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“…a good 15 hours a week is dedicated to Etsy.  Hi, my name is Allison, and I’m an Etsy addict.” (on how much time she spends on Etsy)

When I began this blog, I had the intentions of highlighting crafters that I took notice of while looking through sites like Etsy or craftster.org as well as a place to post my own crafts and recipes.  I knew the level of talent out there was high and I expected nothing less.  But I was surprised to find that there were people out there so dedicated to their craft, family, and even a small business selling products of their talents.  I almost felt a little bit shamed when I conducted my first interview with a twenty-something woman whom I featured earlier this week in a blog about aprons.

Her name is Allison and you’ll find her on etsy under the username TheCookieJar which conjures up all sorts of “nostalgia” and memories of the good old days.  She’s a mother of two young children which she home-schools herself and during their nap time, she sneaks in her love making aprons from those ever so flattering and feminine vintage patterns and brooches from fabric scraps left on her ironing board.

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The infamous ironing board of unfinished projects

But don’t think that she makes aprons just to look like the ideal housewife.  She cooks “two meals a day and prepare[s] about five if you include snacks.”  And she prides herself in her talent of sorting through the recipes that are worth a shot and “which ones won’t be worth the effort… There’s nothing more comforting to me than Indian food.”  Among her favorite recipes:  mushroom biriyani, palak paneer, aloo matar paneer, aloo curry, beet kurma, and daals. 

There’s one thing she doesn’t have in common with the housewives of the 50s that we see on our favorite televisions shows like “Leave it to Beaver” or “I Love Lucy” (aside from the Indian food).  Allison runs her own small business selling her crafts on eBay’s crafty counter part, Etsy.  While at home, sitting in front of her sewing as the sun is setting listening to her 6 year-old read aloud, she envisions herself with her ideal apron or brooch and begins to sew.  “If I wouldn’t want to wear it, I wouldn’t expect anyone else to wear it either.  Sometimes I make meals that my kids refuse to eat, and I think to myself, ‘I remember being there.’  My mom used to make me horrendous meals with these disgusting colored spiral noodles.  If I don’t like it, I wouldn’t expect my kis to eat it.”  Just as she expect of her buying customers.

As she recalls her very first sale on Etsy, she says, “My very first sale was very exciting.  I remember looking at my shop and seeing one less item posted that I had remembered.  I thought, ‘that’s weird,’ and then realized that I had sold something.”  It’s been three months since her Etsy membership has been created and after working fifteen hour weeks dedicated to her online store, could TheCookieJar lead to a full time store?  “I am with my kids during the day, and that time is irreplaceable.  As much as I love having that time to myself, I wouldn’t change that for the world.”  Never say never though. 

“It seems like yesterday that I was cradling my 6 year-old in my arms.  With that said, I think anything could happen.  My goal is to keep my crafting slow and steady.  I focus on the here-and-now; what I want to do.  If that changes, it’s all a part of me and the progression of my life.  It can either be accepted or lost into oblivion.  Either way, I’m happy because I’m doing and including the people that I love.”

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