Crafts & Activities

The Top 50 Etsy Parents, 2012

As parents, putting family first can make us feel like our own interests and hobbies are pushed to the backburner. However, sometimes you meet a mom or dad who carves out time to pursue their passions — and make a living from it, to boot. While compiling this list, we’ve had the chance to hear from incredible parents around the globe. What they all have in common is a love for beautiful things — and the savvy to share it with others on Etsy.

The shops on this year’s list are as diverse as the sellers behind them. From couture kids clothes to vintage home goods, each object showcased here is a representation of the creative stories behind them. Warning: this is online shopping, taken up a notch. Prepare to become addicted! (And if you think we missed a shop, nominate it in the comments!) — Amy Levin Epstein

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Jess Quinn

The Top 50 Etsy Parents, 2012

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The Top 50 Etsy Parents, 2012

Owner: Jess Quinn, mom to Tom, 13, Sadie, 11, and Rosie, 8, living in Bristol, England

Shop here for: Felt art creatures that can be used as toys, decoration or worn as art

Signature Item: Woodland Baby Hoot brooch, $35

After studying fine art at the Glasgow School of Art, shop owner Jess packed up her painting studio after becoming a mom and started a career in freelance model-making for animation companies. But like many freelancers, her opportunities for work started to dwindle with the economy, so she turned to Etsy. Now, the single mom is supporting her family with the site, where fanciful felt creatures — a smiling tea cozy, for example — and quirky printed art abound.

Jess says she’s happy to have returned to her artistic roots: “Before starting on Etsy, I was quite reserved about sharing what I did. It’s easy to lose confidence at home with young children all day. Etsy introduced me to so many wonderful people. I am always delighted when people say, ‘Hi, I love what you do.’”

And those fans are in luck: Jess’ collection of quirky creatures will be expanding soon to smaller dolls, gift boxes, T-shirts, tote bags, hand-painted mugs and children’s accessories, like hats and scarves. With her work appearing on sites like Babiekins and make it mag, we predict this mom is one to watch.

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