Crystal’s Etsy shop Swankee Yankee combines two of my favorite things: an awesome name and a variety of amazing pieces! The Massachusetts-based shop owner is quite an eclectic designer, featuring everything from bracelets to wood signs to handbags, and I love, love, love that so many of her pieces have a nautical theme to them. It almost makes you feel like you’re sitting on the dock in a seaside town. Read on for Crystal’s home decorating tips and the story behind her favorite item in her shop! xoxo
Tell me about Swankee Yankee. What’s the inspiration behind its launch?
I love coming up with unique and fun designs with a coastal and/or country vibe. I think the shop name echoes that, even though that may be in print form — jewelry, signs, knit pieces, etc. I have never really been able to pick one particular category to create things under. I love all forms of crafting and design! My full-time job is as a senior graphic designer for a sporting goods company. While I enjoy the work I do from 9-5, Swankee Yankee started as my creative outlet for anything non-sporting good related that came to my mind to create. I didn’t want to limit myself or my shop to creating one type of product. I see Swankee Yankee as not just a shop name, but as a brand that applies to anything I can come up with.
Your shop features so many inspiring finds. What inspires you the most?
Anything coastal- or country-related really inspires me. I was raised in a super small town in New England surrounded by the forest and close to the water. I currently live in a small neighboring town on a beautiful pond. The water has always been close by in one way or another, whether it’s a pond or a lake or a short 20-30 minute ride to the ocean. I’m proud of the fact I call the East Coast home and the combination of country and coastal living is a big inspiration for most of the pieces in my shop. I don’t solely create nautical or country items, but my strongest inspirations come from anything that reminds me of the laid back comfort of living in a small town by the water.
What are your top 3 tips for shopping online and finding great deals?
1). Google coupon codes! When I buy anything online I almost always use Google to check for coupon codes or deals before checking out. There’s several sites that list them daily.
2). Shop around! If I find an item on one store site, I usually run a search for that item and see if it comes up anywhere else for less before buying.
3). Consider the value in unique or one-of-a-kind pieces. I am all about a good bargain, but there are times when it is worth spending a few extra bucks to have something that you know only you will have and will be a special piece in your home or as part of your wardrobe!
How can people still look chic/decorate their home for less?
I would say get creative and re-purpose as much as you can! When I get bored with a room or decor in my home, I try to think about how I can take items I have and turn them into new/interesting pieces. I always do this before I go out and buy new pieces. I actually just re-designed and organized my entire studio for next to nothing! The clutter was making me crazy and it wasn’t a workable space. So after browsing Pinterest for ideas, I came up with my own solutions to some of the neat ideas I found. Let me just say clear thumb tacks and binder clips go a long way!
What is your favorite piece in your shop and why?
Hmm, that’s tough! I would say it’s a tie. I love the knit anchor bracelet. It was basically the first thing I ever created under the Swankee Yankee name and really motivated me to create more items to go with it. I also love getting the custom sign requests. I have done a few custom jobs for people that have just come out so cool! The back and forth of working with someone to make a customized piece that is special to them and completes a space in their home is a challenge that I love. It is very rewarding when I see the finished product in the space and a happy customer; I love when they share images with me!