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Featured Shop: Milkhaus Design

Dec 9, 2013

by Bethany Nelson handmade and vintage goods

My name is Bethany Nelson and I am the lone gal behind the Milkhaus Design shop. I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin, and make all of my items out of my home studio. My shop consists of modern screen printed and hand-dyed accessories for you and your home.


I have always been someone who enjoys working hard and trying to improve myself in any and every way. In my previous career, I rarely got to see how my hard work paid off. Now I am able to transform a bolt of plain fabric into something people want to buy, whether it is a tote bag or a tea towel. I see that item being shipped out my door or handed to a happy customer at an event, and I know the hard work was worth it.


Each of my pieces begin as a sketch in one of my many notebooks. Once I determine the product I want to make, I start prepping my materials. All of my printed items are made using linen and an eco-friendly, water-based ink. While my printed fabrics always have a consistent look, I approach fabric dyeing very differently. I custom mix all of my dyes using feeling rather than formula. I consider the results a happy accident and am almost always pleased with the outcome.


I am extremely conscious of the craftsmanship of my work. I’m happy to say that when I am at events people closely inspect my work and comment on how professional my items look, even saying that they don’t look “handmade.” I believe that less is often more when it comes to design. My customers appreciate that my products are simple, practical, and classic while still adding a stylish element to their life.


I’m happier and busier than ever since starting my creative business. I find that many of the choices I make on a daily basis, especially with how I spend my time and money, are determined based on how that decision can positively affect my business.


To me, Etsy is an opportunity for people to get their work out into the world, whether they do it as a hobby or a full-time business. It offers the possibility to take a talent from being a hobby to a career, and it is an opportunity to engage with a community of makers and consumers from all over the world. I really love the connections I’ve made with other makers here – it helps me stay motivated and improve my work.

All photographs by Milkhaus Design.


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