The Etsy Blog

Mentoring the Teenage Artisan

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

When 16-year-old Marci of MarciG couldn’t find a summer job, she decided to focus on her Etsy shop. Marci was always one of those creative kids praised for her drawing. She won regional art competitions. She grew up in a pottery studio, watching her mom (me!) work from her playpen, and pressed leaves into clay or formed small flower sculptures on long summer days. Marci’s Etsy shop, filled with hand built pottery from a teen girl’s perspective, has thrived.

Marci-with-lavender-poppy-bowl.jpg

In June 2010, Seventeen Magazine ran an article on Marci as an example of a girl who turned her passion into cash. Marci was flooded with questions from other teens wanting to know how she turned her talent for pottery into a part-time job. Summer jobs for high school students are scarce and teen expenses are high. Being able to harness youthful creativity and make a business is an attractive alternative to cashiering at a mall. Marci’s success is due partly to her innate talent and partly to the role that I’ve played as her mom and mentor. Children cannot run an Etsy shop without adult supervision, so we’ve been careful to learn and follow Etsy’s Terms of Use.

Having a mentor as a beginning artisan is hugely beneficial at any age. I learned pottery through apprenticeship and working for other potters, so it is natural for me to use this form of instruction with my daughter. I always encourage her to have fun with clay. Since I’ve been a self supporting potter all her life, I also notice certain designs that might be tweaked into a marketable series. Marci had a curiosity and interest in making objects for sale, so this conversation is something that she welcomes. A mentor is more than a teacher who will show you techniques and skills. A mentor guides you as you develop a unique, marketable body of work. Here’s some of my tips for guiding a talented teenager who wants a successful Etsy shop: 

Create a Body of Work

Marci and I picked three things that she liked to make: birds, flowers, and leaves. I suggested that she make 6-10 pieces that were variations of each one. As these are common motifs, I encouraged her to make her own patterns and stamps so that her pieces would be original designs. Once she had a few prototypes, I suggested that she make them in various sizes. Look through Marci’s sales to see how her body of work has evolved in just one year. A key to success is this ability to grow and adapt — to constantly make new designs and perfect the older ones.

shaping-poppy-petals.jpg
Marci making a poppy bowl.

Read the Etsy Seller’s Handbook
The photography, descriptions, knowledge of tagging and SEO has as much to do with success as having wonderful handmade works. I’ve used many tips from the Etsy Seller Handbook and consider it a MUST!  Marci and I work together in every aspect of photography and listing. We strategize weekly about how to show her works accurately and tell a story about how and why she makes her pieces. Marci is a responsible, witty, artsy, and charming teen girl. We like to have Marci’s shop look as much like meeting her at a craft show as possible, to let buyers and browsers see both the young artist and her pottery.

green-birds-sm2.jpgLove Birds set by MarciG

Enjoy Your Time Together
One of the unexpected pleasures of working with my daughter in the studio is the luxury of long, rambling conversations. We discuss how a petal curves, or whether the hosta leaves are large enough for lunch plates, or how a single word can hold intense emotion. We speak the right brain language of art and it’s very intimate to share this with my child. Working side by side has also led to deep discussions about other issues such as boys, college, spirituality, and whether the vampires and werewolves are hotter in Twilight or True Blood.
                          
There is an element of tradition in a family business. Before the Industrial Revolution, it was a common experience for kids to learn a family trade from their parents. We may have given up something valuable with that change, and I find it gratifying to pass along my skills and discoveries to the next generation.

owl-casserole-sm2.jpg
Owl Casserole by OneClayBead

Teach High Quality Standards
There is a difference between something grandma buys from a budding artist, and what a buyer on Etsy wants in terms of quality. I showed Marci pieces of my work that had unacceptable flaws and explained to her what qualifies a piece as acceptable for sale. We go through her pieces carefully still, and I make sure that she is making work that functions well. Her custom orders must also reasonably match the original listing photo. This is essential for building a loyal, returning customer base. 

Marci’s Etsy shop has been a wonderful experience for her. She’s learned responsibilities, creative skills, business skills, and also communication skills. It also shows colleges that she has abilities beyond what the SAT and ACT test for, and makes her application unique. I’d like to see more talented and entrepreneurial teens on Etsy. It’s a perfect place to test out young ideas, and to gain experience that can be used all through one’s life. I’ve also learned much by mentoring a young person. Working side by side with all that exuberance has helped me to lighten up and become more playful. I’m more aware of what drew me in to pottery so many years ago.

Further resources:
Teen Business Link
Mind Your Own Biz

A big thanks to Lee and Marci for sharing their illuminating and touching story. Do you know any Etsy shops run by teenagers? Share in the comments below!

Seller How-To’s | Articles About Collaboration | Teens on the Blog

  • Ayca

    Ayca says:

    Great shop! Lovely article! Thanks for sharing :)

    4 years ago

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural says:

    such a beautiful, helpful article! congratulations to both of you to fostering such an artistic family and creative spirit, and to supporting each other. very inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • creativityismessy

    creativityismessy says:

    Wow! What a talented young woman! An inspiration to all ages!

    4 years ago

  • ginaregina

    ginaregina says:

    lovely pottery

    4 years ago

  • thepaperflorist

    thepaperflorist says:

    How inspirational!

    4 years ago

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth says:

    This is wonderful! She's very lucky to have such great guidance as well as a unique talent to call her own :)

    4 years ago

  • eyespytreasure

    eyespytreasure says:

    What a fortunate young woman to have such a wonderful relationship. Seems it is woman to woman which is such an honor for a "kid". I'm envious. Love your glazes, so much is being done today that never was before. It will be fun to watch you progress.

    4 years ago

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel says:

    wonderful article and inspiration! my daughter has a re purposed candy bag shop...she is doing pretty good! www.trashbaggs.etsy.com

    4 years ago

  • chasedreams

    chasedreams says:

    This is an incredibly beautiful story. So inspirational and lovely. Thank you for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • LoveandKnit

    LoveandKnit says:

    I respect this talent!

    4 years ago

  • cherryandviolet

    cherryandviolet says:

    This is such a refreshing story! I wish Etsy had been around when I was a kid. My mom and I used to create things together all the time. Best wishes for continued success!

    4 years ago

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie says:

    Fantastic article. My 16 year old son and I have been talking about his future Etsy shop for the past year. I am excited to see his body of work come together into a marketable product. Congratulations to Marci on a super successful launch. OneClayBead, you are OneGreatMom and mentor.

    4 years ago

  • candacejean

    candacejean says:

    What a wonderful, inspiring and even helpful article Lee and Marci! (I think the poppy bowl is stunning even unglazed in white!) Congrats to you both on such a nurturing relationship full of guidance. :)

    4 years ago

  • OceanBoundExports

    OceanBoundExports says:

    Kudos to Marci for showing us all how it's done! I read about her in Seventeen when her story ran. I'm sixteen as well but I haven't launched my shop yet. Soon though =}

    4 years ago

  • anotherghostquilts

    anotherghostquilts says:

    What a nice story! Good luck, Marci and Mom, with your lovely pottery and beads.

    4 years ago

  • LoveNaturally

    LoveNaturally says:

    This is such an informative article Lee and Marci, not just for teens, but for all sellers on etsy. Congratulations on your success and thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story!

    4 years ago

  • thecraftpantry

    thecraftpantry says:

    Love MarciG and her mom, their work hangs proudly in my home. Congrats!!!

    4 years ago

  • blueroompottery

    blueroompottery says:

    This is so great! I was fortunate to be like Marci, I grew up working with my dad and mom, it's a parent to kid relationship that is wonderful! I am doing the same with my sons now, it is my turn! I wish you all the best and may life be as nice to you as it has been for me! My heart is with you both!

    4 years ago

  • AngelasAlchemy

    AngelasAlchemy says:

    It is too bad we are steering away from family businesses. It is such a beautiful thing to share what you know, especially with family. It sounds like you two are keeping that tradition going.

    4 years ago

  • oldohiofarmfinds

    oldohiofarmfinds says:

    so wonderful to read an article placing teens in a positive light ~ congrats to both!

    4 years ago

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 says:

    What a great article! I'm glad to see that you are pursuing college as well. I hope you continue to grow as an artist. While it is wonderful to sell frequently, you don't want to stunt your creative growth. I hope you have wonderful professors who can help you explore endless possibilities! Best of luck and continued success...on Etsy and beyond!

    4 years ago

  • TheMysticCircleArt

    TheMysticCircleArt says:

    yeaah!!!Congrats!!!I have hearted her shop for a while now and her moms shop too!!! They are both very talented ladies. I want all of their pottery :) Love it.

    4 years ago

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt says:

    Lovely to see you both here. Continued success.

    4 years ago

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen says:

    congratulations to a very intelligent and mature young lady :) and ofcourse with loving, experienced help from her very talented mum!! May your success continue Marci and follow you thru life! love these inspirational articles that encourage and help others, thanks Lee and Marci!

    4 years ago

  • ModernVintageDesigns

    ModernVintageDesigns says:

    I LOVED this article. My daughters have been begging for a chance to start their own etsy shop. Good work Marci, and thanks to Marci's mom for sharing these mentoring tips.

    4 years ago

  • CatzillaCrafts

    CatzillaCrafts says:

    I sold animal figurines made out of sculpey clay at craft shows when I was 15/16. This was looong before etsy, wish I had this site growing up! Beautiful work, Ladies! Keep it up! =^_^=

    4 years ago

  • IttybitDelights

    IttybitDelights says:

    WOW! Marci G you a true artisian and a great inspiration to other teen artisians out there. Keep up the team work!

    4 years ago

  • IttybitDelights

    IttybitDelights says:

    Wow! Marci G you a true inspiration to other teen artisians out there. Keep up the great team work.

    4 years ago

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons says:

    Great story! When we do the craft shows we meet many families where the children are involved in their parents business. Some of them are very good salespeople, a valuable skill that will come in handy when they move into the workforce.

    4 years ago

  • SophieAndEmma

    SophieAndEmma says:

    Marci, you are truly and inspiration to all. Keep up the great work. You are very lucky to have such a great, supportive mom too! Congrats on your shops success.

    4 years ago

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections says:

    One of the most inspiring potentials I see in Etsy is the opportunity it gives to those under 18 to make and share their crafts with an audience. I definitely wished Etsy was around when I was a teenager back then - maintaining an Etsy shop would have been perfect when I had free time during summer vacation months. I run my Etsy shop in collaboration with my mother and it has brought us closer not because we have more free time to spend together, but because we interact more while working on something meaningful together. If there are any other teen Etsians out there, post up links to your shop - we'd love to check it out.

    4 years ago

  • ClareBears

    ClareBears says:

    what a great post! well done Marci

    4 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Lee incredibly beautiful story ! Marci big congrats and keep up wonderful work !

    4 years ago

  • PaintedHorse

    PaintedHorse says:

    What a lovely article and story! How fortunate you both are to have each other. Thank you for sharing...

    4 years ago

  • LuBluDesigns

    LuBluDesigns says:

    Great job, Marci! You are an inspiring teen! Great work!

    4 years ago

  • allthepreciousthings

    allthepreciousthings says:

    You're so talented, Marci! Go, girl...

    4 years ago

  • poppyswickedgarden

    poppyswickedgarden says:

    Wonderful Article! Congrats Marci on the great work! Love Kezbirdie's shoes on the related items:)

    4 years ago

  • PoleStar

    PoleStar says:

    Oh Lee and Marci this was touching and educational and wonderful!

    4 years ago

  • MelroseFields

    MelroseFields says:

    What a great story and shop.

    4 years ago

  • SeaFindDesigns

    SeaFindDesigns says:

    WTG little miss! You're art is lovely!

    4 years ago

  • carlossantiago

    carlossantiago says:

    so cute!!!

    4 years ago

  • LaTouchables

    LaTouchables says:

    This was a pure joy to read, Lee, and I've noticed the leaps and bounds that Marci has been making. I love her work!

    4 years ago

  • autumnvelvetrose

    autumnvelvetrose says:

    Marci! I love your pottery! You are an inspiration!

    4 years ago

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    IlluminatedPerfume says:

    Great article Lee!

    4 years ago

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads says:

    beautiful work!

    4 years ago

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques says:

    Wow, love that pottery. Thanks for the article.

    4 years ago

  • tantancharms

    tantancharms says:

    I love this story! Marci is so talented and it's lovely to see how her mom encourages and helps her along the way!

    4 years ago

  • abstractartgallery

    abstractartgallery says:

    Great article and good work! :)

    4 years ago

  • iragrant

    iragrant says:

    Oh my goodness Lee, I didn't realise Marci is your daughter. What a lucky proud Mum you are:)) I love this article, mine still only five YO but already want to 'help' mummy all the time!

    4 years ago

  • 3squares

    3squares says:

    thank you lee and marci for sharing your story. my 13-year old is anxious to get her etsy shop up and running, so your advice is much appreciated. p.s. my mother and MIL received marci's poppy bowls for mother's day from me and they LOVE them. amazing work!

    4 years ago

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar says:

    One of the best Storque articles that I've read! Very inspiring.

    4 years ago

  • kirstenann

    kirstenann says:

    wow congratulations Marci you are so talented! I love your pottery bowls they are gorgeous best wishes :)

    4 years ago

  • fieldtrip

    fieldtrip says:

    this is such an inspirational story. i hope to work alongside my daughter artistically (when i have one, some day in the future, if she's interested) as you have done. such a great read - you've got a very talented household!

    4 years ago

  • kirstenann

    kirstenann says:

    Congratulations great article and beautiful items :)

    4 years ago

  • chARiTyelise

    chARiTyelise says:

    how wonderful to see how Marci has evolved as an artist and a seller here! her work is charming and it is a delight to see this article featuring both of you and your wonderful works!! i am so proud to be your "mud buddy"!!

    4 years ago

  • kristieb

    kristieb says:

    Great article showcasing a fabulous mentoring relationship and an amazing young artisan. I ordered one of Marci's red poppy ornament pieces for my mom last year. It was a stunning piece that my mom adored. When I received, it was packaged well and the work was so professional that I was in shock that a teenager had created it. I think you have a great artisan career ahead of you, Marci!

    4 years ago

  • catchalljewelry

    catchalljewelry says:

    wow this is a great article... I started selling on etsy for the same reason, I didn't want to end up working a summer job that I hated and now all my friends are jealous! Marci, you are a real inspiration and I absolutely adore your pottery, keep up the amazing work!

    4 years ago

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions says:

    Wishing her all the best! She is very talented.

    4 years ago

  • branda

    branda says:

    Hei Marci: You are so pretty and your work is GREAT!!! So happy to see you in the Storque! Congrats!!! Love! ♥♥ Mariana and Paula

    4 years ago

  • twoknit

    twoknit says:

    Congratulations !!! Great article. Best to Lee and Marci.

    4 years ago

  • lizroca

    lizroca says:

    Lovely article and beautiful work.

    4 years ago

  • SquirrelsSpot

    SquirrelsSpot says:

    Wow, these are beautiful! If ever I have enough money.... ;)

    4 years ago

  • rozzie

    rozzie says:

    Congrats Marci! I truly love your poppy clay bowls, you are so talented and best wishes for continued success :)

    4 years ago

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger says:

    Amazing talent. What a great project.

    4 years ago

  • OtherEarthly

    OtherEarthly says:

    Marci, you have no idea how lucky you are and how much I admire you. I am 14 and have been dreaming about starting my own shop since I discovered etsy a couple of years ago. You are seriously living my dream. -Yashwina

    4 years ago

  • pinkpeas

    pinkpeas says:

    this was very inspiring :] such beautiful work!

    4 years ago

  • StrangeVagaries

    StrangeVagaries says:

    My teen's away at college now, and this really makes me miss her company in my studio.

    4 years ago

  • polkadotsandblooms

    polkadotsandblooms says:

    Fantastic Marci - you are a role model for so many young people out there. Wishing you all the best. Love your work as well :-)

    4 years ago

  • soycomfort

    soycomfort says:

    Very inspiring! We need more parents who encourage their children! Going to show my daughters this article and show that they can have their dreams no matter what age! Thanks!!

    4 years ago

  • ChristineC

    ChristineC says:

    Beautiful article and what an amazing talent Marci has.

    4 years ago

  • lilworkerb

    lilworkerb says:

    Awe! This is such a lovely article.

    4 years ago

  • KnotOriginal

    KnotOriginal says:

    Congratulations Lee and Marci, you're both very talented and inspirational in your own right!

    4 years ago

  • wrightsan

    wrightsan says:

    My daughter is all grown up, but this makes me want to work with my granddaughters!!!

    4 years ago

  • GreatestJoyDesigns

    GreatestJoyDesigns says:

    Your work is beautiful! I am always telling my teenagers friends about Etsy, great opportunity for them to use their creativity.

    4 years ago

  • cocokato

    cocokato says:

    Love the flower !

    4 years ago

  • aroluna

    aroluna says:

    Great experience, wonderful story, inspiring!!!

    4 years ago

  • mohalcyon

    mohalcyon says:

    Your work is really exceptional. Keep the creative lamp burning.

    4 years ago

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds says:

    What an inspiring article, and I love the work, too! I agree, mentoring is so important!

    4 years ago

  • 2TrickPony

    2TrickPony says:

    this is a lovely article. For self supporting artists with children, taking the time to mentor them can be daunting, what with the daily pressures. But what a valuable thing to teach your children.

    4 years ago

  • merritthyde

    merritthyde says:

    What a fantastic and ispiring story! Really, really wonderful!

    4 years ago

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane says:

    Wow! You have such a head start in life having a marketable talent so young! Imagine the things you will be capable of after college! Good for you.

    4 years ago

  • thebloom

    thebloom says:

    Awesome article! I am a teen and have my own shop. It has been a great experience! http://www.etsy.com/shop/thebloom

    4 years ago

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom says:

    fantastic pottery : )

    4 years ago

  • manicarteest

    manicarteest says:

    beautiful color schemes, great inspiration!

    4 years ago

  • loopinloop

    loopinloop says:

    This is so great! I was fortunate to be like Marci, I grew up working with my dad and mom, it's a parent to kid relationship that is wonderful! I am doing the same with my sons now, it is my turn! I wish you all the best and may life be as nice to you as it has been for me! My heart is with you both! And I am glad to read that you are pursuing school too, just like I want my sons to do. Take a look at our shop when you have some time and also take a look at my childhood photo here http://www.etsy.com/storque/handmade-life/eye-of-the-artist-the-deep-blue-8665/ The best to both of you!!

    4 years ago

  • AlissaRose

    AlissaRose says:

    I noticed that turquoise flower bowl a couple weeks ago... Beautiful pieces! Thanks for sharing your talent!

    4 years ago

  • AvaGirlDesigns

    AvaGirlDesigns says:

    Having something that you love to do and making money out of it is so wonderful at any age! Good job!

    4 years ago

  • onelittledove

    onelittledove says:

    great post -- i would have been thrilled to have etsy as a teen crafter, and it's lovely to read of families doing it together. congrats!

    4 years ago

  • littlemoandfriends

    littlemoandfriends says:

    It's great to see a young budding talent. Marci has so much maturity for her age and her work speaks for itself..it's lovely. xoxo

    4 years ago

  • sweetsmilesbaby

    sweetsmilesbaby says:

    Beautiful work! Great job mom, I will take this lesson to heart for my own girls.

    4 years ago

  • thefineprint

    thefineprint says:

    Creativity, independence, being self-sufficient... these skills will get her far. Great mom. :)

    4 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Great job!!

    4 years ago

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage says:

    I think one of the real problems with todays and the job market is we are not told to think outside the box.Because this young lady had artist folks she was always thaught that. And her parents helped to create the etsy shop.I mean by being open to it.I think it would be awsome to start a blog about this and get young folks into it by blogging. Who Knows we may see a bunch of talent who does not have to wait till they are "adult"

    4 years ago

  • rominamq

    rominamq says:

    Beautiful pottery! I like your color coordination.

    4 years ago

  • doingitherself

    doingitherself says:

    I love this! As a young girl, I can recall selling handmade chokers (okay, it was the 90's!) during my lunch hour for extra cash. Go Marci! Way to show it that a girl cal "do it herself".

    4 years ago

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry says:

    Wow Marci, your work is gorgeous! Isn't it great to know that you can earn money with the things you make? Best of luck to you!

    4 years ago

  • tanglesastangled

    tanglesastangled says:

    awesome, always great to see more young people on etsy, making what they love and sharing it with the world!

    4 years ago

  • corinapletscher

    corinapletscher says:

    love my little blue "shalom" bird from Marci, I enjoy it every day!

    4 years ago

  • HoldTheWire

    HoldTheWire says:

    Love, love, love this article! My daughter wants to learn to make throw pillows and by the time she's a teenager, hopefully she'll be able to do something similar.

    4 years ago

  • ImSoVintage

    ImSoVintage says:

    What an inspirational article and how nice to see the focus on a teenager who is an inspiration to others. Good job MOM!!!

    4 years ago

  • MarKhed

    MarKhed says:

    an amazing pair! what a great story!

    4 years ago

  • SweetlyFallen

    SweetlyFallen says:

    So sweet! Thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • SweetlyFallen

    SweetlyFallen says:

    So sweet! Thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • themooseandtheowl

    themooseandtheowl says:

    cool story. my sister and i are teens ourselves, setting up shop.

    4 years ago

  • NSpottery

    NSpottery says:

    What a wonderful article! Marci's work is beautiful and inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • InkTreePress

    InkTreePress says:

    One of my favorite Etsy blog posts in a long time. I wouldn't be an artist without having had a mother who nurtured artistic freedom in my life, and I hope to inspire that creative spirit in my girls someday.

    4 years ago

  • PrairiePeasant

    PrairiePeasant says:

    Very inspiring and well written article. I wish Marci continued success. My daughter has asked about future possibilities for herself on Etsy, and it's nice to know it can work out well for our kids too!

    4 years ago

  • Feille

    Feille says:

    Well done, mom AND daughter!

    4 years ago

  • littlepancakes

    littlepancakes says:

    Why is pedobear a related item? That's kinda creepy!

    4 years ago

  • knittingmomma

    knittingmomma says:

    I just love this - so much talent and how special to be working together. We also enjoy training our children to help out when they show an interest.

    4 years ago

  • CenteredClayWorks

    CenteredClayWorks says:

    Great story! It's wonderful to hear about the great teens we have around us.

    4 years ago

  • factorygirlashli

    factorygirlashli says:

    I actually interviewed for the seventeen article.... glad to see someone awesome got it! thanks for featuring me in the "related items". :)

    4 years ago

  • paperholiday

    paperholiday says:

    What an amazing young woman!

    4 years ago

  • PrettyBirdsVintage

    PrettyBirdsVintage says:

    I loved this story, so inspiring! Go Mom and Marci~~~!!!

    4 years ago

  • SoFino

    SoFino says:

    What a wonderful story from such talented artists! Congrats :)) Love your work!!!

    4 years ago

  • PoisonGarden

    PoisonGarden says:

    Awesome story-she is so talented!!

    4 years ago

  • funkomavintage

    funkomavintage says:

    A really sweet story, & that's how it can happen.... an elementary school teacher told me I was talented, and my mom kept teaching me new things to make and bought me my own sewing machine when I was 12....I turned my sewing and craftiness into a business in high school back in the 70s....anything to avoid babysitting and housecleaning (ugh), and now one of my daughters is here on etsy...as a seller and buyer....

    4 years ago

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams says:

    Congrats to Lee and to Marci-I agree there is a lot to be said for guilds and mentoring. I learned printmaking from an apprenticeship and it set me on my way to being an independent artist decades ago. Beautiful and talented mother and daughter - with lovely work!

    4 years ago

  • ravenhaired

    ravenhaired says:

    Such an amazing body of work, beautiful, bold and original. I've often thought that I wish I had discovered Etsy two years ago, now I think what if it had been around when I was in high school?

    4 years ago

  • sagebrushadventures

    sagebrushadventures says:

    I love your story. Congratulations on your success. Also to your Mom, for having the wisdom and foresight to mentor you. I wish you both continued success.

    4 years ago

  • CaliforniaCraft

    CaliforniaCraft says:

    inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka says:

    Great story and lovely work!

    4 years ago

  • NaiyaArtBoutique

    NaiyaArtBoutique says:

    I love to read such inspirational articles... thanks for sharing!!

    4 years ago

  • hankietankie

    hankietankie says:

    her designs are gorgeous! a vrai artiste!! much luck for a lovely life! XOX

    4 years ago

  • grimmandgrete

    grimmandgrete says:

    Kudos Marci!!! How wonderful it is to hear that you and your mother have such a peaceful relationship, love your work and perhaps you too will have the pleasure of passing down your skills and passion to your children...Bravo, continued success!!!

    4 years ago

  • postroadvintage

    postroadvintage says:

    Congratulations! My four year old keeps begging to open up an Etsy shop but I think he may have to wait a few years ;) Keep up the great work! You are learning awesome life skills at a young age!

    4 years ago

  • OffTheHookOriginals

    OffTheHookOriginals says:

    So inspiring!!!

    4 years ago

  • specialknz

    specialknz says:

    What a great article, you definitely have a talented daughter Lee. My kids too have been growing up with our family pottery studio as their second home. They have a special bond with their grandparents because of this. And hopefully one day I will have a story like yours to share with the world.

    4 years ago

  • LynetteFast

    LynetteFast says:

    Awesome article. So sensitive and as a pottery teacher of teenagers everyday, I can so appreciate what you mean! Thanks for taking time to post this. And BTW both your works are beautiful!

    4 years ago

  • CrochetRUs

    CrochetRUs says:

    What a wonderful article! I'm 15 years old and I partner with my 18 year old sister. It's really good to see another teen's experiences and success on Etsy. Way to go, Marci! http://www.etsy.com/shop/CrochetRUs

    4 years ago

  • CoutureLife

    CoutureLife says:

    Congratulations Marci, keep up the good work and follow your passion!!!

    4 years ago

  • encantodesign

    encantodesign says:

    Great read thanks.

    4 years ago

  • CraftedRoots

    CraftedRoots says:

    Fantastic article! So inspiring!! :)

    4 years ago

  • HoldMeBags

    HoldMeBags says:

    Beautiful!

    4 years ago

  • LadyDanio

    LadyDanio says:

    Octopi Crafts is another teenage artist on Etsy making a name for herself in the crafting world. Her primary storefront specializes in knitting and spinning related goods: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunniefairy And her second is called Hangin' Around and dabbles in trendy, affordable jewelry: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hanginaround Sunnie is also running the successful Only the Best of Etsy sampler box, where Etsy shop owners can contribute samples that are then sent out once a month to prospective buyers. http://www.etsy.com/shop/otboe

    4 years ago

  • treeoflifestudio

    treeoflifestudio says:

    It is amazing to see someone so talented at such a young age. It is very inspiring for other youth also . I only wish all teenagers were doing such positive things with their time.

    4 years ago

  • treeoflifestudio

    treeoflifestudio says:

    How inspiring to see someone so young doing such beautiful work. I wish all youth could be doing such positive things with their time.

    4 years ago

  • enduringarts

    enduringarts says:

    I'm so happy for you Marci! You and your mom make an incredible team. You're both an inspiration to so many. It's been fun watching your business grow. Congrats!

    4 years ago

  • heatherfuture

    heatherfuture says:

    AWWWW! This is the loveliest! Marci is one talented young woman.

    4 years ago

  • seaoats

    seaoats says:

    my daughter just turned 1! and i can only hope to have such a beautiful relationship with her when she turns sixteen! what a lovely story, so inspirational. thanks for sharing. :)

    4 years ago

  • Garden22DesignStudio

    Garden22DesignStudio says:

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. What a great mother and daughter team you two are! My 6 year old daughter is always so interested in what I'm up to and I look forward to developing her strong creative streak. Thanks for sharing and for giving me a glimpse of what I know is yet to come with my own kiddo :)

    4 years ago

  • craftpile

    craftpile says:

    Marci...you go girl and high fives to your mommy!

    4 years ago

  • cutepants

    cutepants says:

    What a great post. Thank you!

    4 years ago

  • simpledream2

    simpledream2 says:

    What a beautiful article about a beautiful young women who is inspired by her awesome Mom. As as mother of 3 young adults it's always been my goal to have my children use their creative talents to create income or even a career. Her work is definitely polished because of her mentor. I'd love to hear more about young ones finding their passion. Thanks, Lisa

    4 years ago

  • LittleRedCottage

    LittleRedCottage says:

    Absolutely incredible article! I am going to encourage my daughter's painting, and her friend's drawing (and possibly doing an Etsy shop) even more so now!!

    4 years ago

  • ButtonBags

    ButtonBags says:

    Great article. I'm 17 and my business Button Bags just had it's third anniversary. As hard as it is sometimes, I wouldn't trade it for anything. There are so many things I have learned and so many opportunities I have had. Running my own business has opened up a whole new world for me and it's always great to see others my age doing the same thing.

    4 years ago

  • kjmarksjewelry

    kjmarksjewelry says:

    What an amazing experience for you and your daughter. Great work :)

    4 years ago

  • BonTons

    BonTons says:

    Gorgeous work, inspirational story for all the budding young artists and Mentors

    4 years ago

  • Aveyna

    Aveyna says:

    Fantastic article! I'm a fan!

    4 years ago

  • mygoodness

    mygoodness says:

    great article. i've been working on the teenagers all summer...showing them things they can do. maybe this article will actually motivate them. thanks!

    4 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez says:

    Congratulations...what an inspiring story!

    4 years ago

  • HandcraftedorVintage

    HandcraftedorVintage says:

    Marci is a very talented young women and so lucky to have a mother who is encouraging her. Lovely article!

    4 years ago

  • howlindoggie

    howlindoggie says:

    What a wonderful experience you have had so far. Beautiful work and great article especially for us mothers who have little "apprentices" (mine is 12 and really gets into earning extra money already from helping me in the studio).

    4 years ago

  • slinkymalinkicat

    slinkymalinkicat says:

    A very inspirational article! I often skim read but I read every word of this.

    4 years ago

  • StudioLeanne

    StudioLeanne says:

    I also work with clay and my daughter is the hand model for my rings and my best friend

    4 years ago

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart says:

    What a wonderful and inspirational article. Congratulations, keep on creating!

    4 years ago

  • handmadeinisrael

    handmadeinisrael says:

    Marci is extremely talented and I love her work (time to list international shipping maybe?). However, her mum really needs to be praised too. She seems incredibly patient and a wonderful mentor.

    4 years ago

  • nowonder

    nowonder says:

    Beautiful! Working with family is not always easy, Looks like they work very well together!

    4 years ago

  • tuckooandmoocow

    tuckooandmoocow says:

    Having grown up in a family of artists this was such a fun read! How great to see a teenager putting her work out there and trying something different from the average high schooler! Congrats on your success, Marci! I'm sure you'll meet much more as you grow. Shine on you crazy diamond.

    4 years ago

  • louloudo

    louloudo says:

    what a sweet story! I think I would go mad if my mum and I shared the same work space.

    4 years ago

  • mentalembellisher

    mentalembellisher says:

    What a lovely article, it really touched me. I have been sharing my studio with my artist son during the holidays and I can absolutely relate to this! Beautiful shop, beautiful Marci.....

    4 years ago

  • Vidalbuttons

    Vidalbuttons says:

    WOW! this is really inspiring! if I were to go back in time I would start my business at 15! I remember sewing in my little crappy sewing machine making little handbags and headbands! LOL I just didn't even know that I would be able to sell them online. Kids nowadays have so many resources in there own rooms, the internet! so amazing!

    4 years ago

  • Vidalbuttons

    Vidalbuttons says:

    nowonder I know that is the same thing I tough, they must work well together! because it's really not easy to work in family!:D

    4 years ago

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl says:

    Fantastic, inspirational story - thank you, I really enjoyed reading this article.

    4 years ago

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl says:

    Wonderful article - really inspiring - thank you.

    4 years ago

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl says:

    Fantastic and very inspiring:-)

    4 years ago

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl says:

    Fantastic.

    4 years ago

  • cityroad

    cityroad says:

    What a beautiful story!!! Thank you so much for sharing it ;-)

    4 years ago

  • Altrosa

    Altrosa says:

    amazing. to earn money from things you made at such a young age. Must be amazing. I am a bit behind on both fronts. Age and making money...

    4 years ago

  • CarriesCustomDesigns

    CarriesCustomDesigns says:

    Best of luck!! Great article!

    4 years ago

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta says:

    Great story, Lee and Marci! Marci's work is beautiful and I love her inviting, warm photos. What a wonderful mother-daughter collaboration!

    4 years ago

  • mycapaciousbottega

    mycapaciousbottega says:

    Fabulous article and thanks for sharing. As the mother of an artistic 10yr old I sometimes worry that I am doing a my daughter a disservice by encouraging her to take her skills seriously, as if I am over-lauding it but I now feel inspired to keep encouraging and inspiring her to believe in herself & that she can make something out of her passion.

    4 years ago

  • ClarePackages

    ClarePackages says:

    What a wonderful story! It's a great lesson to learn early in life to think outside the box - congratulations and keep up the good work!

    4 years ago

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign says:

    This is a fantastic article, thanks so much for sharing!!!

    4 years ago

  • kimmchi

    kimmchi says:

    beautiful work

    4 years ago

  • MiShelli

    MiShelli says:

    I bought a blue poppy bowl from Marci...I just love it. Her work is amazing. I fully intend to purchase more to make a full set. Her story is truly an inspiration to us Mom's with young children. I pray my toddlers will have half as much talent as Marci! You Go Girl! ~Michelle

    4 years ago

  • CreationsByJessika

    CreationsByJessika says:

    My daughter is planning on making a store here but we are still getting everything set up. Great work too

    4 years ago

  • ChatterBoxArt

    ChatterBoxArt says:

    What a fabulous article! The highest success in our lives is to accompllish relationships with our children, to teach them integrity and values in the skills of life. Thank you for sharing with us.

    4 years ago

  • SunnyDayVintage

    SunnyDayVintage says:

    Beautifully written - one of the best articles! Thanks for sharing a peek into your relationship and the pride you have in your talented daughter!

    4 years ago

  • JesPlayin

    JesPlayin says:

    thank you for this article. As a mother of a 9yr old daughter who is dying to do what mommy does, this article is very timely for me. I look forward to when my daughter's skills match her desire, and I look forward to nurturing her crafting and entrepreneurial talents.

    4 years ago

  • twirlaway

    twirlaway says:

    Wonderful article! I love seeing young artists bloom (no pun intended)!! Much luck to you! Keep doing what you love!

    4 years ago

  • artofjane

    artofjane says:

    What a good mother u are!

    4 years ago

  • mostlysundays

    mostlysundays says:

    What a great Mom and an amazing daughter! !! My grandmother taught me to sew and I really wish my daughter wanted to learn to sew - maybe someday!!

    4 years ago

  • RAGGEDedgeGear

    RAGGEDedgeGear says:

    awesome, awesome article. makes me want to write one from the reverse perspective, as the daughter in business with her mother.

    4 years ago

  • novella

    novella says:

    Awwwwww. I love multi-generational stuff.

    4 years ago

  • studiogems

    studiogems says:

    Love the work both mother and daughter do! That table is gorgeous!!

    4 years ago

  • mosaicgirl

    mosaicgirl says:

    I just LOVE LOVE LOVE these poppies!!! Best summer job ever!

    4 years ago

  • MoonDanceTextiles

    MoonDanceTextiles says:

    wow!...these are gorgeous pieces!

    4 years ago

  • blackberrygraphics

    blackberrygraphics says:

    way to go Marci.... she's got some real talent. what a great way to bond together over the summer!

    4 years ago

  • MakeItMineDesigns

    MakeItMineDesigns says:

    Great work! Impressive indeed! :)

    4 years ago

  • LeatherwoodDesigns

    LeatherwoodDesigns says:

    Wonderful story – very inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • InventingLiz

    InventingLiz says:

    Very inspiring! My three-year-old "helps" me at craft fairs and farmers' markets - I'm a single mother so bringing her with me is the only way I can do them - and I am already teaching her to smile and be welcoming when people pass by our tent. I'm looking forward to years of bonding with her over creating and selling art, and this article is a nice example of how to make that possible.

    4 years ago

  • passingtimeandchimes

    passingtimeandchimes says:

    Way to go Marci! I love your work. Keep those creative juices flowing.

    4 years ago

  • Earmark

    Earmark says:

    oh, you make me want children! this is a beautiful article and I have been a HUGE fan of Marci's work for so long now! So impressive! I cannot even get my 24 year old sister to make anything! So tremendous. Congrats to both of you for enjoying all of this together, it truly is amazing and touching!

    4 years ago

  • KissingEmu

    KissingEmu says:

    I love her pieces and I appreciate you sharing your story with all of us. My daughter (10) and I live on a farm and raise emus, I started the soap end of things for many of the same reasons that you eloquently illustrate. It is so wonderful to hear that it is working out for you both (and so lovely to hear all of the other life skills and bonding that is transpiring as a result). You go girls!

    4 years ago

  • thefortunatehome

    thefortunatehome says:

    Great to see such talent, and ambition, at such a young age!

    4 years ago

  • elissamay1

    elissamay1 says:

    WOWzers! Hats off to her! There are some beautiful creations in this shop!!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/elissamay1

    4 years ago

  • DIYKAT

    DIYKAT says:

    awesome work...what an inspiring person you are to help teens every where know that they can achieve anything..you rock girl.....

    4 years ago

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree says:

    What a wonderfully in depth look at all that truly goes into creating your craft. All the best to both of you!!

    4 years ago

  • 5gardenias

    5gardenias says:

    wonderful article lee-- marci's an inspiration and wonderful role model --and you facilitated her fabulous growth--as a mom/ mentor and daughter/artist you rock as a team, and each on your own terms! XO!!

    4 years ago

  • JDWolfePottery

    JDWolfePottery says:

    I love your poppies, Marci. Those long rambling conversations in the studio are some of the best parts of life. Best wishes to the both of you.

    4 years ago

  • akcopperraven

    akcopperraven says:

    keep up the good work !! you have a good eye for crafting and making art...cant wait to see how far it takes you in life

    4 years ago

  • mazuli83

    mazuli83 says:

    what a lovely story! thanks for sharing :)

    4 years ago

  • FerntreeFlowers

    FerntreeFlowers says:

    Fantastic!

    4 years ago

  • TheTruffler

    TheTruffler says:

    hello, I'm 14 maybe you would like to look at my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTruffler Marci has a really inspiring story, Thank you

    4 years ago

  • SewMuchMoreDecor

    SewMuchMoreDecor says:

    Beautiful work! I love the flower bowls :)

    4 years ago

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr says:

    fab job :) lovely pottery!

    4 years ago

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose says:

    What a wonderful story and so inspiring! Marci makes such lovely pottery and will be many steps ahead of others as she steps into an adult world. So glad she is here and hope other teenagers find their own way to entrepreneurship! Lee you have a lot of reasons to be proud!

    4 years ago

  • LaLaShoes

    LaLaShoes says:

    Wonderful article and wonderful art! Congratulations to both of you, Marci and Lee, and best wishes!

    4 years ago

  • waukeshapottery

    waukeshapottery says:

    Great article, fantastic work!

    4 years ago

  • claylicious

    claylicious says:

    what an inspiring read

    4 years ago

  • YellowBugBoutique

    YellowBugBoutique says:

    What a fabulous story- how much fun to read about a family sharing and enjoying the creative process together- you should both be so proud! Talent obviously runs deep in this family.

    4 years ago

  • MDaisleyMoffitt

    MDaisleyMoffitt says:

    Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing Lee and Marci.

    4 years ago

  • southstreet

    southstreet says:

    fantastic article and great artists, both Marci and Lee!!! love your creations!

    4 years ago

  • DawnWillBreak

    DawnWillBreak says:

    I am also a teenage seller on Etsy so this is a great article to see!

    4 years ago

  • ABarrante

    ABarrante says:

    Great work!!

    4 years ago

  • StarBags

    StarBags says:

    I love both your shops, and just recently noticed that I saw the same girl (Marci) in both your shops and thought 'hmmmm...' never knew that you are a mother and daughter! I enjoyed reading your story, great way to have fun and making money as a team!

    4 years ago

  • JunebugGems

    JunebugGems says:

    I loved this article. What a wonderful example this young woman has set for others. Way to go Marci! Keep up the good work! :)

    4 years ago

  • lilabelledesign

    lilabelledesign says:

    brilliant inspiration ;o)

    4 years ago

  • NiuTaller

    NiuTaller says:

    this is a great article!!!congrats!!

    4 years ago

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign says:

    I am shore Marci could and still is learning allot of you Lee, you are a fantastic Mother Daughter Team and I wish you two to keep growing and support each other. I am so thankful to have you in the Team!

    4 years ago

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry says:

    Go on girl! So happy to hear about a parent really nurturing the creative side of her daughter! It's very inspiring and wish I had done it earlier myself.

    4 years ago

  • tannerglass

    tannerglass says:

    I just love this story. Love it. Marci has a bright future, as does her mom. Thanks, Etsy for posting such an inspirational article.

    4 years ago

  • GreenPost

    GreenPost says:

    Wonderful article, Lee! You and Marci have an inspirational, creative relationship that is truly enviable. Marci, congratulations on your feature in Seventeen and here on Etsy! You are setting a wonderful example for other young people to follow. So cool.

    4 years ago

  • camstudiostore

    camstudiostore says:

    Great work!

    4 years ago

  • gardenmis

    gardenmis says:

    Such an awesome story :) Love it!

    4 years ago

  • dustbincards

    dustbincards says:

    I love the mentoring/mothering aspect of this article. How wonderful to pass on a passion and skill to a child and strengthen the mother and daughter bond! Good luck to you Marci...give it your best!

    4 years ago

  • masibill

    masibill says:

    Beautiful article ... Love it <3

    4 years ago

  • oberschin

    oberschin says:

    I love this grey poppy bowl! Nice work

    4 years ago

  • giftdesigns

    giftdesigns says:

    what a great read!

    4 years ago

  • BunniesandAvacado

    BunniesandAvacado says:

    Wow. Inspiring. Lovely shoppe!

    4 years ago

  • agray89

    agray89 says:

    Although I am beyond seventeen years old, I read about Marci G in Seventeen Magazine months ago. How inspiring and awesome to see that anyone with determination can get far no matter what age!

    4 years ago

  • CraftsByBabz

    CraftsByBabz says:

    Hi!! I'm a teen seller!! Here's a link to my shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftsByBabz I'm in the process of refilling my shop just now. Gotta go!! ~CraftsByBabz

    4 years ago

  • runawaywombat

    runawaywombat says:

    Beautiful work and colors. Great story.

    4 years ago

  • buttuglee

    buttuglee says:

    You are an inspiration! You Go Girl!

    4 years ago

  • Pillows2Please

    Pillows2Please says:

    It is so encouraging to read what others are doing, so many successful Etsy shops! Marci, beautiful story, and great photos of you and your work! Thank you for sharing with us.

    4 years ago

  • tinygalaxies

    tinygalaxies says:

    This article is both heart warming and practical. I love how you helped Marci develop her style into a marketable product.

    4 years ago

  • StitchCraze

    StitchCraze says:

    Very inspiring to hear your connection with your daughter, working together as well, that is a beautiful thing. Your stores are wonderful! Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, I have passed this article on to my two younger sisters! Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • NestingBluebird

    NestingBluebird says:

    This is one of the most beautiful and inspiring articles I've read in a long while! Thank you both!

    4 years ago

  • MadelinesDesigns

    MadelinesDesigns says:

    As a teen seller myself, I am so impressed by the quality of her work and number of sales! It's incredible.

    4 years ago

  • katarinathorsen

    katarinathorsen says:

    I come back to this article often. It's very inspiring and informative. I am about to start teaching youth-at-risk and young mothers about Etsy and microindustry (I am an art therapist with youth-at-risk) and this article is a perfect starting point! Thanks! Kat To read more about Katarina's art therapy and visual art, go to http://katthorsen.wordpress.com To read more about Katarina's work with sock monkey/art therapy for at-risk youth go to http://klasssockmonkey.wordpress.com/ To read more about Katarina's sock creations, go to http://poststreet.wordpress.com/

    4 years ago

  • MajafariDesigns

    MajafariDesigns says:

    Wonderful article, and very encouraging for the teen artist/business. My teenager is now posting her illustrations in my shop, "Madi Stitchworker", and to see the encouragement in her eyes when someone buys her prints, is happiness! Being able to sell her work has encouraged her to draw more. Although she comes from a long line of artists on both sides, she is self-taught. I imagine that in due time she will open her own online shop and be successful!

    4 years ago

  • mialopez3

    mia lopez says:

    http://www.fondnessmedia.com - With more than ten million website visitors per month, Fondness Media provides a unique opportunity to the advertisers and publishers that would like to expand their reach in a targeted way. We combine the power of the internet and mobile communication.

    3 years ago