Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: valhallabrooklyn

Dec 29, 2008

by Mary Andrews handmade and vintage goods

Karin of ValhallaBrooklyn started her business with the goal of large wholesale orders to shops throughout the United States and Europe.  Once setting up shop on Etsy, she soon discovered she could make wholesale orders and retail orders together in order to support herself.  With a new baby on the way, she made the decision to stay small and handmade rather than outsourcing her designs to larger companies.  She now finds herself supporting her entire family through the endeavor and sure works the hours to prove it!  Keep reading to find out what goes on in Karin’s 80+ hour work week!

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
Yes, I was in the process of doing just that, but it was for doing wholesale to stores here in the U.S. and in Europe.

What was the deciding factor resulting in pursuing Etsy as your full time job?
I made pretty good sales right away, and decided that I’d rather have this little one-of-a-kind thing rather than starting a big wholesale business and having the bags produced somewhere else.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
I did do all the practical stuff with business license and setting up the monthly sales and taxes on a sheet; I do all the paperwork myself, too.  It’s just me here, and occasionally my husband helps out. I used to make dresses, coats, and also children’s clothing, so I might try those ideas out again if time ever allows for it!

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
Word of mouth, and giving my cards to anyone who asks. I know people who make postcard size flyers with pictures and info on front and back and leave these at local coffee houses and hang outs.
When I lived in Brooklyn, that seemed to be a very successful way for many artists to get their stuff out there.  You can also advertise for open studios, etc. I stay away from this as I work from my private home.
Get yourself a nice webpage, do mailing lists, blogs, etc.

Would you walk us through what a typical workday might entail?
I do different steps on different days.

  • Sometimes I’ll cut out bags and linings three days in a row, and then the next couple of days it’s all sewing. I do most work in the morning and then again in the afternoon.
  • I have zippers on long rolls, so I often get my husband to help cut and fix the ends on these.
  • I work every day. I try not to, but it always ends up that way, unless we are away.
  • I have my studio in our house so it’s really hard to “ignore” the fact that’s it’s there and that there’s always stuff to be done.
  • At the beginning of each month I take a whole day for paperwork and deal with numbers from the previous month.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
No boss!  Vacation and days off whenever you please, I get to sleep in if I like, and no one tells me what to do.  I wouldn’t change it for the world and I don’t know If I could ever go back to a 9-5 job.  I’m pregnant right now and the first 3 months it was VERY hard to get myself in motion in the morning.  I remember thinking: “How would I have dealt with a regular job? I would have fallen asleep all the time and been highly unproductive.”

I do miss the social aspect of a regular job: this is pretty lonely, and I’m here all day by myself. I also miss  weekends being weekends: you’re off and don’t have to worry about anything work related.  When we go on vacation I still think about the shop everyday; after all, I’m the seamstress, designer, accountant, customer service, shipping and packaging guy, leather hide shopper, cleaning lady, etc.  I don’t lie when I say I work 80 hours a week most weeks.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?
I sometimes wish I’d done this with a couple of other people. I see that some Etsy stores are 2-3 people owning a shop together where they split the work.  It’s pretty overwhelming doing this alone; I get a lot of requests for custom work and often have to say no. There’s just not enough time if I have to live a normal life on the side.  Also, get a studio away from your home, unless you have incredible self-discipline and “close the shop” at 5 pm every day. I never get to do that: I often sew till way after midnight.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year?
In these difficult financial times I’ll be happy even if sales go down just a little. I also have other projects up my sleeve in the creative genre which I will jump to if next year should be disastrous!

Thanks to Karin for sharing her story and business with us! Check out the related items below to see some of her work.

You can find some of our previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.


  • piddix

    piddix said 11 years ago

    Oh so exciting. I love love love the "Quit Your Day Job" series. And those bags are amazing. Thanks for sharing everyone.

  • futurowoman

    futurowoman said 11 years ago

    Karin is amazing!!!! She made a beautiful handbag for me, and I simply LOVE IT!!!!! She's a very talented designer, an expert maker, and a super-awesome customer service person! She's exactly the kind of person I love buying from here on Etsy. :)

  • LaireMarie

    LaireMarie said 11 years ago

    These bags are just lovely!!! Truly unique... My dream would be to quit my 9 to 5 and just focus on creating new things... Congrats on achieving your dreams! :D

  • lulularue

    lulularue said 11 years ago

    I'm not usually a 'bag lady' but I have been admiring Karin's work for months here on Etsy! Thanks so much for the insights!

  • MartinePetra

    MartinePetra said 11 years ago

    Love these stories, always inspiring!

  • proletariatbags

    proletariatbags said 11 years ago

    I've admired this shop before, but wow! Terrific insight and inspiration. Thanks for the interview!

  • purplelemondesigns

    purplelemondesigns said 11 years ago

    These bags are gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  • replicca

    replicca said 11 years ago

    Congratulations, Karin! I'm a huge fan and hope to treat myself one of these days!!

  • KrazyFashion

    KrazyFashion said 11 years ago

    WOW! Such an unbelievable women! I envy you. :) I wish I could help in some sort of way though. I hope the baby comes out healthy and perfect. My best wishes and hugs go out to you and your business. :D

  • alibli

    alibli said 11 years ago

    Congratulations! I can't really afford your pieces these days... but I'll keep an eye on you! Good luck!

  • pinkpurse

    pinkpurse said 11 years ago

    Your bags are fabulous! Thank you bunches for sharing your insights, great story!

  • LittleMamasDesigns

    LittleMamasDesigns said 11 years ago

    Great article, and of course, great bags!

  • olivebrown

    olivebrown said 11 years ago

    thanks for this peek into karin's world. i love her bags and check her shop quite often...(if only my budget would allow!) ...loving the pocket organizer/clutch! (ever thought of doing a removable wrist strap??)

  • EJPcreations

    EJPcreations said 11 years ago

    Good story!!!

  • art2theextreme

    art2theextreme said 11 years ago

    Very awesome bags and great feature!

  • isleofmuse

    isleofmuse said 11 years ago

    Oooo divine bags! Congrats on achieving your dream of being your own boss and on your next journey to motherhood.

  • edithandlulu

    edithandlulu said 11 years ago

    "I also miss weekends being weekends: you're off and don't have to worry about anything work related." Funny, one minute people say they love the freedom of being their own boss and then they say something like the quote above. I've noticed this in several of these interviews.

  • HomemadeZen

    HomemadeZen said 11 years ago

    congrets on your success!

  • jamieribisi

    jamieribisi said 11 years ago

    She was a featured seller in September of this year, wasn't she? Nice to read her story again. Beautiful work.

  • beachhouseblues

    beachhouseblues said 11 years ago

    Really beautiful bags!

  • rosetung

    rosetung said 11 years ago

    love your style, your outlook! inspiring!

  • anakristian

    anakristian said 11 years ago

    nice and inspirational

  • mashulu

    mashulu said 11 years ago

    Geez...I need to get one of these "husband" thingies for real. They seem to come in handy, lol. I live for this series!

  • KalliopeJewelry

    KalliopeJewelry said 11 years ago

    Gorgeous bags! Congratulations and best wishes for continued success! Thanks for the article, many small business owners work long hours and multitask jobs. Good luck!

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 11 years ago

    Such a great article! I've long admired the work of ValhallaBrooklyn. Congrats to Karin!

  • BluCille

    BluCille said 11 years ago

    Neat and modern.

  • aromaticbodyoils

    aromaticbodyoils said 11 years ago

    I love your bags, they have that Balenciaga Le Dix appeal, but much much better! Your shop rocks!

  • HairPetals

    HairPetals said 11 years ago

    I love love your bags. Congrats on your success!

  • Cooked

    Cooked said 11 years ago

    your bags are gorgeous~

  • DeborahVoizin

    DeborahVoizin said 11 years ago

    How inspiring and exciting! Congratulations!!!

  • embellishedlife

    embellishedlife said 11 years ago

    Definitely one of my favorites. I just can't pick the one I want!

  • lynncyrart

    lynncyrart said 11 years ago

    Gorgeous bags!!! Congrats on your success!! :)

  • CutieDynamite

    CutieDynamite said 11 years ago

    Gorgeous bags! I LOVE reading this series!!

  • surly

    surly said 11 years ago

    Beautiful bags! Well done!... and best of luck with the new baby!

  • soapco

    soapco said 11 years ago

    these bags are amazing - I can't believe they're handmade - they look so incredible!!! :)

  • tomonster

    tomonster said 11 years ago

    Awesome story and beautiful bags!! Love it!! I love reading this series!! Someday, I hope I can quit my dayjob too!!!

  • jadewicks

    jadewicks said 11 years ago

    I totally believe that having a 'studio' outside your home is the best way to go. Putting on all the hats in regards to the business makes it really hard to make time for life outside of work. I wish you luck in dealing with this and am just in awe of the amazing craftsmanship your bags seem to have. Congrats to you!! :)

  • LJAPhotography

    LJAPhotography said 11 years ago

    what a clever lady, stunning ! Well done! and good on you MaryMary for writing about such inspiring stories. I am hoping one day etsy will give more of us more freedom, esp those who want to be with their loved ones when they are little . Laura x

  • NattyFramebyPY

    NattyFramebyPY said 11 years ago

    Your bags are very beautiful and chic! It's amazing that you could handle numerous heavy tasks alone. Best Wishes to you, your family and the new baby. Wish you for even more success to come. :)

  • JustAnotherDay

    JustAnotherDay said 11 years ago

    beautiful creative bags. they look so yummy!

  • desirapesta

    desirapesta said 11 years ago

    i have one of these bags and no one believes me it was handmade. love it!

  • teepetals

    teepetals said 11 years ago

    She is just FABULOUS!!!!

  • 1337art

    1337art said 11 years ago

    I enjoy reading this series - thank you for bringing it into existence1

  • 1337art

    1337art said 11 years ago

    existence! (that is.) Kudos to you for doing this yourself with all of that hard work!

  • ClareBare

    ClareBare said 11 years ago

    Even though I have several bags, I ALWAYS use my valhalla bag- I get so many compliments when I wear it! I think it's amazing that you're as productive as you are- keep up the good work! Congratulations on the baby too! Soon you'll have a little helper in your studio :)

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 11 years ago

    I seriously covet those bags.

  • BellaTaylor

    BellaTaylor said 11 years ago

    all if have to say is... WOW!!!

  • loda

    loda said 11 years ago

    what a great story. it's always inspiring! best of luck to you and your new addition.

  • kathleenkrucoff

    kathleenkrucoff said 11 years ago

    The bags are just awesome. And of course, the story is wonderful. Best wishes for continued success in 2009

  • JudyB

    JudyB said 11 years ago

    I bought myself one of these bags for Christmas and was so excited. They're even better in person!

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 11 years ago

    I LOVE your bags, I have admired them so many times! One day soon I will get one!!!

  • RubyBeets

    RubyBeets said 11 years ago

    Love Quit your day job! Congrats on the Success!

  • pennyglassgirl

    pennyglassgirl said 11 years ago

    Love this series, so inspiring!

  • KnitzAndFeltz

    KnitzAndFeltz said 11 years ago

    What a great article... As an etsy "newbie" I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

  • theRasilisk

    theRasilisk said 11 years ago

    I am completely addicted to the "Quit Your Day Job" series. I'm trying to live vicariously through everyone of these hard working folks! Congratulations to those of you who have succeeded!

  • Happiknits

    Happiknits said 11 years ago

    OOOOhhhhh! Love those bags! Thanks for the article Mary :)

  • horshid

    horshid said 11 years ago

    She makes lovelybages ; and I dream of such life too;)

  • juicychristians

    juicychristians said 11 years ago

    This is so awesome...I do think she was a featured seller...I love this series!

  • Artouch

    Artouch said 11 years ago

    Beatiful bags and of course a great story!!!

  • threepeats

    threepeats said 11 years ago

    The bags are gorgeous and the photos so good I can smell and feel the fine leather!

  • f2images

    f2images said 11 years ago

    Great bags. Classic lines and details...yet very original. Beautiful and inspiring.

  • SimpleTraditions

    SimpleTraditions said 11 years ago

    Awesome store! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • LaCometaLab

    LaCometaLab said 11 years ago

    Wonderful bags... putting them on my wishlist...

  • lsad

    lsad said 11 years ago

    Wow! your stuff is great!

  • mpaperarts

    mpaperarts said 11 years ago

    Oooooh, I'm savin' up for that Okinawa beauty! Very inspiring and made me feel less guilty about how many hours I work. Thanks!

  • mossyrockpottery

    mossyrockpottery said 11 years ago

    Thanks for the article on "Quit Your Day Job: valhallabrooklyn " I'm a full time potter supporting my family on it for the last 6 years... I'me new to Etsy, but it's catching on quick! I'm really excited, because I usually do 30 craft shows per year and now, from Jan - June there's only a couple. Etsy helps me pay my mortgage during the down time. We used to go into debt in the winter. Thanks for the encouragement of that story. David Willhite Mossy Rock Pottery

  • charmingladies3

    charmingladies3 said 11 years ago

    Beautiful bags! Very talented lady!

  • fortheloveofdesign

    fortheloveofdesign said 11 years ago

    LOVE her bags... thanks for the story! I always find it interesting how folks get business up and running... Way to go, valhallabrooklyn! Dee fortheloveofdesign textiles

  • annarubyking

    annarubyking said 11 years ago

    really gorgeous work! congrats on your success!

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage said 11 years ago

    These bags really look professional and reading your article I can tell that that is just how you approach your business. Good Luck

  • melaniefavreau

    melaniefavreau said 11 years ago

    I love my valhallabrooklyn bag! Good luck Karin! I wish you a very Happy New Year 2009 :D

  • annashoub

    annashoub said 11 years ago

    I have always loved Karin's bags. Thanks for the story. Always nice to get a glimpse into someone else's life.

  • ArtfulBeginnings

    ArtfulBeginnings said 11 years ago

    Beautiful bags and the story is so very inspiring - thank you for bringing it to us!

  • punchdesigns

    punchdesigns said 11 years ago

    Amazing Bags! Very Inspiring and encouraging story as we just started out on our own. Good luck in 2009!

  • PeridotMoon

    PeridotMoon said 11 years ago

    Thank you for taking the time and consideration to help all of us that are just beginning! Your bags are beautiful!

  • courtneysamone

    courtneysamone said 11 years ago

    thanks for sharing your story- you inspire me!!

  • StitchinStyle

    StitchinStyle said 11 years ago

    Karin your reality is amazing, I love your bags and I'll be keeping an eye out for my favorite. God bless you, your family and your buisness.

  • lushpebble

    lushpebble said 11 years ago

    Nice to read about the woman behind the bags. Best regards.

  • NitaMaesGarden

    NitaMaesGarden said 11 years ago

    Oh Karin! Love the bags and your designs are so pretty!Thank you for sharing your story. It shows that one can still make it with a bit of inspiration and hard work. I think I will go to work now. hehe :) Best Wishes to you and your family.

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt said 11 years ago

    Best wishes for your growing family and business in the New Year.

  • mylittlejo

    mylittlejo said 11 years ago

    Very inspiring article. Awesome bags... Happy New Year and continued success!

  • blueunicorn

    blueunicorn said 11 years ago

    Is this a follow up to her Featured Seller article? Too bad the featured sellers articles aren't tagged with user names or we would be able to follow all of her Etsy articles/interviews. It is here if you want to read that interview: I'm most impressed with Karin's zipper sewing abilities (I just wrestled with several zippers for Christmas presents). So many zippers on single bags.

  • smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog said 11 years ago

    What beautiful bags!! I'm a newbie here so I am glad to see that there are fellow creators out there thriving on Etsy! Way to go Karin & thanks for sharing your story...

  • stitchcrafter

    stitchcrafter said 11 years ago

    OMG, SUCH sophisticated handbags!! Hard to believe they are "homemade." It blows the term right out of the water. I look thru the bags-n-purses category obsessively, and have never come upon this shop. I'm very grateful to this article for the intro. Impressive and inspiring work.

  • LushPunk

    LushPunk said 11 years ago

    Wow - 80 hours a week! i suppose it wouldn't be too hard when you work late!

  • Sinta

    Sinta said 11 years ago

    Very impressive ^_^

  • swellvintage

    swellvintage said 11 years ago

    very inspiring! x

  • Malaikawear

    Malaikawear said 11 years ago

    Inspiration really :)

  • BayMoonDesign

    BayMoonDesign said 11 years ago

    Great story of success and talent.

  • infraredstudio

    infraredstudio said 11 years ago

    I always loved her work. No surprise that your a success. You make a great product.

  • meoneo

    meoneo said 11 years ago

    hugs! talent abounding. congrads.

  • mloartwear

    mloartwear said 11 years ago

    Great designer! Congratulations on being recognized bt Etsy, you deserve it!

  • lillianJulia

    lillianJulia said 11 years ago

    Beautiful, beautiful bags.. its a labor of love. I am going to take up that idea of making postcards and leaving them in the local coffee shops.. what a terrific idea!

  • bamboobaby

    bamboobaby said 11 years ago

    Wonderful article. Great bags! Thanks for sharing.

  • blacksheepmarket

    blacksheepmarket said 11 years ago

    i am ready to quite my day job! i need more promotion ideas

  • kingfishercrafts

    kingfishercrafts said 11 years ago

    Bingo! Inspiring story of a true Etsy Badger.

  • BerlynnDesigns

    BerlynnDesigns said 11 years ago

    Thank you so much!! Awesome Story! Congrats on the new baby coming! I wish you and your family all the best!

  • SandisShellscapes

    SandisShellscapes said 11 years ago

    These interviews are my favorite thing on Etsy - so very motivating ... now I better get back to work. Have to earn enough to buy one of those gorgeous bags!

  • celisa

    celisa said 11 years ago

    hats off to her! i'm glad she stressed the importance of working so's true!


    ASTORY said 11 years ago

    It is great to hear how other women (and men!) are becoming successful and independent on the web. I particulary like the how -to, it gives ideas of how to organize oneself into a web-based business. Karin - your bags are absolutely amazing! They sell themselves - they are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing! And thanks to etsy for creating such a wonderful and interactive community and marketplace!!! PS Does etsy host a workshop for quitting your day job? That would be cool. I am pretty new to etsy, so you may have already?

  • akaisilks

    akaisilks said 11 years ago

    exellent story!

  • BeverlyAnn

    BeverlyAnn said 11 years ago

    Hi Karin...thanks for the interview and inspiration! You are living my dream... I've had my own business before and know about the hard work. The difference this time is that I really will love what I'm doing. I love this how-to series. Keep them coming as they are very very helpful. Thanks

  • kinchi

    kinchi said 11 years ago

    Great and inspiring interview. I've been wanting one of Karins bags for soo long and after this peak into her life I know I'll HAVE to buy one in the new year. Congrats on the baby and I whish you continued success!

  • SillyDolphinsJewelry

    SillyDolphinsJewelry said 11 years ago

    So wonderful to read this article! Offers hope for a beginner like me! And those are very lovely bags pictured here.

  • mattella

    mattella said 11 years ago

    thanks a lot! You're so inspiring... and it really encourages me and hopefully to others as well. All the best this coming new year!

  • NYLightMetals

    NYLightMetals said 11 years ago

    From a fellow Brooklynite and Etsy full-timer I can vouch for the 80+ hour work week, though I must admit, nothing beats being your own commander and chief ;) There is something liberating to work in accordance with your own natural ebb and flow of energy....... mine happens to be the wacky 2pm - 2am but that's when my own creative juice is at it's maximum! Congrats Karin on the great success, you are a nice inspiration on what hard work and individual thinking can achieve!!!! Cheers

  • emilybetti

    emilybetti said 11 years ago

    Those bags are gorgeous! What talent! I'll be adding one to my wish list for 2009.

  • PixieSoap

    PixieSoap said 11 years ago

    Gorgeous!! Congrats on the upcoming baby! Enjoy.

  • InuInspirations

    InuInspirations said 11 years ago

    This was so interesting to read as I am trying to make it on my own as well. It is great to read a success story. Such lovely bags, and congrats on the baby! :)

  • Bugchairs

    Bugchairs said 11 years ago

    What a great story! As a new seller on Etsy, Karin's story is very motivating! (She's cute too - I like that) I can't wait to be covered in sawdust full-time! (I make chairs). Keep up the good work!

  • artbymsr

    artbymsr said 11 years ago

    Hi Karin, Love your work. I hope to own one of your bags one day soon. Your story is very inspirational. Thanks for sharing. Wishing all a happy, healthy and very successful 2009! Maria art-by-msr

  • YasuyoMatsumoto

    YasuyoMatsumoto said 11 years ago

    Alo~ha! Karin, I love your way of living. I'm pround of you! Nice bags!

  • dnash

    dnash said 11 years ago

    Wow! Cool bags. I would love for my embroidery hobby to take off like that!!

  • meganstelzer

    meganstelzer said 11 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your information. Great bags. Happy New Year!

  • newamsterdam

    newamsterdam said 11 years ago

    Those bags are beautiful, Karin! Good luck with your store and take a few days off during the holidays :) Everytime I read one of the "quit your day job" stories, it inspires me to go out with my camera and look for photo opportunities. How sweet, if you can do what you love to do, for a living... ~ Nico New Amsterdam Photography

  • barbaragilesjewelry

    barbaragilesjewelry said 11 years ago

    Beautiful Bags! I love these articles. They do inspire and educate. Thank you!

  • poorpitifulpearl

    poorpitifulpearl said 11 years ago

    I think I said "amen" like 2o times reading this article. Oh... the self discipline that one needs to not start cleaning the tub..or answer the peksy phone... la la la. the list goes on. I totally felt like I was in Karins world... I also am a full time esty-er with a baby at home... and boy oh boy... can i relate to the 80 hour week. Karin, thank you for sharing... its nice to know I am not alone in the " juggling-efforts" world. Surely your hard work will continue to pay off. I am excited to go and take a gander at your shop. Many Blessings. *Shauna Poor Pitiful Pearl

  • HouseOnTheHill

    HouseOnTheHill said 11 years ago

    Please, NEVER quit the "Quit Your Day Job" series! I absolutely love it!!! Although right now I am just a "shopper", it is my ultimate dream to some day sell my creations on Etsy and to perhaps be featured in a "Quit Your Day Job" article. Kudos to all of you who have sucked it up and taken the leap! I wish you much success and live vicariously through you for now. Wishing you continued success, Karin and blessings to you and your new family.

  • MartaWeaverJewelry

    MartaWeaverJewelry said 11 years ago

    I admire the quality and design of your work. As a mom of a 3,4,5,10 and 14yr old and a etsy seller I can certainly relate to the long hours as I attempt to design, clean, cook, design, do laundry, list or re-list, cook, clean etc. etc....Marta

  • artdecadence

    artdecadence said 11 years ago

    ...working 80 hours a week!'t sound like fun to me! the bags tho and certainly admire your dedication...


    JEWELRYBYKRISTI said 11 years ago

    beautiful bags! The quality looks high end! 80 hour work weeks... sounds like me, but half of that is my day job.... encouraging to hear self employment on etsy is possible!

  • sygnetcreations

    sygnetcreations said 11 years ago

    I can see why you are such a hit. Your bags are delightful. Here is to a happy and healthy baby!! Amanda SygnetCreations

  • LomaPrietaPottery

    LomaPrietaPottery said 11 years ago

    Inspirational story! Wonderful bags!

  • theduskyjewel

    theduskyjewel said 11 years ago

    Great article! I'm just in love with your work!

  • OtisTheWoodDog

    OtisTheWoodDog said 11 years ago

    Very good story....

  • Quiltngbug

    Quiltngbug said 11 years ago

    Your bags look wonderfull and so soft! Good Luck in your new endeavors in the upcoming year....

  • thneed

    thneed said 11 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. Great article and bags too!

  • kohlerglass

    kohlerglass said 11 years ago

    Very inspiring.

  • TheBeadCougar

    TheBeadCougar said 11 years ago

    I admire your creativity and are an inspiration to all.

  • sassyteedesigns

    sassyteedesigns said 11 years ago

    Your purses are really beautiful. I love the Quit your job stories. Always so inspiring. thank you!

  • JoyandWhimsy

    JoyandWhimsy said 11 years ago

    Karin, you make great bags and I admire your work ethic. In regards to your remark about wondering what it would have been like if you had begun your business with partners instead of doing it alone - perhaps you may want to get some interns to help you -- you could put flyers up at schools like FIT or even give this article about yourself to a college advisor who might be able to place someone with you for school credit.

  • PacoandLupe

    PacoandLupe said 11 years ago

    Karin, I'd like to share a favorite quote: "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!" (Dr.Seuss) Keep on thinking...

  • BeckisBoutique

    BeckisBoutique said 11 years ago

    Karin, Your bags are goregous. I love your designs. I think it is great you have become so successful. I hope that you find sometime for yourself.

  • ladaworks

    ladaworks said 11 years ago

    I love these Storque articles. Karin your bags are great. I love them all. I have to save some money and then visit your shop.

  • treasuresupplies

    treasuresupplies said 11 years ago

    Working in a partnership or maybe even a shared studio could be beneficial and allow you to enjoy more of a social aspect. Or possibly hiring a part time assistant for some veriaty...getting more hours of ZZZZ's. I'm possibly just thinnking out loud her as am also dreaming of quitting my day job.

  • doublebrush

    doublebrush said 11 years ago

    I love the Storque stories. I also am working all the time from home and reading about other etsy people makes me feel less alone.


    STOLENTHUNDER said 11 years ago

    I recently quit my stressful job of 7 years in the fashion industry to take Stolen Thunder full time, I'm still feeling the stress but it's a different kind, more of an energetic buzz than a total drain. Unlike Karin I have a partner in the venture, it really helps to have 2 heads and 2 pairs of hands when those wholesale orders come rolling in!

  • FluteTeacher

    FluteTeacher said 11 years ago

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  • FabDecor

    FabDecor said 11 years ago

    You make beautiful bags and your story is very encouraging, thanks for sharing.

  • artsyfingers

    artsyfingers said 11 years ago

    Beautiful bags.and very hard work congratulation.Thanks for sharing.

  • HoppittyAngora

    HoppittyAngora said 11 years ago

    Your bags are beautiful. I would love to have own one of these. I also work many 16 hours a day like you say the work is at home with me. The days are long I have to care for the bunnies and my children I have 4 at home and them I sit and spin my yarns I'm relaxed when I spin. I really enjoy the dying process. I've been inspired to do my best by you. Thank you for tip like handing out cards to people who ask and the blogs. If you have any other tips on getting customers. please let me know. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

  • NatoBottoArt

    NatoBottoArt said 11 years ago

    I applaud your decision not to out source your work. It would be nice if it could grow into a family business:) There is so much more love put into the work when the creator makes each piece.. Be gentle on yourself and know that if people want your work they WILL be patient. Flavor takes time to blossom. Don't burn yourself out. Ask for help and you shall recieve:)

  • BlackHorseEmbroidery

    BlackHorseEmbroidery said 11 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! I would love to be able to do the things I love as a way to make a living someday.

  • wendyhumphreys

    wendyhumphreys said 11 years ago

    Love the quitting the day job. You have got to put in 110% if you really want your business to take off. Of course a great product! You nailed it! Love your bags!!!! Continued success! Wendy

  • VintageClothing

    VintageClothing said 11 years ago

    It is great that you have found a way to put your talent to use and especially make money in this economy. I wish us all the best for the New Year!

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 11 years ago

    thanks for sharing! amazing shop!

  • hoganfe

    hoganfe said 11 years ago

    Love this interview!

  • carlyjocreations

    carlyjocreations said 11 years ago

    Lovely story- discipline is a key element to success and I admire that in all of the 'Quit your day job' sellers. Well done!

  • realisationcreations

    realisationcreations said 11 years ago

    Fabulous story! I covet your day!

  • steponitart

    steponitart said 11 years ago

    Great story. Hope to own one of these lovely bags soon.

  • DeLacyDesigns

    DeLacyDesigns said 11 years ago

    Enjoyed your story, as so many in this series. Beautiful work. I'm glad your doing something that you love and will allow you to be at home with your new baby.

  • donnawesterkamp

    donnawesterkamp said 11 years ago

    Those bags are great, I'm a fanny pack person, can you design something cute. Can't find anything that looks girly

  • LollyBopBaby

    LollyBopBaby said 11 years ago

    I love your bags. Some day I would love to give one a home here with me! :)

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 11 years ago

    Hard to resist bags! How inspirational, love your work Karin... can't believe you wear so many hats, seriously good job! I'm from Alberta, Canada... is the Alberta Bag named after our province?? :P

  • huckleberryhal

    huckleberryhal said 11 years ago

    that's so inspiring and I'm only 16

  • everydayglory

    everydayglory said 11 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story! Keep up the good and hard work!

  • yarnlab

    yarnlab said 11 years ago

    Beautiful bags and inspiring story!

  • kellyvanhook

    kellyvanhook said 11 years ago

    thank you for your inspiring story...your work is beautiful! I agree totally with what you said about setting up your studio outside the's hard if you're not disciplined like you should be!!!

  • lionslair

    lionslair said 11 years ago

    Thanks for the story.

  • laetitia76

    laetitia76 said 11 years ago

    Beautiful bags she is highly skilled. I work freelance and its true that onced you start to work for yourself, you don't want to go back to having a boss. But you do work a lot more. Thanks for the inspiring story.

  • biancadenise

    biancadenise said 11 years ago

    Great story and KILLER bags!!!!

  • DoOver

    DoOver said 11 years ago

    WOW! beautiful work. i am trying for the dedication part. thanks for these stories.

  • UnamourdeLilise

    UnamourdeLilise said 11 years ago

    These bags are amazing!

  • esmeraldadesigns

    esmeraldadesigns said 11 years ago

    Gorgeous bags! I LOVE the Quit Your day-job series, it's my fave Etsy read!!!

  • MirrorImageDesigns

    MirrorImageDesigns said 11 years ago

    Karin your an inspiration and true motivator...can't wait till I can get my stuff started..hopefully sooner than later. the article!

  • sacredherbals

    sacredherbals said 11 years ago

    Great story very inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

  • Leeya

    Leeya said 11 years ago


  • anjalehn

    anjalehn said 11 years ago

    Its a great and inspiring article..Thanks so much :)

  • Glitzer

    Glitzer said 11 years ago

    absolutely gorgeous post and very inspiring!

  • noemiah

    noemiah said 11 years ago

    Love your work, great great work and inspiring!

  • deborahem

    deborahem said 11 years ago

    I have honestly lost count of how many valhalla bags I've purchased! They are absolutely AMAZING and soooo worth every penny. I love every single one of my bags and wallets. Karin is just wonderful!!!!

  • LotusJewelryThreads

    LotusJewelryThreads said 11 years ago

    I can't believe you made those purses!

  • JonesyAndCrane

    JonesyAndCrane said 11 years ago

    Great to hear about this shop! I've been a fan for ages!!!

  • adorebynat

    adorebynat said 11 years ago

    I love reading the Quit Your Day Job articles. Very inspiring. Each successful artist has his/ her own story to tell.

  • tworavens

    tworavens said 11 years ago

    you're amazing!

  • nichan

    nichan said 11 years ago

    I always want to sew this kind of heavier material than cotton...but can't afford the machine... i like your creation...great design b(^.^)

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 10 years ago

    Great artist! That Egg bag is divine~!

  • TheCoutureBride

    TheCoutureBride said 10 years ago

    Always fun to hear the reality behind all the creation. So much love is put into every bag. I am also pleased to hear your hubby helps! Wow!

  • OlgasBoutique

    OlgasBoutique said 10 years ago

    I love her work!

  • ethicBioskin

    ethicBioskin said 8 years ago

    Love your works beautiful luxurious bags handmade by Women Artisan what more can you ask ? just Bravo!! I have made the same decision to stay small and handmade rather than use dirty cheap Commercial bases or contract with lab.... I never regret I'm very happy with this proximity with my costumer especially in Etsy and so proud to be a part of something special such as helping and contracting with local farmers for My medicinal herbs...etc..! Completely Fan Certainly I'll orde one! Marion

  • leahritchott

    lea ritchot from toddlerdoodler said 5 years ago

    Inspiring story, mine is sewing variety of garments from healthcare uniforms to blazer from new remnants, to very simple bags and princess style dresses. I agree most of our day is spent by the machine. Your bags are exquisite. My site is toddler doodler.. Hope baby is good health and all works well in your business.

Sign in to add your own