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Friday, April 11, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Dinner Time Chimes

The Independent Designer of the Week is Dinner Time Chimes - an enchanting shop on Etsy specializing in recycled dinner ware wind chimes to felt flower bookmarks.

Here is my favorite piece from Dinner Time Chimes- Ready for the Beach - Shell Spoon Windchime. I can imagine sitting on my deck enjoying the tranquil sound as I dine al fresco. Ahhhhh.....summer!!!

I asked Erin of Dinner Time Chimes a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

We like to think that our shop is filled with unique gifts, that just happen to be created from things that other’s no longer have use for.

How did you get started?

The windchimes started out as a way of having something fun to make with my dad when I was in middle school and to also give me something to hunt for at flea markets. Over the years, it's turned into 'what can I make out of these?' thrift hunts for silverplate and anything that I think will work as a bird house. Now that I’m married and have convinced my husband that this is fun, the work continues.

How long have you been crafting?

I’ve been making crafts for as long as I can remember, I must have something to do at all times.

What is your inspiration?

Since almost everything in our shop is created from other’s trash, I guess that I’d have to say that I’m inspired by estate sales and thrift store finds. The reason that I continue to make wind chimes after so many years is that I love the look on people’s faces at shows when they realize that it’s real forks and spoons making that beautiful song they’ve been hearing as they’ve strolled along.

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?

This one goblet windchime ( ) is my current favorite, mainly because I think that the picture turned out great. Getting a perfect shot of the windchime, when the wind’s not blowing and it can be cropped to a square for Etsy and still look impressive has proven to the more difficult that I would’ve thought. My second favorite is the boot birdhouse, mainly because it’s so unique and people browsing the shop can’t help but click to see what it is.

How do you market/advertise your wares?

Since this business is a hobby for us, we rely heavily on word of mouth advertising. The local free online advertising has worked out great, mainly because the items that we create are so unique. The local NCTriangle Etsy Street Team ( ) has really started working together to support each other through Etsy and local shows, and soon we hope to start doing some advertising both locally and nationally to find shoppers. In addition to selling online via Etsy and our own website, we have windchimes in a couple local antiques stores.

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?

Follow your dreams and do what you enjoy. Crafting and selling what you make should be fun and exciting; otherwise you should ask yourself if it’s worth it. Ask questions if you need help with anything, the crafting community tends to be very giving and friendly.

Thanks Erin!! I admire your effort to find pieces to recycle to make into beautiful music and to make ou planet a little greener in the process!!! CHEERS :>

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