Ahwatukee crafters, artists balance work and family while managing online Etsy shops - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

Ahwatukee crafters, artists balance work and family while managing online Etsy shops

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Posted: Friday, May 20, 2011 6:00 pm | Updated: 1:09 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

As an online marketplace, Etsy has recently become the "it" site to buy and sell items ranging from vintage art, clothes and modern handmade knick-knacks.

The popularity of jumping on the handmade and vintage bandwagon has risen in areas like downtown Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe, with newly opened boutiques that feature goods from local artisans.

Meanwhile, two women in Ahwatukee Foothills are learning how different an online storefront, catering to the same sort of items, can be.

Lori Frost, 26, a stay-at-home mom currently in Glendale but returning to Ahwatukee this year, co-owns a shop called Plum Street Prints with Shannon Cornelius.

The two opened their shop of personally designed prints, suitable for home and room décor, two months ago.

"Etsy allows us to sell in an online environment, which is far more convenient for our customers as well as ourselves," Frost said of the difference between Etsy and a traditional store.

Frost and Cornelius agreed that their combined set of skills ¬- Cornelius' design background and Frost's previous experience in owning a business - could offer something special to customers.

"If we can expand our audience and have our prints displayed in a variety of homes, we'll be incredibly happy with the success of our shop," Frost added.

As far as balancing their time with making prints and being full-time moms, Frost and Cornelius say that allotting time for work has proved helpful.

"I like to set a specific amount of time to devote to work," said Cornelius, who is based out of Utah. "Typically, I get up early to work before my son wakes up."

For Lisa Liddy, owner of another Etsy shop, Metal Me This, setting aside time to work doesn't always flow with her creativity.

Her strategy, she said, was moving her jewelry studio into her main office.

"The creative side doesn't always cooperate with when the time is available," said Liddy, 53, of Ahwatukee.

The self-employed book designer also owns a second shop, where she sells handmade jewelry, called Joolz by Lisa.

Metal Me This is a collection of jewelry components, which Liddy makes from metals like copper, brass and silver. Customers can buy her metal work and use them for their own jewelry designs.

While she said she thinks Etsy definitely helps with broad exposure, there's still a downside.

"I don't really enjoy the mechanics of it like taking photos, editing photos and listing items," said Liddy, as those are the kind of things she does for her other business.

Still, Etsy has come to be a convenient outlet for shoppers interested in non-commercialized products, an avenue that crafters can prosper from.

"It's a win-win situation for everyone and allows us the flexibility we are looking for as stay-at-home ‘mompreneurs,'" Frost said.

To browse through Plum Street Prints by Lisa Frost and Shannon Cornelius, visit www.etsy.com/shop/plumstreetprints.

For more information about Lisa Liddy's metal work, visit her shop at www.etsy.com/shop/metalmethis.

This month, Plum Street Prints is offering Ahwatukee Foothills News readers 30 percent off their purchases with the special code "AWHATUKEE30."

Until Memorial Day, enter in the code at checkout and receive the 30 percent off, courtesy of Plum Street Prints.

• Diana Martinez is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.

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