Love That Etsy Style

If you haven’t experienced Etsy yet, you’re in for a treat. The website is a global craft fair of handmade jewelry, accessories, textiles, pottery, photography and just about any party and wedding accoutrement you can imagine.

With 1 million shop owners and 26 million goodies listed for sale, Etsy can be pretty addictive. We introduce you to three of our favorite Garden State Etsy artisans. Each has turned her creative passion into serious business. ­

Photo courtesy of the artist

Photo courtesy of the artist

Nancy Jean Tobin
Original and Custom Painter, Maplewood
Etsy handle: NancyJeanHome

As a girl, Tobin convinced her parents to convert part of their basement into a painting studio. That early experience led to magazine illustrations, toy designs, graphic design and children’s books. Ultimately, all roads led to painting. “I’m happiest in my studio, painting rural landscapes based on actual farms throughout the state,” she says. Tobin’s work is inspired by summers on her family’s farm. Her paintings appear in museums and in public and private collections.




etsy2.JPGMichele Grady
Jewelry Designer, Marlton
Etsy handle: MicheleGradyDesigns

Grady creates statement jewelry from sterling silver, copper, brass and semiprecious stones. She painstakingly cuts, files, texturizes and solders. Then she sets the stones and hand polishes the pieces for a simple but unusual adornment. “I started falling in love with metals when I was 10 years old and made my very first ring from a piece of copper I found in my father’s basement workshop. Then I found another bit of copper and made my little sister a ring, too,” she says. After taking basic classes, Grady honed her skills through trial and error over the decades. Today her pieces are sold on Etsy and in many galleries throughout the country. She also teaches classes and workshops in art centers, galleries and in her own studio.


etsy3.JPGBrittany Lauren
Graphic Designer, Oakland
Etsy handle: Brittanylaurendesign

“My philosophy is simple: I believe the world should be as colorful as possible,” says Lauren. That’s why she creates stationery and fine gifts in bright colors and bold patterns. “In 2011, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and was always tired. That’s when I put all my creative energy into launching my own small company,” she says. Today, Lauren surrounds herself with whimsical Etsy merchandise loaded with personality. Monogrammed and personalized party invitations, rubber stamps, calling cards and serving trays are all customer favorites. In fact, Lauren maintains you can never have too many things monogrammed.

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