Artist Artist of the Month: Lisa Seyfried, Color Me Reckless

 

il_570xN.546509456_7fxrThe following post is by Lisa Seyfried, Owner of Color Me Reckless, the Herban Lifestyle May 2013 Artist of the Month.

Color Me Reckless started 3 years ago.  I had just finished grad school, was unemployed, and scared.  My stress reliever has always been to crochet, so that summer, I wound up with baskets full of crochet hats, scarves, and blankets.  It seemed like a good time to start selling it all!

It took me a while to find what I really liked to make for people. When I boiled it down to what I liked to make, and what people liked, it was housewares and blankets.  So the new version of Color Me Reckless was born! Now I sell carefully crafted crochet housewares, and create beautiful custom blankets for baby showers, weddings, and birthdays.

 

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What I love the most is seeing the reaction when people unwrap a blanket that has been made just for them. I try to factor in anything I know about the person (their favorite colors, snippets of their history) so the blanket becomes a story about them.

 

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I think that’s the same for the housewares. Yes, it’s simpler, colorful small items, but those items tell a story too.  A Soap Saver Bag can tell the story of what mood I was in when I made it (you can tell by what colors I selected!), and then it continues to tell that story when those colors resonate with someone else.

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You can find more about Lisa’s crochet creations on her website and Etsy store.

Help Us Start Some Good!

Our new crowdfunding campaign went live today on StartSomeGood! We are raising funds to support our new social enterprise, Herban Crafts. The first two versions of our DIY crafting kits shipped today, and are available in our Etsy store. Sales from the kits will help support the social mission of Herban Crafts. Our social mission is to help address the problem of unemployment, a contributing factor to homelessness, by offering a hands-on job and social skills training program for homeless women living in transitional housing with the goal of fostering economic independence.

Our StartSomeGood campaign has a goal of raising enough money to cover salaries for our part-time job skills facilitators for one month and production of 400 kits, the profits from which will cover their salaries for an additional four months.

Our awesome team of job skills facilitators!

I hope you will check it out, share the link with your friends and contribute if you can. We only receive funds if we meet our goal. We are offering some great rewards for donations starting at just $5.00 (I have listed them below, so you can see how awesome they are :) You can also sign up on the site to volunteer or support our efforts in other non-monetary ways.

StartSomeGood is a peerfunding platform for social entrepreneurs to launch and grow innovative ventures we need to improve our communities and our world. They were the winners of this year’s William James Foundation’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Here is a video featuring StartSomeGood co-founder, Tom Dawkins, talking about this crowdfunding site’s mission and offering some very helpful tips for those of you who plan to start your own crowdfunding campaign.

I hope you will check out our story on StartSomeGood. Here are our donation levels and corresponding rewards:

$5

Your name will be listed on the Herban Crafts website. You’ll get kudos on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, along with our undying gratitude! + You’ll receive a free download of the full version of “Going For It” by Wytold from his album “When Fulvio Finds Celeste,” featured in our video.

$10

Everything included in the $5 reward + a handmade upcycled Herban Crafts bottle cap magnet.

$25

Everything included in the $10 reward + a two Herban Crafts lip balms

$50

Bud – Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of one (1) Herban Crafts kit!

$100

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of two (2) Herban Crafts kits!

$180

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of four (4) Herban Crafts kits!

$250

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of six (6) Herban Crafts kits!

$500

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of twelve (12) Herban Crafts kits! Perfect for a party activity, or bridal party gifts!

$1,000

Everything included in the $10 reward + your choice of twelve (12) Herban Crafts kits! AND you will receive a feature article in our blog singing your praises. PLUS, you’ll be invited to an exclusive Herban Crafts launch celebration dinner party in DC or NYC, date and place to be determined.

Introducing Herban Crafts: Crafting a Better World!

Karen Lee of EcoKaren and I have partnered on a new social enterprise, Herban Crafts, that will offer a job and social skills training program to unemployed women in transitional housing in the DC and NY areas. To support our programming, Herban Crafts will sell DIY kits for various types of earth-friendly products. The kits will be manufactured, in part, by the trainees as part of their job skills training.

The first set of kits will teach people how to make their own organic bath and body products, and we will be adding additional types of kits in the future. We believe teaching people how to make their own products is empowering, and we also see it as an opportunity to teach people about the importance and joys of working with organic, fair trade, recycled and repurposed materials.

Our mission is multi-fold: to promote self-sufficiency while also supporting the health and wellbeing of people and the planet; and to help address the problem of unemployment, a contributing factor to homelessness, by offering a hands-on job and social skills training program for unemployed women living in transitional housing.
You can find more information about the company and our mission on our IndieGoGo campaign page where you can also pledge to help fund our initial production of kits. Suggested donations start at just $5.00, and there are lots of great rewards for our sponsors! And if this is something that you believe in as much as we do, please help spread the word to your friends on social media and via e-mail. And we hope you will follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for updates!
For an idea of our overall mission and plan, you can view our presentation from the 2012 Global Health and Innovation Conference held at Yale University on April 22, 2012.

Join Us for Ballston Arts & Crafts Market Opening Day 5/12!

Please join us on Saturday, May 12th, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, for the first Ballston Arts & Crafts Market of the 2012 season! It’s a great opportunity to pick up some handmade goodies for Mother’s Day :) The market will be held at Welburn Square, 901 North Taylor Street, between North Stuart and North 9th Streets (across the street from the Ballston Metro).

The first month’s market will be filled with uniquely wonderful handcrafted pieces perfect for those last-minute Mother’s Day gifts! The selection will include elegant jewelry by Sarah Cecelia, funky photography by Kosmoceratops – Art Squared, adorable critter plushes by RedStar East, graphic leather belts and dog collars by Jon Wye, organic bath & body products by Herban Lifestyle (yay!) and much more.

For opening day, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training will be on hand with information and an artist raffle to benefit their charitable organization. There will also be music by singer/songwriter, René Moffat (noon – 2 PM)
and free cool tote bags from Luri & Wilma, DC’s eco-chic online magazine.

Herban Lifestyle display from the 2011 Ballston Arts & Crafts Market

Held on the second Saturdays of every month from May through October, the 2012 Market dates are: May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8 & October 13. For more information, a complete vendor list, updates and a glimpse of the Market’s art, check out the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market blog.

Getting Organized


I have set many goals for Herban Lifestyle for 2011, and I just checked a big one off of my list. Get organized! As my company has grown, so has my need for large quantities of herbs, oils, packaging and more. And these items had grown unruly in the 10 x 15 space I have designated for these supplies. So, in January, I hired a friend’s husband to create built-in shelves at one end of my space, and it has made all the difference in the world.

Once the shelves were up and painted, I set out to find containers that would allow me to easily see and access my herbs and other items. Previously, they had been stored in the plastic bags they had come in, which were in turn stored in cardboard boxes. I wasted a lot of time going trying to find what I needed. Now it’s all is plain sight.

Good old Mason jars (which I use for making tinctures and infusions) along with Anchor’s square Frontier jars provide the perfect sizes and shape to maximize the space and highlight the natural beauty of my botanicals. And a series of baskets serve as tidy-looking mini drawers to hold tags, labels, ribbon, bags and myriad other small supplies.

Huge Anchor Montana jars hold large quantities of my most-used herbs, and translucent portable filing boxes keep my wool (hand-dyed by various Etsy crafters) safe and dry, as well as easily seen and accessed.

There is still some extra room for various display pieces and packaging. I am sure that this will get filled up before long. In the meantime, I am enjoying the “white space.”

In a less visible area of the space I have room to store my equipment, more packaging, more display pieces, and shipping materials.

An additional free-standing small white shelf holds miscellaneous glass and metal containers, along with a few pink-colored botanicals and other items.

While it took me a few weeks to find the right containers, then a couple of days to sort and transfer the contents from the aforementioned bags and boxes into the containers, I will net a huge savings of time from now on. Having these previously packed-in, hard-to-see, hard to access items at my fingertips, and easily viewed has saved me so much time. And now I will have time to check off the remaining items from the 2011 To Do List…

DC Craft Mafia Meet & Greet 3/21

dccmCome on out to the DC Craft Mafia’s first Meet & Greet of 2009! We’ll be hanging out at Tryst Coffeehouse (2459 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009) on Saturday, March 21, starting at 4 p.m. Meet fellow crafters and greet your local mafiosa. Bring a crafty project in the works or one you’re proud to have completed – we’d love to check it out! Hope to see you there!

I’ve Been Made

dccm_banner1Recently, I was recruited to the DC Craft Mafia, along with two other local crafters. We officially became members at the end of February. The DC Craft Mafia a chapter of the Craft Mafia, an organization of independent business owners who represent multiple creative disciplines in fashion, jewelry, handmade goods, fine art, writing and craft design. 

There’s a lot of energy in the DC Craft Mafia, and I’m looking forward to being part of this dynamic group of talented artisans. Plans are underway for craft shows and community events. Stay tuned!