Category Archives: Online shops

Promoting Etsy Artists-Part 4

Gorgeous beaded earrings

It’s almost spring and I am back again with a new blog! I have not blogged in a while due to health issues, (will detail in a separate blog) but I am back with the story of another wonderful Etsy artist!

I would like to introduce, Cindi from Lakota Charm! She is another disabled artist of Etsy with mad skills and a touching story. Her art is absolutely stunning and I am so happy to have found her! We have developed a great rapport and a budding friendship….you know what they say….birds of a feather DO flock together! I asked her a series of questions about herself, her artwork and her plans for the future. Without further ado…here is Cindi’s story in her own words.

I was in a very bad motorcycle accident in 2008. I have screws holding my shoulder together and I had to have a foot reattached that was ripped off in my accident. Since my accident, I have had numerous problems with my bones and joints. I now suffer from a degenerative bone and disc disease which is extremely painful. I have days where I am unable to walk or get out of bed on my own. Because of this, I am unable to work a regular job as I can not be on my feet for long periods of time and cannot be seated for long periods of time. It is because of this that I decided to start making jewelry as a way to have an income. It is something I enjoy very much.

I enjoy beading and seeing a design come to life. Someone who does Native beading knows the time you put into each piece. You have to love beading to do it because the money you may get from a pair of earrings is very little when you consider the time you put into each one. It truly is a labor of love.

Making and selling my jewelry has changed my life in many ways. It gives you such a sense of pride when someone buys a piece you made because they really love it. It gives someone like me who is fighting a debilitating disease, a sense of worth. When you cannot work and can no longer do some of the things you once did, you can easily fall into depression and you no longer feel like you have any self-worth. Being able to start my own business truly has saved me.

At this point in my work, I am selling my jewelry on Etsy. I have a Facebook page where I introduce many items, and I am in the process of setting up my website. I have also started doing art and craft sales. I hope within the next year to be able to expand and have my pieces for sale in different shops. I would love to be able to someday have my own shop to sell my pieces and to also sell other Native Artists items.

I am inspired by numerous Native artists. There are so many talented Native designers. It seems as though I find someone new all the time. Today I discovered Joy Lynn Parton from Pine Ridge Reservation. She has a store on Etsy called Rez Hoofz & Native Stylez. She has the most amazing painted boots and handbags. They are just beautiful. I encourage everyone to go take a peek.

When I started with Etsy I thought I was never going to sell anything. It took a couple of months to make a sale. But I kept adding items and one day I opened my mail to discover I had made a sale. Since then I have noticed an increase in traffic. More people add my store and my items to their favorites and I make a few sales. I think Etsy is a wonderful place to find beautiful handmade items and to connect with other people who also love making handmade items. I used to put items on Ebay but it has just gotten too pricey. I love Etsy and even with the start of my website and everything else I am planning, I do plan on staying with Etsy and adding more items all the time. I truly love it there.

I am getting married in 2012 and Lakota Charm would never be if it was not for the support of Joe…thank you!
I would also like to thank you, Deborah. I am very honored that you are writing about me. I truly thank you for supporting myself and other Native artists and other disabled individuals who have found a home on Etsy.

Well, there you have it, folks…another sweet, talented individual whom I am so happy to have found on Etsy! Thank you, Cindi for sharing your story with us. I know how hard it can be to talk about our disabilities. But I want others who suffer through disabilities to know that it is NOT the end of being a useful and relevant part of society. Etsy has given so many of us a place to do the things we love to do and help make ends meet as well.

Please visit Cindi’s Etsy shop at

Beautiful beaded necklace
Beautiful necklace and earring set
More gorgeous beaded earrings!

Promoting Etsy Artists- Part 3

My Gorgeous Fox Bag

Once again, here I am promoting the wonderful artists of Etsy!  Since I have been a member of this community (February of this year), I have met so many talented and friendly people!  I am proud to be a member of this amazing community.

This blog, part 3 in my series, is dedicated to Debbie and John Rodgers of Sedona, Arizona.   Their shop name is Thunder Rose.   I have had a lot of communication with these fine folks and we have become friends.  They did some work for me, putting together a deerskin and fox bag.  I am unable to sew leather anymore, due to the RA in my hands.  I approached John and Debbie with my idea of how I wanted it to look and they dove right in and crafted me EXACTLY what I asked for.  I was so pleased!  They are both friendly, talented and very accommodating and I love working with them.

I talked to Debbie about their shop and here is what she had to say.

When and why did you first become interested in working with leather and beading?

“About 30 years ago I became interested in beading. I love color and especially rainbow and fire colors. So I began making earrings and barrettes and anything I could think of. Learning new stitches as I went along. Around the same time I started getting into leather work. The beads complimented the leather very well.  About 20 years ago this became my full-time business along with my husband John.”

Beautiful Baby Moccasins

What types of things do you like to make the most and why?

“I like to make functional items that people can use everyday. I love the feeling I get when I make something beautiful for someone and they feel very happy. Makes my heart feel good.”

Has your life changed significantly due to your love for what you do and why?

“Yes it has. Everyday I wake up and decide what I am going to make today. What colors of beadwork will I put on this handbag or pipe bag or whatever it is I am working on today. It is good to be your own boss. You do have to get up and get going in order for it to become a full-time business and you have to be flexible to what the day asks of you.”

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years and do you have any major plans?

“John and I live in the moment as much as possible. It’s hard to say what will be happening 10 years from now. We’ll probably be making handbags and doing beadwork.”

What has been your experience on Etsy?

“I really enjoy having a store on Etsy. I like the community feeling I have with other artists. It’s been a very good experience.”

Do you have any interesting stories stemming from your work?

“I have met people from all over the world. I have made so many different kinds of leather bags and beaded so many different kinds of designs.  That has been fun and enjoyable. John and I feel so grateful to all the wonderful people we have met along our journey.”

Beautiful leather bag with turtle beadwork

Please make sure to visit Debbie and John’s Etsy store at

Their blog at

Beautiful leather bag

I urge everyone to go and take a tour through all the wonderful shops on Etsy.  One can spend hours there, just browsing and window shopping.   Ask me how I know!!!  🙂


Promoting Etsy Artists- Part 2

Since I joined Etsy back in February. I have had the great honor of meeting some wonderful artists.   This group of people gathered on one website, is probably the most eclectic and talented bunch of folks I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.   I feel honored to be a part of Etsy and these wonderful people.  I have joined three Etsy groups and have made some lovely friends.

The purpose of this blog is to give credit where credit is due.  I want to promote some of these awesome artists!  So, I will be doing a multi- part blog on some of these very talented people.  This will be an ongoing project of mine.

This blog is dedicated to an Etsy artist that is partially disabled.  Like me, she has found a place….a home on Etsy.  It has given us a creative outlet as well as a sense of self.

So, without further ado…meet Debra Mills…owner of Healer’s Moon and Sacred Dreams Beadwork.

I asked Debra some questions about herself and her Etsy shop.  Here is what she told me.

When and why did you first become interested in making jewelry?
“I first started beading in 1995 after moving to Oregon. After crafting, knitting and crocheting, sewing, etc. all my life, I was primarily drawn to the Native American style of beadwork for the vivid colors and the texture of the beads. Something about it really filled my soul and sparked my creative muse. I started making earrings with bugle and seed beads and as I learned, my thirst to try new beading techniques grew. As my talent grew, I was able to try beading on leather, making dream catchers and fur purses, and learned the peyote stitch. A few years later I began making barrettes and discovered a passion for it. And I have been learning, growing, and trying new techniques ever since.
I started Sacred Dreams Beadwork in 1999 with my late god-daughter, Katie Marie, after I was laid up with a bad car accident and surgery. We started it as a custom beadwork business where we made jewelry and other items according to the customer’s request. After she passed in 2006 from a tragic car accident, I began just beading what I felt in my heart and offering up items in my store for sale. I still do custom work and of course, I am always happy to get requests.”

What types of things do you like to make the most and why?
“I love creating beaded barrettes the most as it feels the most ‘comfortable’ to me. There is such a variety of styles – materials, types, colors. It is really rewarding when a piece speaks to me of its creation, and then speaks to its owner to add to their treasures.
I also love to make earrings. The colors are so pretty and there are so many materials. Each one feels differently in my hands. I have more ideas in my head than I could possibly make!”

Has your interest in jewelry making changed your life at all and why?
“I have always been a ‘crafty’ person and have been creating since I was a teenager. I’ve always felt like I’ve ‘come home’ when working with beads. It has profoundly changed my life and the way I see the outside world – opened my eyes to the color and beauty in all things around me and allow that to spark the creativity and vision inside, then translate that into beading. Beadwork is a challenge, a blessing, and my passion. Being disabled has tempered my ability to be physically active – but making beautiful jewelry and treasures gives me that outlet to connect with others, with the world around me, and with myself.”










Visit Debra’s shops at


Promoting Etsy Artists- Part 1

Since I joined Etsy back in February. I have had the great honor of meeting some wonderful artists.   This group of people gathered on one website, is probably the most eclectic and talented bunch of folks I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.   I feel honored to be a part of Etsy and these wonderful people.  I have joined three Etsy groups and have made some lovely friends.

The purpose of this blog is to give credit where credit is due.  I want to promote some of these awesome artists!  So, I will be doing a multi- part blog on some of these very talented people.  This will be an ongoing project of mine.

So, without further ado…meet Tiffany Coble…owner of Sisterly Creationz.

I asked Tiffany to describe what she and her store are all about.  Here is what Tiffany told me.

“Well I’d have to say that the most important thing about me is that I am a very honest and caring person who thrives on making people happy. I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder which has made it very difficult for me to talk to people face to face. Because of this I have chosen to run my business online. I feel that I have a natural ability to talk to people and I love to use my creativity to start conversations. When people ask me why I started designing jewelry I simply tell them that I love to feel beautiful and being able to wear a gorgeous piece of jewelry allows me to do that on a budget. I started making jewelry after buying my daughter her own bead sets to make jewelry together.  This inspired my sister to make jewelry to sell.  Together, we decided that we have a talent for design and chose to start Sisterly Creations Handmade Jewelry and More.  Since then,  my sister has stopped designing but I have grown more passionate about it. I have always dreamed of having my own fashion line.   I just didn’t know it would be jewelry.  Now that I am finally getting established and have earned a 100% positive feedback reputation,  I am looking forward to seeing my sales soar and take my jewelry to a whole new realm of design and customers flocking in to see what’s next.”

Tiffany has a similar story to many people on Etsy, myself included.   There are more and more people out there opening up online businesses due to one form of disability or another… Tiffany’s is PTSD,  mine is RA.   It’s a way for us to  feel we are a useful, contributing  part of society and also gives us a creative outlet.

Etsy has allowed me and many others an opportunity that we might not have had otherwise.

Please visit Tiffany’s shop at


My Very First Blog Ever!

Fire in the Sky Beaded Feather Earrings

Ok, so a good friend of mine was giving me some tips on how to attract traffic to my Etsy site.  She told me that blogging was a great way to advertise as well as just blog about things that I feel like blogging about.  So… first blog is going to be about My Etsy and what it means to me!

I have always been interested in Native arts and crafts…especially since my heritage includes Tsalagi blood.   So, I began learning the art of bead work.  I love the colors and textures of the seed beads and bugle beads  I use.  I love the way they come together out of miniscule little pieces to form a “work of art”!   I taught myself the brick stitch and am currently learning the peyote stitch.  I am also working on my loom bead weaving as well.  I ventured from beading into making things with feathers and different little charms and findings.  I also learned to make bone chokers, dream catchers and little deer skin possibles bags.  Everything that I could get my hands on, goes into my art.  I love discovering new things to do, new things to make.

Sometimes I have a little trouble with my hands, due to the fact that I have RA.  It caused me to need two knee replacements, one hip replacement and some fusing of the joints in my foot.  So far though, I can still use my hands pretty well.  I have days that are more difficult than others, but if I could not do my art…I would be devastated.   So I keep my hands and fingers flexed and use a  paraffin  bath when needed to keep the soreness out.  If anyone out there suffers from the same problems…try a nice warm paraffin bath for your hands!

I needed someplace to share my beautiful creations.  I had sold them at yard sale/flea market type places, but let’s be honest here…everybody is looking for a bargain at those!  I did not feel my creations were being appreciated, so I went in search of someplace where they would.  That is when  a friend of mine told me about online crafters community.  I opened my shop in February and have 34 items in my shop as we speak.  I have already sold 5 pieces of my jewelry, and I am very happy!  Etsy is also a place full of wonderful, kind, caring people and I consider myself lucky to have found them.  Many of them love doing trades with other members and I have already done my share of trading for wonderful, beautiful treasures.  I have also made a few very sweet friends there and some of them even have health issues like me.  It’s a support system as well as a way to share our art!

Please visit Etsy online at and look through all of the wonderful treasures there.   My shop on Etsy is Wolf Mountain Jewelry

More blogs to come, very soon!