Crystal's Etsy shop Swankee Yankee combines two of my favorite things: an awesome name and a variety of amazing pieces! The Massachusetts-based shop owner is quite an eclectic designer, featuring everything from bracelets to wood signs to handbags, and I love, love, love that so many of her pieces have a nautical theme to them. It almost makes you feel like you're sitting on the dock in a seaside town. Read on for Crystal's home decorating tips and the story behind her favorite item in her shop! xoxo
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Swankee Yankee. What's the inspiration behind its launch?
I love coming up with unique and fun designs with a coastal and/or country vibe. I think the shop name echoes that, even though that may be in print form -- jewelry, signs, knit pieces, etc. I have never really been able to pick one particular category to create things under. I love all forms of crafting and design! My full-time job is as a senior graphic designer for a sporting goods company. While I enjoy the work I do from 9-5, Swankee Yankee started as my creative outlet for anything non-sporting good related that came to my mind to create. I didn't want to limit myself or my shop to creating one type of product. I see Swankee Yankee as not just a shop name, but as a brand that applies to anything I can come up with.
Your shop features so many inspiring finds. What inspires you the most?
Anything coastal- or country-related really inspires me. I was raised in a super small town in New England surrounded by the forest and close to the water. I currently live in a small neighboring town on a beautiful pond. The water has always been close by in one way or another, whether it's a pond or a lake or a short 20-30 minute ride to the ocean. I'm proud of the fact I call the East Coast home and the combination of country and coastal living is a big inspiration for most of the pieces in my shop. I don't solely create nautical or country items, but my strongest inspirations come from anything that reminds me of the laid back comfort of living in a small town by the water.
What are your top 3 tips for shopping online and finding great deals?
1). Google coupon codes! When I buy anything online I almost always use Google to check for coupon codes or deals before checking out. There's several sites that list them daily.
2). Shop around! If I find an item on one store site, I usually run a search for that item and see if it comes up anywhere else for less before buying.
3). Consider the value in unique or one-of-a-kind pieces. I am all about a good bargain, but there are times when it is worth spending a few extra bucks to have something that you know only you will have and will be a special piece in your home or as part of your wardrobe!
How can people still look chic/decorate their home for less?
I would say get creative and re-purpose as much as you can! When I get bored with a room or decor in my home, I try to think about how I can take items I have and turn them into new/interesting pieces. I always do this before I go out and buy new pieces. I actually just re-designed and organized my entire studio for next to nothing! The clutter was making me crazy and it wasn't a workable space. So after browsing Pinterest for ideas, I came up with my own solutions to some of the neat ideas I found. Let me just say clear thumb tacks and binder clips go a long way!
Hmm, that's tough! I would say it's a tie. I love the knit anchor bracelet. It was basically the first thing I ever created under the Swankee Yankee name and really motivated me to create more items to go with it. I also love getting the custom sign requests. I have done a few custom jobs for people that have just come out so cool! The back and forth of working with someone to make a customized piece that is special to them and completes a space in their home is a challenge that I love. It is very rewarding when I see the finished product in the space and a happy customer; I love when they share images with me!