Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Shop Small with Gus & Ruby Letterpress - Portsmouth, NH

If you're shopping in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this holiday season, be sure to stop by my favorite store Gus & Ruby Letterpress at 29 Congress Street. They have amazing gifts for anyone on your list who has excellent taste, but best of all they are fully stocked with a fresh batch of Lofted Designs pet tags (see pic above)!

Also, they're running some great promotions this weekend for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Be sure to stop in for discounts, a goodie box giveaway, good holiday cheer, and coffee and treats for early shoppers. If you happen to be shopping for a pet-lover or a stocking stuffer for a furry friend, my pet tags are usually right by the register. :)

Happy shopping and many thanks for supporting small businesses!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Food and Gift Fair - Portland, Maine 11/30

When and Where:
November 30th, 2013
11am - 6pm
FREE admission!
58 Fore Street, Portland, ME

I'll be bringing along a new assortment of Lofted Designs necklaces and earrings (seaglass, beach stones, sterling silver, vintage buttons and more!), plus new bracelet designs, new ring designs, and a great assortment of pet tags. If you haven't seen me in person in awhile, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I actually plan to get most of my holiday shopping done at this shouldn't be difficult. I'll be in great company with these incredible Maine-based food and gift vendors (this is just a small sampling of the booths I'm looking forward to checking out – there will be many more):

Casco Bay Butter Co. – All-natural artisan butters made from local dairy farm cream.
'Cue Culture – Small batched barbecue sauces
Dean's Sweets – Amazing hand-dipped truffles. Enough said.
Flowfold – Durable wallets & bags handmade from sailcloth
Jared DiSimio Maker – Bags & accessories made from vintage, antique and salvaged materials, each with a story to tell. 
Vena's Fizz House - Mixology Shop and Natural Soda Bar
Morris & Essex – The most stunningly designed & silkscreened, letterpressed and block-printed goods I have ever laid eyes on. Shirts, cards, scarves, bags and more. I want everything Eliza makes. All of the things.
Maine Blanket – 100% grass-fed sheep's wool blankets, solar hand-dyed in seawater and woven on antique looms. How cool is that? 
Baobab Organics – Sustainable, organic cotton clothing for kids

Fiber and Water – Natural burlap wall art featuring hand-pressed designs.

You can find more info and RSVP on their Facebook event page. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Down East Magazine's Maine-Made Gift Guide

Exciting news from Lofted Designs headquarters!!! Our pet tags are being featured as part of Down East Magazine's 2013 Maine-Made Holiday Gift Guide!

(I created this sweet little badge to commemorate the occasion!)
Down East is known as the magazine of Maine, evoking and illuminating the spirit and culture of my great state and available at newsstands and stores nationwide.

The publication approached me in the early fall about the possibility of featuring Lofted Designs pet tags and I mailed off five ID tags to their editorial team for review.

Thanks to the USPS for helping me make the submission deadline!
Ultimately, they selected three of the pet tags ("squirrel chaser," "i ❤ maine," and "stinky breath") to feature on their Furry Friend gift page.

There's a lot going on in this collage of creativity, but Lofted Designs is #1 in the upper left corner!
Here's a snapshot with our tags highlighted to help you find them.
And a close-up!
If you can't quite read the tags in print, luckily they were kind enough to also feature them online with a link to my Etsy shop! Here's a link to all 133 of their Maine-made gift selections online.

Down East has been in print for nearly 60 years! I am so honored and thrilled to be part of this time-honored publication with a readership of more than 400,000 people. Be sure to pick up a copy, available on newsstands this week!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Custom Handmade Bridesmaid Gifts

I absolutely LOVE making custom jewelry – especially when weddings are involved. Whether I am designing wedding bands or handcrafted earrings, it is a tremendous honor to be thought of for such a monumental occasion. So when my friend Ali was planning her wedding day and asked me if I'd make handmade gifts for her two lovely bridesmaids, I jumped at the chance!

Works in progress – stamping, hammering and forming
The bride already had an idea in mind, which is always helpful, and knew she wanted to give her BFFs sterling silver bracelets. We worked together to refine the design – an elegant hammered cuff, a little bit wide, but not too chunky. The bride came up with a personalized message to be stamped on the inside of each bracelet.

A secret message inside – with love from the bride

The finished product

Two custom bracelets for the big day!
The bridesmaids LOVED their gifts and even wore them during the wedding. I couldn't be more flattered to have been chosen to be part of this beautiful occasion.

If you have a special event coming up, why not give your loved ones personalized handmade jewelry as a gift? Contact me to discuss your ideas anytime!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Happy Etsy-versary To Lofted Designs

I don't know how this happened, but in the blink of an eye five years has passed. That's right. Lofted Designs has been on Etsy for five years! This may seem trivial to most of you, but to me it's absolutely amazing.

I opened the shop on a whim, never dreaming it would turn into anything lasting, and thanks to all of you—my loyal supporters, customers, readers and fans—I'm still making new things, selling my original creations and finding time to enjoy this creative outlet and expensive little hobby of mine.

Etsy has been good to me. It has allowed me to reach customers worldwide who would have never found me otherwise. I've sold my jewelry and pet tags (including lots of custom orders) to people all over the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Norway, Italy, Russia, Taiwan, Singapore, Finland, South Africa, Brazil, and many others. And it's still a rush to receive an international order, even after five years.

Other recent and exciting milestones:
  • Hit my 500th sale on Etsy this year, and am now closing in on 600!
  • Surpassed 400 followers on Facebook!
  • Amassed over 500 followers on Twitter!
  • Lofted Designs joined Instagram!
  • Soon to be featured in a well-known magazine (more on that soon)!
Over the past five years, I've been constantly trying to improve my shop. Slowly, but surely, I've been optimizing my listings and trying to improve my photography. In 2013, I enhanced my About page to include behind-the-scenes photos and some insights about my process. I've also been an active participant in several Etsy teams, especially the supportive and innovative group Etsy MaineTeam — home to the some of the most creative folks you can imagine.

One area for improvement, and something to work on in year six: listing new items. Right now, I have nearly 50 new items in stock that are not listed on Etsy: rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more. During the coming year, I'll try to be better about keeping my shop reflective of my current creative direction.

What suggestions do you have for me? I'm all ears. And thanks again for your support over the past five years!

Friday, November 1, 2013

You're Invited This Sunday – Local Shopping at its Best

Holiday Open House in York, Maine

Greetings, early holiday shoppers! If you are ready to get a jump start on your gifting, I've got the perfect event for you. This Sunday, I am honored to be participating in an Open House event in York, Maine. Local artist Laurie Wallace is once again opening her home for this wonderful event and I hope to see YOU there!

Sunday, November 3rd
1:00 - 4:30 pm
31 Avon Avenue (off Long Sands Rd.)
York, Maine

Lofted Designs will be there with gifts for everyone on your list: a new assortment of handmade necklaces, earrings, tie bars, sterling silver rings in many sizes, pet tags and handcrafted collars. Enjoy complimentary refreshments and wine

seaglass necklaces - lofted designs


Laurie Wallace -- Hand-Spun Knits by Laurie

Gorgeous and soft hobo gloves, alpaca cowl neck scarves, alpaca hats and more! So much care goes into these lovely pieces.

Amy Clark -- Ocean Fire Pottery

One of my favorite local artists, Amy makes beautiful handcrafted wheelthrown stoneware. Preview items on her website or Facebook page

Erin Donovan -- Twig Naturals
Handmade candles, coasters and cards — they're all gorgeous and make wonderful gifts!

Janice & Pam -- Gingerloo Cookies 
Gingerloo Cookies
All-natural cookies baked in small batches locally. Visit their website or Facebook page to learn more (and to drool over gorgeous cookie photos).

***Please note:

This is my only planned show for the holiday season (so far). More may be added, but this is the only one that's been confirmed. Don't miss your chance to shop Lofted Designs in person for the holidays!