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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ethanollie

The Top 50 Etsy Parents, 2012

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The Top 50 Etsy Parents, 2012

Owner: Kim Ludy, 41, mom to son Ethan, 9, living in Portland, Oregon

Shop here for: Understated, pretty vintage trinkets to accent the home

Signature Item: None, since the stock changes all the time. The most popular item has been vintage arrows, which are currently sold out.

When Kim’s son Ethan started school, she realized her pre-baby career — event planning — wasn’t flexible enough for her new life as a mom. In came Etsy. “I had been collecting vintage items and antiques since my teens and had a basement filled with beautiful things, with the dream of using them ‘someday’ in a brick and mortar space,” Kim says. Since too much money was needed to open a retail store, the online model offered a manageable — and affordable — option.

Running her own business has benefited Kim’s family beyond finances, though. “I want to show [my son] my whole self,” she says. “The creative girl who loves beautiful things, the businesswoman who struggles a bit, the mom who strives for a full life. Most importantly, to show him that doing what you love, in your work and in life, is the secret to being successful.”

And Kim’s Etsy success has led to some pretty memorable moments: “I once sold a vintage painting back to the granddaughter of the original artist. She bought the painting, not knowing who the artist was. How great is that?”

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