Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Down With Plumes

Meet Bethany, our Saturday Artisan. She is the artist and proud owner of Down With Plumes. So many gorgeous accessories to choose from. I love her style, the Victorian and lacey with a modern twist kind of neat accessories. 

Let's get to know her a little bit more, shall we?

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

I am a work-at-home-mommy to a three-year-old boy named Odin. He is a fantastic kid and lets his mommy work on Down with Plumes making tiny top hats, hair accessories, jewelry and much more!

The hats are 100% handmade from the bottom up. No hat bases are ever used, therefore every hat is totally unique. I really enjoy working on new crafts, running my blog and spending time with my husband and kiddo.

What is the story behind your shop name?  

Down with Plumes was born out of the desire for a fun, play-on-words style name. It was originally Plumes and Blooms, but I never felt right calling it that. Over a few days, I thought about it constantly and obsessed over how to get the name right. In talking to a couple of friends, using "down" (as feathers) was suggested, and BOOM! It hit me. 

Who is your target market?

My target market is women, ages 15-35, who love to have fun and accessorize!

Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy watching a few cut out pieces turn into a tiny top hat. It's a couple of steps, but the transformation from what most people would consider "recyclables" into wearable art is so fun!

For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city? 

I would have to say Seattle, WA. I grew up there, and it is stunning. It gets a bad rep with all the rain, but in my years living there, it was worth it.

I grew up on a 44' boat with my dad, so to me, Seattle is all about the lakes and waterfronts. I had a blast running lines through the lock system and crabbing in the Sound.

For visitors, there is so much to do and see. It's not only gorgeous, but also culturally diverse with lots of interesting activities. It's a great city to visit!

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?

I have a very small craft space, so I've found it's best to move upwards. I have shelves on top of my desk and up the wall holding less essential supplies. Under those shelves, I have plastic storage containers.

I also have collapsible drawers for my fabric and plastic storage tubs for my flowers.

What is your best seller?

The tiny top hats are my most popular item, specifically hats with pins. They aren't as big of a seller online because the detail is lost in the photos (even with DSLR quality photos), but at craft fairs and farmers markets, the ladies go nuts for tiny top hats!

How does your day go in general?

On most days, I wake up with my little boy hovering over my face, saying "Eat? Eat? Food? Mama. Food?" Lol! Once he's taken care of for the morning, I start my coffee and hop on the computer to check on my sites.

Once that is accomplished, I take care of my house and animals and make lunch for my little boy. After lunch, Odin and I have time together to do lots of fun things, like play with trains and practice the ABCs.

Once we have dinner, Odin gets time to play with toys and watch Curious George, Daniel Tiger or something similar while I check on all my computer stuff again. Then he gets a bath and waits for his Daddy to get home, which generally isn't until about midnight.

Once the little guy is off to sleep, I get time to work and my husband works on homework. It's busy, but worth every moment :)

How do you balance your personal and work life?

This is a category I do not excel at. I'm working on teaching my son that I have to do work and he needs to occupy his own time, but it's a process. As it stands now, I squeeze things into free moments. Lol!

What inspires you?

Everything! Other people's creations, things I see in stores, and other people in general!

What is your goal for 2014?  And are you on the right track?

My goal for 2014 is to be more organized and better at advertising my own products. I am currently ahead of schedule for my goals this year (Ya-hoo!!).

What is the key to success? 

Never fear failure. 

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?

It's all about patience. Whether it be with your page, items, or customers... Patience is your key. Some shops do well right from the get-go and other's don't. Both are perfectly okay as long as you are happy and doing your best!

What does handmade mean to you?

To me, handmade is creating something that wasn't before. This includes re-making items (for me). I think the line is how much the original item was altered. If, for example, I'm making a dress out of another dress, I would have to severely alter the shape of the dress to consider it "handmade" and not "altered". 

What is your favorite quote, song, or movie?

When I'm 64- The Beatles

How to be in touch with Down with Plumes?


Would you like to be featured as a Saturday Artisan and sponsor a giveaway?

Here is how to apply.



  1. Lovely post!
    She s a really creative and talentuous woman.
    I wondered how much time she took for every creation.

    1. Hi Helena :)

      Times vary pretty wildly, but the tiny top hats take no less than an hour and a half each. From cutting and assembling the hat itself to decorating, it can get very time consuming!

      Thanks for your question :)

  2. Love that you did and interview post with her :D
    She is amazing and I own SOO many of her creations and planning on buying so many more!

    1. Aww thank you Paige!! You know I <3 you!

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Karin :)

      I'd have to say my inspiration originally came from the Alice in Wonderland theme, but over time, it has come from many things :) A lot of the time, I try to imagine a situation in which I would want to wear a top hat or an outfit one would go well with. If my imagination is slacking on me that day, I'll cruise the internet and look at dresses, paintings and shoes for inspiration!

      Thanks for your question :)

  4. she is so talented in matching and choose great colors to work with .

    1. Thank you so much! That's very kind of you to say :)

  5. Love the name of the shop, and you are very talented~

    1. Thank you Kim! My shop name still remains as one of my favorite elements of the shop!

  6. How long does it take to finish a creation? :)

    1. Hello :)

      It varies quite widely based on the intricacy of the hat, but an hour and a half is pretty much the minimum :)

  7. I like the fact that she is not making the classical "burlesque style mini hats" but that she is also able to be such creative and to add unusual dettails and elements to them

  8. The Mad Hatter would be impressed by your hats! Who is your favorite fictional character?

    1. Thank you so much! As much as I adore and am inspired by Alice in Wonderland (and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), there are a lot of fictional characters I like. I'm not sure I could pick an overall favorite, but Buzz Lightyear never fails to make me laugh :)

  9. Love all the bright vibrant colors! I agree with your advice for online shop owners.