All is well again with 6 by 6 at Handmade at Amazon

I just wanted to do a little follow up about our recent strange experience with our shop at Handmade at Amazon. For a quick refresher about what happened to us - visit this post.

I posted that post link on various social media outlets and even tagged Handmade at Amazon in a post or two directly, hoping to gain any attention. Being in the Seattle area, we have a handful of friends who work at Amazon and extended offers to connect me to someone who could help. Which ultimately got me in contact with someone at Amazon! 

I received an email a day or two after posting my blog post about our experience from an actual person at Amazon. He inquired about my issue and I directed him to my blog post for reference, since I laid it all out there. Soon after that contact our account was restored! He did offer a direct phone call with me after our account was restored just to make sure that we were good to go. I declined because we got what we wanted, just to have access to our account again.

Shortly after that, I received a direct email from the leads at Handmade at Amazon team. They just wanted to speak with me about my experience over the phone, which I appreciated. They were very apologetic and told me that what happened to us was a weird isolated event, which was reassuring. The two that I spoke with were very nice and gave me the platform to mention things that I felt were frustrating. For me it I was bent out of shape about not being transferred to the department that I needed to speak to by a customer service representative. C'mon I know Amazon has that ability! Secondly, my disappointment in the the on site representatives promoting makers to join Handmade at Amazon at a large local craft lack of information for contacts for sellers. Lastly, this one was more on my own personal expectations as a long time maker, I'm used to having one on one contact with selling sites (I've been with Etsy a long time and have met quite a few admins over the years and they were always very accessible) and direct contact with customers. It's apart of the charm of the handmade maker scene. You are buying from a person who put their hard work and hands on the products. It's a personal experience. I felt that element was missing from Amazon's support. 

In the end, we got the help that we needed after all. I hated having to get the attention that we wanted to resolve the issue the way we did though. Thankfully, we were told it was an isolated incident but they wanted to make sure something like this will not happen to other sellers, which was nice to hear. 

Thanks to everyone who shared this and got us the help we needed.

Lasers and love -Thea

New Stockist - Timberline Lodge (Yes, THE Timberline Lodge)

Recently, John and I travelled to OSU for a volleyball tournament for one of our daughters. Any parent with a kid in a demanding activity, knows how long days can get while traveling with a team/group. Every night we were more than excited to chill out in the hotel. Taking off our shoes, eating some snacks and zoning out on tv. We happened to catch one of those "Northwest History" shows that featured the Timberline Lodge one night in the hotel. John and I both commented how we both hadn't been out that way in years and guzzled up all the historic information that show shared about the lodge.  What an amazing place with incredible art.

Fast forward a month and a half, we had spontaneous interaction with a representative from the lodge and they asked about our products and the rest is history. You can find our goods at the lodge's gift shop. Now, you should just go because it's one of the most magical places on Earth with a rich history and it's not too far from Portland.

But for you PNW Stephen King fans, might we inspire a bit of wanderlust... as it is "The Overlook Hotel" in the movie The Shining. At least the exterior is. 

Add it to your travel bucket lists friends!

Lasers and love - Thea

New Stockist - World of Mirth (Richmond, VA)

We're breaking into the east coast territory!!!! We're so excited to call the World of Mirth in Richmond, VA our newest stockist! 

If you are on Instagram head over to World of Mirth's account now. It looks like the most magical store in the world! A personal visit to this shop is very high on my bucket list! If you are in the Richmond, VA area, I am sooooo jealous of you! Please go visit WoM for me! 


Speaking of Instagram just a second ago, I know content here hasn't been super interesting lately. John and I are a duo company and we've been very busy processing orders, creating custom work and new products that we will introduce over the next few months. BUT, I do post photos on our Instagram account @6by6arts. Shots of work, photos of our home & office, just basically our life in general. 

Lasers and love - Thea

New stockist - Throwing Mud Gallery

Part of the fun of opening up your business to wholesale accounts is discovering local places that are unknown to you. Our newest stockist is Throwing Mud Gallery in Tacoma, Washington.

Located at:

2212 North 30th Street
Tacoma, WA 98403
253-254-7961

Throwing Mud Gallery is a place to learn, shop and make! Owned by Mark and Eileen, who are long time Tacoma residents. They support fellow artists in the Pacific Northwest area by featuring regional makers in their gallery. We are honored to be a part of that group! Throwing Mud gallery now carries a selection of our keychains, magnets and wall art. If you're in the Tacoma area be sure to stop by!

Lasers and love - Thea

 

New Stockist - The Space Needle

I'm not even sure how to begin this one because I have so many feels about it!

I'm a native Washingtonian that grew up on Whidbey Island during a time where there really wasn't much but trees and the Navy. My mom is Asian and we'd often make trips into the city for "Asian" food supplies long before there was any ethnic markets close by. I distinctly remember my dad driving, my mom singing off key to the current tunes of the early 80's and me peering out of my backseat window and seeing the Space Needle rise up on the horizon as we got closer to the International District. 

Every time I saw the Space Needle I'd imagine one of two things - that Seattle was the land of The Jetson's or that Wheedle was sitting atop the Needle. Seattle was a magical land to this small town island girl and the Space Needle was and still is THE landmark of the city.

A page from a vintage coloring book I've had for years. I referred to this for inspiration during the design process. 

When you think of city landmarks, you think tourists. When you think of tourists, you think of souvenirs. A lot of times they are cheap little magnets with a glossy photo enclosed in plastic, or something along those lines. When we were approached by the Space Needle people; A.) I don't think I've ever tried to act so cool and collected in my life. B.) They told me that they were interested in adding some new but different products for their gift shop. I think I actually looked around to see if I was the person who that question was being directed at. And C.) When they told me to "just see what I can come up with" and gave us permission to use their image and brand name, I went into full on panic. 

Why would the great and awesome Space Needle people ask me and my extremely tiny company to do anything for them? They could ask anyone to do this sort of thing for them, but they asked us. A local mom and pop shop. Whoa.

While we can get down with some elaborate design work, I really felt that we should keep the products we pitched at them simple and functional. 

Pages from my sketchbook: Although, the artwork is crude, we first spend a lot of time flushing out the concept before we laser cut the prototype. We decide if the layout works or in this case how usable would the writing area be. I often leave question marks on the pages about various things. 

I drew out a simple layout of a small chalkboard with the silhouette of the Space Needle cut out. Lots of usable space for love notes or reminders. I envisioned someone picking one up on New Year's Eve and someone writing a proposal on it. (Hey, I said I had the feels with this one!)

The second thing we pitched was a souvenir magnet. We really wanted it to be unique amongst the others. This was my opportunity to incorporate a small bit of my childhood imagination. The Jetson's shapes and sounds always made me think of the Space Needle. So I sketched out a mid century modern shape and John found an image of the Space Needle that included the architectural underground footings in their image archives that he liked. We selected a font similar to one on their website. Their website by the way, is AWESOME. 

Pages from my sketchbook: I drew out many versions of the wood magnet. I had a mid century modern "Jetson's like shape in mind. Like always with my raw drawings John took an actual picture of my drawing and used it as a guide in Corel to fine tune it. 

We did this as we do all of our original work, we both do crucial parts of the development. I depended on John to help me finalize the shapes I was hoping for. Sometimes I just can't draw the exact thing I had in mind. Also, I am far better at drawing freehand rather than in outlines. I initially spent a lot of time actually drawing the Space Needle in great detail. PAGES of drawings. The our final prototypes were approved on the first submission. 

We rounded the edges from my original drawing. 

Close up of the laser cut out Space Needle. We have a bunch of these cut outs now in the studio. 

We were able to engrave the product details and pricing on the back. Which is so awesome in a retail environment.

The final shape was the shape I had envisioned. I want to publicly compliment John for being so great at figuring out what I was trying to get out. The architectural design with the footings looks so great! It's hard to tell here because this is a picture from my phone, but I was so excited to share this news I took a quick photo to share.

It's an honor to have been asked to do this for the Space Needle. We're continuing to develop more too! Next time you're at the Space Needle look for our work. 

Lasers and love -Thea

New stockist - Powell's Books

One of THE places to go in Portland, Oregon is Powell's Books. Their stores are a book lovers dream come true. I've always found treasures and had excellent customer service every time. Also, they host great events too! We are beyond excited to announce that Powell's is our newest stockist!

Look for our Oregon and Washington chalkboard magnets at Powell's.

6by6ArtsatPowells

We were asked to include a little sign so folks who walk by know who made them. We're so excited to take up even just a tiny spot in such an awesome store.

Happiest Friday to all!

Lasers and love -Thea

Artist Reception at The Handmade Showroom

Do you recall a little bit ago we mentioned that we were one of the founding artists at The Handmade Showroom in Pacific Place?

A quick refresher, it's super great pop up shop that features many local artists' work in the heart of downtown Seattle. Every time we've been in there, we've been totally delighted to see the handmade displays and of course the amazing work available for sale. 

This Thursday evening The Handmade Showroom is hosting an Artist Reception at the store

From their site: 

We are excited to join the celebration of Fall fashion for ‪#‎StyleuPP‬ by Seattle Magazine happening at Pacific Place Seattle this week!

Visit us on Thursday evening for an exclusive reception to meet our artists, taste wares from our artisanal food vendors, view our collection of amazing handmade work, and get a head start on your holiday shopping lists!

Special on-site tastings with:
Delicately Sweet Confections - Salted Caramel Sauce
Sweet Caroline's Jams - limited edition artisan jams made with seasonal fruits
The Kitchen Imp - hand-blended organic spices and seasonings

In addition to all the fun we will have on hand, there will be a live fashion show happening at Pacific Place, so come early and join in on the fun of fashion!

The Showroom is located on the third floor next to the Nordstrom Skybridge.

All are welcome, so be sure to invite your friends to join in on the fun! We look forward to seeing you Thursday!

https://www.facebook.com/events/299268300243651/

John and I will be there! We've recently restocked The Showroom with some exclusive items. We hope to see many of our local friends there!

Lasers and love - Thea

New stockist - The Museum of Flight

Although, we've been working many long hours for what feels like slow and steady building for our still infant business, we've managed to get a "dream" customer. When I lived in West Seattle, my son's class had a field trip to The Museum of Flight. He came home exhilarated from all the awesome things he saw and learned about. That went on for days and even now that he's a junior in high school he still mentions every once in a while. 

When we were approached by the Museum of Flight to design a couple products for the museum's gift shop in addition to some of our original designs, it was a like scoring instant mom points with my son who is such a fan. 

I already had a rocket ship chalkboard magnet in development as well as some constellation "ornaments". 

Rocket ship mini chalkboard with magnets.

We designed it so a photo or drawing could appear in the rocket ship.

A photo the size of a standard small school issued photo. 

Constellation wood ornaments - 6 by 6 Arts

They asked us to develop some additional chalkboard magnet designs, a helicopter and a plane. 

These designs are currently only available at The Museum of Flight Store. 

The designs are simple and themed of course, but it was still a complete honor to do this project and be asked to carry our original works too. As a Navy "brat" who grew up around a Naval Air Base here in Washington I love everything that The Museum of Flight offers and shares. 

Lasers and love - Thea

Time Has Been Flying By

Well, I've dozed off on blogging again. We've been blessed with busy and fun filled days as of late. Let's back up back to Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. 

6 by 6 Arts takes on Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco Summer 2015

IT. WAS. AWESOME. 

6 by 6 Arts takes on Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco Summer 2015

Thanks so much to all who came out and visited us! We had such a great time and hope to return to San Francisco for future shows. 

After we made it home we immediately fulfilled some standing wholesale orders. One of which is with a super cute little shop in North Bend, WA called Selah Gifts. Just a block away from Twede's Cafe. Also known as the "Double R Diner".

We also squeezed in a few family days since the kids are still on summer break and we managed to coordinate schedules with John's family and our six kids for a little family trip. 

Today we are preparing for a trade show this weekend as well as working on some custom items that I can't wait to share! More soon!

Lasers and love, Thea

The Handmade Showroom at Pacific Place in Seattle

One of my old 9-5 corporate job workday haunts is Pacific Place in Downtown Seattle. I often had lunches with clients and coworkers there. I might have ditched work early to see a movie once or twice too... It's an upscale shopping center that also has an assortment of restaurants and a cinema on the third floor. Starting this weekend Pacific Place will host the inaugural opening of The Handmade Showroom!

TheHandmadeShowroom

The fine folks from Pacific Place and Seattle Handmade have joined forces to create this awesome bi-monthly pop-up shop. The Handmade Showroom at Pacific Place Pop-up Shops will be held every 1st and 3rd weekend (Friday - Sunday) of the month June through October 2015. We are so fortunate to have been one of the first artists to vend at The Handmade Showroom. We will be offering, small versions of our laser cut wood signs, Washington State mini chalkboards and a selection of our wood magnets. 

It's so incredibly exciting to have a handmade shop among the ranks of upscale stores in downtown Seattle. We're absolutely thrilled to be apart of this great event! If you happen to be out and about in downtown Seattle this weekend please be sure to stop by The Handmade Showroom. Drag your dad along! (Our Beer Me signs will be available at the pop-up shop, grab him one and then go grab a beer with him!) If you can't make it this weekend be sure to mark your calendar for the future days the pop-up shop will be open. 

Lasers and love - Thea

 

Ugly Baby Shower Art and the great people behind it

It's no secret that we manufacture items for Ugly Baby Shower Art. Unique floss holders, greeting cards, ornaments and wall art signs. However, the truly unique product that carries the shop's name is shower art. 

 Ugly Baby Shower Art - Roller skating unicorn embroidery floss organizer. 

Ugly Baby Shower Art - Roller skating unicorn embroidery floss organizer. 

What is shower art. Read this. And this. You're going to want to put that on your resource list for gift giving ideas for the person that has everything. 

Recently, a big tutorial site posted a tutorial for a how to make shower art. When something so unique is invented, it's bound to be copied. The hope is it wouldn't be exactly like the original and a different take on it would be produced. In my opinion that tutorial failed doing that. However, the amazing couple behind Ugly Baby had a brilliant response to the tutorial. Many fellow makers have shared this and we'd like to do the same here. 

While She Naps - Abby GlassenbergWHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE MAKES A TUTORIAL FOR YOUR SIGNATURE PRODUCT: A CASE STUDY OF SHOWER ART 

Lasers and love - Thea