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Mothers and daughters on Etsy: Forage and Find

Mar 2, 2015

by Alice Young

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

It’s a well-known phenomenon that mothers and daughters often understand each other with a simple glance, so it’s no big surprise that some decide to craft together. Winchester-based Elaine (mum) and Alice (daughter), the owners of Forage and Find, are one example of such a duo selling their unusual vintage and handmade jewellery on Etsy.

elaine and alice

What makes a mother-daughter relationship special isn’t identical ideas and opinions (as anyone who has debated the appropriateness of an outfit can attest), but the differences. The owners of Forage and Find both go off on their own tangents, sourcing pieces from different locations. Alice prefers the colourfulness of semi-precious stones, but Elaine is most fond of the intricacy of antique watch movements. Mum and daughter are grateful for these differences because they make the product range much more lively and diverse.

However, it’s also those little similarities between mum and daughter that add something unique to partnerships. For Elaine and Alice? They both love the colour turquoise.

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One quality that could be hereditary in their case is an attention to detail. Mum and daughter both agree that design currently leans towards minimalism, and love for the intricate has been lost. They find their inspiration from the Victorian period before mass production- many of their pieces have an undeniable steampunk aesthetic. They love how workmanship in the 19th century involved ‘adding as many swirls, patterns, lines and details as possible’.

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Both ladies bring different skills to the creation process. Alice is tuned in more to current trends and can adapt a design of Elaine’s to make it more appealing to younger ages. Whereas Elaine is more experimental with using different tools and techniques, helping the designs to develop further.

Before their Etsy shop, the artistic duo had been creative separately for years; Elaine had crafting interests in many guises from felting to metalwork. However, she admits that this is the first truly successful business as Alice dedicates a lot of time to the marketing element. Elaine reminisces that ‘Alice has had an entrepreneurial streak right from the word go!’

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There’s nothing more valuable than a mother’s advice, whether it concerns bills, boys, or jewellery-making. Alice will show her designs to Elaine and asks for her opinion. ‘I feel that designs work better when you have two people to run their gaze over them’, suggests Alice.

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For Elaine, setting up an Etsy shop with her daughter means that work doesn’t have to be serious, instead, it can involve giggles along the way. ‘She is very playful and we can always have a laugh together about the times when designs don’t go according to plan’, admits Mum.

Selling on Etsy has been an enjoyable experience for both: ‘we love speaking to international customers from the comfort of our own home, and visualising them receiving and wearing our products. It’s incredible how an item made in our living room can make it half way across the world!’

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16 comments

  • elanknits

    Ellen Mallett from elanknits said 4 years ago

    Lovely, have that type of relationship with my Mom, wanted a daughter but have come to realize I have that relationship with my boys - makes them great boyfriends.

  • angelawickstead

    Wickstead Family from Wicksteads said 4 years ago

    Nice article. We are a mother and daughter team here too. I am the mum / or mom as some countries day :) I do have a son too who also has a little input in our shops on here as well but mainly it is just my daughter and I working together. He is away studying at university most of the time so not involved quite as much. Yes I agree with what Ellen says about having a good relationship with boys also and that it makes them good boyfriends ( and husbands), or at least that is my intension and theory with mine. ;)

  • MorphElle

    Sally from MorphElle said 4 years ago

    Such a delightful story and so wonderful to get news on a mother and daughter team local to Winchester ...... my mum and I do all our foraging for vintage textiles together, she is my best friend and critique, it wouldn't be half as much fun without her.

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 4 years ago

    Beautiful work and story!

  • vickisayer

    Vicki from secrecyinc said 4 years ago

    I do love to read of mother and daughter teams, being the mother half of our own mother & daughter team, at Lilliput Loft. We started in 2009...and have loved every minute of it. It is wonderful to see what each generation brings to the creative process...sharing ideas and opinions. Yes, I agree with Alice. Having "two people to run their gaze over a design" is a great way to help with the creative process...not to mention bringing each other closer to each other in the relationship.

  • laremi

    Mirela Lace Wedding from Laremi said 4 years ago

    I love the items! They are really unique and beautiful!

  • psgpenny

    Penny and Clare Griffiths from pennyclaremakes said 4 years ago

    We are a mother and daughter team too. It's really great to work creatively with my Mum . Our roles work perfectly together, we have never had to define who does what, we play to our strengths and it just works seamlessly. I completely agree that it's so much easier when you have someone else to bounce ideas off, I have 3 sisters too and everyone is consulted before anything is completed- a true family affair!!

  • abenakcreation

    Virpi Irene Bendandi from ABenakCreation said 4 years ago

    It is wonderful to work in teams and working together with your family is the best team ever! I was inspired to start making jewellery by my daughter, who got me my first starter kit. I work with my husband on silverware jewellery at our other Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/benaksilverwear, and I consider it a privilege to be able to to work together as a family. While we each have a different role in the production and marketing, it is always nice to toss around ideas and have someone close by to ask opinion.

  • signegoldeneye

    Signe Goldeneye from SigneGoldeneye said 4 years ago

    So cool!

  • wullibulli

    wullibulli from wullibulli said 4 years ago

    What a lovely article - And great to see from the accompanying comments that there's plenty of thriving mother/daughter partnerships out there in Etsyland. My own mum provides lots of invaluable, behind the scenes support by gathering vintage fabrics that she finds whilst on her travels. She's also my biggest fan and number one PR person! - Don't know what I'd do without her to be honest! Huzzah for mums everywhere - They're amazing!

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 4 years ago

    Lovely jewellery! What a great relationship you have, too - heartwarming :)

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 4 years ago

    What a sweet article! It reminds me of my happy memories of working on all manner of craft projects with my own mom as a child. It's funny, she never considered herself an artist because she couldn't draw, but she's so creative and is always trying out all different kinds of new craft projects. She taught me a lot, and gave me the encouragement to try new things myself.

  • rachaelsadler

    Rachael Sadler from AdasAtticVintage said 4 years ago

    How lovely to read, i also agree that a mother & daughter bond/partnerships are great. I love my mum to bits and always ask her advice with things to do with my shop and she also picks some our the homeware items. We are always laughing and joking around and there is never a dull moment! My boyfriend/friends always ask who i am on the phone to for so long and the answer is always "Mum" and then "My sister" who is also a great help with my shop, I am very lucky=D

  • salllman

    Gulabo from Cooldesires4u said 4 years ago

    Beautiful xx

  • gabysteel

    GABY STEEL from GabitatEmporium said 4 years ago

    Your jewellery is really astounding I love them, so envious of your mother daughter creative working relationship too, very cool review

  • loweezersimpson

    louisa from LouSimArt said 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely, heart warming and very inspiring story! Absolutely in love with the vintage jewellery, simply beautiful Xxx

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