Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Etsy Around the World: Beneath the Rowan Tree

This week's artist creates the most fabulous toys. You might want to buy twice as many because there's a pretty good chance that you might not want to share these toys with the kids that you bought them for!

Who are you?

Where are you located?
Northern Ontario, Canada

What do you create?
Hand dyed and painted clothing and natural toys for children.

Why did you choose your company name?
My daughter’s name is Rowan and the shop name is actually a line from a 19th century Scottish Canadian poem~ which works on many levels as both my partner and I come from Scottish roots.

What is the most time consuming part of your craft?
Needle felting! Oi! It is a very time intensive art that can require hours of stabbing for avery small piece, something that many folks don’t realize when they look at needle felting and the price of items.

What is you most popular item that you create?
Our most popular item at Etsy is our playsilks~ hand dyed pieces of silk used for play. Silkies are fabulous open ended toys that can be used for *anything*~ dress up, backdrops,rivers and fields, leashes, blankets, slings, kites and comet tails... We are passionate about the play value of these simple toys, which contributes to their success along with their inherent value in encouraging imaginative play in kids of all ages.

What online activities have brought you the most noticeable success?
I don’t know about success, but I strive to be an active presence in several online communities and to contribute to the community life with positive support and assistancefor others in their businesses. I am most proud of the True Colours Dyer’s Challenge which is running for a second time this fall~ it invites dyer’s of any medium to create one item using a chosen colorway, and to auction it for charity. It creates a collaborative community rather than competition among those of us who love and live for colour!

Do you have any advice to share on how you have made your business grow?
One customer at a time. Loving what I do and creating each piece with a child in mind~not a sale~ keeps me fresh and able to offer excellent and personal customer service.

What do you do when you are not creating?
I work full time in a very challenging vocation, and enjoy life with my husband and my three year old daughter in our home by the little lake.
--If you'd like to see and read more about Lori's work be sure to vist her home site, Flickr gallery and blog!


  1. I wonder if that's Lori's daughter--she sure looks like a sweetheart! Love the bright colors for the imagainative toys in this shop.

  2. Thank you for featuring our little shop! I look forward to see where else in the world you 'travel'!