Daggerdoll Productions Photos by Dollymae Vintage by Dollymae Ephemeral Downloads By Dawn Mueller
What Daggerdoll, Dollymae and
Ephemeral mean to me:
My two main shops are named in relation to an "assumed" name I acquired while bartending in NYC in 1986. It was a very hard rock scene that I was into. One of the bars that I worked at, the Lismar Lounge, was known for featuring live music from up & coming bands. A couple of bands who played there that you have probably heard of are Jane's Addiction & White Zombie. A feature of our rock n' roll bartending mystique was that we all had nicknames. My bartender name was Dollymae Dagger. That's it in a nutshell. That's where the "Dollymae" comes from. And the umbrella name for all of my business ventures is Daggerdoll Productions - also stemming from the original assumed moniker.
As for my newest shop, Ephemeral Downloads... I created the name in hopes of channeling SEO related traffic to my shop, which specializes in printable instant downloads, created from my 30 years of collecting vintage postcards, advertising, antique photos, and other assorted antique ephemera.
VINTAGE: I had been selling vintage for the past 10 years - first on eBay, before there was an Etsy. So when I found out about Etsy, I was eager to try it out. I used to be a thrift store / flea market junkie, ever since I was a little kid. I say used to be, due to the fact that thrift stores got super lame. But I ended up with so much cool stuff, I couldn't keep it all. That is why I started to sell my vintage stuff online. Now it is like an addiction. Selling is a blast. I love doing my part in keeping treasures out of the landfill, and sending cool items to new homes, where they can be enjoyed by others. Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose! That is my mantra. PHOTOGRAPHY: I started out in the 8th grade with a photography class, and was known in high school as that person that always carried around a camera.After a couple of years as an Etsy seller, I finally felt brave enough to to open a second shop to promote my photography. I wouldn't consider myself a professional... but I have learned a great deal in the past 7 years. I owe this to the inception of the Flickr website. Even though I am a graduate of NYU film school, I discovered later in life that my real passion is photography.
Thanks to Flickr I was able to make contacts & join groups that helped me grow as a photographer and an artist.
DIGITAL DOWNLOADS: I didn't even know there was such a thing until I stumbled across some by accident on Etsy not too long ago. Having already a huge collection of antique & vintage ephemera, plus a working knowledge of photoshop, I thought I would give it a try and opened my third shop in January. It's not a huge money maker. But I really enjoy it, so it's more of a hobby for me now.
Obstacles in Selling on Etsy
I can't stress enough how hard it is to sell photography. There is so much competition due to the digital explosion. Everybody & their brother, who has a few thousand to plunk down for a digital SLR, basically considers themselves a photographer. Some are really good. Most aren't. Point is, there is too much traffic congestion, and it's hard to make one's work stand out from the rest. I try to impress upon people / customers that a great deal of my photos are taken with film cameras. This means that I am not just pointing and shooting on "AUTO." Anybody can do that. So I love it when people take notice of my prints that were shot with film.
Inspirations and Life Outside of Etsy
In one word - traveling. I love taking pictures of unusual subjects that I find
anywhere on the road and abroad. I am also a huge fan of graveyards.
My favorite activities, riding my motorcycle, traveling abroad, and visiting flea markets, are actually a means for my creativity. I don't do much of anything else, except for watching movies & enjoying the company of my three dogs.
Charitable Efforts and Promotions
Recently I pledged to raise money for the SXSW Cares Fund, by donating the proceeds from the sales of my photos in my Etsy photography shop. I have sold three prints so far... and would love to donate more (hint, hint) I am also participating in SXSW Cares Big Benefit Online Auctin through May 11th. You can find it at https://myab.co/events/jh/
Handmade, natural, organic, plant-based hair and skin products
How "Shamarwyn" was born:
I wanted a goddess's name. Every goddess name was already being used and I was going to have problems with them so I decided to use part of my daughter's name combined with the Celtic "wyn" since I am Scottish and make my own goddess.
The evolution of Shamarwyn:
Many years of working with professional products as a
licensed cosmetologist at spas and resorts always had me reading the healing
and beneficial properties of plants across many websites and determining how
they could be utilized into hair and skin products.
I have worked on developing my products for many years. They became
a reality about five years ago when I started bottling and labeling them to
sell to clients at the salon where I worked. I started selling them online and
at markets about three years ago.
Inspirations in Shamarwyn
Being an aroma freak, I spend time researching fragrances and finding companies that produce them naturally and this plays into how I determine some of the formulations. Each creation has been my favorite when I first get them formulated, tested
and bottled. My next favorite one is still in my head as a mental recipe.
Shamarwyn on having an Etsy Shop
I am surprised at how technically savvy I have become what
with the photography, description writing and social media campaigns etc.
that's involved with an Etsy shop. It's been an interesting adventure.
Using Japanese Paper and Wood to create
jewelry and ornaments/accessories.
How Pretty Kiku was born:
I was trying to brand my line with a Japanese twist to it
and potentially use at least one Japanese word in it, but short enough that
people could remember it easily. I also wanted it to sound girly and possibly
represent a character. The name came after I created the logo. I was trying to
paint the face of a geisha and was thinking of names for her. I liked 'sakura'
(Japanese for Cherry blossom) but it's too commonly used. I remembered 'Kiku'
(chrysanthemum) is also a very common flower in Japan. I love the sound of it,
and the fact that it is so short. Just like that, I looked at what I painted,
and 'Kiku' became 'PrettyKiku' :)
The evolution of Pretty Kiku:
I've been making my jewelry for about 6 years now. I think I
am most amazed to look at how my product evolved, yet staying true to itself.
Over the years, I've tweaked my materials and the way I finish each piece.
Having an online shop has taught me a lot about pricing and
product description, but mostly has naturally inspired me to photograph each
item the way I do it today. I think my line now looks 'clean', the pictures are
bright and crisp, and that is also part of my brand/branding. Photography is
the second most important part of my work, I thrive to represent truthfully all
the bright colors of the wonderful Japanese papers.
I love all the earrings, especially the little studs which
look like candy. My customers love them! And I really love the little Easter
eggs, which actually also look good enough to eat, like little chocolate candy
Inspirations in Pretty Kiku
I get my inspiration from 2 different, unrelated sources.
I’m a geophysicist specialized in mineralogy/volcanology and have always harbored
a strong passion for rocks, minerals and crystals – their different shapes,
geometry, colors. This explains my love for different materials and colors. The
other side of my obvious inspiration comes from my fascination for Japan. I am
in awe of their culture, their arts, their food, their (volcanic) landscape,
their flora, their history… I admire how meticulous and thorough Japanese
people are. I try to honor that with my own meticulous jewelry process.
Manue outside of Pretty Kiku
When I am not working for PrettyKiku, I'm probably crafting
with my 2 boys. Arts and crafts run in the family! We just built them a huge
craft table and they have access to most medias, appropriate for their young
age. Our house is filled with crafts :)
The rest of my time is spent with my wonderful husband and
my friends, eating, cooking and at yoga, which keeps my centered and focused!
Want to find Pretty Kiku in Austin?
Here in Austin, you can find PrettyKiku at: Sanctuary,
PrimaDora, Parts and Labour and Atown.
You can come say hi to me at the upcoming Austin Mini Maker