Top 50 Etsy Moms of 2011
We work on a lot of "best of" features here at Babble, but we can truly say that our annual Top 50 Etsy Moms piece is one of the most inspirational, pleasurable writing experiences of the year. The chance to meet these incredible women - some of them life-long artists, others former 9-to-5 corporate workers, all of them devoted mothers - and hear their stories makes us realize how much we're all capable of. It's also a reminder of just how important the handmade community is, most specifically Etsy.com. Etsy has given these women a chance they may otherwise never have had to explore, develop, and share their art and craftsmanship through a larger-than-life network. It's also given them the opportunity to work from home, to set their own schedules and raise their kids the way they want - and that's incredible.
That being said, this piece is also one of the hardest features to write. Etsy is by no means solely for moms - there are incredibly talented dads and singletons and students as well - yet the flexible, creative community is the perfect environment for mothers. That's why we consider this just a small sampling of the most successful, talented, inspiring moms on Etsy, and it's why we update this list year after year. (Although we try and highlight different shops each year, we do have two repeats from our 2010 Etsy Moms list. When you read their write-ups, you'll understand why.) So if you know an incredible Etsy Mom that you'd love to see featured next year, nominate her here. And in the meantime, support the handmade revolution!
- Michelle Horton
23 / 50
Mama K’s Play Clay | Kari Erickson-Valenzuela
Kari Erickson-Valenzuela’s Rankings
Who: Kari Erickson-Valenzuela, mom of two daughters (ages 2 and 5 years old) in Seattle, Washington.
Why We Love Her: Kari’s aromatic play clay is a favorite here at Babble, featured numerous times in our holiday gift guides and blog posts. We love that she took a classic childhood staple – play dough – and made it gluten-free, chemical-free, and worry-free. (She even scents them with organic oils like geranium and chamomile.) We also love that Kari took the leap from audio engineer career to Etsy shop owner based on a gut feeling that this would work. Twelve-thousand sales and numerous awards later (Mama K’s clay won a Parent-Tested, Parent-Approved media award, is one of Babble’s Top 50 Mompreneurs of 2011, and made Seattle magazine‘s list of the Best of 2010) she was right.
Shop Here For: Homemade, biodegradable play dough
Signature Item: Mama K’s Aromatic Play Clay Tube of 5, $23.99