June 10, 2013

In The Spotlight...Across Leather

Across Leather is a shop drool-worthy for any dad, for sure. Lawrence E.Carter, Jr. is the creative force behind this Etsy shop, featuring hand-tooled leather pieces. Here you'll find wallets, belts, dog collars, coasters, key fobs, and custom pieces, just like the one below.

Tooled Leather Harley Tank Panel
How did you get into leather work?
"Leatherworking" for me started in the very early nineties. A hobby it was as compared to the welding career starting after high school and trade school "Wilmington Skill Center" 1980. Health problems forced me out of what I thought was going to be my lifelong career.

Tell us a little about your Etsy shop.
Fast forward to my actual selling on Etsy began in Apr of 2012, and a month later I decided I was converting my back porch into my new studio. Construction was done(95%) Nov. 2012 that's when I say I put it in high gear. At least the last 10 yrs I've wanted to open a shop. Fear of the unknown in a nutshell. (Isn't that the case with so many of us?)

However I know no failure and when I start something I go full in. Today, I live and breathe leatherwork. I cannot wait to start everyday and without a second thought I go directly to it. Leatherworking has so many facets, capabilities and one can get lost in the world of creativity.

Hand tooled leather keychain

How many Etsy shops do you have?
I only have the one shop here on etsy. That's one fear I possess is there isn't gonna be enough of me to get the work done. But it's not work. It only becomes work when you rush or feel hurried. The Zen of Leatherwork is that nothing can be rushed and there's one thing that will happen. It will be ruined. Leatherwork, airbrushing, stitching and as of recent running a sewing machine has all been self taught and a rocky road it was. In my life there was no one to ask about anything. I guess everyone's an easy teach when they're interested in some subject.

Do you do any craft shows?
Craft shows.., no I never have but would like to. I've had my eye set on Brandywine Arts Festival for the last 10 years solid. 

Hand tooled leather belt
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
If I could relive my 1st months here I would have started my Wordpress.com blog first. Then my Google+ local business page which can be verified with your Wordpress blog. WP charges nothing and hosts you for free. Then all other social marketing can be added to your WP blog and do one post which will go everywhere you like it to. 

Where else can we find you?

Tooled leather dog collar
Any final words for Etsians?
I'm very appreciative there is an etsy. It has been my family and many a folk help brighten my day here... (The team leaders) put a ton of effort into organizing our teams and think there should be way more participation from us. They do this to help everybody get more views. So don't expect miracles when you're riding the bench. Get up make treasuries, use the color scheme, the aweteam tag. It makes it soooo much easier omg! Marsha ;)

When looking for a hand-crafted, gets-better-with-age, OOAK gift, look no further than Across Leather!

June 7, 2013

First Friday Art Walk for June 2013

It's that time of the month again...

Time to get out and see some art locally and online through our Delaware Etsy Street Team Member shops!

Here are some links to local art loops:
*If you know of any other local art loop, please add a link to the art loop website in the comments so we can update our list.

Here are some Treasury Collections and items from our Delaware Etsy Street Team Members:
Delightful Gifts for Dad's Day by Kathy Lindemer
Memorial Day by Kelly
The First Friday Art Walk on Etsy is hosted by the AWETeam (Art Walk Etsy Team).
First Friday Art Walk Weekend
To see more items offered for sale through this blog hop event, check out the AWETeam blog.

And stop by Bellefonte Arts in Wilmington, DE to see a selection of items in person from many of our Delaware Etsy Street Team members all month long!

Thanks for supporting local art and individual artists...

June 6, 2013

Spotlight on...Kes Carvings...Just in Time Father's Day

We are overdue for a shop feature, so with Father's Day quickly approaching, we'd like to shine the spotlight on one or our own shops here in the First State which does a pretty good job of focusing on the gents. (They do make items that the ladies will like, as well, but today it's all about the guys.)

Shave Set, Razor Handle, Brush and Stand, Ironwood
Who is behind KES Carvings?
We are Mike and Emily - a husband and wife team. The business was inspired and created by Mike. Mike has been interested in woodworking since he was a teenager but was finally able to start the business in 2010. He creates all of the hand turned items and cutting boards (which accounts for virtually everything in our shop.) Emily makes the cuff links and earrings. Emily also does most of the "behind the scenes" work like taking pictures, answering emails, updating the website, shipping packages, etc. Mike grew up in Delaware but moved away for college and subsequent jobs. He always wanted to come back and we were able to move here in 2007. We both have other full time jobs but work hard in our spare time to make this a success. Our business was named after our 3 dogs Kona, Ember, and Spring. You are sure to find at least one of them hanging out with Mike as he's working.

Bolt Action Bullet Pen, Hand Turned Marblewood

Tell us a little about you Etsy shop.
We started on Etsy in 2010 and just have the one shop. We decided to open at Etsy shop because we had heard great things about the Etsy community and felt it was a great way to get our name out there. It has evolved in the range of products we offer. Mike began the business by just making pens. The business quickly expanded into a much wider variety of items but pens are still his specialty.

Do you do any craft fairs?
We do craft shows but mostly at the end of the year (Oct - Dec.) Last year we participated in 10 of them but will probably scale it back to about 5 this year. 

Wood Pen, Redwood Burl, Vertex Style
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself in regards to your Etsy shop?
I would have 2 pieces of advice for myself if I could go back in time. The first would be learn how to take good pictures. That was a BIG learning curve! The second would be not to compare our shop to other shops. Every shop is different and the best thing to do is make what you love and hope others get as excited about your product as you are.

Where can we find you?
You can also find us on facebook atwww.facebook.com/kescarvingsWe are not currently in any brick and mortar stores but that is one of our goals for 2013. 

Gillette Mach 3 Razor Handle, African Olivewood
To see more amazing razors and hand carved pens, visit KES Carvings. Doesn't your special dad deserve a really special gift?