Saturday, 23 April 2011

SimJaTa - Featured Folksy Seller!

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Tote Bag - Fun Sheep - by SimJaTa

The latest featured Folksy seller is the talented and versatile Lynda of Bags of Swank by SimJaTa where she offersa unique collection of carefully crafted items, including messenger bags, tote bags, shoulder bags, back packs and mobile phone pouches.  At Special by SimJaTa Lynda offers items that are designed to be more exclusive and perfect gifts or a special treat for yourself.  At Destash by SimJaTa Lynda sells beautiful crafting supplies at affordable prices.  She is a talented Folskier and I recommend you check her shops out! 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live with my husband Steve, grown up daughter and 3 rescue dogs. I help run Woof Beginnings an
to help raise funds for rescue dogs. Work full time with Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, coming up with new idea's to tempt you with. If I am not crafting (or dog walking) I will be found on Folksy, or searching around the internet for new and exciting fabrics. I also look after my parents, and try to find spare time for photographing wildlife, always good to get out from time to time.

2. What do you reach for first thing in the morning?

That’s easy, has to be a cup of tea before the day begins.

3. What’s better plain or milk chocolate?

Any chocolate, but has to be flavored in some way, like mint or with nuts, yum.

4. How did you discover that you have creative tendencies?
I have always 'tinkered' with one thing and another, not a person who can easily sit idle. Sewing was something I did for fun, did a spell at jewellery making, card making, photography, before making up my first bag as a gift, redundancy forced me into starting up my business, which turned out to be far more fun than an office desk and accounts.

5. Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is all around, as an animal lover a lot of my themes are animal related from pets to wildlife and even in the sea. My head is always brimming with idea's faster than my hands can keep up.

6. Do you have any role models/inspirations in the area of Design? If so, who and why?
Very boring, I'm afraid I don’t. Very much my own person with my own ideas.

7. How did you come up with the ideas for the products in your Folksy shop?
I started with the idea of upcycling, I still dabble with that from time to time, but did not catch on how I had hoped. So progressed to new fabrics and themes, I try to find as many as I can to appeal to all tastes. Never being a person to conform I try to concentrate on limited ideas some of the bags might be 'one off' designs, never more than four with similar styles, and nothing is ever identical. So much gloom and doom around these days I enjoy working with and producing bright and cheerful themes to try spread some of that brightness around.

8. What are you future plans for your work?
To create more popular designs, and in the immediate future hoping to corner another real shop, its a cafe and gift shop that I am hoping to get my bags into and looking good so far, sample just done and if she likes it - I should be there. That will be my 5th shop and I think enough to handle for one person with Folksy too.

9. What’s your favourite thing in the world and why?

I discovered recently it’s my shower. I just adore having my nice hot shower twice a day - not really a luxury until you loose your heating and hot water, realised I really cannot live without it, two trips to Mums a day was not very convenient. Now I have it back and tell my shower just how much I love her each day.
10. Can you share some of your favourite Folksy shops with us?

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Shops I like. This is a really tough choice as there are so many, I hate only choosing a small number, the list I have is more like 20.

My first is Nithria Cards; Wenona was one of my first customers and a great support to me. But not only that, she has fabulous jewellery of which I have some fantastic earrings she made, and I buy all my special cards from her as she always tunes in with what I need and comes up with not only the right card but also a fabulous verse that is just right to go inside.
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Next is Aileen Clarke Crafts, how stunning is this ladies work? One of my friends keeps sheep, and another has just taken a job tending sheep for Lancashire Wildlife Trust, so I have an interest in sheep and landscape - her jewellery is just amazing and she also does bookmarks and cards, I have just bought one and it is more stunning than the pictures. A superb talent, and also a personal touch when she sends out her crafts.
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Finally, its Artisan Silver - yes I know it’s her blog, and no I am NOT groveling. I just adore this jewellery and there is more on my favourites list than anything else. My Mum loves Owls so I love all of those, and Doves have a very special place with me and some of my family. The jewellery has such a different style than you would see anywhere else, individual and stunning.

11. When last made you laugh out loud?

This morning, I walk a golden retriever called Bailey. Just discovered he has had an under active thyroid he has been having treatment for, he is 5 years old and for the last 12 months been like an old dog. Today we took him with our dogs to the beach, he splashed and ran around with our dogs like a new puppy, the best sight ever to see this dog having the fun he should, rolling around in the muck and having a whale of a time, his antics had me doubled up with laughter this morning.

12. What's great about Folksy?

Folksy is fab, a super friendly forum with the best handmade talent you can find in one place, you need not leave your seat to find the best gifts alongside practical items to choose from. Friendly, efficient sellers who take so much time and care with their crafts and their packaging and after care.


  1. Great interview! What Linda says about upcycling is interesting and it's also my experience. It seems to be a lot more popular (and acceptable) in the US than it is here. Perhaps we'll catch on soon...!
    Rosie. :) x

  2. Thanks Rosie! Lynda has some great ethics and I think we can all learn a lot from her. Traceyann xxx

  3. Wow, thanks Traceyann - surprised to this in print today:)

    Would be nice if the upcycling caught on more Rosie.
    Off to do some tweeting and facebooking now.
    Lynda x


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