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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Etsy's Bonnie Lease & Her Shop!

Hello all!
So, here is the thing.... I love Etsy! I think you all knew that, but I just wanted to say it again! I truly think that Etsy provides an outstanding display of goodies that you just can't find anywhere else! Just nod your head.. you know it is true. Also, I think there are a lot of shop owners over the age of 45 on Etsy. Hmmmmmm, I wonder why?
For a few posts or more....
I want to feature Shops that have Over 45 owners.
Why you ask??? Well, Why Not!
(Plus, I am over 45 and I need the company!)
Our Shop Owner of the Day! Drum roll please.....
 Bonnie Lease.
The owner of Fiber and Bead Boutique!
Alpaca Scarf
Were you over the age of 45 when you started your shop?
  I was well over 45 when I started the shop.
How do you think your age has helped you in your business?
Has my age helped with this adventure? Maybe. Certainly the years I spent teaching beginning computers and beginning internet have helped. Also being retired gives me the time that is needed to devote to the shop
What do you sell?
  Fiber and Bead Boutique is a 3 generation shop. My husband Fred and I make the fiber accessories. Fred weaves beautiful scarves, shawls, tea towels and other items on an 8 harness loom. I weave scarves, belts, bookmarks and other items on Inkle looms and a rigid heddle loom. I also crochet, knit, spin and felt. Handspun yarns and felted items haven't yet made it to the shop, but some of the finished items are from my handspun yarns. My daughter Jen and my granddaughter Emma design and make beaded jewelry. Jen also makes her polymer clay beads. She will soon be adding fused glass to the mix. 
Crochet Cowl

How did you get started with Etsy?
We started on Etsy last November because we were looking for another venue from which to sell. We have a friend who had started a shop and was happy with it. I do the work on the shop.
When did you get interested in making your Art/Craft?
  I have been a fiber junkie for as long as I can remember. I've been spinning for about 15 years. I took a beginning weaving class about 12 years ago, or so. I bought a Baby Wolf loom. Once I was on my own, the Wolf, that was much bigger than the loom I learned on overwhelmed me. Fred was tired of seeing it sit there unused because I was afraid of it. He offered to help me, and the rest is history. It is now his loom and he weaves amazing things. Although Jen grew up with the fiber and can crochet, knit and sew the art material that drew her were beads. She is self-taught and loves to work with beads. Emma has learned at her mother's knee. She is also learning to weave, but has nothing woven on the shop yet.
Knitted Fingerless Mitts

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the fiber. I love the fiber before it is spun. I have some that may never be spun just so I can pet it sometimes. I love yarn and I love color. The fiber tells me what it wants to be. Fred is drawn to color, pattern, and texture, so I guess you can say that weave structure inspires him. Jen and Emma love color. Emma is drawn to stones.
Purple and Blue Polymer Clay Beaded Necklace
Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?
My grandmother starting teaching me to crochet and to sew about, heaven help me, 60 years ago. Friends taught me to knit and one in particular is my knitting mentor. Workshops through our local yarn shop and weaving and spinning guild offer classes and workshops that I take advantage of. Anything else, comes from books. I am a retired librarian. Fred is self-taught. Jen has taken a few workshops and is teaching Emma.
Tiger's Eye Bracelet
Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?
 I don't know where the shop will be in 5 years. I hope it will grow and be successful. By then I may turn over the management of it to Jen or to Emma.
How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?
  Time management, now there's a concept. I spend probably too much time on the computer, tweaking the shop, on the teams, and on Facebook groups. I don't go anywhere without a tote bag containing a project, and am generally working on something if I am sitting in conversation or watching TV. Since I am retired, I just juggle whatever has to be done.
How did you come up with the name of your shop?
We tossed around a lot of names. We wanted the shop name to represent what we make, at the same time keeping it general enough that we could expand or revise our products.
Do you make or stock items you love, or what will sell?
 Mostly we make what we love. There have been a few things that came from specific requests or custom orders. But if I didn't love it, I wouldn't make it. 
Where else can we find you online?
I'm on Facebook and Pinterest.
Did you always want to have your own business?
 I want to continue to create. I can only give so much away, so yes, to continue to create, I must have a venue for it.
Any other thoughts you want to share with us?
Other words, let me see. I've met some fun new friends while on Etsy. The community support whether it is on Etsy teams or Facebook groups is wonderful. The view of handicrafts has changed. Years ago Jen and I tried to sell our crocheted and hand sewn stuffed animals at craft shows. The response was underwhelming to say the least. People weren't willing to spend a reasonable amount on such things. That was one reason we decided to try the online route. Now, people go out to craft shows and they appreciate the fiber arts. It is a wonderful change.
I want to thank Bonnie for sharing her shop with us!
Come to think of it, here is the thing about Etsy... people don't really share their shops... they share their Passion! They don't just sell stuff.. they sell a bit of their time, love, and creative mind. Yep, can't get that anywhere else!



  1. Kate, thank you so much! As a follower of your blog, I am honored that you are featuring the Fiber and Bead Boutique here.

    1. You Rock!!!! Thank you again for doing this for us!!!!!

  2. What a wonderful shop! I love that so many family members contribute! Good luck to you Bonnie! And thanks Kate!

  3. Great post! Enjoyed meeting Fiber and Bead Boutique!

  4. Lovely, I really love Etsy; it's the first place I go when I have a little spending money in my account They have great one of a kind items that I can 't find anywhere else. Thanks for introducing me to more shops!

    May from La Vie En May