Katie Zick vintage blouse giveaway

Giveaway: Win a Vintage Blouse by Katie Zick

Have you seen our featured vintage shop last week? Shop owner Katie Zick is offering a giveaway for one reader of The Shopbug.

Just hop over Katie Zick’s shop and tell us which vintage item/s you like.  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win this sweet vintage plaid ruffled blouse.

This giveaway is open to US readers only.  The winner will be picked (via and announced on Thursday, November 3,2011.

Katie Zick vintage blouse giveawayVintage Purple, Red, and Blue Plaid Prairie Western Ruffle Blouse

A very sweet blouse with dark grey piping and ruffles at chest; has slight puff shoulder. Constructed from a super soft and thin material, in great condition.

maker: “Maggie Sweet,” made in the USA
material: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
size: vintage 14? (hard to make out tag estimated medium)
era: 1970s
condition: very good

length: 24”
shoulder: 17”
bust: 19 1/2”
waist: 19”
hips: 20”


Shop of the Week: Bluebird Bijou and a Giveaway

Though Bluebird Bijou is a new shop, it is gracefully taking flight.  

I am glad that Mary Lynn agreed to do this interview on my blog and she has been generous to offer a giveaway – this beautiful pair of blue earrings for one reader:)  But before that, let’s get to know a little more about the shop owner.

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?
I think defining the name of your shop is something that everyone deliberates over and over and over again and then just when they think they have it…the name is already taken or uncertainty creeps in and they start questioning themselves again!

I believe the goal behind a shop name should be to evoke the essence of what you represent as an artist or to define the type of service you want to provide.  To come up with the name of my shop, I started by writing down words that expressed how I felt when designing jewelry.  Basically, I wrote down every adjective under the sun for happiness.  I then thought about what symbolized happiness to me and I thought of my wedding song: Somewhere over the rainbow by IZ.
    “Oh, somewhere over the rainbow, 
blue birds fly, 
and the dreams that you dreamed of, 
Dreams really do come true.
And, that is how the name Bluebird was born. As for Bijou- short and sweet- my husband suggested it- and I like it.

Bluebird [ˈbluːˌbɜːd] A true-blue, authentically genuine, fabled Blue Bird of Happiness
Bijou [bē’zhū’] A small, exquisitely wrought trinket

How old is your shop?
My shop is only 4 months old- it was launched in November 2010.

What inspired you to start your own home business?

I have always loved artisan handcrafted jewelry. When traveling to seaside towns or areas across the country, I love browsing unique artisan shops – particularly the handcrafted jewelry section.  Unfortunately, I am like a moth to a flame- somehow I am always drawn to the most expensive item in the store. So, there was more browsing than purchasing!

When I got married, I wanted to buy my bridesmaids some jewelry- again everything I liked was very expensive.  I lucked out and I stumbled upon a craft store one day and they were having a trunk show of the most unbelievable gemstones. I was hooked! I took some classes and learned the basics and the rest is history. I am constantly taking classes and learning new techniques.
Eventually, I started making jewelry for family or for friends. When they would wear my jewelry, people would ask them about it and wanted to know where they could buy it. So, my husband encouraged me to open a store on Etsy.  My goal was, to create one-of-a-kind artisan jewelry at an affordable price without compromising the quality of ingredients and craftsmanship.
“I usually sit outside on my deck,
on my sofa, at the table,
or on a chair at the beach!”
Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft?
Hmmm, this is a hard question for me.  I really do not have a designated work station.  I usually sit outside on my deck, on my sofa, at the table, or on a chair at the beach!

I prefer to keep my craft simple- meaning only hand held portable tools. I remember I picked up a copy of Wire magazine and thinking, “You can create that… with two pliers!”   I find the smaller and more tedious the work the more I love it!

As far as the creative process, I see jewelry as a miniature canvas with gemstones as my paints. I am mesmerized by nature and the beauty of gemstones.  I try to mix textures and colors that seem to naturally go together.

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?
Having confidence in my craft and feeling vulnerable from exposing my art for the world to see and judge.  And, I also deal with a small defect called perfectionism!

How did you get over it?

I don’t think you ever get over it!   However, having an incredibly supportive husband,  family and friends definitely helps.  I am also insanely thankful to all the people on Etsy who have sent me a friendly message, hearted me, or circled me- it really makes my day!

Please Name:the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop?

Work wise- I am actually a scientist and try to develop new drugs- most recently I worked on developing new drugs for Malaria. Currently, I am working with a group to develop a medical device to allow HIV positive women in developing countries to breastfeed. One day, I would love to open a small boutique and do science on the side as a consultant!
designer/shop owner
of Bluebird Bijou

Personally- I love taking classes to learn new techniques to create jewelry. I also love everything outdoors, travel, museums, and am a huge foodie!

Stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without?
This is easy; I have to have in my purse at all times lipstick, tic-tacs, wallet and my droid phone.

Your favorite shops?
There are so many shops that I love on Etsy, but here are a few of my favs:
BijouxOdalisque’s- all of it!
Skydreams- all of it!
Idolly Designs- I love, love, love her Leaf Necklace!
Elementclaystudio- Nesting Scallop Bowls, Copper Blue
Creativethursday- I am a thriving artist
Lighttexture- Steam Light Micro Lamp
Yoola-Tutorial set
Ok- I have to stop this could never end!

Your top 3 favorite picks from your shop?

The first favorite pick is easy, the Just for You Necklace.   I designed this necklace for my mom.   In Christmas 2009, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When the time came for her to start treatments, I was unable to travel and both my brother and sister were overseas.

Since we could not be there with my mom, I went searching for a special gift that would help her through this difficult time. But after not finding anything personalized or special enough, I decided to make her a necklace that she could wear everyday to remind her of family and that we were there for her in spirit.

The necklace helped her fight the battle against this disease by giving her the motivation to get up for her treatments and still fix her hair and make-up. As my mom said to me, “I could not wear something so beautiful and special without putting myself together.”   She was able to wear the necklace throughout her radiation treatments. It really helped her to focus on family and not what was happening at the time; it was as though we were there with her. It’s funny how a small object can have so much power.

I truly believe in the power of this necklace to give comfort and strength. My mom is now cancer free!
Second favorite pick is the Opal-Essence Earrings. These earrings remind me of the summer sitting on the beach or looking for shells. It’s just a great feeling I get when I look at them.
Third favorite pick is The Ocean Blue Earrings. They are simple and elegant.  I designed these earrings to go with the necklace I created for my matron of honor in my wedding- they just remind me of her.
What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?

Believe in yourself- follow your dreams- and don’t be so hard on yourself.

Any message to your customers and the people who support you?

Thank you! Thank you for the support and for believing in my art. Everything in life takes a village.

A special thanks to you Rachel at theshopbug :))

Thank you MaryLynn for being our Shop of the Week!  
All the Best to Bluebird Bijou!

To Enter the Giveaway:

Simply visit Bluebird Bijou at Etsy, then leave a comment here and tell us your most favorite item.

Additional Entries:
Please leave one comment for each step you do.

1. Be a follower of my blog.  (Click on the follow button on the right side bar)

2. Link this post on Facebook.

3. Link this post on Twitter.

4. Blog about this interview & giveaway.

Check back on March 21 to see if you won. If you’re not a blogger, don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you.

Shop of the Week: Kachina and a Giveaway

Our Shop of the Week interview features s new Etsy seller. She will soon fill her shop with more of  her creations but she has finished some goodies like the ones you see in this post.  I love interviewing new entrepreneurs because their stories and courage can be very inspiring for others who want to start a home business.

Kachina is also offering a gift to one of our readers. It will be a surprise!  All you have to do is  check out Kachina leave a comment on this post, telling us what you like from her shop.  The winner will be picked via random on March 14th.  Please check back by that date to see if you won or leave your email address so I can contact you.

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

Well it is self titled only because I have played around with so many names and nothing really suited me, except for my name! And since I have such a wild girl name any way, why not! haha
How old is your shop?
Well you should never ask a women her age! hahah well actually I have had the shop for a few years now, but really never put a whole lot of effort into it, but I did a lot with craft shows and trying to get noticed a little! So recently I started to actually post new things I have been trying and different things other than just jewelry which is what I started out with. I feel now days there is just so much talent I find myself looking at other peoples things and saying “oh why didn’t I come up with that”. But it really is amazing the things that people come up with!

What inspired you to start your own home business?

Well actually there is a few different things that goes into what I do only because I do so many different things! My new favorite thing is sewing! Ahhhh I love it, love it, love it!!! But I am very lucky to have a spare bed room which is, of course, my craft room.
I have so many things going on from paper crafting, jewelry, sewing, clay, screen printing, cake decorating, I just really love EVERYTHING!!! except knitting and crocheting! I teach a crochet class at my job (and I work at a craft store), but just don’t really like to do it as a project of my own!

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

Hmmm…well I would have to say making a sale online. It is actually a very difficult process to do, which I have found to be very similar to the craft show world! It actually took me a few years to actually have a great table and be really proud of the display.
My ideal goal was to have people (even if they didn’t buy anything) at least stop by and either just look (more than before) or have some sort of a compliment! And I spent a lot of time researching what it is that attracts people and just the concept and taking the time to do that really helped I think, but the biggest challenge I am faced with so far is applying all of what I know in the real world and applying that to my page in the cyber world!

How did you get over it?
Well, I am still trying to work on that, although I am getting into the grove of things a lot more and really trying to make my site something people want to see! And I love feedback, even if it is critical! But I feel like things are looking positive and I am getting a little better of a feel for things!
Please Name:

the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop:

Well anything I can do to craft! I love it! I spend hours reading blogs and looking at new craft ideas coming up with ways to make it my own! My head is bursting at the seams with all the ideas that I have and I love to create anything!
My new favorite day is Thursday, I actually go to my coworker Susan’s house and we spend all day sewing! And I love it! She is a seasoned sewer, and amazing at everything, but I’m hoping with a little more practice I will get there! And then besides working I spend my time with my beautiful mom, or my awesome boyfriend! They are both a really great inspiration, and I really appreciate everything they do, and how much they support me!
stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without:
Camera! Phone? (I really could live with out it) Wallet! And a note book that I right things down all day so I don’t forget any little handy ideas I may have!!
your top 3 favorite picks from your shop:
Well I would have to say the first one is the high waist skirt! Although it is a small and wont fit me, I lovvve it! The print that is on it is from one of my favorite designers, Heidi Grace! She makes the cutest anything!
The second would be my ‘Andrea’ necklace from my by the sea  collection, which is inspired by one of my old best friends, its kinda wild but really pretty! The necklace really is sooo beautiful and I want to keep it so bad but would love to see someone else in it!
The last thing that I love is probably my giraffe clutch! It is such a cool bag, and it is on a khaki corduroy, and just poppin with the little hot pink giraffe! And I love this screen so much because I drew it and it took me forever! And when I finally printed with it, it looked SWEET!!!
What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?
Jumping into the craft world can deffinatly be scary but soooo worth it! The things people come up with and what different ideas that one person may have and another person may perceive really is how it all works! So don’t be afraid!
And like they say “Don’t be afraid to reach for the moon, and if you fall you will catch a star!” I mean if you follow that motto there should be no room for disscouragement! And always ALWAYS be POSITIVE! Been a bad day? Just really remember, and try to keep it locked there in your mind, to keep a good attitude, its all about the law of attraction, you are setting yourself up for a bad day, or a bad sales if you have the attitude of being negative! So always be positive and remember it doesn’t come over night so keep your head up!
Thank you so much Kachina for being part of theshopbug!