Extraordinary Things Start Small: WunderAround Blown Glass Trunk Show at Herban Lifestyle 11/29

photo 10.56.48 PMHere is our interview with Etsy artist Beth Hess of Wunder Around. She will be demo’ing how to make terrariums using her handblown glass vases at our Small Business Saturday event, which takes place Saturday, November 29 from noon to 4pm at our Merrifield Store.

When did you start your line and why?
I enjoy making colorful, functional pieces of blown glass that can be used (and enjoyed) everyday. I’m well into year two of my Threads Collections. These are highly touchable pieces with lots of texture. I started making white vases with various colors of “thread” on the outside and the collection has grown from there. I started my Duos Collection last year after returning from a trip to Iceland. The colors I saw there just begged to be recreated in glass. I started the Duos Collection to capture the intensity and juxtaposition of colors that I saw, and continue to find new color combinations around me everyday.

What were you doing previously?
I’ve always been a crafter and I love to experiment with new mediums and techniques. I took my first glassblowing class five years ago in June and fell in love with it. My professional background is in communications and I spent more than a decade helping nonprofits and businesses tell their story.

What do you love about owning your own business?
Doing it all. I enjoy things like making signage and updating my website in addition to the actual making.

What is the most challenging thing about owning your own business?
Doing it all. There’s always more that I could be doing, so prioritizing and making the best use of my time is a constant battle; along with keeping up with things like bookkeeping.

What inspires your work?
Color and the challenge of transforming 2,080 degree clear glass into something else entirely. Each color behaves differently as you’re working with it. I love the challenge of making an idea a reality in glass, the process of working with the glass itself and seeing what happens when light passes through the results.

Where do you see your line going from here?
I’ve been working for a while now with two-colors in each piece and recently started adding a third, and working on some new shapes to highlight them. I don’t know yet where it all will go, but am enjoying the process.


Artist of the Month: Beth Hess of WunderAround

Inspiration Iceland_Vanishing Glaciers_Platter and Bowl by Beth Hess_Wunder AroundThe following post is by Beth Hess of WunderAround

I love making colorful, beautiful pieces of blown glass that help make your everyday feel special. Handmade by Beth Hess, each piece of Wunder Around glass is built layer by layer with heat & air, starting with a gather of clear glass from a 2,080° furnace in Hyattsville, Maryland.


I think the stuff of everyday life can be special—from the glass you drink your morning juice in, to the bowl that collects your junk mail. And that having a fabulous vase to put flowers in is a great excuse to bring some home, to surprise your coworker or say thank you to your mom.


My seasonal offerings include blown glass pumpkins, which make a great addition to your mantel or table, and colorful blown glass ornaments add handmade sparkle to your tree year after year. New for Fall 2014, I have created handmade terrariums feature clear glass and clean lines. They are great for air plants, small plants and the tiniest of fairy gardens.

Blown glass pumpkins by Wunder Around

You can find more about Beth’s products and process at her website, Etsy store, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

The Business of Crafting: Upcoming Workshops with Kelly Rand


One of the most surprising things I found when I moved to this area nine years ago was the very active, highly involved crafting community – not something that is top of mind when you hear someone say, “Washington, DC.” When people ask how I have grown my business from a small Etsy Shop to what it is today, I always give credit to the support and resources provided by my fellow local crafters. In particular, Hello Craft and it’s board members (Sara Dick, Christine Ernest, Kelly Rand, Tina Seamonster, Debbie Lee and Liz Eckstein who were at the forefront of the DIY movement) have provided professional-level educational and networking opportunities for crafters interested in taking their businesses to the next level and have drawn nationally-recognized experts to their events.

In 2012, Kelly, Christine, Sara and Kimberly Dorn published Handmade to Sell, so that people everywhere can learn from their years of experience. And now, Kelly is offering a series of workshops, both in-person and online, for those who want to dive deep on various topics related to the business of crafting (here is a video one of the workshops she presented for Etsy).

Following is a list of Kelly’s upcoming workshops (in-persona and online) taking place from today through October. For more information on Kelly, her books, her workshops and speaker services, you can check out her website KellyRand.com. I highly recommend them!

Navigating the Handmade Marketplace

Join Kelly at the Maryland Institute College of Art for a lecture on how to navigate the handmade marketplace as an illustrator.

Monday September 15, 2014
12:15 pm
MICA, Lazarus Center Auditorium
131 West North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
Open to the public

Start Your Creative Business (The Right Way) WORKSHOP


Tuesday September 16
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
at Analog
Washington, D.C.

Have a great business idea but not sure what to do next?
Get ready to work through common questions and misconceptions and start to think like a business with Kelly and Lisa. This, in person, interactive workshop will help you develop a clear picture of what it takes to start your creative business in Washington, DC. Think of it as a two-hour business boot camp, but with a softer kick in the pants.

During this workshop you’ll learn how to develop a product line, who your target audience is, how to price your product(s), the ins and outs of DCRA, how to budget and plan effectively. All while enjoying light refreshments.

You’ll also receive a workbook with class notes and resources that you’ll find handy long after the class concludes. As well as your very own copy of Handmade to Sell to help you further your business goals after the workshop.

Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair

Find Kelly on Sunday September 27, at the annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair at Union Market. She’ll be offering hand carved animal stamps from her Cute Animal BFF series, stamp making kits and stationery kits. She will also be doling out crafty business advice. Sign up for a local business class or take home a workbook aimed at making your crafty business a success. So stop by, purchase a stamp or book and ask your burning business question. The Crafty Business Doctor is In.

Starting Your Creative Business (The Right Way) ONLINE Workshop


Monday September 29 through Friday October 3, 2014

Can’t make it to Kelly’s in-person workshop on how to start your creative business? Join her online! This is a special introductory price, so sign up today!

Get ready to work through common questions and misconceptions and start to think like a business with Kelly and Lisa. This, online, interactive course will help you develop a clear picture of what it takes to start your creative business. Think of it as a weeklong business boot camp, but with a softer kick in the pants.

During this course you’ll learn how to develop a product line, who your target audience is, how to price your product(s), and how to budget and plan effectively.

You’ll also receive a downloadable workbook with class notes and resources that you’ll find handy long after the class concludes.

Once you sign up, you’ll receive information on how to access the class. All you need is a WordPress login.

Marketing Your Creative Business


Tuesday October 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Old school
Wednesday Ocotber 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. New school
At WeWork: Wonder Bread Factory

You’ve done your research, designed an amazing product line or list of services, and set out your shingle to alert people you’re open for business. But no one’s coming in, yet. In this two part marketing workshop, we’ll teach you how to market your creative business in a smart and effective way to find your customers and make them into fans.

In Part One: “Old school” you’ll learn marketing 101 which will lay a solid foundation for your future outreach. From finding your audience, to press releases and print advertising, you’ll walk away with an understanding of what magazine and newspaper writers need and want to be able to write about you.

In Part Two: “New school” we’ll build upon the lessons learned in “Old school” and teach you how to apply those lessons to the online world. We’ll talk about paid and earned media online and how to run effective online outreach tailored to your business.

As a part of this workshop series, you’ll receive digital handouts such as a sample press list, a sample press release and more. All aimed at helping you to hit the ground running.

Hosted by Lisa Rowan of Beltway Vintage and Kelly Rand, author of Handmade to Sell

Buy your tickets now for Marketing Your Creative Business

Artist of the Month: Paige Mattson of Sprout Bottle

IMG_6104The following was written by Paige Mattson of Sprout Bottle.

Sprout Bottle is a handcrafted, reclaimed beer bottle, garden kit.  Each 4-pack is uniquely blended with organic soil, fertilizer and seeds and packaged with recycled materials to lighten our impact on the planet.  All of our ingredients are sourced in the US and distributed from Virginia.


Sprout Bottle strives to provide a high quality, unique product that is sustainable and affordable. As part of our commitment to be sustainable, Sprout Bottle has partnered with 1% for the Planet.  This means that 1% of all Sprout Bottle sales goes to save land, protect forests, rivers and oceans, make agricultural and energy production more sustainable, getting toxics out of the environment, plastics out of the oceans and more.


You can find more about Sprout Bottle on their website, Facebook Page and Twitter Feed.

How to Make Fresh Hibiscus Tea


Hibiscus flowers make a wonderful tea. The bright red color and tart, cranberry-like flavor delight the sense. And research has shown there are health benefits to drinking hibiscus tea, including regulating cholesterol and blood pressure.

I recently made tea from the fresh hibiscus flowers growing in my garden. Here’s how to do it:

1) Using 4-5 flowers, remove the stamen from the center of each flower so that only the petals and green pistil beneath each flower remain.



2) Tear up the flower petals and place them in a heat-proof container.

3) Pour 3 cups of boiling water over the flowers.

4) Allow to steep for at least 20 minutes. It will be a brilliant deep magenta color.


5) I added 1/4 cup of honey, the juice of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger. It changes the color of the concoction to a lighter pink. Delicious!



Artist of the Month: Emily Landsman, HopsalotSnacks

The following post is by Emily Landsman, Owner of HopsalotSnacks, the Herban Lifestyle August 2014 Artist of the Month.

Hop hop hop! I’m Miss Dolley Hopsalot, a kooky house rabbit from Arlington, Virginia.
Hopsalot Snacks started with a hungry tummy. My human had been making delicious crunchy snacks for me for many years when I suggested she share them with her human friends who also have bunnies! These yummy snacks are hand made with timothy hay and organic fruits and veggies and baked to crunchy perfection for a long lasting treat.
Our Quilted Floppin’ Pads allow your hopper to flop comfortably in an enclosure on the living room carpet. Made of cotton/cotton blend fabric and backed with heavy felt, these quilts have several layers of batting for ultimate floppability.
We also make special treats for dogs using left over grains from beer and organic whisky production. These (alcohol free) snacks are special edition treats and are for sale only when grains are available to us. Woof!
dog treats
Recently we began to make fun catnip toys for our feline friends in fun shapes. Your cat will love playing with squishy cat faces, RatTony rats, and slithery snakes!
All of our snacks and toys are hand made with lots of care.
Check out our Etsy store for new products all the time.


In Celebration of National Water Quality Month

pondThe following post is by Herban Lifestyle interns, Maggie Mascarenhas and Chelsie Lawrence.

August is National Water Quality Month, so we will be dedicating the next few weeks to posting tips on easy ways to conserve and protect our most precious element!  We also thought it would be fun to share with you some of the ways that we at Herban Lifestyle strive to do our part to save water.

Our Products
Herban Lifestyle products are free of chemical preservatives like parabens and phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors (hormone-mimicking compounds that interfere with your body’s normal hormone function stimulating cancer development and triggering immunity, fertility, metabolic, developmental and cognitive problems). Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found in a wide variety of personal care products, cleaning products, toys and even food. Not only are these chemicals bad for human health, but when we use them, they end up in our water systems, polluting the water and causing health problems for fish and amphibians.

All of our plant-based ingredients are carefully screened to make sure they are grown without pesticides, which prevents water pollution through runoff from the farms where they are grown. By preserving these water systems, we not only protect the animals that call these systems home, but also help ensure that future generations of people will have clean water to drink. And since all of our products are made with natural ingredients, such as certified organic vegetable oil, instead of harsh chemicals, they are all completely biodegradable.


Our Process
Our rain barrel captures waters for our gardens, we use ENERGY STAR appliances (ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over their lifetime), we filter water for drinking rather than buying bottled water, and we don’t make water-based products (which saves water, uses less packaging, costs less to ship and negates the need for preservatives).

55-gallon rain barrel

Our 55-gallon rain barrel

Our Suppliers
At Herban Lifestyle we carefully research our suppliers to make sure that they use environmentally sustainable practices, including water conservation. One of our main essential oil suppliers, Mountain Rose Herbs, is also a Green America Gold Certified company and embraces sustainability and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. The Mountain Rose Herb River Project, for example, focuses on cleaning and sustaining river ecosystems, stream health, and fish habitats. By only using suppliers that adhere to a strict standard of water conservation and preservation, we further cut down on our water waste and help minimize water pollution.

We realize there is always more that we can do to protect this most precious of commodities. What are some of your favorite water-saving/preserving tips?