially after flurries of intense making. The urge to create waxes and wanes for me, and I do my best work when feeling energized and inspired. 

Years ago -- five or more -- I had a blast creating digital collages, mostly fashion, just for fun (no pressure, no timeline) at Polyvore. I even won a few prizes for my mash-ups, the most spectacular of which was a pair of stunningly gorgeous rutilated quartz, gold, and silver earrings from Tacori. Sperry gave me a $100 gift card for a 2nd place finish in one of their contests, too. Those wins ma...

November 7, 2016

The last few weeks have seen me busy rebranding Shelli Makes to include a new passion -- soap making -- and a hint at more things to come. The redesign has been a true labor of love, but it's a labor all the same. I'm more than ready to escape to less digital, more hands-on, flights of creative fancy. Almost there... !

August 26, 2015

I sold the first Potbelly Bear in 2004, marking the start of a creative career I never could have anticipated. I've met the warmest and kindest of people, and I've had the most wonderful time!

In the years since that first sale, Potbelly Bears has grown its offerings. I still make Potbelly Bears, of course – but also Old Timers, pincushions, and more. I've rebranded to be more inclusive of that. And since "Shelli Makes" all that I offer, Shelli Makes has become my new name.

I'm especially excited about the new shop feature. It's easy to use, and a self-contained purchasing portal – and also serves as a gallery of recent work. I don't anticipate any problems with it, but if you have questions or comments about the Shelli Makes shop, please eMail to let me know.

I hope you'll enjoy the new look, and thanks for checking in. I appreciate you.

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I love sewing, soaping,
nature, reading, people, birds, Disney, coffee, & fleece
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Musings and messes and magic and fun... the happy scrapbook of a creative, grateful life.

Sometimes I link to resources that I use personally and thus feel comfortable recommending to others. I participate in the Amazon Associates program, so when you purchase using my links I may receive a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you.) Thank you for helping support indie artisans!  I will only recommend what I know and believe in; never just to be compensated. So when I write that I use and love something, you can trust that I really do.

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© 2018 Shelli Quinn | Shelli Makes Studio

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