Mar 15, 2011

Let's Talk Etsy~Interview with Miss Rebekah from Cozy Tea Treasures

Hello, dearest readers! Thank you for stopping by my garden on such a fair-weathered day! Does the spring sunshine not feel heavenly upon one's face? {Especially sweet after spending all day buried in one's studies;)} 

Well, to-day I have a very special guest joining me in my garden for well...tea! She specializes in adorning your bland, white porcelain pot, into a truly old-fashion treasure. Please give a warm welcome to....  
{Click button to visit her shop} 
Miss Rebekah from Cozy Tea Treasures!!! 

What a pleasant time I had with my dear friend, Rebekah:

~The Interview~

Me: Hello, dear Miss Rebekah! I am so delighted to have you here in my garden to-day, dear friend! Do you think you could please tell me and my readers a little bit about yourself?

Miss Rebekah: I’d be delighted to, Grace! First let me just thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to share one of my passions with you and your dear readers. I so appreciate your taking the time to feature my home business, and thank you for your sweet spirit and dear friendship. You’re a blessing!

Well, first off, I’m an 18 year old homeschool graduate who is striving to use and live each day of her life to the fullest for God’s glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. I fail time and again, but He is ever faithful and continues His work in me daily, for which I am so thankful! I live with my parents and younger brother in beautiful Eastern Tennessee, where I delight in serving my family, learning new homemaking skills, cooking and baking, preparing for (Lord willing) a future of being a wife, mother, and homemaker, studying history and theology, working on my home business, writing blog articles, working on a devotional book for girls, and striving to serve and encourage my church and community in whatever ways that the Lord reveals that I can. It’s a full life, and while I am, by nature, a terrible procrastinator and fail daily to accomplish all that I should, I strive to practice daily to manage my time in a more God-honoring fashion. There are times that it sure feels like an uphill battle, though, that’s for sure!


Me: Aww, you are so sweet, dear! Your friendship has {is} such a blessing, and your kind words are always are an encouragement. 

Well, what inspired you to start an Etsy shop and how long has it been in full operation?

Miss Rebekah: My Etsy shop was opened in March of 2009. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two years! The inspiration for the business began the year before, however, in the fall and winter of 2008 through the influence of both my parents. I had had a business selling homemade cookies and brownies in my neighborhood from when I was around 7 to age 12. So, I had a background in entrepreneurialism and home-based businesses. But once we moved to Tennessee when I was 12 and I began to become more and more busy with school, there was no time or interest, really, in having my own business. When I was 16, however, my father began telling me that he thought that having a home business again was something that I should invest my time in. Not only would it benefit me and my family now and help me to save for the future, it would also prepare me for when I may be a married woman needing to supplement my husband’s income through some home-based industry (much as the Proverbs 31 woman did). I had no idea whatsoever as to what kind of business I should have, however. In July of that year (2008), my parents had taken me to a tea room for my 16th birthday where I became introduced to tea cozies. My mom (who is a wonderful seamstress) made me a tea cozy for Christmas and it was shortly after Christmas time 2008 that the idea came to her mind that making and selling tea cozies could be a great home business for me to do. It would help me grow in my sewing skills and would be something that I, as a tea-lover, would love to do. I’m so thankful the Lord used my dear parents to influence and inspire me into having this home business. My mom has had a home business on Ebay for years, and so I began my home business there, as well. Then, a couple weeks later, a lady in our church told me about Etsy, and I’m so glad she did! This home business has been such a blessing, and I have so much fun with it. I’ve had several people request custom orders, and that has been an enjoyable experience, as well. 

I just want to add here that if there are young ladies reading this that want to begin home businesses but don’t know where to start, one of the best things you can do (besides praying to the Lord for direction) is to ask your parents for input. They know you better than anyone else, and will be a great help to you as you try to decide what home business the Lord may want you to pursue.

Me: What is your inspiration for your products?

Miss Rebekah: The idea to make and sell tea cozies came from my dear mother. And it was the perfect idea for me, because something that I am passionate about ( besides tea ) is bringing back the practice of Christian hospitality. We live in a day and age where both moms and dads are off at work, busy with their careers, while the children are also away from the home for the majority of the day at day care, school, sports practices, etc. No one is at home anymore. And while that is the case, there are, meanwhile, myriads of hurting, lost people who are crying out for a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and someone who will dispense to them words of wisdom and encouragement (again, much as the Proverbs 31 woman did). But there’s nowhere for those poor people to go these days. Years ago, however, the Christian home was a vibrant, exciting place of hospitality and discipleship. Wives and mothers had neighbors, friends, and family members over to offer a tasty treat, a warm atmosphere, and a comforting word. By doing so, they shared the love and good news of Christ that changes lives. This is what I want to revive, and I view these tea cozies as a tool that can be used by people who desire their homes to be places of hospitality and training. And they’re a beautiful way to keep your tea (or coffee or hot apple cider) nice and hot while you visit with your guests!


Me: What an encouraging concept! So, what is perhaps, to you, the most enjoyable part of being an Etsy owner and crafter?

Miss Rebekah: Being a part of the Etsy community is an honor. It is so much fun being surrounded by people who share your love of working with your hands and creating wonderful crafts and other products. Your buyers also tend to be people who delight in handcrafted items, as well. There’s something really special about that! Secondly, I love having people on Etsy request custom cozies from me. I had a lady ask me to make her a 2 cup tea cozy (the size I normally sell is a 6-8 cup teapot cozy). Another lady was looking for a certain fabric, and I was able to go fabric shopping and provide her with exactly what she was looking for. Being able to please your customer like that is really special.

Me: What are some of your best selling item(s) in your shop?

Miss Rebekah: The following tea cozies in my shop have been the most popular ones so far:







Me: Oooh! Those are all so pretty!  Such a dilemma to choose!:) Tell us, what are a few of your favorite Etsy sellers/shops?

Miss Rebekah: One of my dear friends and sisters in the Lord, Miss Breezy Brookshire, has a truly delightful Etsy shop where she sells her beautiful artwork. 
Her winsome pieces of art show beautiful scenes of nature, families working together, people serving others, sisters playing, etc. I would recommend her shop to everyone! 

Another dear friend of mine, Miss Julia Ericson, has an Etsy shop where she sells her beautiful handmade jewelry. For Christmas a couple years ago, I bought several pairs of earrings from her for my friends at church, and each friend was delighted with the beauty of her earrings. 

Another one of my very favorite shops is TeaMan, which offers loose leaf and bagged tea in a myriad of flavors and varieties. For me, that’s heaven, as I’m a big tea drinker! ;) I am also a big fan of natural skin care, and love handmade soaps! So, for me, Elegant Rose Boutique is another wonderful shop that I would highly recommend!

Me: Oh, yes, I do love Breezy's work {especially Miss Emily and Breezy's paper dolls;)}; and Elegant Rose Boutique is quite lovely. I am enjoying her soaps.  
Do you have a goal for your Etsy shop this year?

Miss Rebekah: You know, that is a really great question, Grace, and I appreciate your asking it! It can be so easy for me to just go through the motions, and just focus on buying fabric, writing cozy descriptions, and selling cozies. But if this home business is going to not just be a cottage industry, if you will, but also a ministry that blesses others, then it’s important to have a goal and to ask myself what I want to accomplish with this home business this year. 
So, in answer to your question, my goal, for one thing, is to make the greatest tea cozies I can possibly make, thereby providing my customers with tea cozies of high quality. This is my goal not only so that I can feel good about pleasing my customers. But it is also a way to obey Colossians 3:23, which says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men.” 

Secondly, it is a goal of mine to seek ways to better advertise my cozies and to get the word out about them. 

Thirdly, I want to further this business that it might be more of a blessing to others. So, there is a possibility that it may branch out into other products, as well (you’re the first I’m telling about this outside of my immediate family! ;) ). The same lady from our church who first told me about Etsy recently brought up the idea of making covers for Kindles, Nooks, and other e-readers. Another of my great passions is reading, so this may just be something that will begin to appear in my shop in the future! Right now, I’m just beginning to look into how to make them, etc. So, stay tuned to www.cozyteatreasures.etsy.com

Me: Oh, that would be lovely, Rebekah! And yes, when your concept behind your shop is Godly and more like a ministry, it brings new meanings to the products you purchase. {Now my cozy is extra special;)} 
Being an experienced Etsy owner, could you share a few tips to the beginner Etsy owners among us?

Miss Rebekah: You’re so sweet to call me an experienced Etsy owner! I feel like I have so much to still learn. There are a few helpful hints and tips I’ve learned, however, that I hope will be helpful to you, as well!

First of all, you may want to begin with a shop name and avatar picture that have something to do with specifically what your products are. This is not crucial, however. For example, if I were to begin making and selling Kindle covers, I would not change my store name. It will remain Cozy Tea Treasures; I will just be offering additional products beyond simply tea cozies.

Second, try to take the best pictures you can of your product. Make sure they’re clear, true to the color of the product, inviting and catch people’s attention. You simply do not have to have a top-of-the-line camera (I don’t have one!), so do not worry about that! Just do your best with what you’ve got. While you’re at it, try to be creative and expressive with your product descriptions. Help your customers to know exactly what they’re getting.

Third, Etsy allows you to have pretty long titles. Don’t go over the top and overwhelm shoppers, but do take advantage of this, without going overboard. This way, you can have several words whereby people can find your products more easily when they’re searching for something. In the same vein, there are a total of about 14 key words you can have in addition to your title and description for each item. Do not duplicate words that are already in your title (as this would be a waste, of course) and don’t use words that have nothing to do with your product. But do take advantage of this opportunity to advertise your item. For example, if I have a tea cozy for sale that is a floral fabric with various colors, I may use key words such as flower, vine (only if there are vines, of course!), rose (if that is the kind of flower on the fabric), pink, red, tea party, tea table, gift, ribbon, etc. 

Finally, advertising and getting the word out about your Etsy shop is important, as well. There are several blogs and websites that offer to advertise your shop for a small fee. For example, I have advertised with the wonderful blog ministries A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and Generation Cedar. There is also a brand new website dedicated solely to advertising home businesses run by families, stay-at-home moms, kids, etc. It’s called Christian Home Industry, and is a fantastic way to not only get the word out about your business, but to also learn about other wonderful products and services provided by Christian families that delight in working together.

Something that is really important to keep in mind, however, is to, above all, keep your focus on Christ and focus on bringing glory to Him. Don’t focus so much on the money you can make, but rather strive to have a mission mindset as you embark on your new business.

In closing, I want to thank you again so much for hosting this giveaway and for taking the time to ask these wonderful questions, Grace! My heart’s prayer desire is that the Lord will use these answers to be a great blessing to those that read them. May God greatly bless your home business and hospitality endeavors as you seek to bring glory to His name!

Oh, thank you so much, Miss Rebekah for this wonderful opportunity! I had such a delightful time "chatting" with you; you are such a Godly, encouraging young lady, and I hope that the Lord blesses your business to flourish. 


~A Peek Inside The Shop~
How do I describe Rebekah's lovely shop? Hmm...'tis like stepping into a sweet, old-fashion, English cottage, with such a sweet hostess asking you to sit for a dainty little cup of tea by a warm cheery fire. 
But oh!  'Tis not the tea nor the dainty little cakes atop the tea table, but the crisp, white pot adorned with a lovely, floral-printed tea cozy that catches your eye. 

{Scarlet Garden}

Oh, her tea-cozies are SO beautiful! Not only are they well-made, but handmade by a very sweet young lady; her love and passion for the Lord and for sewing definitely reflect her handiwork.

{Blue Porcelain}

Such beautiful products would be lovely as a gift for friends, families, weddings, hopechests, and so much more! So unique, but very feminine and dainty. 

{Peachy Keen}

Definitely bringing winsome charm and grace to an ordinary tea...

{Cafe Au Lait}

With fun flares as well!

{Lovely Lavender} 

Her floral prints are so lovely!

{Lime and Violet Scroll}

{Where do you purchase such lovely fabric???:)}

{Petite Rosebuds}

So feminine and elegant!

{Shabby Rose}

{Victorian High Tea}

{Afternoon Tea}

This is one of my favorites!:)

{Tea for Two}

Have to love pink!

{Floral Tea Cups} 

Would that not be cute for a little girl's tea set?

{Chocolate Toile}

Very French, Country style!;)

{Birds of Spring}

Perfect for spring, no?

She also sells holiday-themed cozies!
{Country Christmas}
Christmas...

So Victorian, Country Christmasy!:) 

{Giving Thanks}
Thanksgiving....

{Valentine Hearts}

And Valentine's Day!



And of course, my beautiful tea cozy that always makes me smile is...

Cottage Rose!!!

{Christmas Morning 2010; Kept my tea ever so warm!:)}


It is daintily resting in my Mama's china cabinet. 

Rebekah sweetly sent me this beautiful cozy as a prize for winning the Feelin' Feminine's Jane Austen Tour. My mouth absolutely dropped when I received an email from her!:) What a blessing it has been to know her since. 

I think that every young lady should have one of Rebekah's cozies in her home!:) 

~The Giveaway~

Miss Rebekah has generously offered one of her beautifully-made tea cozies to be sent to one of my blessed readers!!! How sweet it was of her!  
One of these lovely tea cozies from her shop could be yours!!!

Special, SPECIAL, heart-felt thanks to Miss Rebekah for doing this!

~How to Enter~
~Mandatory Entry {counting as one entry}~

Visit her shop, and tell me what cozy you would request if you won, 
and
Let me know what particularly encouraged or inspired you in the interview above. 

~For Extra Entries~
{Please leave separate comments per entry you accomplish}

After completing the mandatory entry you may gain extra chances to win by:

Heart Miss Rebekah's shop~2 entries {leave two comments}

Heart your favorite item, and of course, tell me what it is!;)~1 entry 

Add Miss Rebekah to your Etsy circle~2 entries {leave two comments}

Follow her blog~4 entries {leave four comments}
{click above to visit}
Leave a friendly little comment on one of her posts on her blog, just to say you stopped by or perhaps, to thank her for the giveaway;) {and don't forget to remind her I sent you;)}~2 entries 
{leave two comments with the link of the post you commented on}

Like her facebook~2 entries {leave two comments}

Follow this blog, only if you would truly would like to become a follower~3 entries {leave three comments}

Follow my photography blog, again, only if you turly would like to become a follower~2 entries {leave two comments}

Post about this giveaway~2 entries {leave two comments}

And finally, purchase a tea cozy from Rebekah's shop~25 entries {leave twenty-five comments}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Extra Information

Miss Rebekah has already generously contributed such a lovely prize, I do not want her to spend more as is; therefore, this giveaway is open to US young ladies only. 

Giveaway ends Tuesday, April 5th at 12:00 Midnight PCF, precisely three weeks from to-day. {I will be returning from a blogging break; that is why I am extending the time;)} Late entries past appointed time shall not be accepted. 

Miss May Amelia nor Miss Anna Faith shall be able to enter this giveaway. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you excited? I am quite delighted that a young lady shall have such a lovely tea cozy in her home as I do!
You may begin your typing....NOW!!!!

72 comments:

  1. I would like to win this giveaway for my mom. If I won, I would pick the Cafe Au Lait tea cozy. Something that inspired me was, how sweet Rebekah is.

    ~Kelsey

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  2. I hearted her shop. (My username is butterflydreams26 if you wanna check)

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  3. I follow your photography blog #1

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  4. I follow your photography blog #2

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  5. My favorite item is, the cafe au lait tea cozy. I favorited it. It's just so cute. It reminds me of a little cafe. :)

    ~Kelsey

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  6. What a delightful giveaway, Miss Grace! I would love to enter. I have had the English Rose teapot cozy from Tea Cozy Treasures on my wishlist for months now! :)
    My favorite item from her lovely store is the English Rose teapot cozy.
    I greatly enjoyed the interview! Miss Rebekah has such a strong love for the Lord, and you can see it through the words she wrote.

    Many Blessings,
    Jenna

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  7. I hearted Miss Rebekahs delightful shop! {first entry}

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  8. I hearted Miss Rebekahs delightful shop! {second entry}

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  9. I hearted my favorite item, the English Rose teapot cozy! :)

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  10. I added Miss Rebekah to my circle! {first entry}

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  11. I added Miss Rebekah to my circle! {second entry}

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  12. I already follow Miss Rebekah's lovely blog! {first entry}

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  13. I already follow Miss Rebekah's lovely blog! {second entry}

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  14. I already follow Miss Rebekah's lovely blog! {third entry}

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  15. I already follow Miss Rebekah's lovely blog! {fourth entry}

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  16. I left a friendly little comment on Miss Rebekah's latest post. Here is the link:
    http://byhisgraceandforhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/03/biblical-daughterhood-interview-part-2.html

    {first entry}

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  17. I left a friendly little comment on Miss Rebekah's latest post. Here is the link:
    http://byhisgraceandforhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/03/biblical-daughterhood-interview-part-2.html

    {second entry}

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  18. I already follow your sweet blog, Miss Garce! {first entry}

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  19. I already follow your sweet blog, Miss Garce! {second entry}

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  20. I already follow your sweet blog, Miss Garce! {third entry}

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  21. I already follow your delightful photography blog! {first entry}

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  22. I already follow your delightful photography blog! {second entry}

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  23. I posted about your giveaway, Miss Grace! Here is the link:
    http://wheretheheartremains.blogspot.com/p/giveaways.html
    {first entry}

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  24. I posted about your giveaway, Miss Grace! Here is the link:
    http://wheretheheartremains.blogspot.com/p/giveaways.html
    {second entry}

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  25. I would love the birds of spring tea cozy! :)

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  26. Her shop is added to my favorites! :)

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  27. Her shop is added to my favorites! :)

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  28. I hearted my favorite item at her shop! http://www.etsy.com/listing/66728050/birds-of-spring-reversible-insulated-6-8

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  29. I added Rebekah to my circle! :)

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  30. I added Rebekah to my circle! :)

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  31. I left a comment on her lovely blog!

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  32. I left a comment on her lovely blog!

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  33. How absolutely LOVELY!!! My favorite cozy would have to be either the "Lime and Violet Scroll" or the "Cottage Rose" - out of those I truly cannot decide! And what inspired me the most in your interview... she really has such evident, radiant love for the Lord, and I love her sweet submission to her parents. Both very encouraging!!!
    ~Traci

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  34. I hearted her sweet shop! (entry #1)

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  35. I hearted her sweet shop! (entry #2)

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  36. I hearted all of my favorite cozies (there were ALOT!!!) =D

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  37. Added her to my circle! (entry #1)

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  38. Added her to my circle! (entry #2)

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  39. I now follow her blog (and I can't wait to see more of it when I have more time to read her lovely posts!) (entry #1)

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  40. Just left her a comment! :-) {http://byhisgraceandforhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/03/biblical-daughterhood-interview-part-2.html}
    (entry #1)

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  41. Just left her a comment! :-) {http://byhisgraceandforhisglory.blogspot.com/2011/03/biblical-daughterhood-interview-part-2.html}
    (entry #2)

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  42. And I, of course, follow you, dear Grace! (entry #1)

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  43. And I, of course, follow you, dear Grace! (entry #2)

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  44. And I, of course, follow you, dear Grace! (entry #3)

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  45. And I already follow your amazing photography blog - it's one of my favorites! (entry #1)

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  46. And I already follow your amazing photography blog - it's one of my favorites! (entry #2)

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  47. Just posted about this beautiful giveaway - {http://beesonbunch.webs.com/apps/blog/show/6443031-tea-cozies-}
    Thanks so much for hosting!!!
    Love in Jesus,
    ~Traci
    (entry #1)

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  48. Just posted about this beautiful giveaway - {http://beesonbunch.webs.com/apps/blog/show/6443031-tea-cozies-}
    Thanks so much for hosting!!!
    Love in Jesus,
    ~Traci
    (entry #2)

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  49. Ah yes! Finally getting around to entering for another beautiful Cozy! :-) Hmmmmm.... well, one of my favorite parts of the interview, althogh I confess I havn't read the intire interview yet, was that she was inspired to start an Etsy shop selling things that she really loved! That is how I want my etsy shop to be, not just something to earn money by, but when I send off the package, I KNOW the person will be pleased!

    Hmmmm... well seeing the I already have the prettiest cozy in the shop... *wink*... I would have to settle on {probably} Birds of Spring! I do so love birds!

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  50. ... But I do love 'Victorian Tea' as well...

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  51. I hearted my favorite item... yes... I believe it would have to be Victorian High Tea rather then Birds of Spring....

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  52. I truly love your blog, and have followed practically 4ever! *smile*

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  53. I follow, always have, always will! *smile*

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