Favourite Etsy Shop Friday
Straws by Carli
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm an artist in the Pacific Northwest. I have tried on many different hats in my life, assistant naturalist, coffee slinger, web designer, tour manager and artist liason, bellydancer, and now, glass artist, and it is a hat that seems squarely stuck on my head!
2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
I have another shop on etsy where I sell art glass beads and jewelry, and it seemed like a good fit to put my glass drinking straws on here, too. I love browsing etsy for all the unknown treasures I find, and liked the idea of providing something functional as well as something fun.
3. Where else do you sell your straws?
I do a few wholesale sales to stores, and usually have them on display when I do local artisan shows in the Portland, Oregon area. I just started selling them on HyenaCart.com, which is a place that sells Earth-friendly items. I also have a shop on Artfire, JUICEGLASS
4. What are your favourite things to do?
Play with glass! I am just starting to learn to knit, which is a challenge. I really enjoy reading books, camping, and being a mother to my son, Derek. I didn't know how amazingly fun it would be. But I also enjoy getting a break from the Mom role to just be myself and spend time alone walking, cooking, or just sitting in a chair outside and being.
5. What handmade possession do you cherish?
Of my own, I made my first glass paperweight a few years ago and it is beautiful to me. I really, really love handmade ceramic mugs, and have a favorite made by Jason Russell, that fits my hands perfectly www.jasonrussellceramics.com
6. What inspires you?
I am inspired by other artists, colors, and glass itself. The very way it behaves leads me to new ideas. I am not allowed to look at art glass after 10 pm or I will be up all night with my brain racing. It's worse than caffeine. I am also inspired by the planet. The reason I make glass straws is to help in my own small way to slow our gobbling up of resources and not paying attention to what we leave behind. With my straws, the Earth is my muse.
7. Other than straws, what else do you make out of glass?
Beads! Lots and lots of beads! And jewelry created with my own glass art. www.juiceglass.etsy.com I use only local glass in my beads, created less than 15 miles from home. I am so fortunate to live where so much art glass is created, as a raw material. All my beads are washed and cleaned in rainwater from my rainbarrels, so for me, the Pacific Northwest has a lot of rain and a lot of glass available for use!
8. Glass straws are so unique, what have been people's reaction to them?
The response has been wonderful. At first glance, it sounds pretty wrong. GLASS straws? Fragile, breakable, easy-to-cut-your-lip glass as a straw!? The glass I use is borosilicate, which is basically what Pyrex is, so it is very sturdy. I drop straws in the studio all the time and more often than not, they do not break. Once people understand that, they really light up to the idea. Drinking out of one feels fantastic, the weight and the sparkle add elegance to a drink, and since the straw isn't plastic, it doesn't compress, meaning you don't "work" as hard to get your beverage. It's fabulous.
9. Which of your straws have been the most popular?
The bent straws are selling very well. I love doing ones in colors, and hope to make packaged sets of more than one color soon. I just added pink straws, but overall the tea green ones are the best selling color. I also have carrying cases for toting your straight straw around with you, made with leftover fabric by a friend who makes baby clothes! They sell so fast they often are not available until more are made!
10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
Zen Blocks - I am looking forward to buying a set of these for my son soon.
Jessica Doyle - Her images just really resonate with me.
Wook Woodworking - I couldn't afford most of what they make but I love it. And they go from full on wooden clothing chests to wooden buttons for clothes!
Thank you to Straws by Carli for taking part in my blog feature this week. Dont you just love this idea of a glass straw. I bet my sister would love to try these out. I dont think I will be able to resist buying a set and seeing what they are like. I love the idea of the carrying case so that you can take them with you and use them where ever you go. How very environmentally friendly and fun at the same time. I think I will now have to check out Carli's glass beads as well.
I love doing these interviews because I get to find out more about my favourite shops and some of their favourite shops have become my favourite shops as well. I hope you are enjoying reading them as well.