Shop Etsy

Featured Seller: Boardstiff

Nov 18, 2011

by boardstiff

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Megan Barnes and I am the creative mind behind Boardstiff, as well as a few other shops on Etsy. I was working as a freelance graphic designer specializing in branding and product packaging when I decided to launch my own line of witty stationery and office supplies in July of 2009. In the fall of 2010 I followed my heart and launched Boardstiff.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love spending time with my family. We are huge movie buffs. When I am not creating or working on my business, you can usually find me curled up on the couch with big a cup of tea and a pair of knitting needles watching the latest addition to our movie collection.

What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
I have narrowed it down to two potential titles:

1. Play it Forward. What I do is who I am and what I aspire to be.

2. Road Map to Success. Just as everyone’s journey is different, so is their idea of success.

Where does your inspiration come from?
The raw materials I work with, whether it be a ball of yarn, a roll of vinyl or a big sheet of cardboard. I often find myself staring at them almost like it is a challenge: “What can I make with this?” Sometimes an idea comes right away and other times it can take weeks for the idea to materialize, but then all of a sudden it’s the middle of the night and I have the urge to start working.

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means irreplaceable. It’s the magic of the human touch, imperfections and all.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
I grew up in a house where creativity was always encouraged. I was free to dream and create anything that I could think of, limited only by my imagination and creativity. So I guess you could say that my folks are the ones to thank for my unlimited number of ideas and the burning desire to test each and every theory.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
When I was nine years old I used to create elaborate board games and stationery. One particular item that I remember making was a stationery set adorned with hippos. While coloring in the purple hippos, I made sure that they matched; I wanted them to look like they had been professionally printed. When I finished the full set I decided that they needed to look like they came from a store, so I went off to the kitchen to grab some cellophane wrap and a thick piece of cardboard to wrap it up. Even at that age I was passionate about my art.

How would you describe your creative process?
I usually just go for it. If I spend too much time planning, I tend to over-think the problems or obstacles that I may never face. Just because your product or idea isn’t out in the marketplace yet doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
This may sound odd,but I would really love to take a sneak peek into my own studio 10 years from now. I would love to see how my taste has evolved, what items I have chosen to display proudly and which items have stood the test of time.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My wedding ring. It’s a combination of everything that is most important to me: history (the center band is my grandmother’s wedding band), design (my husband, with his amazing eye for style, designed the piece) and love (the ring itself was handcrafted).

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I definitely have to be in the zone to work on anything creative. Unfortunately, there is no trick or switch that I can flip to put me in that spot, so it’s important that when I’m in that creative mood I make the most of it and focus on my ideas and creativity. A big cup of tea and some music help me stay in my creative headspace. Owning a business where everything is depends upon your creativity, it’s important that you don’t try to force ideas or creations. On the days that I am not feeling super creative, I work on the other aspects of running the business.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love nothing more then to be in the same place, but with slightly different surroundings and 10 years of additional wisdom.

Featured Seller Archive

I am Here - Your neighborhood custom play map - MEDIUM
I am Here - Your neighborhood custom play map - MEDIUM
boardstiff
$42.13 USD
Mark The Spot (sticker sheet)
Mark The Spot (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
Planted (sticker sheet)
Planted (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
I am Here - Your neighborhood custom map play map - SMALL
I am Here - Your neighborhood custom map play map - SMALL
boardstiff
$22.44 USD
Rural (sticker sheet)
Rural (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
Around The Block (sticker sheet)
Around The Block (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
In Transit - Canada (sticker sheet)
In Transit - Canada (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
I am Here - your neighborhood custom play map - LARGE
I am Here - your neighborhood custom play map - LARGE
boardstiff
$57.87 USD
I am Here - your neighborhood custom map play mat - LARGE
I am Here - your neighborhood custom map play mat - LARGE
boardstiff
$57.87 USD
To Do (sticker sheet)
To Do (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
In Transit - USA (sticker sheet)
In Transit - USA (sticker sheet)
boardstiff
$1.38 USD
I am Here - Your neighborhood custom play map - MEDIUM
I am Here - Your neighborhood custom play map - MEDIUM
boardstiff
$42.13 USD

144 comments

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 4 years ago

    Oh my goodness, the personalized neighborhoods are amazing! Such a cool idea. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the feature!

  • iroirocrafts

    iroirocrafts said 4 years ago

    Congratulations! I love the idea of peeking in your own studio 10 years from now..it's making me curious too..

  • artbyheather

    artbyheather said 4 years ago

    LOVE the personalized neighborhood!!! I used to draw streets and houses and create neighborhoods on paper when I was a kid...this brings up buried memories of lots of fun! Congrats on the feature!

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas said 4 years ago

    What a cool shop! Thanks for the much needed inspiration today! Back to work now.

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 4 years ago

    Very cool shop. Congrats! Back to work is right.

  • AronaDesigns

    AronaDesigns said 4 years ago

    What cool items you have in your shop. My little niece would love your stuff! Congrats on the feature!

  • bernabermek

    bernabermek said 4 years ago

    great shop congrats!

  • GoldenBeehiveStudio

    GoldenBeehiveStudio said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on the feature, you have a great shop, the 'Little Book of Big Ideas' is fantastic!

  • purposedesign

    purposedesign said 4 years ago

    So happy to see you as the featured seller! I think your concept is quite genius- my kids still play with their mat.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Great toy ideas! very clever!

  • Mariska

    Mariska said 4 years ago

    very inspiring, thank you!

  • thetarnishedhalo

    thetarnishedhalo said 4 years ago

    Very LOVELY shop! Congrats on your feature!! Fabulous!

  • JewelryBySS

    JewelryBySS said 4 years ago

    Your neighborhood maps are great!! Congratulations on a nice feature interview and I wish you continued success in the future!

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns said 4 years ago

    How creative! I love you work.

  • gardenmis

    gardenmis said 4 years ago

    Fascinating shop! Love the idea of looking into your own studio a decade down the road ~ congrats on being FS :)

  • spiritfruits

    spiritfruits said 4 years ago

    I love your maps!

  • AgnesHart

    AgnesHart said 4 years ago

    Really nice ideas ,what a Iovely shop.

  • annieWHERE

    annieWHERE said 4 years ago

    Love your shop, your concepts and simple clean design. Congrats on being FS. Best wishes for continued success and much play :)

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 4 years ago

    Very neat work!

  • littleshopofphotos

    littleshopofphotos said 4 years ago

    Love your shop! So creative!!! Congrats!!! :)

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 4 years ago

    love your photo styles! and your witty offce post-it's would do just fine on my desk! :)

  • angryhairjewelry

    angryhairjewelry said 4 years ago

    Cute and creative stuff. Love the play map!

  • jebeach1

    jebeach1 said 4 years ago

    Lovveeee the custom neighborhood map! Very creative! Congratulations on being featured! Added your shop to favorite for future purchases. ;)

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 4 years ago

    What neat things you make! Congratulations on being featured!

  • Artulia

    Artulia said 4 years ago

    Lovely shop! Congrats on the feature!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 4 years ago

    Congrats on your great shop and interview.

  • SomsStudio

    SomsStudio said 4 years ago

    You are incredibly talented!! I love your neighborhood maps!! Congrats and all the best!

  • needlenerd

    needlenerd said 4 years ago

    how fun! congrats!

  • Zria

    Zria said 4 years ago

    These are so sweet :)

  • NorthWoodworks

    NorthWoodworks said 4 years ago

    Great items that look like a lot of fun. Congrats on the feature.

  • maggiesraggedyinn

    maggiesraggedyinn said 4 years ago

    You are so creative... and your work is so interesting

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

    I like your view of success! Congrats, great fun feature!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 4 years ago

    So cool.

  • texturemix

    texturemix said 4 years ago

    Congrats Megan!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Such a great shop!!! Congrats =)

  • AltogetherLeather

    AltogetherLeather said 4 years ago

    I love how colorful and happy your items are! Great shops and congratulations on your feature!

  • CelebrateToday

    CelebrateToday said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on the feature! What a wonderful thought to see your progress ten years from now. Thanks for sharing your process!

  • knottysarena

    knottysarena said 4 years ago

    love the custom neighborhood play mats, what a great idea!

  • LuminousCreation

    LuminousCreation said 4 years ago

    Congratulations! LOVE your shop... Wishing you much success! xoxo

  • treehouseherbs

    treehouseherbs said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on the feature! As many others said already: The custom neighborhood is really neat. Great work. Happy sales :)

  • Kassiopey

    Kassiopey said 4 years ago

    great shop congrats!

  • Flyou

    Flyou said 4 years ago

    I am the same way- music and coffee (instead of tea).. I put on pandora (regina spektor channel!) and sip on my oversized cup of joe and go to town!! congrats on the interview!!

  • Earleyimages

    Earleyimages said 4 years ago

    What a great creative idea! Love it

  • HolmesandWatson

    HolmesandWatson said 4 years ago

    Just loved your interview and your photographs are equally awesome! Marvelous shop as well, of course-- congratulations on the feature!

  • SoyabeanBaby

    SoyabeanBaby said 4 years ago

    I've had this shop favorited for months! Hoping to add a playmat to my holiday shopping list.

  • TikaCeramics

    TikaCeramics said 4 years ago

    Your neighborhood maps are great!! Congratulations on an interview and I wish you much fun and success in the future!

  • beliz82

    beliz82 said 4 years ago

    Wonderful interview and shop Congrats !!!

  • TheBakersDaughter

    TheBakersDaughter said 4 years ago

    What a wonderful way to encourage creativity!!! Superb ideas, congratulations on the feature!!

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle said 4 years ago

    You are super creative! Loved your shop...

  • divelegant

    divelegant said 4 years ago

    congrats!

  • freesoul

    freesoul said 4 years ago

    AWESOME!! My kids will love these!!

  • bigmelittleworld

    bigmelittleworld said 4 years ago

    lv lv lv ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,your shop !!!!!! warmly, susan @ bigmelittleworld.etsy.com

  • acuriousbrood

    acuriousbrood said 4 years ago

    Your products and concepts are wonderful. Much success!

  • Avarae17

    Avarae17 said 4 years ago

    Such a great idea!! I've just sent to my friend whose little boy is obsessed with lining his cars up in a traffic jam (so hopefully he can now do it in his own street!)

  • byKEONA

    byKEONA said 4 years ago

    Congrats on being Featured! I love your definition of "handmade" , I couldn't agree more. My day in the studio consist of a cup or 12 of tea :)

  • circadejavu

    circadejavu said 4 years ago

    I love that you said "just because its not in the market place doesn't mean its a bad idea". I like that. Congrats on your success!

  • MagpieWorkshop

    MagpieWorkshop said 4 years ago

    Love the play mat - what a fantastic idea.

  • storyline

    storyline said 4 years ago

    such gorgeous and well balenced design love the starter house, super feature!

  • JasmineLund

    JasmineLund said 4 years ago

    Super duper cool! Congratulations on making FP, y'all! Blessings, Hannah Jasmine

  • Guchokipa

    Guchokipa said 4 years ago

    Wow, what cute things you make! My son was looking over my shoulder as I read your feature and he wanted to know if he was getting the "I am Here" play mat for his 5th birthday (it's tomorrow). So you have the kid vote. Very nice. Congrats on the feature!

  • bananaorangeapple

    bananaorangeapple said 4 years ago

    What a great idea. Good advice not to "force" the creative process.

  • PoshBinky

    PoshBinky said 4 years ago

    Congrats!! Just showed my 5 year old daughter & she LOVES your cute starter houses. What a great idea!!!

  • LittleBitsOFaith

    LittleBitsOFaith said 4 years ago

    What a beautiful artform! So interesting to learn about you/it. And, I love that your wedding ring means everything to you, as it should! Congrats!

  • JoDeneMoneuseJewelry

    JoDeneMoneuseJewelry said 4 years ago

    Okay so your amazing shop really does make you want to say "why didn't I think of that?" In my case I'm not as genius as you but, well done!!!!! Congratulations and keep up the good work, JoDene

  • shaylen303

    shaylen303 said 4 years ago

    Just love your work & my son would love it too! <3

  • MissPattisAttic

    MissPattisAttic said 4 years ago

    What great ideas you have!!! We enjoyed reading about you, your life and your shop! Thank you for sharing and for being on the front of Etsy!!!! We just love your creative items!!! Good for you!!!

  • JewelMeShop

    JewelMeShop said 4 years ago

    You have an innovative and fantastic shop! Congratulations!

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 4 years ago

    i love this idea.. kids play with too much plastic

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 4 years ago

    super fun shop. i love the name.

  • tinygiraffeshop

    tinygiraffeshop said 4 years ago

    congratulations on the feature, megan! you know i'm a big fan. ;)

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on this feature! You're shop has some wonderful and imaginative stuff for kids. It's a breath of fresh air!

  • zJayne

    zJayne said 4 years ago

    Wow Megan! What a pleasure to learn more about you! Having had the pleasure of working with you and your creative design - I am so SO pleased to see you recognized here! You so RoCk! I tell you!

  • GreyElephantJewelry

    GreyElephantJewelry said 4 years ago

    I love your stuff! I don't have kids of my own but I try and spoil my neices and nephews as much as possible...getting a lot of Christmas ideas!!

  • TarasArtHouse

    TarasArtHouse said 4 years ago

    Congrats! I've got a little one on the way, your stuff is inspiring

  • uniquefabricgifts

    uniquefabricgifts said 4 years ago

    Great and fun shop! Congratulations on this feature!

  • retroreclaim

    retroreclaim said 4 years ago

    Great feature, and congrats on your continued success here on etsy!

  • vinskord

    vinskord said 4 years ago

    Super fun shop! Congrats on the feature!!

  • gleneagle

    gleneagle said 4 years ago

    Really like your creative ideas!

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart said 4 years ago

    Love your work! Congrats on the feature!

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 4 years ago

    what a lovely feature...and i love your work. congrats!

  • NicoleNicoletta

    NicoleNicoletta said 4 years ago

    awesome ideas, congrats!

  • FunDeco

    FunDeco said 4 years ago

    I love all your stuff for kids to spark their creativity! I'd also love to see a pic of your wedding ring--the idea is beautiful.

  • Grafxquest

    Grafxquest said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on making it to the top!

  • Popups

    Popups said 4 years ago

    very creative !

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 4 years ago

    Good ideas. Keep up the great work!!

  • AdoroMe

    AdoroMe said 4 years ago

    Great Story!!!! Congratulations! :0)

  • dogs4deb

    dogs4deb said 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your passion and drive for me to keep going... Maybe take a left turn to view things a bit different!

  • cedardogvintage

    cedardogvintage said 4 years ago

    LOVE your neighborhood maps idea! What a great way for children to learn to orient themselves in their own neighborhood, to get a feel for where they are in relation to other places in the area, etc. I love any "toy" where children learn just by playing. Brilliant concept!

  • pickledogdesign

    pickledogdesign said 4 years ago

    Your creations are awesome and so original! I'm a new fan! : ) Best wishes for continued success!

  • VintageFairRetroRare

    VintageFairRetroRare said 4 years ago

    Granny K approves...........You Go Gal!

  • EFaceDesigns

    EFaceDesigns said 4 years ago

    great stuff!! :^D

  • AlisaDesign

    AlisaDesign said 4 years ago

    Great shop, cool stuff!!!

  • OliveLongstocking

    OliveLongstocking said 4 years ago

    so sweet and original ! Best wishes X

  • peshka

    peshka said 4 years ago

    Love your work! congrats!

  • muffintopdesigns

    muffintopdesigns said 4 years ago

    lovely lovely lovely! i too enjoy sitting on the couch with yarn and a good movie! thank you for sharing!!! xoxox

  • asimplegift

    asimplegift said 4 years ago

    AMAZING & congratulations! Perfect for my kids...!

  • theduskyjewel

    theduskyjewel said 4 years ago

    Very nice shop, very inspirational!

  • edlynnsattic

    edlynnsattic said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on the feature! Those maps would be great for teens learning to drive.

  • Suppliesjungle

    Suppliesjungle said 4 years ago

    Very good shop~!!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 4 years ago

    I love your shop. You are so creative!

  • masonke

    masonke said 4 years ago

    Wow, your work is fabulously creative! Congratulations on a great feature!

  • silentmoments

    silentmoments said 4 years ago

    Oh my gosh! I wish my kids were little again just so they could have the "I am Here - your neighborhood custom play mat". That thing is such a great idea! I'll be passing on the word to others!

  • silentmoments

    silentmoments said 4 years ago

    ps- Congrats on the feature!

  • awoolgatherer

    awoolgatherer said 4 years ago

    Great feature article! Congrats!

  • iloveyoujewels

    iloveyoujewels said 4 years ago

    Nice paper world - great ideas :-)

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    Beautiful items, I love your product action shots! I find these days a good cuppa makes me feel like a real person!

  • calisara

    calisara said 4 years ago

    Love this feature, great work Megan!!! XXOO

  • haveitconfections

    haveitconfections said 4 years ago

    What an amazing and inspiring interview. Oh my goodness I love the mailbox. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with the world. Love it!

  • cartelle

    cartelle said 4 years ago

    Hi Megan, so nice to meet you! Loved reading your interview and browsing through all the clever designs in your shop...also, I'm a tad bit jealous of your amazing photography skills :)

  • artbymare

    artbymare said 4 years ago

    Amazing idea and very inspiring! Thanx for sharing and Congratulations on this feature!

  • FauxFurPetBakery

    FauxFurPetBakery said 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your feature. Great and colorful ideas and positive blending of business and family. Best wishes to you in the future.

  • KatiesBeadsOfHope

    KatiesBeadsOfHope said 4 years ago

    Awesome shop...Love this!! Congrats!!

  • GlitterOrnaments

    GlitterOrnaments said 4 years ago

    Congrats on your feature! I am so happy you are doing what you love! ~Andrea

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 4 years ago

    You have a great and very usual shop. The boards and games that you've come up with are amazing. Great interview and very inspiring.

  • BlueMoonLights

    BlueMoonLights said 4 years ago

    Love your work. Congrats on the feature!

  • perfectwear

    perfectwear said 4 years ago

    Congrats on being featured seller! LOVE the neighbourhood play mat. Your work is awesome. Best wishes for many success!

  • melissawheeler1

    melissawheeler1 said 4 years ago

    So creative! Great interview and such a fantastic shop. Congratulations on being the featured seller. Wishing you all the best. Happy Holidays :)

  • BeadoRama123

    BeadoRama123 said 4 years ago

    Agree - When you're in the zone - everything else must wait !! Congrats...

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign said 4 years ago

    Cool work and Congrats on your feature!

  • leslieholz

    leslieholz said 4 years ago

    Very informative! Thank you!!

  • extratoppings

    extratoppings said 4 years ago

    inspiring and interesting ... not just the wonderful, creative work but also the artist/creative soul behind it. Congrats!!!

  • larking

    larking said 4 years ago

    congrats on the feature -- love how you make the photos of your products so uniquely "you" so that they are easily recognized in treasuries, etc.

  • loliscreations

    loliscreations said 4 years ago

    Congrats! Very cool shop.

  • BagNoir

    BagNoir said 4 years ago

    Congrats Megan! Such a wonderful ideas and shop!

  • seasonsofthevalley

    seasonsofthevalley said 4 years ago

    " A big cup of tea and some music help me stay in my creative headspace" I can relate to this. Tea and music are essential

  • HanHeld

    HanHeld said 4 years ago

    Great ideas about staying in a creative headspace....what do you do when you can't get out? This bead bag can't stop the mind from wanting to do everything...I just spent 3 days out of town and all I could do was unpack as fast as possible to I could start making something else. If I could only make myself a maid I would have it made! :)

  • skinbyalicia

    skinbyalicia said 4 years ago

    Great Idea's.. Congrats on the feature!!

  • MoonSunWorld

    MoonSunWorld said 4 years ago

    Congratulations!

  • hennyseashell

    hennyseashell said 4 years ago

    Love the interview, very down to earth :) keep up the good work! Your shop is awesome :)

  • FunkyFriendsFactory

    FunkyFriendsFactory said 4 years ago

    Hi Megan! I love your idea about handmade and the story about your wedding ring.

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    jinacox01 said 4 years ago

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  • thedaydreamer

    thedaydreamer said 4 years ago

    Great feature! The use of Black&White with Colour in photos is a smart idea. It instantly sets you apart.

  • saltairstudio

    saltairstudio said 4 years ago

    What kind of tea and what kind of music? I will have rooibos and something like Jars of Clay Christmas Songs, just because, it's close enough.

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 4 years ago

    What a wonderful difference a family that encourages creativity can make! I hope that my children and grand kids can say that about me one day. Thank you so much for sharing your heart....aloha! Connie

  • marcgounard

    marcgounard said 4 years ago

    Congratulation Megan, keep having fun... love your creations.

  • noufendar

    noufendar said 4 years ago

    ¡¡qué original!! y qué divertido!! :)

  • sashabhomedesigns

    sashabhomedesigns said 4 years ago

    Congrats and love the products you've come up with!

  • nicolabaker1

    nicolabaker1 said 4 years ago

    Fab, just love the maps, what a great idea!

  • zajanatural

    zajanatural said 4 years ago

    Such a great concept!

  • Suppliesjungle

    Suppliesjungle said 4 years ago

    nice !!!!! love that!! :)

  • mountainvintage

    mountainvintage said 4 years ago

    This shop is so creative and playful. The personalized neighborhood would be a great teaching tool for children. Not only to learn streets, but also in case they get lost or need to go for help. Beautiful shop and a great interview.

  • SweetpeaCottage

    SweetpeaCottage said 4 years ago

    Sweet! Love the crisp designs.

  • PaintBoxWearables

    PaintBoxWearables said 4 years ago

    Oh you are so clever. I wish I had thought of those map play mats! Genious.

  • jpgphotography

    jpgphotography said 4 years ago

    Wonderful interview, congrats on being featured! ^__^

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