Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FEATURED SELLER: Feltik - Magdalena Hartleb

Magdalena is the person behind FELTIK, an etsy store specializing in gorgeous felted jewelry and accessories. 

Tell us bit about yourself

My name is Magdalena, I'm a  Polish girl raised in a small village in the Subcarpatian region. I moved to Norway recently, with my Slovak husband who I met in Ireland and that's all that I have in common with my major in international relations, that I graduated from. I love all sorts of crafts, especially felting. I love trying new techniques, new materials and designs. That's why I have huge mess (creative one) on my desk and about 5 ongoing  projects at a time. I also love traveling and planning our future adventures.

How is the place that you live in?

I live in Bergen but my husband says it is Laksevag (which is part of the city) in Norway. We moved here about 3 months ago, after our wedding, to start everything from zero. We are open to new places so we ended up here and we love it! We rent an apartment just few minutes from a forest, hills and fjord. At the moment we try to decorate and furnish it on a budget which is both challenging and fun.

Apart from creating, what do you do?

Creating things takes huge part of my day, but I love cooking and baking, as there's nothing better then homemade sweets and bread! I always find time to watch a good movie with my husband, go for a walk or play cards(we have a never ending competition in this game). I'm also quite crazy about traveling. Basically if I'm not making something for my shop, I experiment with things like weaving, embossing, stamping, carving and many others. I also started to learn Norwegian and I have to find more time for that!

What first made you want to become an artist?

I think I'm more of a craftsman than an artist, but in a sense of being creative and making things, this is just the way I have always been. I’ve made ‘stuff’ ever since I can remember. I like to keep my hands busy, to create things, try new techniques and to spend my time productively. I got into jewelry around college or late high school, when I simply wanted to wear some unique jewelry and also to relax after busy day. I made mostly earrings back then but I wasn't selling anything. I was aware however of Etsy as well as some Polish websites with handmade goods.

I got into felting during one of those long, rainy Irish evenings when I found a tutorial about  felting and simply checked it out. It was fun so I kept felting and the first necklace came friends liked it a lot, so I made another one. Then I figured out that I could try to sell it. (It was also some kind of an excuse for myself as I created way to much to wear it all!) I was working full time as a graphic designer assistant so it was just my hobby, with no real vision for the future. I've noticed that my grape-like necklaces are quite unique and I received nice feedback so now my goal is to be a full time jewelry maker.

Describe your creative process.
Big part of my creative process is finding nice colors, combining them together and of course felting itself. Once I have my elements felted I start putting everything together. I rarely draw out sketches, although I started to do it recently and I found it very helpful. Usually I have to see things, to know if I like it or not. The necklace is ready when I like it so much that I want to wear it myself. Then I can take pictures and list it in the shop. I make a lot of mess while working.

What advice would you give to other artists on Etsy.
I'm really not the one to give advise, I want to get some! I have to learn a lot myself. I'm pretty sure though, that good pictures and listing new product as often as possible are really, really important. But that's nothing news, I guess.

What do your days look like
I'm a sleepy head, so I get up rather late around 8-9 (it's soooo dark here in Norway). Then my morning ritual with coffee & blogs :) I usually craft all day, with breaks for cooking, baking, tiding the apartment or some other housework. I get also distracted a little (ok, a lot!) with the internet. Taking pictures and editing them also takes a lot of time. I have to catch the good light for the pictures, but now in the winter it's quite hard, so sometimes I have to wait a few days for a sunny day. I also work part time few days a week so my schedule depends on that as well.

How do you promote?
I don't do anything special. I relist, renew, relist, refresh tags and so on. I try to take better and better pictures so my items can be featured on blogs, which I've noticed is very helpful. I white a blog and I started to tell people in real life that I make necklaces (and give them my business cards). Also all the treasuries that you make are wonderful! Thank you so much! I had paid for an add on a popular blog for a while but I didn't notice a big difference. I don't have Facebook or twitter, so I don't know about that way of promotion.

In 10 years, where would you like to be?
Hmmm,  I want to do what I do at the moment but with no need to have another job. I want to be able to support our family with my crafts as this is something I really love to do! My dream is to have an on-line shop along with small ‘real’ one. I’d like to design not only jewelry but also unique accessories and maybe sell other artists' work. I want my shop to be one of those cozy and creative places in which you can not only buy staff but also get inspired, have a cup of coffee or simply chat about crafts, baking, travels or life.

What inspires you?
I get inspired by art, photographs and fashion shows. Also my travels gave me a lot of ideas and time to think what I want from live, what are my priorities and goals. I tend to have some ideas when I’m about to fall asleep, when I'm in church or during quiet walks.

Your favorite products
From Etsy? It's a very hard choice! I'm saving for some handmade leather bag and maybe some nice knitted sweater. I also really like those textured pillows by annakrycz and this shawl by DagnyKnit.

Your favorite seller on Etsy
I have quiet a lot of them! It's hard to say but I want to mention two that I know and can personally recommend. First is Alchemyfibers Catherine, the shop owner is a lovely person to deal with and has nice selection of products. Second one is my friend's shop Madeitall, Joanna is really crafty person, it's hard to see her without some knitting needles, I think that most of her friends wear something that she made.

If you'd like to know more, please check out Magda's BLOG, her ONLINE GALLERY and her ONLINE INSPIRATION FOLDER.


  1. Hello everybody :) Thank you for having me here!

  2. Piekne rzeczy tworzy Magda!! Pozdrawiam z Francji!

  3. You are a true artist, Magda!
    Elin, Norway

  4. What a lovely person! Great interview. Fantastic works :)

  5. hej!
    gratulacje artykułu i dzięki za pamięć o mojej skromnej osobie.


  6. Great story!
    Love the way you try so different techniques! Good luck with it :)

  7. Keep up the great work you do!!!!
    all the best from New Jersey xo


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