Monday, December 15, 2014

Stocking Stuffers from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Stocking Stuffers curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Saturday, December 13, 2014

City of Good Neighbors: "Family Of a Vet" Results!

In October, the Buffalo Etsy Team decided to show some Buffalove to the Western New York community with our first fundraising project. Since our "City of Good Neighbors" effort was to launch by Veterans Day, we "adopted" a struggling WNY veteran and his family, found through the organization Family Of a Vet. Family Of a Vet, Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide real-world resources that help heroes and their loved ones survive and thrive in life after combat. They provided us with information about our family of six, including their holiday wish lists.

Our hero was in the Army and served two tours in Afghanistan. He suffers from PTSD and TBI, limiting his ability to work and support his family. His wife is the primary caregiver for the family which includes four young daughters under 13. Their 9-year-old daughter has had many health issues since birth, has already had two surgeries, and faces two more. From the family: "lately it seems if we didn't have bad luck, we would have no luck."  (learn more here:


The "City of Good Neighbors: Family Of a Vet" 

fundraising project was launched with enthusiasm 
and high hopes on Nov. 10, 2014.  
Participating members designated "FOV" items for sale in their Etsy shops, and agreed to donate 100% when the item(s) sold. The money would be used to purchase items on each family member's wish list.

Over 30 members of the Buffalo Etsy Team 
worked to fulfill our family's wishes!
• 100% of the money from the sale of specially designated FOV (Family Of a Vet) items from their Etsy shops was donated.
• Some team members added more FOV items after their original items sold!
• Some
team members opted to make cash donations!
• Some team members purchased gifts from the family's wish lists! 
• Some team members purchased FOV items from their fellow team members!
• Some went above and beyond by donating money from sales, then donating more money, and buying gifts!
• Our fabulous friends and family members made cash donations, too!

(please scroll to end for links to all participating shops)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

WE HAD DONATIONS TOTALING (insert drumroll.........................) $919.00! 
Were we blown away and extremely proud? You bet!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

On Dec. 8, Santa's elves gathered at Corner Bakery Cafe for the "It's a Wrap!" party to celebrate the success of our first fundraiser!

We ate cake (thanks, Road Kiln!), listened to Christmas music (thanks, Charmed by Wine!), and WRAPPED!

It was a fun, noisy gathering with paper and ribbon and gift tags everywhere!

Our busy elves, pictured below (and listed in no particular order): Goldhawk Pottery, PE Collectibles, Fast Crawl, Ania Jane, Charmed by Wine, Gretchen Cole Jewelry, Road Kiln, L Richards Design, Whimsy by Kelly, Zanie Crafts Felted Art, and Oliver Plays (behind the camera: 716 Buffalos).

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

To all of the Buffalo Etsy Team members, project volunteers, cheerleaders, and friends of the team, a huge THANKS to each and every one of you for your donations, your support, and your time. Buffalo truly is the City of Good Neighbors!

With loads of Buffalove during the holidays and always,

AL Custom Jewelry
All This and That Too
Ania Jane
Aremel Soaps
Charmed by Wine
C Designs Cards
The Cotton Road
Cozy Home Wreaths
Crafty Squirrel Design
Doggie Stylz
Farmhouse Heart
Fast Crawl
Goldhawk Pottery
Gretchen Cole Jewelry
Harvest Woods
Hedge Wytch Herbals
Inspired Buffalo
Kitch Studios
Knit Laugh Wine
L Richards Design
My Buffalo Shirt
Nikki M Design
Oliver Plays
Paragraph Loop
PE Collectibles
Road Kiln

Silent Mylo Studio
So Sew Linda
Sugarshox Crafts
Trebird Buffalo
Vase Place
Whimsy by Kelly
Wonder Strumpet
Yankee Rose Creations
Zanelli Art
Zanie Crafts Felted Art
Zee Best Cards
And moi, 716 Buffalos

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Personalized Gifts from The Buffalo Etsy Team

Personalized Gifts curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Sunday, November 30, 2014

City of Good Neighbors/ Family of a Vet Project: Ends Dec. 1st

Help a local Vet with PTSD and his family by December 1st! City of Good Neighbors Project curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gifts under $25 from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Gifts Under $25 curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

City of Good Neighbors: FAMILY OF A VET

The Buffalo Etsy Team launched their inaugural "City of Good Neighbors" project on Nov. 10. Our goal is to raise money through sales of selected items from team members' Etsy shops for a family "adopted" through the organization Family Of a Vet. The money will be used to fulfill the needs and wants of an injured Buffalo veteran, his wife, and four young daughters. Their wishlists include everything from bedding to bicycles.  

Participating Buffalo Etsy Team members are donating 100% of the money from the sale of their items.

"Lately it seems if we didn't have bad luck, 
we would have no luck."

Our war hero joined the Army when he was 17 years old. He served two tours in Afghanistan. He returned home in April of 2004 after his last tour, and suffers from
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a result of his service to our country.
He loved his job as a staff sergeant and had planned to stay in the Army for at least 20 years. He wishes he could still be in Afghanistan fighting with his brothers and feels like less of a person because he can't. He attempted college a couple of times. Because of the extent of his PTSD and TBI, he was unable to earn a degree. He did, however, earn a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) and worked for the first couple of years he was out. With blackouts and disorientation, he was unable to continue in this line of work.

His wife has a bachelor's degree in psychology and would love to be able to use and continue her education, but as the primary caregiver for her family, she can't. She likes to volunteer and believes in "paying it forward" whenever possible.

Their 9-year-old has had many health issues since birth. She has had two surgeries and is facing two more in the near future, requiring travel over 70 miles each way.

From the family: "Lately it seems if we didn't have bad luck, we would have no luck."  In addition to our vet's and his daughter's ongoing health issues, the family is also dealing with a grandparent's illness.


Participating Buffalo Etsy Team members are donating 100% of the money from the sale of their items.

All money will be used to purchase items from the family's wishlists. Donations are accepted via PayPal. Please email for details, and include FOV in the subject line.

Family Of a Vet, Inc., is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. All donations to Family Of a Vet are tax deductible. Please visit their website for more information.


Family Of a Vet, Inc., is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. - See more at:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Entertaining gifts from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Holiday Entertaining curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Monday, November 10, 2014

City of Good Neighbors Project: FAMILY OF A VET

Please follow the blog to see how we're progressing!

Visit while you're shopping this holiday season. Enter FOV bflo into the search bar to find participating Buffalo Etsy Team shops.

The Buffalo Etsy Team members offer all kinds of delights in their shops, both handmade and vintage!

Thanks for supporting our inaugural "City of Good Neighbors" team project!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Did I really just quit my job?

It’s been 4 months now.
I’m 1/3 of the way through my first year.  

It’s been 127 days since I started.

 I can package it many different ways, but no matter how I state it, the clock is ticking, the days are flying by and my savings are shrinking.

It’s hard to believe actually that this much time has passed since I started working for myself.

 A lot of things have changed and uncertainty and surprise seem to be my constant companions. 

I am not where I had hoped to be, at least not as I had originally pictured it, but I have made some positive strides - none bigger than starting to think beyond my original plan.

July and August were very good months for sales and got me started with a lot of momentum. After that though, things began to drag. I had this idea that if I had time to make more diploma frames and kept adding them to my shop the sales would continue to grow.

That hasn't really happened.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about my approach to this and what my goal actually is (was). I've come to realize that my goal is not to sell diploma frames. My goal is to earn a living, working for myself, doing something I enjoy.

Coming to that realization has opened me up to a much larger pool of options.

While I will continue to sell diploma frames, I plan to add a large selection of picture frames and will soon begin to use pre-cut molding in addition to milling my own.  I've signed on with a wholesale picture frame molding company that provides me hundreds of choices and opportunities to increase revenue, while becoming more efficient.

Not only will that help me increase what I offer in the way of frames I make, I will soon start to “retail” the pre-cut molding through my DIY picture framing web site, so  DIYers can buy nice molding at a reasonable price to make their own frames.

I have just taken on a large project with a local chapel to make hymn book holders for their pews. Working for the Lord has to help, right?

And of course, I've been gearing up for the holiday crafts shows. I have a table at the St. Greg's show November 28-29 and the Heim Middle School show December 6-7.

Whether these things help or not, we'll see, but I know the odds increase as more things are tried.

One thing I said at the beginning is that faith has to play a big part in this. I truly believed that one way or another, things would happen and opportunities would present themselves.  I wasn't sure how, and until I was forced to think beyond my original plan, I didn't realize just how many opportunities are missed if you don’t open your mind.  

So, until the next installment, I will continue to keep my eyes and ears open for the opportunities that are hiding, in plain sight, all around us every day. I hope you do as well.


Teacher Gifts: Thank a Teacher this Holiday Season

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Party Host Thank You Gifts from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wedding Bells in Winter

Winter Weddings curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creative Spaces: Where Buffalo Etsians Make Their Magic

Featuring Suzanne O’Brien from ZanieCrafts

~ by Linda Richards

Suzanne’s craft is felting. She creates her stunning pieces using the wet felt method.
I asked Suzanne how she became involved in this craft and where she first learned the process.

 “I learned about wet felting while we were living in Christchurch, New Zealand for my husband’s job.” 

“While attending a weekly knitting group, several knitters decided that we should form a crafty co-op for a time, to share other creative skills that each possessed.  Learning how to make wool felt via wet felting was one of these lessons. I was so amazed with that lesson that I knew I wanted to continue doing more felting projects."

“Soon after that first lesson, Christchurch began its long period of geological activity, (Christchurch earthquakes, 2010 & 2011.) During this time, I turned to felting as a means of channeling my energies and nervousness into an active occupation of my free time.  Making felt really helped me to cope with being in an earthquake zone, forcing me to relax in between all the thousands upon thousands of aftershocks.” 

“Ever since those early days, I have been experimenting and mastering new wet felting techniques that I read about in books, on blogs, through Facebook, watched on YouTube, etc. I have been felting for four years now, and selling my creations at handmade markets for three of those years.”

Certain crafts like felting can require more than one area to complete the project.
Suzanne explains how she manages to do it all within her home.

 “Currently, we live in a small two bedroom house, so my work space is anywhere I can find the space at any given moment.  Where I work greatly depends on what I am making. All the purses that I make are lined with coordinating fabrics, so sewing happens on our kitchen table.  Our basement has a second kitchen, that I call our Krafty Kitchen, because that is where most of my felt-making and lately dying my own wool for felting projects occurs. My husband also makes use of the kitchen when he makes his batches of home brew. I’m quite happy to share that space with him.”

“I do have a little corner set up in our lounge where I keep all finished product for Etsy and craft shows.  My sewing machines (yes, I have two.), fabric, idea/reference books, and all of my stitching supplies are kept there in as organized fashion as possible.”
“I usually have something in my ‘work in progress’ basket that sits on the top of my three drawer crafting cabinet.  All of my wool, silk scarves, and embellishments for felting are kept downstairs in plastic containers when not in use to avoid infestations from flying insects who like to lay their eggs in the fluffy stuff. (I’m trying hard to avoid saying the “m” word.).“

I think most artisans have many ideas of what the perfect workspace would be like. What would your dream studio look like?  
“My dream space would someday consist of an enclosed space or dare I say, a crafting room, where I could store supplies and finished product and not have it imposing on the rest of the house. (My family puts up with it now, because they love me.)  The room would be decorated with fun organizational things and contain lots of inspirational color.  Making felt would probably still be in the basement or somewhere else with long table or counter tops near a kitchen because of the wet and soapy nature of things and needing access to warm water."
This craft is so interesting. I imagine there are all kinds of materials, tools and equipment involved in felting.
“The materials I use to make felt are very simple.  Bubble wrap, natural soap, a water bottle that sprinkles (I use a large garlic powder container from Sam’s Club), a flexible plastic resist for 3D objects, and a felt-able breed of wool roving. There are tools that people use to help speed up the process of felting, like electric sanders, hand held palm washboards, swimming noodles, old pantyhose.  It’s magic, I tell you!”
Sometimes I add other things onto or into my felting work like: silk fibers, silk threads, Angelina fibers (synthetic glittery strands), glass marbles, rocks, seashells, vintage silk scarves, unique secondhand buttons, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  That’s what makes it so fun and unique!"
Besides your Etsy shop, you also display your work at shows throughout the area. How do you manage to keep your workspace organized?

“ZanieCrafts is still a fairly new business (opened Oct. 2013).  I have only done a handful of markets in the US so far, but I’m starting off on the right foot by keeping all of my packing supplies together in one container for shows.  I have gift boxes already assembled, tissue paper on hand and shopping bags all ready for packaging up purchases.”
“I like to incorporate secondhand and vintage into my creations and I use a lot of repurposed Salvation Army Thrift shop finds for my table display. I package my online orders with my leftover hand dyed sock yarn from my personal knitting stash, and my earring and brooch cards have been printed by a friend on leftover stationery that was purchased for our wedding invitations. I like the idea of reusing and repurposing something for a different use.  It’s creative, unique, and good for the environment!"

Suzanne is such a talented artist. I can’t wait to see what she creates next!

Photos by Suzanne O’Brien

Linda Richards Design

Monday, October 13, 2014

Color Trend: Orange Gifts from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Feathers and Plumes: A Collection from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Feathers and Plumes curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Halloween Treats! Spooktacular Items from the Buffalo Etsy Team

Halloween Treats! curated by Buffalove on Etsy

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumn Leaves & Fall Decor

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Buffalocentric Gifts from Local Artisans

Monday, September 1, 2014

Did I really just quit my job?

I’m now two months into my journey and the world hasn't ended.  The initial fear that used to pulse through me every now and then seems to have been more hype than anything else.

That’s how fear works though. It paralyzes the mind and body. 

In this installment I wanted to touch on some things I did prior to turning in my notice and walking away from a steady paycheck and benefits.  Doing these things have helped me overcome the fear and have, without a doubt, helped me focus on the work at hand instead of waiting for the end of the world.

About 2 years prior to turning in my notice I:

1.       Took a long hard look at my current position, the state of the field I worked in (Higher Ed) and what the future was starting to look like.  I saw more downside than upside. I began to think about changing careers.

2.       Tracked my spending for 6 months to get a better sense of where my money was actually going. I kept a daily journal and logged EVERY dollar I spent and what I spent it on. I broke it down into categories each month. This really opened my eyes to some careless spending.

Attributed to Abe Lincoln
(but there is no actual proof he ever said this!)
3.       I began to pay more attention to saving money, in case I decided to leave.

About 18 months prior I:

1.  Started to cut back from the things I identified through my spending exercise

2.   Began paying my credit cards down aggressively.

3.   Adjusted the contribution I was making to my 401k plan by dropping to the minimum percentage that secured my employers contribution and directed the rest into my savings account. I did this to save as much “ready cash” as possible should  I decide to leave.

4.   I took what I learned from the spending exercise and figured out what I actually spent on necessities (home, food, bills etc…) in a year. 

      It’s a very interesting exercise. If you've never done it – do it. I found out that the number is much smaller than I thought. You may be surprised too. It made me feel more confident in taking the risk of working for myself.  It helped me zero in on the exact amount of money I needed to save to give myself a year (if I didn't earn another penny during that year) to go on living close to how I was currently living.

About 6 months prior I:
1.       Decided that unless something drastic changed at my current job, I would leave and start working for myself full-time.

2.       Started planning for my departure and putting things in order (to help my co-workers as well as visualizing what my life would look like how to best approach it).

I am not one to recommend just quitting a job without really thinking things through. I do think anyone can leave a job they are unhappy with though – I just recommend having a plan in place. Most people lock themselves into situations without even trying to take a long hard look at what’s actually possible.

You can read the 3 previous posts in this series here: 
#1              #2             #3

Next month,  I will update you on my progress since starting off on my own and some of the early hiccups, lessons and small victories.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Buffalo Etsy Team Interview: Kelly from Nest Well


How long has Nest Well been on Etsy? What was your first shop offering? How long was it before you had your first sale?

>>> We opened our shop in April 2013. In December 2012 I received a sewing machine for Christmas from my mother in law. Once I ran out of things to sew around the house, I thought it would be a great way to start making gifts, and covers for others. Etsy seemed to be a natural progression. We initially offered wine bags and a few pillows, vintage tea towels and covers. Our first sale was that same month, with a wine bag to a friend of the family, and then things really started to roll. Over 180 orders later and it is still a thrill to hear the cha-ching ring out from our phones/ipad throughout the house!

Is Nest Well your full-time job?

>>> No, it is not. Bill and I both work full time—myself as a Physician Assistant, and Bill works for a medical software company. We also have 2 little boys, who are the light of our lives.  We keep busy with our schedules but always find time to create, design and push our company to the next level. Typically, most work is done after the kids are asleep so that we can maximize our time with them, although I have been known to sew outdoors during a nice afternoon of sprinkler time with the kids. The drive to constantly evolve and show what we have to offer, keeps us going sometimes late into the evening.

My sewing den is in the basement and my table was a roadside find that I cleaned, sanded and stained.My chair (with the stack of fabric) used to belong to Bill's grandfather. 

Describe your design aesthetic. Where do you find inspiration?

>>> Our design aesthetic is that of industrial vintage with a cozy cottage feel. I tend to sway in the direction of soft linens, with a focus on quality and craftsmanship. We love shopping for inspiration and pouring over design catalogs. There is also something about the look of a beautiful piece of wood or a rusted piece of metal. Inspiration can also come from a spin around the neighborhood, we are never opposed to picking up a roadside beauty or sifting around a dusty vintage shop. It is nice to find lost treasures, give them a new life and then transfer that to a new idea or product.

Your husband, Bill, is the other half of Nest Well. Describe the division of labor.

>>> Bill is a huge part of our company. He does all the woodcraft, partially because I do not yet trust myself with a saw or drill, but also because he is really good at it. He loves to figure out a new design, and all I have to do is make a suggestion and he creates it the same day. He processes and ships most items. We make major decisions together, like pricing, wholesale orders and new products. I do most of the shopping and also the sewing.

Bill's work station was built by him and is out in the garage.  

How much of your time do you spend on business versus inspiration?  >>> Inspiration is a constant throughout the day. That never stops, but hands-on work and labor is usually just in the evening hours. Weekends are a bit different, depending on our schedules. Emailing and working from our computers and mobile devices is a constant as well and we try to be swift about customer inquiries. We always appreciate a new customer finding us in the vast Etsy world and want to keep their business. In the future the shift and division of time may change but for now, this works great for us.

Describe your greatest success. Any epic failures you can laugh about now?

>>> Our greatest success has got to be our beer carriers. We started those because my husband enjoys brewing and drinking craft beers. Being in our 30s, carrying a ‘bag of beers’ or throwing them in the diaper bag seemed a bit outdated, so the carrier was a great solution! Thankfully others feel the same way! We have not yet had any major fails but we do have a lot to laugh about. I call us attic-addicts because of our love for ‘junk,’ as my dad calls it. Once my mom called me on my way home from work, it was about 9:30 and dark. As I was on my Bluetooth I had pulled over on a busy road to haul old fence posts into the back of my car. I thought she would die. Just the other day, Bill ran out to pick up a set of vintage lockers from Craig’s List, and each time I make him call me to let me know he is still alive.

Any new products on the horizon?

>>> I would love to add a Nestwell Baby line and a home fragrance line. Organic wraps, fun pillow covers and linen crib sheets are on the horizon. Right now, we are trying to gear up for the fall and holiday season. We recently launched a 22oz carrier for the home brewers, which has been a request for awhile, and seems to already be a popular addition.

Are your products available locally, and if so, where?

>>> We offer our products at Patricia’s Back Barn in Wheatfield. We are also planning on offering our carriers at Niagara Tradition Homebrew Supply in Tonawanda. Custom requests are always available by contacting us, and local delivery/pick up is always free of charge. We are signed up to attend the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival in September, we are looking forward to it as it is our first outdoor show. Etsy will also be attending that show so we are very excited to show them in person what we can do!

Lastly, and just for fun: In what stores would you love to see your products?

>>> If we ever had the opportunity to work with a large company, we would be thrilled to keep it local initially.  Premier Gourmet would be a dream, especially because of their vast array of beverages for the beer lover, I think it would be a perfect  fit.   A partnership with Wegmans for a summer line would also be fabulous.

Colin is our 5 year old watermelon loving boy, Keegan will be 3 in 2 weeks and is our firecracker. Parker is our golden doodle who never sits still long enough for a picture. 

Here's where new friends and followers can find Nest Well online:

Many thanks to Nicole Johnson of Mealy Monster for initiating the original Buffalo Etsy Team interviews!

Until I ask questions again, this is Carla from 716 Buffalos wishing you a happy almost-autumn and loads of Buffalove!