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Post Christmas ONE DAY Give Away! Get your name in quickly! Winner will be chosen Tomorrow, December 26!!

Post Christmas ONE DAY Give Away:

Want to stock up on some adorable and eco chic Christmas items for next year…for FREEEEE?!?! If you answered yes, then make sure to get your name in for the Reclaimed Threads’ Christmas Clearance Give Away right away! This is a shot gun giveaway so it starts RIGHT NOW and ends tonight (Saturday, Dec. 26) so make sure that you sign up immediately for your chance to win! There are three ways to enter, listed below(just one day! Eeek! what a rush!).

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?! You can win a beautiful pouch bag made from reclaimed cotton and vintage ribbon. These pouch bags are great for gift giving, storing makeup or jewelry… the uses are endless! You also will receive THREE one of a kind reclaimed cotton/wool ornaments: a sheep, with embroidered “fluffiness” and button feet, a dove, a symbol of peace and love, and a stocking, made from repurposed wool and is perfect for a gift card! Both the sheep and dove have an “RT” embroidered into them for “Reclaimed Threads”. This give-away is worth $45! And you could get it for free, what could be better!

The Winner will be chosen tonight, December 26. If you sign up but do not win, do not fret! You can still take advantage of the amazing Post Christmas Clearance Sale is this Saturday, December 26- Sunday December 27, 2009 at www.ReclaimedThreads.etsy.com. You can buy all of your ornaments, reusable gift bags, reusable gift pouches, fabric bow pins and more for very low prices! While you are there, make sure to check out some new Reclaimed Threads’ tote bags! Enjoy!

Get your name in for the give away the following ways:

Guidelines: There are three entry options listed below, feel free to enter using all three! You may only submit one entry per option though. Meaning you can submit once using the first option AND once using the second option AND once using the third option. Now that is a total of three entries BUT there is a bonus entry for Etsians AND if you purchase ANYTHING from RECLAIMED THREADS today you get 2 extra entries. Good luck!

Options:

1. Comment to this post but you are only eligible if you fill in your email (it will not be published) while filling out the comment box.*

2. Become a Facebook Fan AND either: send me a message through my Reclaimed Threads’ account, or, Write on my wall “This is my Post Christmas Clearance Give Away entry!!!”* http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reclaimed-Threads/124143768096?ref=nf

3. @RECLAIMEDTHREAD “Please include me in your Post Christmas Clearance Giveaway for one of a kind eco-chic products!”on Twitter* (note that there is not an “s” in my Twitter name, this is intentional).

BONUS ENTRY If you are on Etsy, go to the Reclaimed Threads’ shop, www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com,  and “heart” it (make this shop a favorite of yours)! This you can only do once*

So now you have all the ways to enter so make sure you get your entries in quick!

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

* If I am not able to get in touch with the winner  by Monday, December 28, 2009, 12PM EST then I will have to chose an alternative winner.

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December 2009 Reclaimed Threads’ Business Update; Current Events, Lessons Learned and Looking Forward

Hello world!

I hope that by reading through what I have been going through the last few weeks. running my small business, that it will help anyone going through the same ordeals! If you have any suggestions, helpful links or words of encouragement never hesitate to leave a comment or email me! I love hearing from people and frankly have a few things I am struggling with and would appreciate all the help I can get!

Well, there has been a lot happening with Reclaimed Threads over the last month or so. While I was still in Pittsburgh (3 months total), I worked my butt off building up a holiday inventory that exceeded my expectations in terms of the amount I was able to produce while maintaining the high quality I demand of myself.  Now the challenge lies in my being able to continue being as productive at home (MA) where there are many more opportunities to socialize. I maintain optimistic though, now that I see what I am capable of!

Currently In The Reclaimed Threads’ Etsy Shop:

So about this holiday inventory I mentioned before… I have lots of Christmas products currently up in my shop (www.reclaimedthreads.ets.com)! I had such a great time creating unique ornaments, gift bags and accessories! Make sure to have a look, grab what you like and let me know what you think!

What Is Coming Soon To The Reclaimed Threads’ Etsy Shop:

I have about 20 bags of all shapes, sizes and colors as well as many (MANY!) more accessories finished a ready to be photographed for my Etsy shop. I was originally holding onto them because I had a few shows lined up and thought I would sell them there. This did not end up being the case (story to be shared under the “Reclaimed Threads Out and About” Section) and I am really looking forward to sharing them with a larger group of like-minded people through my shop! Make sure to stop by while you are finishing up your holiday shopping, you won’t be disappointed! My goal is to have all of these items in my shop by next Tuesday, December 15th.

TIP: I have become such a firm believer in setting deadlines for myself lately! It truly does help and when you tell your friends and family (and Facebook and Twitter followers) about your deadline then you are forced to follow through! If you don’t follow through then there is bound to be at least one person who says, I thought you said that you were going to have “X” done by today? I hate disappointing people and looking like a bad business person so this keeps me in line! I will say, though, that despite all of my planning I am missing a total of THREE Etsy Shopper Features that I had planned for the past two weeks and this week. But Thanksgiving, travel and settling back home really messed things up. I had only set loose deadlines in this case so now I am all about full disclosure and am going to put up some sort of schedule of upcoming posts in this blog so that I am locked in!

Material World:

I am soooooo happy that I found a great fabric supplier! Two actually and they have been right under my nose this whole time and I wasn’t even aware of them! There is a home consignment store in my town called Still Life (http://www.stilllifeconsignmentshop.com/) and they have a lot of fabric samples from stores as well as vintage fabric and yardage that people simply didn’t want. I want it though!! I am so happy that people are bringing these items here instead of just throwing them away!

Upstairs in the same building is a designer fabric store called Zimmans (http://zimmans.com/). NOTE: When you go to this website there is music that I can’t figure out how to turn off so be careful if you are reading this at work! haha but back to what I was saying, I was almost overwhelmed with the bins of remnants and bolt ends available here! I am a huge fan of when products, literally no matter what it is, are color coordinated. I got weak at the knees when I saw the rainbow of colors as I walked through the back of this store!

I am definitely going to become a VERY good customer of both of these businesses!

A family member also stumbled across an estate sale recently and found boxes FULL of vintage buttons!  So I have about 9 or 10 Ball glass jars full of buttons, I’m in heaven!

Reclaimed Threads Out and About:

Okay now to my big blunder of 2009. I had a  few shows the last couple of weeks but none were very fruitful. One was a holiday shopping boutique which was a lot of fun and I met many great people but traffic into the boutique show wasn’t very high so there weren’t a lot of sales. I also was at a flea market for two Sundays in a row but I had a sharp gut feeling when I agree to sign up for this (which is a long story in itself including my brother and his friend and all of us splitting a booth, which didn’t happen, etc) that a fleas market might be the most inappropriate place to try and sell handmade, one of a kind, high-end sustainable products. My gut feeling was right and I did not generate many sales but, again, met some nice people. One thing that I gained from both experiences, which I find indispensable, is face to face feedback on my products. I am thrilled to report that people’s reactions and comments were overwhelmingly positive! It makes me very happy and proud to have people, unsolicited, tell me how impressed they are especially when they are seamstresses and other handmade craftsmen which a few were!

TIP Through The Lesson I Learned From This Experience: From now on I am going to be photographing products and uploading them to my shop every week. This is no matter what events I have lined up because by hoarding my inventory for these shows instead of uploading them to my Etsy shop as well, resulted in my missing out on all the post-Thanksgiving exposure. This was poor planning, and in my opinion, plain laziness on my part because I was too naive in thinking that everything I made would sell at these three events. I have learned that you can never assume anything when it comes to how your product will do at a show or event.  It is alright to think positive but always utilize every tool you have available! I should have uploaded all of my inventory to my Etsy shop so that they would be there for people looking specifically for high quality, eco-chic handbags AND for people who left the show with my card and could have decided to check out the shop later that night and see if the bag they liked was still available, possibly even buying it then. Even though feedback was very positive, the flea market was not the place to sell my products, so I would have to advise everyone to be very careful as to what sort of places you try to sell your products. If it is obviously the wrong venue then don’t waste your time and money because both are valuable!! Woops! Lesson learned!

Katherine, What Else Have You Learned So Far About Selling Your Kind of Products (handmade, sustainable bags and accessories):

Over the last few months I have learned a few things about selling my products:

-Customers tell me that my Etsy listing photos do not do my products justice! When they receive their bag they are surprised by how nice it really is! I am still working on taking crisper photos that also give the views that replicate how people look at bags in a store: front and back, inside, over their shoulder, etc.

-Even though I am working on my photos in my Etsy shop, there is still nothing better then having people see my products in person. I sell more bags when people ask me to come to their house while they have company over than anything else that I have done. This has sparked two initiatives that I will be working towards in the next few weeks: I want to get my products into handmade and eco-conscious stores in my area and I want to make a game plan for how I would launch a series of Home Trunk Shows (or home bag parties) to decide if it would be “do-able”.

-People are very much into one of a kind bags but they really like to pick out their own fabric and design elements. I played around with the idea of doing custom bags but with my production crew being made up of me, myself and I, I just do not have the capacity to venture into something like this yet. I am considering making this an exclusive offer at house trunk shows as well as these parties acting as a chance to have first dibs on a selection of new products.

-I need to get more Press Coverage for Reclaimed Threads! I would definitely appreciate any suggestions when it comes to this topic! I love seeing my products reviewed by people and would like to continue with this as well as have features written about the company as a whole! Up to this point, I’ve relied on networking with people and them offering to feature me here and there. I appreciate all of this and am now aiming to be featured more often and by a broader range of media (blogs, magazines, newspapers and TV)! Who isn’t aiming for this?!

FUN FACT: I was going to be featured in the Unofficial Etsy Business Blog as a “green business” recently. This turned into Justine (the editor) asking me to become a contributor to the blog instead. So I will be taking the driver’s seat for a “green stories” series on her blog, this is coming soon and will be a monthly feature. I am working on the questions and finding people to feature at the moment. I will be sure to update everyone once the first feature is ready! I am excited for this, it will be a fun to be a part of what I think is a wonderful blog!

Well, this pretty much sums up my last month or so! I’d love to hear your feedback about my products, the progress that I am making and definitely any suggestions that you have about things that I should be doing that I am not! Thanks for sticking with me through this long update! Remember that you can subscribe to my blog and get updates without even having to think about it!

Best Wishes,

Katherine

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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Etsy Shopper: Gift Ideas For Him!

Hello everyone!

I am excited for this post because after putting all of these great items together in one place, I am full of gift ideas for the men in my life this holiday season! Usually, I have such a hard time because they are so picky and have everything they THINK they want. 🙂 As usual Etsy sellers have come through with some of the most creative spins on products for men! So enjoy and remember that you need to scroll past the pictures to get a product description and link to each seller’s shop, just match the numbers from the pictures to the descriptions…

…As a side note, you can now subscribe to my blog! This is new-ish (about a week) so if you like what you see when you scroll through my blog then make sure you sign up to receive update via email! You do this in the right column where it says “Subscribe to Reclaimed Threads!”

1. These great cuff links are made from recycled skateboard! They are great, maybe for someone who has to dress up for the holidays or some special occasion and is hating the idea. Give him a cool accessory to express himself! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34531856

2. See how creative people are on Etsy!? This is a second pair of cuff links but they are COMPLETELY different than the first! I’ve never seen cuff links like these! I love the zipper pulls! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34516917

3. This set of 2 recycled glasses are made from the bottom of reclaimed wine bottles! I love this idea and the set includes two different kinds of glasses so you will find many excuses to use them! When you check out this shop read the “Quit your Day Job” Feature that Etsy did on this seller! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34717890

4. This eye glass slip is so great! Not only is it made from repurposed leather but it is small and not bulky so whoever you buy it for can bring it along with him wherever he goes and keep his glasses safe! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34329414

5. I love this scarf! The colors are great for the season and very masculine, even though I love the color green and I can see myself “borrowing” it from whoever in my house I gave it to 🙂 This particular one is reserved but check out the other scarves in this shop! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16874098

6.This leather cuff, made from recycled leather, would be such a unique gift! The antique clock print on it add a nice touch of style. Wait until you see all of the great cuffs in this shop! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33074545

7. What a cool money clip! The front displays a vintage watch movement from Westfield Watch Co. I love how it is so simple and ornate at the same time! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34793328

8. I am from MA and love the Red Sox! There is nothing better than a summer baseball game at Fenway Park. This beautiful photograph is great for any fellow Sox fan! I love it because I know that when this photo was taken, the crowd was roaring and the smells of sausages and peanuts were in the air but there is still something peaceful about this scene. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21820461

9.I love the color of this shirt! The hand screened graphic on the front was an original drawing. The T-shirt is American Apparel made from 100% organic jersey cotton. Such a great shirt and would make a wonderful gift! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31390376

10. This great, one of a kind belt buckle was made from an old math textbook. The book was being taken out of circulation because the interior pages were in bad shape. So instead of being thrown away, it was used to make this belt buckle! Such a great idea and there is a shop full of other cool designs! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33970667

11. This thick and sturdy copper bracelet is hand cut, shaped and pounded into all its glory! There aren’t any chemicals used to coat it, which I think is great! This beautiful bracelet has a matching ring that you can also find in this shop! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34570422

12. This is a great piece of art! Perfect for any den or bachelor pad! 🙂 The image was put through a transfer process onto a recycled tile. It comes in a flat black colored box that was hand constructed for each tile. Truly unique! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31776995

13. This wonderful wallet is made from a vintage necktie and a retired wool suit! You can fit bills in the large pocket and your cards in the two smaller pockets! I love the colors and the fact that all of those wonderful items were given a new life in this product! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33995931

14. I love that the seller calls this “Modern Art To Wear” because that is exactly what it is! It sounds like a lot of work goes into these belt buckles and I’m certainly glad it does because they are so beautiful, colorful and unlike any other belt buckle I have seen lately! Such a cool gift! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34559134

15. This flask is made from a recycled British tartan topcoat. The colors and texture of the fabric is great for the cold winter months ahead! Buy one as a gift for someone else or grab one for yourself! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33832179

16. This beautiful ebony guitar pick is the perfect gift for any guitarist! You will always have your pick with you since you can wear it on this stylish necklace. The pick is removable and can be easily reattached to the necklace after you are finished playing! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34617183

17. OH BOY! Again with the Boston pride! This soap is made with Sam Adams Boston Lager, myyyy personal favorite! It is left unscented. You can wash your body, hair and shave with this soap! I just love it, I think it’s great idea and at this price you can buy them as stocking stuffers for everyone! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34805074

18. This great leash is made from recycled climbing rope! It is a great way for man and man’s best friend to spend some quality time together outdoors! This leash is 10 feet long and very durable so it can withstand whatever you two get into! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32689649

19. This slim, stainless steel card case is a great accessory for any man (or woman for that matter)! It is lightweight so you can throw it into your pocket and be ready for any opportunity to show it off! The watch mechanisms and celtic cross medallion make a bold statement. There are other medallions available so stop by the shop to check it out!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29308641

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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Etsy Shopper – Earrings

Welcome back!

This week there will be two Etsy Shopper features so that we are back on schedule! Yay! What a treat! Tonight will of course feature earrings by Etsy sellers and tomorrow will be Halloween items, so be sure to stop back!

The first two Etsy Shopper features had a mixture of both conventional items and recycled ones. I am shifted the focus from here on out to focus ONLY on recycled products that are handmade by the wonderful people selling on Etsy.com. There are plenty of items to chose from which makes me so happy and as usual impressed. Be prepared to be blown away and finding yourself in these shops ooo-ing and ahh-ing at what they have created! I found a really nice mix of fancier pieces and pairs that are just plain fun!

So onward! and enjoy!

Remember that you need to scroll past the pictures to get a product description and link to each seller’s shop, just match the numbers from the pictures to the descriptions…

1. These Pumpkin Spice Earrings are made from 18kt gold plated wires with a recycled, vintage gold 3D sunburst. The lovely orange faceted cornelian adds a punch of fall color. And you can buy a matching necklace! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28177977

2. These beautiful brushed silver and copper tear shaped earrings are made from recycled silver and copper. The imprinted design is on both sides and come to you in a nice jewelry box made from recycled materials! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32661314

3. This beauties are made with brass antique victorian buttons from the 1800s, one Swarovski crystal bead and brass birds. High quality materials make a high quality, and in the case high style, pair of earrings. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32240800

4. These cute earrings are made from recycled sterling silver. They are simple, classy and environmentally friendly! There is a matching necklace and you better hurry and get yours before I snatch these up! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=32831999

5. These earrings caught my eye before I even decided t do this particular feature. They are so unique and fun! They are made from spoon handles and the wires are sterling silver. Great find! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32696322

6. These earring are light weight and less than 2 inches long. Most of bellota26’s items are made from recycled vintage jewelry! Great pieces!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28917100

7. Just perfect, I love these earring! They are made up of a variety of different items such as vintage brass key stampings and watch gears, looove it! Stop by this week and get 20% off your entire purchase! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30838149

8. I don’t think it gets much cooler than these Lego earrings! They make me smile every time I look at them. And the kid in me loves that the smaller lego is detachable so you can switch them around!! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26459764

9. Another really cool idea. These earrings are made from a recycled CD! So they look good AND you can feel good about wearing them! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32706949

10. These little green army men earring are the best! Such a creative idea and they look great! I had to feature these even though these particular ones sold the other day, DrStrychnine has other equally cool stuff in her shop so make a point to stop by!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32692795

11. Gorgeous is the word to describe these earrings! These earrings flaunt Swarvoski crystals and glass beads with gold fish hook tops and come with a equally stunning necklace.  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31649944

12. SO CUTE! Each pair of oxidized silver earrings has a snippet of a vintage dictionary preserved behind resin. Love them!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32707446

13. GhostShip has taken vintage sea glass and turned them into an eye catching set of earrings. The earring are finished off with Czech glass bicones and silver plated lever back ear wires. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27618158

14. These earring have that “wow” factor to them. They have Columbian coins suspended beneath Czech glass, natural onyx and gold plated bead cups. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21591762

15. These fun earrings are made from eco-friendly felt and have a champagne colored pearl in the center. Lightweight, adorable and the perfect addition to any eco-chic outfit! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32709354

16. These lightweight wooden earrings are made from the inner workings of a retired piano! They have been reshaped, sanded, stained and decorated to give you a one of a kind piece! Perfect gift for the person who has everything!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32694968

17. I loooooov buttons! So of course I love these earrings! They are hand pressed using recycled security envelopes. Too cool.  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32500718

18. Very cute. These handmade Origami Lucky Star earrings are made using an recycled magazine ad. The earrings even come gift wrapped in an upcycled box! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26196324

19. At first glance I had no idea these earrings were made from a tin can, but they were! Each disk was punched from a Crate and Barrel holiday tin and domed, giving them this wonderful shape! The pair come in a handmade oversized matchbox, all very creative. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15040085

20. Yes, that’s right, these earrings are made out of a recycled skateboard! I love this concept! The pair have been cut out, sanded and sealed. Great from every angle these are sure to turn some heads! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32693387

21. Check these out! These mini dress earrings have been made from a recycled tin can!. They are so detailed and I am so impressed by them. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=31551459

22. These awesome earrings are made from pocket watch gears and vintage 1920s red cross pins. Stop by this shop to see all of the other items they have made from vintage and found objects!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32890186

23. These made to order earrings are made from a fine silver circle and sterling silver chain. They only use eco-friendly, 100% reclaimed/recycled silver wire and even make sure to recycle their scraps! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29845481


About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


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It IS Easy Being Green- Trash to Treasure

There is nothing better, in my mind, than the practice of taking something that someone else discarded and either returning it to its former glory or creating something entirely new from it. In my work, I make a point of doing this by using reclaimed and vintage materials to make bags and there are so many other people out there doing this in their own way, contributing to fine art and charity.  Over the years, I have come across many ideas and programs that surround this idea of turning trash to something that is treasured. I am focusing on people and programs that accomplish this in artistic and charitable ways.

1,001 Ways To Save The Earth*** While through the years I have heard of the following ideas and programs, many more were brought to my attention while I was reading this handy little book called “1,001 Ways To Save The Earth” by Joanna Yarrow and published by Chronicle Books LLC out of San Francisco, CA. AND as I was looking up the publisher, I saw this: “Publishers Note: This book is printed using mineral oil-free vegetable-based inks on paper produced from pulp obtained from sustainably managed forests, and from paper mills that meet environmental standard ISO 14001. It is 100% recyclable.” VERY COOL and inspired me to put this right up front, so anytime you see a ***, it is to let you know when I picked up the tip from this book.

ENJOY!  AND let me know what you think and if you know of any other cool ideas or programs!

Etsy.com_recycle_searchHandmade Goodies: As a seller on Etsy.com and a person who using reclaimed materials to make her products, I a vouge for the fact that their are SO MANY talented people on Etsy.com Making all sorts of amazing handmade items from recycled materials. I just typed in recycle into the search engine on Etsy.com’s main page, have a look! http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=handmade&search_query=recycle&order=date_desc&ship_to=


Kid_Made_RobotDonate some recycling or “clean trash” to school as art supplies: I worked in a kindergarten program and this was always a hit! They loved making things on their own or working together to make large items. This is a picture of a robot that they made with a teacher from stereo pieces, old christmas lights and all sorts of things. They designed it and all the teacher did was screw it together. Children are SO CREATIVE! *** I believe something like this was in the book as well.

In_Motion_Magazine*** SOMOHO (Soweto Mountain of Hope): This a hill in Africa that during turmoil in the 80’s became an illegal dumping ground and dangerous place to even pass through. Mandla Mentoor saw it as something else and worked very hard to transform it into the cultural and environmental center. People now feel safe coming here and there is a program for children teaching them all about being environmental stewards. They also have a big focus on artistic endeavors and allow everyone to make art out of the trash there “to free their minds” because they have all been so “bottled up” as Mentoor puts it. So this garbage was just sitting there and inhibiting people from going there because it was dangerous and they have now harnessed it for the common good. What a fantastic program! Here is a nice interview with Mentoor by In Motion Magazine,if you want more information: http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/global/mm1.html

Art_ContestTrash To Treasure Art Contest. FORT WAYNE, IN: I thought this was pretty cool. Fort Wayne Indiana had the great idea of holding a contest in which children and non-profit organizations can compete. People can let their creativity flow and re-use discarded materials. The next contest is to take place April 2010. Here is a link for more info if your organization or community want to do something similar http://www.acwastewatcher.com/events/index.html?ID=events_and_programs1202742977. I was thinking it’d be cool if some of the art was auctioned off after the contest to raise money for some charity or something.


Before_And_AfterBefore and After: Antique Restorations: I LOOOOVE before and after pictures. I am a big fan of refinishing furniture in lieu , its so rewarding. Here is a great gallery of projects from all over the country created Pamela Wiggins:

http://antiques.about.com/od/craftyideas/ig/Trash-to-Treasure-Makeovers/


Old Cell Phones To Charity: If you are like me then you have at least a half dozen old cell phones lying around. Instead of letting mine just sit in our junk drawer or throw them away, I wanted to look into where I could recycle them. You can donate to lots of organisations but here are a few: GRC Recycling (you can earn money this way): http://www.grcrecycling.com/programs/cell-phone-collections/index.cfm; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (if the page doesn’t show up, be aware that they are currently working on their site, so check back or call them!) http://www.ncadv.org/takeaction/DonateaPhone_129.html; CTIA The Wireless Foundation (also combating domestic violence) http://www.donateaphone.com/CalltoProtect/donate.cfm; Cell Phones For Soldiers (turns old cell phones into prepaid calling cards) http://www.donateaphone.com/CalltoProtect/donate.cfm; Charitable Recycling (let’s you create your own fundraiser for a favorite charity) http://www.charitablerecycling.com/CR/home.asp

PENN_StateClean Out Your College Dorm For Good!: PENN State did a fundraiser on May 30, 2009 wheere they collected anything that was no longer wanted, put it in their stadium and had a HUGE SALE! They donated all of the proceeds, $62,680, to their local United Way. I just thought this was a fantastic idea not only because, as a recent college grad, I’m aware of how much stuff you throw away at the end of the year simply because you don’ have enough room in your car to get it home but because it gave all of this “trash” a second chance. Here is their website on their efforts if you want to do something similar:  http://www.trashtotreasure.psu.edu/default.shtml


Book_CrossingFollow your Book Donation: I though this was sort of cool. There are tons of ways to donate book liek donating them to the library, for a church yeard sale, use Got Books (http://www.gotbooks.com/) to donate. What happens to those books though? Where do they travel after that? Book Crossing gives you the opportunity to find out, http://www.bookcrossing.com/. You can register your book and then if people go to the website and type in the code, you can see where the book has been since you donated it or where it was before you got it!


Consignment and Thrift Shops : I love consignment  and Thrift shops because you can get some nice stuff, sometimes with tags still on them! I like discovering a good consignment shop that I can browse through but there are some online too! http://www.consignmentshops.com/webshops.html. I also found a website for locating Thrift shops near you: http://www.thethriftshopper.com/ and you can add Shops of you know of ones that are not listed!

Charity_GuideDonate Your Eye Glasses: http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fifteen/eyeglasses-donation.htm This is a great guide to all the places excepting eyeglasses and can point you in the right direction of donating most anything.


This is only a small taste of what is out there and I hope you have enjoyed looking through what I have put together. Again, if you know of any great artists, designers, ideas or programs that you want to share please feel free to add them as a comment!

Reclaimed_ThreadsAbout Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and all are reasonably priced to make them available to all! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


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Etsy Shopper: Featuring Jackets and Coats

Welcome back everyone! The first edition of “Etsy Shopper: Dog Stuff” was such a great success and I am thrilled to be here again with some amazing new products to share with you! This week I am focusing on jackets and coats, which I must admit I have a weakness for! Once again I am blown away by what the talented designers on Etsy are able to come up with!

Since I am fresh out of college and still in that “poor student” mindset, I am always on the hunt for good quality products with a reasonable price tag. I set a goal while choosing items for this feature: keep the products all under $200. So, every product featured stays within that budget. I have also included a couple of children’s jackets because they were too cute to pass by!

For product descriptions and links to each seller’s shop, simply match the number under the picture to the number before the corresponding description.  Now sit back, relax and browse through these impressive products. Make sure that you check out each shop when you are finished browsing because there is a lot more where this selection came from! Enjoy!



1. The great fall jacket is by Littlestenographer.  I love the pattern of the fabric. Littlestenographer  says that the fabric is soft an subtle with a fit that will look great on everyone! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31193035&ref=cat2_gallery_14

2. urbanprairiegirl is offering this cozy jacket that appears to have great attention to detail! The fit will look good on all body-type and is available in a variety of colors! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23746257&ref=cat2_gallery_9

3. Wow, stephanieteague did a great job on this jacket. I love that it is made from hemp and organic cotton muslin and hand died  by her using eco-friendly dyes. There are colors and fabric weights available upon request. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30243098&ref=cat2_gallery_1

4. Ooooooh my goodness adorable! This child’s coat by faithworks4u has pockets, vintage buttons and is lined. I wish I had a jacket liek this when I was younger! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31050301&ref=cat2_gallery_9

5. Sandmaiden offers this great wool jacket! Each is made to order and the wool is hand-dyed! Suitable for indoors and outdoors, perfect for the Fall! Make sure to pick up yours soon because they go fast! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31431255

6. And I’m in love. This jacket by IkvothaMashiach70 is so unique and, I hope you are sitting, IT”S ON SALE! It’s made from vintage material, seems like it will fit most with a bust size 34-38” and has big buttons down the front, just gorgeous! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29566821&ref=cat2_gallery_14

7. I love when nice things are on sale, don’t you?! This is a wonderful Parka by daintythings. it has big pockets, is made from water-resistant coated linen and is one of a kind! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25134551&ref=cat2_gallery_19

8. EEEEE! I LOVE ponchos! This poncho by yystudio is made from *sigh* cashmere, is fully lined, has a hood annnd is on sale. Hurry because they only stock a small amount of fabric for each style! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31135744&ref=cat2_gallery_13

9. MadrigalEmbroidery has taken a beautiful wool jacket and made it even better! I love the colors and I haven’t seen a permanent broach like the one she stitched onto the shawl collar. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30404638&ref=cat2_gallery_18

10. This eye catching hoodie by SCHiZO is so unique I just had to include it. I love the variety of colors and ruffles. Great for layering this fall! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15342868&ref=cat2_gallery_18

11. What little lady wouldn’t want to wear this wool jacket by kiddokiddo?! There is no collar, which I know a bunch of 5 year olds who would appreciate that, is lined with a black cotton with white polka dots and has a beautiful handmade rose. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31022644&ref=cat2_gallery_11

12. Here is a great vintage jacket from nancyau! It is jet-black with pockets, buttons and style OH MY! I love the collar and overall feel of this coat make sure to check out the extra picture available at her shop to see the pleats on the back! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31012275&ref=cat2_gallery_13

13. Chic, Chic, Chic!!! This jacket screams style! There is a very interesting story behind etceteraperu’s inspiration for this piece available at her shop. While it appears that this piece is reserved for someone, there are other nice items available to have a look at! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28975909&ref=cat2_gallery_16

14. I love pleats!! The back of this jacket is so fun! Simplecut made this wonderful jacket from cotton, fully lined it and provides a variety of sizes! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=31282608

15. JAlvo is right when she states that this jacket speaks for itself! It is made from  double knit cotton spandex and would set off any fall wardrobe! I’m loving all the layering in the front and the color is fantastic! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21840276&ref=cat2_gallery_13

16. SewCherie has a winner here! This coat could not be more perfect for fall! The colors and subtle plaid design are gorgeous! Make a point to stop by her shop and take a look at the other pictures because there is so much detail in this jacket! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30776817&ref=cat2_gallery_21

17. This is such a lovely jacket from violinhalune. The design is so classy and its so versitile, you can wear it almost anywhere! The jacket is made from blue wool, can be altered and lined for additional charges. Have a look!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30774161&ref=cat2_gallery_5

About the Etsy Shopper Feature: The Etsy Shopper Feature is a weekly post here on the Reclaimed Threads blog, home of Reclaimed Threads Sustainable Bags. I am an Etsy Seller myself (Reclaimed Threads is the name of my shop, obviously) and am always marveling at the number of talented people that are selling on Esty! I LOVE to shop and seem to always be on a mission for something in particular. Here I will share a compilation of items from Etsy and link you to the various sellers that provide these amazing handmade creations! While I prefer to buy items that are eco-chic and organic (I will always include items that meet these standards) let’s be honest, sometimes that isn’t always reasonable in our lives. Thankfully, since everything on Etsy is either handmade or vintage and many sellers give money to charity (including myself), which is very sustainable, I personally feel fine buying pretty much anything off of this site!

NEXT WEEK Earrings will be featured. If you are an Etsy Seller and would like to be featured or know of an Etsy seller that you’d like to see featured please message me at my shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com. Please Note: Due to the amount of time it takes to compile this feature, I have to put a limit of 25 featured sellers, so spread the word!

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Sneak Peek!

I have been finishing up a variety of sustainable bags while I am waiting for the Reclaimed Threads’ labels to arrive. I have been told that they are finished and in the mail as we speak!! Yay! It’s nice that some progress is being made on that front! I am keeping tabs on that and cannot wait until they get here so I can sew them in!


I photographed a selection of finished bags to share with you. I am very happy with this first batch of one-of-a-kind sustainable bags. It has been so much fun putting them together and I look forward to continuing to make bags for all of you.

The possible uses for these tote bags are endless! The flexible design allows for all bags to be easily folded for storage between uses and for travel. Not only will you love these bags, but, your children and grand-children can enjoy throwing their school, sleepover, dance or gymnastics stuff into them as well. Since every bag is truly one-of-a-kind and ranges in colors and patterns, there is something for everyone!

I hope that this sneak peek will have you as excited as I am for Reclaimed Threads Sustainable bags to be coming onto the market soon! I love that I can offer you a product that is unique, sustainable and helps support a range of charities. The tote bags will begin to show up on etsy.com as soon as possible. My estimate is that this will be within the next two weeks. I cannot wait and hope that you will all return to have a look at what’s new and tell your friends! I will be updating this blog with photos of completed products each week to keep everyone in the loop!


SO, are you ready for your sneak peek?! I have showcased each type of bag in its own post so you can comment on each if you wish. There are the Patricia, Elizabeth, Muriel and Diana tote bags as well as a couple of clutches. We will start with a look at the Patricia Tote tonight and one additional type of bag will be unveiled each day for the following four days. Enjoy!





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