I’m so excited to kick off a fresh new series here on DGD – Etsy Spotlight is my (small) way of giving back to the talented Etsy artisans, crafters and treasure hunters who have helped to make our home a special and unique one. Maybe it’s a first introduction, or simply a behind the scenes look at one you already know and love, but either way we’re getting a first person account of the dreams and passions that went into making these shops really special corners of the Internet.
First up we have Nia, of The Silver Shed. After grabbing up my own antler accessory from a Charlotte, North Carolina antique shop earlier this year, a few of you spoke up about getting these decorative accents humanely. I’ve since discovered that mine is an acrylic cast (not authentic), but you still got me thinking about these trendy new pieces of art and how they should be sourced. Thankfully, Nia and her mother Victoria have created an incredible brand, all based around the idea of natural sourcing.
Let’s get to know Nia, the shop and the mission a little bit better, shall we?
1.When did you start your Etsy shop? What made you decide to sell these types of pieces?
My mom Victoria and I had been preparing The Silver Shed since January 2013 and finally opened up our Etsy shop in April. My mom was an award-winning painter and ceramic artist in the ‘80s and ‘90s and has always had a passion for art. I moved to New York City in 2010, and starting our shop was a fun way to work on something together while we are apart. My dad has been collecting shed antlers on our family property in Manitoba, Canada for years, so we decided that merging his love for nature, my mom’s passion for art and my knack for commerce would be a great way to start a small business and keep a close family bond while we live in different countries.
2.What’s the story behind your shop name, The Silver Shed?
‘Shed’ comes from the whitetail-deer shed antlers we sell in the shop. Each year, male deer – or bucks – shed their antlers for the growth and regeneration of a new pair in time for the spring mating season. ‘Silver’ comes from our signature designs – white or ivory antlers with metallic chrome (silver) tips.
3.Can you explain the 100% cruelty free mission behind your brand?
My mother’s day job is in the sustainable energy industry and my entire family are nature lovers. Growing up in a rural setting, the importance of nurturing our natural surroundings was very apparent to us, so it was important that our business reflected this same eco-friendly vision. All of the antlers we sell were naturally shed by white-tail deer and collected on our family property – a 180-acre forest in Manitoba, Canada. Absolutely no animals were harmed in the making of our products.
4.How would you describe your style? And how does that influence your work as an artisan/artist?
We paint our shed antlers to reflect our modern minimalist design aesthetic – clean ivory or white with high-shine chrome accents. We love the juxtaposition of the purist paintwork against that organic shape of the antlers. Since no two sheds are alike, each hand-painted antler is a one-of-a-kind home accent. Our antlers are meant to transcend a variety of home décor – they’ll look equally chic in a country cottage as they would a contemporary New York apartment.
5. The photography on your site is gorgeous! What camera do you use? What are your top 3 tips for photographing sale items?
Thank you! I use a Pentax K200D or a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and shoot the antlers against a white wall and hardwood floor. My top three tips would be to have good lighting – I prefer natural light from my studio windows, make sure your items are in focus and to take photos of the product from all angles to give the consumer a clear idea of what they are purchasing. I also like to stage my antlers with flowers, books or other props so clients can be inspired as to how they can style their own. Hopefully they can visualize The Silver Shed antlers in their own living space!
P.S. Time for a quick “Friday Feature Round Up”! This week, I made it over to Le Papier Studio three times – (#1) a “Pin of the Day” post featuring a fabulous warm weather chilled soup recipe, (#2) a DIY Mother’s Day silhouette card tutorial and (#3) an “Inspired by” post focused on the beloved pets in our lives. On Glitter Guide this week, I gathered up 5 tasty beet recipes – No really! Tasty!! And lastly, I contributed a quick DIY namecard tutorial on GalTime.