MADE SERIES 01 // an introduction & an invitation

Jan 8, 2014

Today, I'm excited to introduce to you a new series I'm starting here on the blog! I've had this series on my mind for quite some time and am excited to put my energy into making it happen!

The MADE series will highlight small business owners across America who have put their dreams, hard work, and creativity into taking the leap and opening up shop. I'm super passionate about supporting the small business entrepreneurs in our communities- the women who have talent, aspiration, and the guts to do what it takes to be successful doing what they love!

Have you ever seen a small business, either locally or online, and wondered about the owner? What inspired them to take risks and pursue their dream? What challenges have they faced in getting started? What inspires their creativity? What's the story behind their product? Twice a month, we'll get the answers to those questions from our featured small business owner. And here's where YOU come in...

Are you a small shop owner? Do you have a shop online, or own/run a local small business in your hometown? Are you a seasoned businessperson or are you just getting started? There is absolutely no cost to this and all it requires is just a few minutes to share about you and your dream. I'd love to talk with you about being featured in this series!

Do you know a small shop owner? Is there someone in your life who owns a small business? Could they benefit from exposure to their shop? Send them my way!

Contact me HERE with any questions or to schedule your feature! I've already got a few shops lined up and I'm so excited to get this series underway! 

With all that out of the way, I'm excited to introduce to you my first small business owner! 

Rachel is the creative behind Drawn to Design, an Etsy shop where she sells prints, invitations, custom orders, and more! Want to know something awesome? Rachel lives a hop, skip, and jump over from me in Nashville! She's small business to the rest of you, but she's also local to me, which is really special for the first ever feature here!

 Rachel was gracious enough to answer a few questions!

1. When did you start your business/open up shop?
I started Drawn to Design in June of this last Summer. I am a teacher... wait, don't think sweater vests and grammar Nazi. I teach visual art to some pretty cool middle school and high school students. I spend most of my day with the middle school kind.  People say "yikes, middle school", and "aren't they so awkward", but they seem so normal to me after 5 years, but I could have a skewed view at this point. The shop came about because I decided that my college experience did not teach me enough about design, so I started teaching myself to be able to teach my students about Adobe illustrator and Photoshop. I really enjoyed designing invitations, and the people around me always needed them (we like to party). I found myself making invites and other party items for friends. I opened the shop because it was on my 2013's Goal List and teacher's summers are not as taxing as you might imagine. I think/thought that people with Etsy shops are cool. And, I am right. I don't feel cooler yet, but maybe comments from this blog will be the deciding factor. My 2014 goals include eating slower, seeing Africa, and becoming a kick-butt rock climber( if you care).

2. What is the story behind your business/shop name? 

Good question. I actually think the name is a bit " vanilla" if you will? I have a Blog. Well, "I have a dream". I am planning a blog about art teaching, and it is not live yet. The  blog name is Drawn to Teach. This name, I believe to be clever. I had no creative name-giving juice left, so I just changed the "Teach" to "Design". It seemed easy at the time, and I was so shocked that it was not taken on Etsy... So, I just kept it! I should have named it something like The sassy paper company to give me more credibility. 

3. Who has been your biggest encourager? 
I have a precious husband that will every now and then look at at me when I am working, and tell me that I am cute. I really like that. He is also really good at helping me. He has design skills. He makes websites for a living, so I trust him with input. I also need to give credit to my Catahoula Leopard dog, Dakota Fanning. She keeps me company, and makes sure that I never sit and work too long. Her dedication to me having an active lifestyle is inspirational. 

4. What inspires your creativity? 
I love Pinterest, and it is not beneath me to steal cool ideas from my students. Honestly, creativity just happens if I have some time off, a good breakfast and a hike outside. I am still working to learn to use my creativity in design. Design( especially with text) has rules and trends that sometimes make the true creative process difficult .I seem to feel I use my creativity best with a paint brush or a pencil, but I am a young designer yet.

5. What is your favorite item from your shop? 
I am always making items for the people around me. I made the book labels in my shop for my only little niece. She is the cutest. I wanted to give her a stack of books when her mom had her baby shower. I thought it would be cute if they all had labels. All of the labels in the books were personalized.Her mom loved them. I kept some labels for myself, and give her books for Christmas and birthdays and always add a label that make sure she knows they were from my hubby and me. I also love the new retro kitchen shower invite!

Doesn't she just sound fun? Here are her links so be sure to visit her shop and new Facebook page and check out all of her great designs!

A huge thanks to Rachel for being the first feature of my new series! I can't wait for you to get to know some other amazing shop owners and have a chance to support the dreamers and creaters in communities across the nation! Contact me for more information or to sign up to be featured in my MADE series!


  1. LOVE! Sending lots of encouragement to the new blog series (local/small business is where its at!) and to the Etsy shop (such cute designs!)...

    1. Thank you so much! Isn't her shop great? Feel free to share the love! :)

  2. I like the name!! It's cute and 'punny' ;) Great new series, Kelsea, I love it already! Rachel's designs are really unique and colorful!

  3. I love this idea! I am a huge local/handmade freak! Etsy is my jam :)

  4. i love love this feature! i am a huge small business supporter, and i love finding others i can shop from/meet! her designs are so great!
    i am also going to email you about this post, glad to find your blog this morning!

    lindsey louise

  5. I love this new series! I'll have to sign up once my etsy store is up and running! :-)

  6. this is awesome. i love the name of her shop and love she takes her passion on her daily job and her shop!

  7. What a fantastic series idea, Kelsea! The blogging community is so welcoming and encouraging. It is inspiring to see you supporting others so graciously.
    Rachel, you are so talented and as a fellow middle school teacher, I admire your enthusiasm and passion with both your students and artwork. Well done!

  8. What a cool series. I'm looking forward to reading more.
    Claire xx
    somewhere... beyond the sea

  9. Wow! Love the series and can't wait to come back to read more.

  10. Love this! I'll have to sign up :)

  11. such a great idea!!! love this.

  12. Super cool! I love reading the made series on the bleubird blog so now I can read two.

  13. What a great interview! Love this :)
    xo TJ

  14. This is such a grand idea! I can't wait to see who else you feature!

  15. Cute stuff! Just favorited the shop on etsy!

  16. wonderful! her shop looks amazing, and i will head over there now to check it out. this is a great feature. can't wait to see more!