The Etsy Blog

Quit Your Day Job: Vital handmade and vintage goods

Brett and Crystal, the tireless duo behind Vital, teamed up with a plan to quit their day jobs and run a joint creative business after coming across Etsy and taking an intro to screen-printing class. Both artists at heart, their professional backgrounds include the restaurant industry and interior design, which shine through in their evolving line of screen-printed barware, home accessories, and clothing. Today, Brett and Crystal take the time to share with us how they made the transition into full-time Etsy selling, why photography is a key to their online success, and how they split up responsibilities to maintain all aspects of Vital.

How did you originally start Vital and discover Etsy?
It all started with an introduction to screen-printing class. Well, actually that’s not quite right. In the fall of 2005 we came across Etsy through a friend of a friend’s shop, everythingok. Seeing the handmade goods people were selling on Etsy planted the “I can do that” seed in our minds. So, when we took the screen-printing class a few months later we already had the entrepreneurial mindset. Before we launched our Etsy shop, we were already printing shirts whenever we could, including a T-shirt series featuring different store managers for a restaurant chain I was working for at the time.


Tell us about your previous working situations.
Both of us had prior professional lives, which were much less interesting. Mine was far tastier, though. I was a restaurant guy and always will be, even if I’m not practicing currently. Crystal was trained as an interior designer and practiced for a short period, but has always been a maker at heart.

Did you do anything to prepare for making the transition into full-time Etsy selling?
Our transition really took place in three phases:

  1. Phase one included waking up early and going to bed late as both of us worked full-time jobs while creating and brainstorming our takeover of the world the rest of the time.
  2. In phase two, my full-time job took up most of my time while Crystal managed the Etsy shop and production.
  3. Phase three: two full-time makers! This was the most flexible phase, despite having very little money. We knew to move along to the next level when we were too busy to handle the workload.

One important note: savings are vital (no pun intended). We couldn’t have done it without money in savings because cash flow can be sporadic. As with any business venture, you need money to cover your expenses as actual profits can take years to realize. This is something people looking to quit their jobs need to take into account. It’s not fun to admit and no one wants to hear it, but money in the bank is a necessity. Also, I’m always prepared to deliver pizzas for a couple months if needed.

What are the most effective ways you have marketed your Etsy business?
Our number one marketing recommendation is to post pictures people want to click on, followed by creating marketable products. Discovering which photos are most clickable takes a bit of trial and error, but buying a good camera and learning how to use it properly was one of our best investments. By having good photos or products that create a buzz, other people will do the marketing for you through blog posts, treasuries, and more.

QYDJ_Vital_2.jpgSecondly, we do a lot of craft fairs. For us, this means attending markets two to three weekends a month during the summer and fall. It gives people a chance to see your product in person and get exposure for your brand. Keep in mind that craft fairs are partly a marketing expense and you may not walk away with a lot of cash in your pocket. However, it is a chance to connect with buyers who might not have seen your product otherwise. Since we have opened Tomte, our brick-and-mortar boutique, the focus has shifted to local markets versus larger national shows. Local craft fairs enable us to market Vital and Tomte at the same time. As much fun as going to Chicago or San Francisco for a market can be and sound, it is a lot of work and less profitable for us than a local show.

What’s been your most popular line to date?
Hands down, the Vital Bicycle has been our most popular design. It has taken many different forms, but our bike design is always present in the Vital line. We have printed, embroidered, and cut the bike out of vinyl. Depending on our current process interests, we have put it on hats, shirts, jackets, towels, and baby quilts. Surprisingly, it was the very first graphic I created for Vital and it stuck. Most of our early designs came from things that we were really interested in.

Anything that hasn’t worked out so well?
In our opinion, paid advertising has been a bust for us. We have tried paying for ads on blogs, Google, and in magazines. We feel the results aren’t there. Part of it might be our tracking, but in any case we have taken paid ads off our marketing budget.

Walk us through your typical workday.

  • The first thing I do in the morning and the last thing before going to bed is check our Etsy shop and make sure there is nothing that needs an immediate response.
  • The morning usually starts with a couple hours at home doing a mix of computer work and domestic chores.
  • Sometime around 10 a.m. we move down to the studio and store, which opens at 11.
  • My day is filled with production time, working on listings, work on new product, emails, market preparations, managing wholesale accounts, and shipping. The exact work varies every day.
  • We found that dividing responsibilities works best for us, so I manage Vital and Crystal’s main focus is with Tomte and new designs. Even though Tomte closes at 6, we may stay around for a couple more hours in the studio.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job; anything you miss?
Ownership over our work is one of the most enjoyable parts of being self employed. We value control over how our time is spent and what form the end product takes, and that is the biggest reason we would have difficulty going back to a day job. We used to say flexibility was one of the most enjoyable features, but running a boutique makes our life much less flexible. We do miss the security of a steady paycheck. Also, lack of employer provided health insurance is an issue. Sourcing and dealing with individual health insurance is a bit of a struggle.

What’s the hardest part about running your own businesses?
The hardest part of running a business is dealing with regulatory paperwork. Business formation and registration, filing taxes, licensing — all that takes time we would rather spend making things.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself or someone considering a similar path?
Brett: Running your own business is fantastic, but it’s not necessarily easier than working for someone else. Life does not get simpler once you are on your own, and I did not fully appreciate that before.

Crystal: I would have liked to have understood sooner how valuable the handmade community is to growth, personal and professionally. There are really great people out there, and spending time to get to know them is important. This community only works because it is a two way street. Once we got to a place where we had something to give back was when we started seeing the biggest benefits.

QYDJ_Vital_3.jpgThe biggest advice we can give to others is watch your pennies and keep expenses down. Studio rental and equipment expenses can facilitate growth. However, the more you expand the more you have to sell each month to break even.

What goals do you have in store for the future of Vital?
Historically with Vital, we have not worked to pick up wholesale accounts with boutiques. Most of the stores that carried our line contacted us through Etsy and we didn’t do much to maintain those accounts. Recently, we have started actively seeking out boutiques that align with our aesthetic and handmade ideals. Also, growing our brick-and-mortar boutique and helping to foster Denver’s handmade community through the Denver Handmade Alliance are important endeavors to us.

Have any favorite Etsy shops we should know about?
It is so difficult to name just a few. Currently, we really like the work of blackbirdtees, locallibrary, pearsonmaron, and leahduncan. Locally, mudpuppy and luckymebeads are just two of the many great shops, with more starting up all the time.

Any final words of wisdom?
We are filled with gratitude toward Etsy and the craft community as a whole. We have met such incredible people  — online, in our travels, and locally — that we would not have met otherwise. Support of the handmade community is wonderful and when you buy handmade you are directly supporting a person. Thank you for allowing us to share and live our story.

Thanks to Brett and Crystal for sharing their story. You can see some of their work in the Seller’s Items below and in their other Etsy shop, heckfire.

Previous Quit Your Day Job posts

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie says:

    Wonderful shop and two true entrepreneurs. Inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • Colettesboutique

    Colettesboutique says:

    Congratulations on being feautured. I really like the bike shirts. Very cool!

    4 years ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio says:

    Great article! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

    4 years ago

  • fairydtales

    fairydtales says:

    Nice Article, good job!

    4 years ago

  • BarkingSandsVintage

    BarkingSandsVintage says:

    Great stuff, kudos!

    4 years ago

  • grimmandgrete

    grimmandgrete says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences - very motivating!

    4 years ago

  • LayneyDasher

    LayneyDasher says:

    Very inspiring.... really enjoyed this article!

    4 years ago

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt says:

    Wonderful story. It may not be easier, but when you are in control of your own destiny, it certainly is wonderful! xo

    4 years ago

  • TieDyeBathworks

    TieDyeBathworks says:

    I love reading these articles! You are both an inspiration!

    4 years ago

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads says:

    wonderful story and great products! Keep up the good work!

    4 years ago

  • TheRedDoorPursuit

    TheRedDoorPursuit says:

    I just included some of these items in a treasury! I love this shop! What a grand endeavor it was!

    4 years ago

  • persuede

    persuede says:

    Knowing your audience and feeling confident in your aesthetic are priceless tools. Great profile.

    4 years ago

  • Absurdious

    Absurdious says:

    Really great images and a wonderful article. Congratulations to you both.

    4 years ago

  • birchgrovehandmade

    birchgrovehandmade says:

    Great article filled with helpful hints and inspiration. Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • prettylittlenotebook

    prettylittlenotebook says:

    So great. Thanks for sharing your story, Vital!

    4 years ago

  • Patriacontemporary

    Patriacontemporary says:

    Great article! very nice t-shirt!

    4 years ago

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye says:

    Woot for handmade!

    4 years ago

  • carlossantiago

    carlossantiago says:

    we share the same dream! this is great!

    4 years ago

  • Creations2Glory

    Creations2Glory says:

    Love your shop and I enjoyed getting to know Vital through this article! ..& your crab tea towls are extremely tempting for me right now!

    4 years ago

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry says:

    Loved the article!

    4 years ago

  • ConstantGalore

    ConstantGalore says:

    What a great and honest report on quitting your day job. Great!

    4 years ago

  • jguilddesigns

    jguilddesigns says:

    Thanks for sharing! It's easy to idealize being a small business owner, so it's interesting to hear you point at that of course, there are pros and cons. Thanks for the advice- I hope to be there one day!!

    4 years ago

  • NaturalAmber

    NaturalAmber says:

    I want some of your glasses! How beautiful. And what a beautiful joint venture you have when your hubby. Congrats to you and wishing you much more success :)

    4 years ago

  • VivaRevival

    VivaRevival says:

    Really great store and article!

    4 years ago

  • beatyboutique

    beatyboutique says:

    Incredibly inspiring and motivating!

    4 years ago

  • hauntingbeauty

    hauntingbeauty says:

    I love your story and think it's great you work together. Before reading this, I was actually thinking about increasing my day-job hours (holiday spending is looming). Now I'm getting back into my studio to focus on my joy! Thanks for the pep talk.

    4 years ago

  • CyanideStitches

    CyanideStitches says:

    Yay Vital! Don't be fooled- while they mentioned all they do with their shop, they significantly downplayed the huge role they have in the handmade culture of Denver. Brett and Crystal are constantly offering their time, support, and knowledge to get the word out around Denver about the handmade community. Since moving here, I have yet to meet two more hard working people and am amazed at how they are able to run a successful online business, boutique, AND be so involved with the community. They are a major reason for the attention handmade is getting here- teaming up with other local crafters to put on craft fairs, offer seminars to help others with their businesses, and join crafters in the area together. Truly inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • locallibrary

    locallibrary says:

    Congrats guys! Such a great interview (and products), thank you! xo

    4 years ago

  • CeliaSews

    CeliaSews says:

    I love your bike graphic - I can see why it's so popular : ) xx

    4 years ago

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts says:

    Congrats! Nice work!

    4 years ago

  • blackbirdtees

    blackbirdtees says:

    Brett & Crystal are two of my favorite people in the crafty world! They're what it's all about--creating, sharing, and encouraging others. So happy we crossed paths, and thrilled to see them here ;) Congratulations on the well-deserved spotlight!

    4 years ago

  • sarahknightdesign

    sarahknightdesign says:

    Wonderful work and congrats to the both of you in your continued success:) Great creative minds!

    4 years ago

  • HoneyBScrapbooks

    HoneyBScrapbooks says:

    A most inspiring story!! I commend you for your dedication to your entrepreneurial goals. You give me hope!!

    4 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Congrats on your success! You had a dream and used your creative talents to go ahead with it. Your graphic bicycle is so perfect and I love the bird too!

    4 years ago

  • julieincharge Admin

    julieincharge says:

    What a great glimpse into Brett and Crystal's business. Go Vital!

    4 years ago

  • beckysbuttons

    beckysbuttons says:

    Congrats to Brett & Crystal! They have really made a mark on the Denver craft scene and continue to support their fellow crafters!

    4 years ago

  • PDXfabricdeli

    PDXfabricdeli says:

    super cool, thanks for all the info.

    4 years ago

  • jadedgoats

    jadedgoats says:

    Great article. Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences. I love your work!

    4 years ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    mattyhandmadecrafts says:

    Great story! All the best and thank you for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel says:

    love your work! its great!!

    4 years ago

  • tinyearsjewelry

    tinyearsjewelry says:

    My wife picked up one of your Bicycle shirts in Breckenridge, CO... I recognized it immediately... great design, and kudos on the leap into Entrepreneurship. Thanks for the inspiration... Casey @ Tin Years

    4 years ago

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques says:

    Inspiring article. Hope for your continued success...

    4 years ago

  • BellaPuzzles

    BellaPuzzles says:

    I found the comment "the more you expand the more you have to sell each month to break even" to be particularly important. It sounds like you two have been very careful to pace the growth of your biz - or that you've learned about it the hard way. I hope it was the former. :)

    4 years ago

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez says:

    Great interview! Congratulations!

    4 years ago

  • PucksWildApothecary

    PucksWildApothecary says:

    Deeply Inspiring! Love your work too :)

    4 years ago

  • geannesgems

    geannesgems says:

    What a great story! It gives me inspiration! The best to you both!

    4 years ago

  • ObjectsOfAffection

    ObjectsOfAffection says:

    congrats to you guys! so exciting and i love the inspiring! :)

    4 years ago

  • DarkBluebell

    DarkBluebell says:


    4 years ago

  • daniellexo

    daniellexo says:

    Brett and Crystal and upstanding members of the crafty community. I can't wait to go out to Denver and see their shop and hang out with the Denver Handmade Alliance – maybe next year!

    4 years ago

  • EverybodyElse

    EverybodyElse says:

    Fun story, great to hear about how you became successful and encouraging to know what goes into that.

    4 years ago

  • SundriesAndPlunder

    SundriesAndPlunder says:

    This is definitely one of the most inspiring articles I've read on etsy. Congratulations! You're my new heroes.

    4 years ago

  • PKJewelryDesigns

    PKJewelryDesigns says:

    Great Stuff! I love all your designs! Congratulations to you both and good luck!

    4 years ago

  • darkcycleclothing

    darkcycleclothing says:

    <------Huge fan! Great article and great insights, thanks for sharing :)

    4 years ago

  • choisette

    choisette says:

    that's a lot of together time.

    4 years ago

  • babyjives

    babyjives says:

    Thanks for sharing - it's so nice to read a really frank story about starting up a business. Best wishes for more success!

    4 years ago

  • TheLadySlipper

    TheLadySlipper says:

    I very much enjoyed this interview. I just love your creations! Wishing you continued success and happiness! Thanks very much!

    4 years ago

  • giorgiascardini

    giorgiascardini says:

    Cool designs! Very inspiring and energizing story. I only wish that you guys expanded a little bit about your marketing strategies.

    4 years ago

  • WeeBindery

    WeeBindery says:

    Wonderful article! There is nothing like owning your own business - especially when you are a go-getter!

    4 years ago

  • TheZestyDesk

    TheZestyDesk says:

    It's funny how some designs just "stick" such as your bicycle design (which is wonderful by the way). I had a design that did the same and it was something that just came to me on a whim. I think it's really important to just run with something like that when it "sticks". Thanks for all of your advice and CONGRATS!

    4 years ago

  • Baisimu

    Baisimu says:

    wow. Such a cool shop! I love the overall love of it :)

    4 years ago

  • Baisimu

    Baisimu says:

    *look, and thanks for sharing the advices in full honesty. I'm sure many people will benefit from them.

    4 years ago

  • CozyCaterpillar

    CozyCaterpillar says:

    Congratulations on your success! Wonderful advice, thank you!

    4 years ago

  • CozyCaterpillar

    CozyCaterpillar says:

    Congratulations on your success! Wonderful advice, thank you!

    4 years ago

  • DecoFamara

    DecoFamara says:

    Great Article.

    4 years ago

  • PrishaJewels

    PrishaJewels says:

    Fantastic Article :)

    4 years ago

  • GloryBDesign

    GloryBDesign says:

    You definitely have some winning designs! I appreciate the honesty of your advice. Made me stop and think about some facets of doing this thing full time that I haven't given enough thought before. Best of luck to you!

    4 years ago

  • rozzie

    rozzie says:

    AWESOME products, love the fun and experimental use of screening!

    4 years ago

  • sewlola

    sewlola says:

    Very inspiring story! I agree ... the paperwork for running a business takes time that I would also rather spent ... sewing! :)

    4 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Nice work! Interesting to read your story since it reveals two sides to working for yourself. Hopefully theres many more successes for you to come!

    4 years ago

  • laceydu

    laceydu says:

    LOVE the old time glasses! Perfect wedding and holiday gifts. Also, I love every 'quit your day job' post, and am grateful for my day job and health insurance, but can't wait to get where you guys are at. Thanks for the tips!

    4 years ago

  • CraftsByBabz

    CraftsByBabz says:

    Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing!! ~CraftsByBabz

    4 years ago

  • MissMeghanElizabeth

    MissMeghanElizabeth says:

    Congrats on everything! your bicycle T-shirt was on of the first items I marked as a favorite on Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • jewelrybyirina

    jewelrybyirina says:

    What a great inspiring story! Thank you for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • LizaDesign10

    LizaDesign10 says:

    Great article.

    4 years ago

  • thedoggiehouse

    thedoggiehouse says:

    LOVE IT !

    4 years ago

  • GaGa4GiftTags

    GaGa4GiftTags says:

    Very inspiring story and lots of wonderful tips. Wishing you continued success!

    4 years ago

  • AmoreBride

    AmoreBride says:

    Kudos to both of you! Very inspiring, and goes to show being self-employes in the craft industry is very possible!

    4 years ago

  • FiligreeCreations

    FiligreeCreations says:

    Great shop & great story! :)

    4 years ago

  • RaiseYourFist

    RaiseYourFist says:

    Brett and Crystal are awesome - It was Brett's direct reference to a similar screen printing class that let me turn something I always wanted to do into something I love to do! Also being the 1st people I'd met that made a living off of their craft outside of the art glass community I've always felt they set a great example for others to aspire to - and If your lucky enough to live in the greater Denver area you better believe their community involvement will help you and the handmade movement along the way. THANK YOU TWO FOR HELPING MAKE DENVER ROCK!

    4 years ago

  • vidaliavintage

    vidaliavintage says:

    just saw you guys at mca denver! love your stuff! congrats on the article and great shop.

    4 years ago

  • BrightSpotDesigns

    BrightSpotDesigns says:

    Great story, I had them ear marked for holiday gifts and it is nice to see the story behind the products. Good luck to you both in the future and growth of your company!

    4 years ago

  • ArcSquare

    ArcSquare says:

    TLR, screen printed glasses are my favs! :) xo

    4 years ago

  • SundancersStudio

    SundancersStudio says:

    Great product! Very inspiring story......

    4 years ago

  • Legacy925

    Legacy925 says:

    Wonderful article. Love your designs, especially the bicycle, wren and monograms. And you're in DENVER!!! How Cool! I'm just outside of Boulder, in Louisville. I would love to come visit your boutique and have a chat with you guys sometime. After being laid off and now unable to find a job, I've decided to pursue my (jewelry making) passion again, and I am feeling more alive now than I have in years. You brought out some good points and I feel inspired and encouraged by your story. Thank you for sharing~ and thank you for taking the plunge. I look forward to meeting you both!! :)

    4 years ago

  • BGBJewelry

    BGBJewelry says:

    Very Inspiring! Thank you for sharing. It just revs up the engines!

    4 years ago

  • MilburnStudiosPEI

    MilburnStudiosPEI says:

    Loved your article. As a new Etsy subscriber I'm always looking for info and advice. Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • BuddyandJoJo

    BuddyandJoJo says:

    Thanks so much for the great story. We'd love to be able to do this too someday. :0)

    4 years ago

  • riricreations

    riricreations says:

    Your work is inspiring, but your honesty is even more compelling. Thanks for the wise words for those of us with one foot in etsyland, and the other still in another's tricky to balance it all especially during the holidays~ Keep up the great work! xoxo

    4 years ago

  • janeeroberti

    janeeroberti says:

    Congrats Brett & Crystal:P love your stuff. Making Denver cooler every day!

    4 years ago

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs says:

    Love these articles they are so inspiring and I've always loved your shop too! Congrats! ;)

    4 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    It's always so inspiring to hear from actual people who have done it! Much continued success! Cheers!

    4 years ago

  • theroyal

    theroyal says:

    these are rad. i really like the faux boix deer

    4 years ago


    TAGSMITH says:

    Great story, I really like the animal silhouettes.

    4 years ago

  • theHandmaiden

    theHandmaiden says:

    hooray! so excited that Boulder will be introduced to Vital in December at the Firefly Holiday Market. Colorado is lucky to have such lovely makers ;)

    4 years ago

  • abrekhus

    abrekhus says:

    Wow, congrats! Great products!

    4 years ago

  • whyzee

    whyzee says:

    To my mind, not every creative person would be able to sustain a private business. It seems like having two people collaborating works the best. It's hard to stay creative and positive when you know you have to deal with paperwork and "real life". The blissful example of it would be Valentino Garavani and his patner and business mind behind his empire Giancarlo Giammetti. I'd rather keep my heart invested in a "something more than hobby" and day job. Kudos for you two!!!

    4 years ago

  • EJPcreations

    EJPcreations says:

    I just love this series. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    4 years ago

  • lltownleyceramic

    lltownleyceramic says:

    As someone who has worked for 14 years as a salesperson in a craft gallery, and as a craftsperson in my own studio, all I can say is that Brett and Crystal's advice is spot on: having savings before you begin your enterprise is key, as is a willingness to deliver pizzas if necessary. Also, with so many free outlets for marketing, I would be inclined to agree that paid advertising, especially for a small company just starting out, would not be the most efficient use of those precious dollars. Great article!

    4 years ago

  • FabricSewciety

    FabricSewciety says:

    As usual, a great article for the Quit your Day Job Series. It is wonderful to hear about people who have found a calling, go for it and become successful. Congratulations!

    4 years ago

  • audreytolove

    audreytolove says:

    Great Article! Proud of you!

    4 years ago

  • ModernShop

    ModernShop says:

    Wonderful work! Best of luck in the future!

    4 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Great article ! Congratulations !

    4 years ago

  • cottoncandicreations

    cottoncandicreations says:

    You pictures are wonderful!! You have a great story!!

    4 years ago

  • BreatheCouture

    BreatheCouture says:

    Great products and info! I totally agree about paid advertising being a bust. I've found it a waste of money paying for ad space on websites/blogs. Perhaps it works for some, but many I've spoken to said it's been a waste of money and some pay a ridiculously high price for ad space. Always good to know how to spend money wisely!

    4 years ago

  • LillysHouse

    LillysHouse says:

    What an inspiration! We hope to be there one day...not quite so simple to quit a 'normal' job when you have little guys running around who want to be fed....however, I'm sure it's possible. Great story, congratulations on making it.

    4 years ago

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections says:

    Very inspirational! As for Vital's point of "lack of employer provided health insurance is an issue. Sourcing and dealing with individual health insurance is a bit of a struggle."; would love to see Etsy offer health insurance options in the future for people selling here full time, much less costly to purchase a group plan than to buy individually.

    4 years ago

  • FerntreeStudio

    FerntreeStudio says:

    Yay, another lovely truthful and inspiring story! I am currently walking the path of a day job quitter too! Today is my first full time 'working for myself' day. :) It's exhilarating and VERY scary! angie

    4 years ago

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns says:

    Love the bicycle shirt! Wonderful story,thanks for sharing it. I to hope to one day be able to quit my day job. Keep up the good work!

    4 years ago

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts says:

    congratulations on your success and kudos to the hard work you have put into succeeding at this-love your shop!

    4 years ago

  • PinkButtonCreations

    PinkButtonCreations says:

    love love love

    4 years ago

  • LillysHouse

    LillysHouse says:

    What an inspiration! We hope to be there one day...not quite so simple to quit a 'normal' job when you have little guys running around who want to be fed....however, I'm sure it's possible. Great story, congratulations on making it.

    4 years ago

  • moonsongranch

    moonsongranch says:

    I have to say that I prefer collaboration. I have found that when my wife and I create something together it's almost always a better product that when we doing it alone. Very inspiring interview. Good luck to you both!!

    4 years ago

  • petalandpink

    petalandpink says:

    What a great story. Congrats on your success and wishing you both much more on future endeavors!

    4 years ago

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy says:

    On the map and fabulous! Congrats!

    4 years ago

  • imadeyouabeard

    imadeyouabeard says:

    i love their work! thanks for sharing your story!

    4 years ago

  • taradara

    taradara says:

    Yay, good for you guys! Great article. I'm so proud of you both!! Hard work pays off. Livin the dream.

    4 years ago

  • TheSewingGin

    TheSewingGin says:

    Congratulations on making your dreams come true.

    4 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm says:

    Like the bike designs wonderful shop as well, congrats on following your dreams, happy for both of you. Wish ya continued success in the future where ever it leads.

    4 years ago

  • bridgeations

    bridgeations says:

    Cool thanks!

    4 years ago

  • anda Admin

    anda says:

    Hi Brett and Crystal!! I always love running into y'all at Craft Fairs and picking your brains about all things Etsy. :D

    4 years ago

  • oralgasm

    oralgasm says:

    Very cool!

    4 years ago

  • Juicyboo

    Juicyboo says:

    Great story and great practical advice for all us newbies just hitting the handmade scene. Roll on the Etsy Revolution! It's gonna change the world!!! :0))))

    4 years ago

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr says:

    Nice, nice!

    4 years ago

  • lilabelledesign

    lilabelledesign says:

    great article .lovely items ;o)

    4 years ago

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump says:

    Yay! I'll definitely stop by the next trip I make out to Denver! :)

    4 years ago

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump says:

    Yay! I'll definitely stop by the next time I make a trip out to lovely Denver.

    4 years ago

  • BeachHouseLiving

    BeachHouseLiving says:

    Great article. Top notch of the "quit your day job series" The statement "Running your own business is fantastic, but it’s not necessarily easier than working for someone else. Life does not get simpler once you are on your own, and I did not fully appreciate that before." Is great advice. I write ideas and make sketches in a notebook and can get caught up in the work for yourself and all the things I could create if there were more hours in a day. My family and friends are like you need to take a break now and again but I'm not ready to. It's not just about selling. It is about pursuing what I dreamed of for more years then I care to disclose. Etsy has been so great to test the waters. It's also like a second full time and I'm loving every moment.

    4 years ago

  • CindyEllison

    CindyEllison says:

    Brett and Crystal, I love your work! Enjoyed your great advice in your story. May you have continued success.

    4 years ago

  • retrolabs

    retrolabs says:

    Great article Crystal & Brett! And nice to meet you two at the DHA meeting last week. I need to stop by Tomte soon!

    4 years ago

  • ArtfullyYoursHawaii

    ArtfullyYoursHawaii says:

    Mahalo for sharing your wisdom!

    4 years ago

  • VitalVintage

    VitalVintage says:

    So great to see a Denver seller featured! Great article!

    4 years ago

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 says:

    Vital was one of my earliest favorites when I was an Etsy newbie. Well-deserved feature & great shop! Best wishes.

    4 years ago

  • LoveForEarth

    LoveForEarth says:

    Very nice story! Love your store(s)! Livin' the dream and creating is all a person can ask for :) Best wishes!

    4 years ago

  • ShinyRockDesigns

    ShinyRockDesigns says:

    I love your style and good luck to you both! I'd love to be there someday, but like Lillyshouse said - its hard with little ones - the financial risk is riskier! But, happy moms (and dads) make for happy babies!

    4 years ago

  • AnneTabi

    AnneTabi says:

    Love you for who u are....Luv the people who support your thoughts.... Finally luv you for understanding others...;) Anne 65 98337290(Singapore)

    4 years ago

  • Toodlesbynadia

    Toodlesbynadia says:

    Wonderful advice and a great shop. I'm on my way to quitting my day job and I agree that money in the bank is a necessity. Looking forward to making the big step.

    4 years ago

  • mmsomewhere

    mmsomewhere says:

    fantastic interview from 2 amazing people! go vital!

    4 years ago

  • mmsomewhere

    mmsomewhere says:

    fantastic interview by 2 outstanding artists! go vital!

    4 years ago

  • IslaNewYork

    IslaNewYork says:

    Fantastic! I always get so inspired by these quit your day job interviews!

    4 years ago

  • monkeyminddesign09

    monkeyminddesign09 says:

    Well done Brett and Crystal! I loved the insightful post. I really enjoyed meeting you two both at your amazing shop and at the Denver Handmade Alliance meeting. I love how supportive you are to the handmade community in Denver. I look forward to getting to know you two better! Congrats once again!! So happy for you!

    4 years ago

  • aemcdraw

    aemcdraw says:

    Yay for another Denver Artist series! Go Colorado!

    4 years ago

  • arsniccandy

    arsniccandy says:

    Printing on glass. That is sweet!!:)

    4 years ago

  • rosoenterprises

    rosoenterprises says:

    Fun, and cute stuff. Isn't it wonderful to hear someone say that even though it is a lot of work, "working" for yourself has rewards that can't be bought!

    4 years ago

  • ecovintagevegan

    ecovintagevegan says:

    Great information and insight. Role models for all the indie crafter's and artisan's. Mickey

    4 years ago

  • antiqueelegance

    antiqueelegance says:


    4 years ago

  • AndreaFuentesDesigns

    AndreaFuentesDesigns says:

    Oh! I wish, I wish! I absolutely love hearing these stories, they help motivate.

    4 years ago

  • EruptPrints

    EruptPrints says:

    What a great read thank you. And very inspiring - I only hope to be in your shoes one day!!!

    4 years ago

  • TheVintageShopper
  • GracefullyGirly

    GracefullyGirly says:

    I love your story and your products are pretty dang sweet too.

    4 years ago

  • felicitycrew

    felicitycrew says:

    Beautiful items, beautiful shop. Congratulations!

    4 years ago

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart says:

    Very inspiring, reminds me to breathe and have faith!

    4 years ago

  • charlieparker

    charlieparker says:

    Love the glasses, very cool.

    4 years ago

  • lalalandArt

    lalalandArt says:

    Lovely story and great tips! Thank you for sharing them with us!

    4 years ago

  • rockysprings1984

    rockysprings1984 says:

    Nice article from a really new Etsy store, Rocky Springs Vintage. The underlying theme is patience, patience and I really appreciated hearing the theme from you. Keep up the great photography.

    4 years ago

  • TickledPaisley

    TickledPaisley says:

    Fantastic interview and article! Thank you for all the information and inspiration!!

    4 years ago

  • DesiCloe

    DesiCloe says:

    Beautiful work! I love your designs and picture are pretty good!buying a good camera is a great investment!

    4 years ago

  • janellehaskin

    janellehaskin says:

    This was super inspiring, congratulations on your success, I do love those bikes!! ;)

    4 years ago

  • sewinggeek

    sewinggeek says:

    I live in Denver and run into Brett and Crystal at local fairs and I've always loved their work and didn't know they had a shop! Good to know. Great story, esp. the ups and downs of having your own business, very right on.

    4 years ago

  • contempojewels

    contempojewels says:

    Love your work!

    4 years ago

  • MagicalCards

    MagicalCards says:

    Great story! Inspiring! :)

    4 years ago

  • AtomicLuLu

    AtomicLuLu says:

    There is very sound advice in this article. I always enjoy reading about successful artists and getting new tips, this however really hit home. Thank you !

    4 years ago

  • ManoyMetal

    ManoyMetal says:

    As a new seller to Etsy, the "Quite your Day job" articles are so inspriring, especially knowing that sleepless nights are not uncommon for the etsy seller community as it's so hard to work fulltime and launch your etsy store. Thank you.

    4 years ago

  • MonkeysOnTheRoof

    MonkeysOnTheRoof says:

    This is our happy for you! The article was very inspiring.

    4 years ago

  • AnnetteKovac

    AnnetteKovac says:

    Super article. Intrepid, innovative and intelligent shop owners, lovely things as well. Cheers!

    4 years ago

  • flychicks

    flychicks says:

    great thourough info for first timers starting out! thanks for sharing! great work :)

    4 years ago

  • teconlene

    teconlene says:

    Very interesting interview!! I love their creations :)

    4 years ago

  • itsmemary

    itsmemary says:

    I am always so inspired by these Quit Your Day Job articles.. I mean SO inspired that i recenetly just quit my day job!!! Still feels like I'm on vacation as its only been a week since my last day at work, but I am loving every minute of crocheting all day!

    4 years ago

  • ChellaBellaDesigns

    ChellaBellaDesigns says:

    So cute. I'll have to mark this shop for X-Mas gifts. What a well thought out business plan and great product!

    4 years ago

  • onetrueness

    onetrueness says:

    Lovely images.....

    4 years ago

  • GrowingGrasshoppers

    GrowingGrasshoppers says:

    great store = ]

    4 years ago

  • FeltShmelt

    FeltShmelt says:

    Awesome story, and great shop! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • uaglow

    uaglow says:

    Thanks guys! that really helps...especially since I've been getting mixed feedback re: paid ads like as in Google Ads, etc. hmmm...I'm thinking twice:)

    4 years ago

  • tigerbee

    tigerbee says:

    Very good interview and I've also had no luck with paid ads. Thanks for the input!

    4 years ago

  • TheYearningRobot

    TheYearningRobot says:

    I was in your shop before this article dropped, crazy! Congrats on your current and continued success

    4 years ago

  • lizalmightycreations

    lizalmightycreations says:

    this was a wonderfully helpful article to me! i'm actually unemployed right now and am working hard to make etsy my full time job! :) kudos to you both!

    4 years ago

  • meowadays

    meowadays says:

    I loved reading this! Very inspirational!

    4 years ago

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist says:

    i really enjoyed reading this ~ thanks for sharing your tips and experiences. congrats on coming this far :)

    4 years ago

  • ElisaGomez

    ElisaGomez says:

    so inspiring

    4 years ago

  • agatsijoias

    agatsijoias says:

    Congratulations on your sucess!! I love your designs and the fact that you can print it in many different items!! I would love to have those glasses in my home, oh and the t-shirts are cool too!!

    4 years ago

  • paperandprint

    paperandprint says:

    Your story is an inspiring one and full of good common sense. Congratulations!

    4 years ago

  • littlepoochboutique

    littlepoochboutique says:

    Wow that is amazing I hope that one day I can be featured just as you are being featured. I really love reading about sucess stories it gives people like me hope and motivation to work harder.

    4 years ago

  • fernandsprout

    fernandsprout says:

    Love to you both! You are two of the nicest, most creative and talented people I've ever met. I must say you inspired ME to do what I'm doing. So happy for you!!! Can't wait to hang with you at all the markets this holiday season! xox

    4 years ago

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts says:

    Nice article Vital! It's like reading a page from our own life! Best of luck in everything you do:) Your fellow printmaking friends, Team Slow

    4 years ago

  • bernard2jr

    bernard2jr says:

    i need some body to call me because i need to find out how can i start making some money i have no no.9124284384

    4 years ago

  • hapnsack

    hapnsack says:

    I love the honesty in this story. Success is not easy, but the hard work makes it oh so much more rewarding!

    4 years ago

  • ohbuckets

    ohbuckets says:

    my favorite quit your day job yet - you two have some genuine business sense - way to go! off to check out your shop...

    4 years ago

  • rosi3

    rosi3 says:

    Those cups are awesome! make glass bowls!!! big ones!

    4 years ago

  • ladybug9753

    ladybug9753 says:

    Great info. So helpful!!:)

    4 years ago

  • patchworkpassion1

    patchworkpassion1 says:

    That was a great article! I opened my Etsy account in 2006 but have not been active on it till now. I recently closed my brick and mortar quilt shop and am trying my hand selling quilting fabric and patterns here in Etsy. Mostly I am interested in marketing my own original quilt patterns. Reading an article like yours is really helpful in getting me started, especially about the photos! Running a business from home requires a lot of self discipline because there are so many distractions and it really is good if you can get into a regular routine. Good luck to you both!

    4 years ago

  • shescraftyhandmade

    shescraftyhandmade says:

    Congrats you two! You guys rock :)

    4 years ago

  • ezliving

    ezliving says:

    wonderful good work! Thank you for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • yentownboot

    yentownboot says:

    nice work! I like it!!

    4 years ago

  • ReneeFranceDesigns

    ReneeFranceDesigns says:

    It is always fresh and enlightening to hear of another artists journy. It makes me realise a few things or two and also let me know I too am on the right path. And as I travel I am learning to grow on Etsy. Thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • PennyroyalGlass

    PennyroyalGlass says:

    Inspiring article. Really well written story. Great truthful advice on how to prepare to launch your business. Very helpful. Beautiful products! Keep it up!

    4 years ago

  • rebelrose68

    rebelrose68 says:

    What a great inspiration I work full time at the moment but knitting and design is my passion. Your designs are individual and fun and your personalities shine through, something to aim for. My shop is young and i am looking forward to nurturing it. Thank you for sharing - a new camera is top of my list!!

    4 years ago

  • TigerlilyandClover

    TigerlilyandClover says:

    I can't wait to buy Christmas gifts from your shop!

    4 years ago

  • PaperPicker

    PaperPicker says:

    i've admired your bicycle tees for a long time. i like that the bike is on the side and facing up. its on my buying list for my bf for christmas.

    4 years ago

  • chatnoir7

    chatnoir7 says:


    4 years ago

  • buttonandthimble

    buttonandthimble says:

    This is such a helpful article. Thanks for the practicl tips!!

    4 years ago

  • msquaredj

    msquaredj says:

    good advice, nice items!

    4 years ago

  • KariOriginal

    KariOriginal says:

    you're damn right about creating images people want to click on - i couldn't wait to the end of the article to check out your stuff! Great simple but stylish products - congratulations on your shop and thanks for sharing so we can learn from you.

    4 years ago

  • deLoop

    deLoop says:

    Great advice, Inspires me!!!!! The art is the easy part, its wat we love ... but perseverance and Patience are needed ... early mornings and late night .. .hehe .. i hear ya :)

    4 years ago

  • lulusmuse

    lulusmuse says:

    Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing! Very inspiring!

    4 years ago

  • OhSudz

    OhSudz says:

    Wonderful story and really neat items. I agree that owning your own business does have it's own challenges. Keep up the great work.

    4 years ago

  • DarleneScrivner

    DarleneScrivner says:

    Love the bicycle t-shirts!

    4 years ago

  • BettyBee

    BettyBee says:

    I love the glassware! Super work! Thanks for sharing :)

    4 years ago

  • thesecretlifeoftoys

    thesecretlifeoftoys says:

    love denver, great stuff guys

    4 years ago

  • CharmedAsAlways

    CharmedAsAlways says:

    I also just quit my day job, thanks to articles like this one! Great job and thankyou!

    4 years ago

  • artsybutterfly

    artsybutterfly says:

    Great article! I love all of your shop items!

    4 years ago

  • briarsdesigns

    briarsdesigns says:

    Very inspiring story, and some interesting advice. Thank you for sharing it. The tea shirt designs are great. We are trying to improve our photography, as this is obviously a really important part of selling on Etsy.

    4 years ago

  • audreyjewelry

    audreyjewelry says:


    4 years ago

  • ShopHolst

    ShopHolst says:

    Wonderful designers!

    4 years ago

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    230 days ago