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Featured Shop: Milkhaus Design

Dec 9, 2013

by Bethany Nelson

Etsy.com 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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