When purchasing pieces for both decoration and lifestyle, you want to make sure you’re supporting artists. As a maker yourself, in the rare instances you can’t make something that you need, you go out of your way to find another maker that you can support. The convenience of a big chain store is nothing compared to the high-quality forever pieces you’ll get from a maker’s business. Not only will you be purchasing and supporting something completely one-of-a-kind and unique, but you get the added benefit of supporting a maker’s small business. And if the piece is really good, you’re sure to get all of your friends hooked on them too.
The maker world can be a stereotypically male-dominated space, so it can be very exciting when you find an opportunity to support a female maker’s business. Here are some innovative and ambitious women makers who have used Etsy to create their own businesses:
1) Greta de Parry
Greta is a furniture maker based out of Chicago who sells her creations through Etsy. After studying Fine Arts in college, she apprenticed with a master woodworker to hone her craft. She’s been working through Etsy for seven years and her best-selling design is the Coleman stool. The minimalist design is made to seat someone comfortably, allowing them the ability to put their feet up on an added bar beneath. Greta was also the winner of the Best Furniture Award from Dwell Magazine at America’s Largest Design Show.
A self-proclaimed specialist in what she called ‘heirloom pieces’, Greta discusses her passion for furniture with Etsy stating, “We interact with furniture everyday. It’s the background of our lives. So, I want it to bring people joy and I want people to look at a piece of mine and love it and know that there’s a story behind it.”
2) Sian Zeng
Grand prize winner of the Etsy Design Award in 2019, Sian Zeng utilizes both artwork and design prowess to create her whimsical magnetic wallpaper. She began her work on her wallpaper designs in 2009 and has gone through the prototyping process in order to create her current design. Her original designs used magnetic paint, until she discovered a magnetic receptive liner which worked much more effectively. The designs come with little magnetic characters that match the wallpaper, allowing users to create messages and patterns all their own and make the wallpaper experience much more interactive.
3) Heidi Girad
This maker, based out of New York, has created her own line of hand-made jewelry called Liesel Love. She began working with jewelry at a young age as her aunt had a jewelry repair shop. In an interview with Etsy, she describes her experience working with jewelry at a young age and how that progressed into owning her own business, “One of my earliest memories was designing a necklace with her for my Mother. I started off with just beading, then I started getting into stained glass, and when I got into stained glass I got really into metalworking which expanded into making jewelry.”
Heidi’s jewelry is designed for everyday wear, with minimalist pieces made with high-quality durable metals and gemstones that are ethically sourced.