Monday, November 11, 2013

Etsy Shop of the Week - Smart Designs by Stacey

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Etsy Shop of the Week! Each week I choose a wonderful Etsy shop to share with you all. We can all have fun finding new products for our homes and lives, not to mention some wonderful gift ideas for our loved ones (or ourselves!).

Today we have a special shop owner to feature! Not only is Stacey the owner of Smart Designs by Stacey, a shop specializing in graphic design and digital art, she is also the creator and fearless leader of the rapidly growing Etsy team, All Handmade by Me. And she spells her name with an E too! Yay!

Beautiful autumn colors on this
printable notecard. Perfect to send out
Thanksgiving invitations!

So, let's meet Stacey!

1. Tell us about your products and your Etsy shop.

The art in my Etsy shop is pretty all over the place. I have a lot of nature prints, holiday cards, and superhero geek prints. I also sell artwork for other Etsy sellers - banners, logos, advertisements, and so on. I think the one thing that unites my shop is my style. I design my artwork in minimalist style because I like the elegant simplicity of it. When it comes to artwork for businesses, I think the simplicity is especially important because it does not distract the eye from the products being sold. The same is true for my photo cards. They are fun and festive, but I don't make them too over the top because then the photo would be overshadowed. I know that the untrained eye probably thinks my artwork is juvenile because it is so simple, but I really think that overly complicated designs do more of a disservice than a service.
How awesome is this print?
It would be perfect in any boy's room.

2. What is your favorite thing to make?

When it comes to art, my favorite thing to work with is trees. I'm not really sure why, but I've been doodling and sketching trees for as long as I can remember. I even have old notebooks from elementary school with drawings of little fairy tree houses.

This tree has such a beautiful shape.
And of course I'm loving the green dots!

When it comes to design, I really love custom projects. There's really just something so exhilarating about making artwork that will represent someone's business. I am always so humbled when people trust me with the responsibility to help brand their business. It is not a task I take lightly. 

A few of Stacey's custom banner creations - 
be sure to have her design one for your shop!

3. What are some of your favorite pieces currently for sale in your shop?

My favorite piece is "A Life for All Seasons." It is the piece that first made me realize that I'm an artist. I never went to school for graphic design, so I never expected anyone to be all that impressed with the things I make. When I made this piece, people started calling me an artist for the first time. It's the piece that brought me to Etsy. It will probably always be my favorite.
This is a gorgeous piece. The colors are
all amazing and I love the contrast
between the seasons. So beautiful!

As for the pieces that are the most fun, I would have to say my holiday banners. They're just so much fun to make! I actually had the song "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" stuck in my head for an entire day while I created several of them!
Be sure to get your holiday banner
before the Christmas rush!

4. Can you tell us 3 fun facts about yourself?
  • I am a diehard Mizzou football fan. I wait all year for college football season and it's without a doubt my "most wonderful time of the year."
  • I am pretty obsessed with the TV show F*R*I*E*N*D*S. I can find a Friends quote for just about any situation. My bedroom door is painted purple with a gold frame like the one in Monica's apartment. And the piece "The Big Orange Couch" in my Etsy shop was inspired by the show.
  • I tell people that I'm still about eight years old at heart. I love coloring books and Disney movies and love to goof around. I work as a nanny part time and I just love playing around with the kids and building pillow forts.
Love this! Love the color, love the couch,
love Friends! Could this piece BE any more perfect?

5. Can you tell us about the Etsy team, All Handmade by Me?

The All Handmade by Me team began because of something negative. I was appalled that Etsy had completely abandoned its handmade sellers and had essentially thrown them under a bus. (To read about the policy changes Etsy made, check out this article on Yahoo that Stacey is in.)

I say "them" and not "us" because I realized that these new guidelines really wouldn't affect my shop all that much. I mean, now I have to compete with people who can afford to sell mass produced printed versions of their artwork for cheaper than I can afford to sell only the digital files, but overall, I'm one of the lucky few who (hopefully) won't be completely overrun by the opening of the floodgates.

That fact aside, I was still very deeply hurt by Etsy's decision and chose to start this team. I thought it would be a way to fight back against this injustice and band together under a handmade badge of honor. I guess mainly I did it because I didn't want to lose the beautiful sense of community I had found on Etsy.

The handmade badges that Stacey designed.
Get specialty badges here and assistance in
adding the badge to your banner here

Now, a little over a month later, the team has over 1,250 members and I am completely shocked. This thing I have created has become its own revolution and I'm at the helm. It's hard for me to really explain how incredibly life changing this whole experience has been so far. I wake up every morning expecting that this whole thing has been a dream. It hasn't!

Captaining this team has been a lot of work. And that's probably an understatement. I spend at least 12 hours a day glued to my computer, answering messages and reading applications and designing specialty badges for team members, while also juggling my own business. It's been pretty overwhelming at times to be completely honest. But I love it and the members really make everything worth it. 

In the future, I'd ideally love the expand things even further. I don't want to promise anything I can't deliver, but I see a lot of possibilities for this team. What I thought would only be about 20 people has become 1,250. So the possibilities really feel endless. I never dreamed that I could accomplish so much in just over a month! It has really made me stop and think... what else am I capable of? I might have a few ideas up my sleeves. ;)

A beautiful pointillism sunset
done in gorgeous hues.

Thank you so much Stacey for give us a behind-the-scenes look at your shop and team! Be sure to check out Smart Designs by Stacey on Etsy to get some beautiful art, note cards, or a custom piece for your business!

To keep up with everything Stacey is busy designing and creating, be sure to visit the sites below:

If you have an Etsy shop and would like to be considered for an upcoming feature, feel free to send me an email!


  1. Cathey, this blog is fantastic! Thank you so much for featuring me! I mean, could your blog BE any better? I KNOW!!

  2. Hi Cathey, Love your blog...good job!! Also I love your dotted dishes, they are just amazing!!

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words Rhonda!

  4. No problem Stacey! And now I really want to go have a friends marathon!

  5. You should! Whenever I'm stressed about business or anything, I turn to Friends to solve everything. It works every time! :P


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate your kind words and always try to reply!

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