Here at Etsy Manchester, we want to celebrate the creativity, passion and individuality of our makers and encourage the public to recognise and support genuine, local makers and their diverse businesses.
Our first featured maker in this series is Milla Tolonen and her business Milla-Time.
In her own words, she describes Milla-Time as, “Milla-Time is a collection of handmade, colourful and quirky home and fashion accessories with a retro twist. Basically all things that I like and I hope that others will too. I’m heavily inspired by vintage, 80s being my favourite era, and my Nordic roots”
This Christmas, spend some time with the EtsyMCR Team and get to know us all a bit better, whilst getting your festive shopping fix from the comfort of your sofa!
On Saturday 27th November you can shop from loads of lovely makers taking part in our Online Christmas Market. Most of the action will be on our Facebook page, but you can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see what we’re getting up to!
You can also get a head start on your Christmas shopping (or making your own Wishlist!) by taking a peek right now at our EtsyMCR Makers Directory.
If you’re an EtsyMCR Maker and you want to get involved, all the information is up in our Members Group on Facebook. You’ve got until this Sunday 15th November to apply so get your skates on! If you’re not already a member of the Team, you can apply to join us – you just need to be a Greater Manchester-based Etsy seller.
Baiba Auria of Egoiste Gallery chooses her favourite luxury Christmas gifts to help you really spoil your loved ones!
I am Baiba Auria, and I am a portrait artist and an independent gallery co-owner, where me and my team look after a family of 17 artists practicing all kinds of art forms – from felting and sculpture to drawing and fine art. We are very active on Etsy alongside our own website and it has brought us many clients who have become regulars. Through the Etsy Manchester team I have gotten to know many incredibly talented makers and it is my pleasure to curate this years luxury gift list.
So here goes:
Hope you enjoyed this selection and have a fabulous Christmas! Baiba.
Let’s take a peek at Doodlesworth’s top picks of Christmas gifts for the girls in your life!
Hello, I’m Helen and my shop is Doodlesworth. I make illustrated cards, prints, badges and tote bags. I like to draw things to make myself laugh, I’m a bit of a geek and I love cats, which is all reflected in my work.
This list is titled Gifts for Gals, but a lot of my choices aren’t exclusively for women; they are just things that I like, and a good excuse to show off some of the brilliant things you can buy from Etsy Manchester members.
Honestly, I could carry on much longer, there are so many talented makers out there in Manchester. Next time you are on Etsy, why not search for etsymcr? You won’t be disappointed!
EtsyMCR teamie Lindy shares some of her favourite Stocking Stuffer ideas!
Hi, I’m Lindy, the potter behind Black Dog Pottery. I love to play with clay and my studio is in South Manchester. ‘Tis the season for giving and choosing that perfect gift for those stockings hung with care – I’ve chosen a few of my favourites!
Etsy is the perfect place to find handmade stocking stuffers. These fun and quirky gifts are a few of the things you can find on Etsy. Our Etsy Manchester crew have some truly amazing pieces.
Over one amazing weekend, you’ll be able to browse over forty stalls of handmade goodness at People’s History Museum this November.
Get your Christmas shopping done in one go, and support local small businesses by buying handmade.
To keep up to date with the event and find out about the amazing EtsyMCR Makers we’ve got on board for the weekend, start by popping over to our Facebook page and letting us know you’re coming! We’ll post regular updates on there so you can start working on your Christmas shopping list.
Join the EtsyMCR Team for our first ever Team Summit – an afternoon of creative talks and inspiration to boost your business and build your community!
EtsyMCR invites you to indulge in your creative community and enjoy an afternoon of masterclasses, workshops and hints and tips to make your business flourish in time for the festive season.
Be part of more and join in the fun with the interactive workshops, panel talks from local experts and small independent growing businesses and an opportunity to venture inside the creative, busy studios of Islington Mill.
We’ll cover topics such as selling wholesale and what shops want, instagrammable content to gain more engagement and how to get over overwhelm, and top tips to be more productive and motivated.
There’ll also be an opportunity to gain insights and info from Team Captain Emma from Etsy Headquarters on the changes and developments with the site.
We hope you leave with your heads bursting with ideas, your tummy full of treats made from local indies and your hands heavy with goodies.
The brilliant Katya Willems from Easy Insta Mcr will be sharing her wisdom on all things social media and being social.
Incredible stockists Lizzy from A Curious Collection, Karen from The Warren and Tim from Magma in an insightful panel discussion in what shops look for.
Arrive from 11am to register, pick up your exclusive goodie bag and chat to other EtsyMCR teamies before everything kicks off at 12pm on the dot!
Congratulations Aaron Cranfield for being our Member of the Month! You’ve been selected because you’re always an enthusiastic, active member on our Etsy Manchester Members Facebook group, and we also love seeing your smiley face at our monthly socials. Thank you for your continued engagement and involvement with our team!
Firstly, please introduce yourself! Where are you from, what are your hobbies? Who is Aaron Cranfield, of Cranfields Creations?!
My name is Aaron. I am 29 and run my little environmentally friendly and retro inspired business, Cranfields Creations, out of my flat in sunny Salford. I am the creator, maker, mover and shaker of my pop-culture cards and prints.
Alongside Etsy, I also work full-time in communications, so I guess you could say I am a part-time illustrator with a full-time passion. Running a small business and working full-time can be a struggle, so I must stay organised and on-top of my game. As an Aries, I have a strong personality and I am always determined to make things succeed.
What is your story so far, as an artist? And where would you like to see your artistic career going in the future?
I’ve always been creative and a maker of things, so when I had the opportunity to go to University and study Fine Art, I jumped at the chance. It was a life changer and the experience really opened my skillset to new and exciting things. Once I graduated, I worked in a few jobs, but never really had an outlet for my creative side, so I started Cranfields Creations to help express myself and get to know other creative people like me. I discovered Etsy Manchester a few months later: everyone has been incredibly supportive. It’s been great to see and help others going through their own Etsy journeys.
Since Cranfields Creations opened in January 2018, my “day job” has taken a significant and positive change… along with my drawing style. I’m lucky that my passion and daily routine are now so intrinsically linked. Over the next few years I would love to see my little business expand so I can move to reduce my work hours or even go self-employed full-time – what a dream!
We see loads of familiar faces (in the form of prints and greetings cards) available to purchase on your Etsy shop. Which famous people or characters have been your favourites to paint, and why?
I am a huge pop-culture fan, even ‘nostalgic’ pop-culture, and love to illustrate my favourite cult icons from it. I find it all so relatable for certain types of moods, relationships or occasions – it’s a reflection of us as humans so fits us all in some way! One fine example is my Ainsley Harriott illustration: his personality is just so resonant and iconic of the 90s that anyone can see its appeal. When I draw and think of my quotes, I try to capture that character in. I am currently working on a Britney Spears ‘circa 2007 meltdown’ design, which I think everyone can relate to!
One of my favourite illustrations is of Marsha P Johnson. She is one of the biggest icons of the gay rights movement and a prominent figure of the 1969 Stonewall riots. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I like to do my bit by paying homage to those who have led the way for the community by illustrating to educate and inspire others.
We get the feeling that you may enjoy watching a movie every now and then (all your incredibly accurate character artworks give that away a little bit!). Is it fair to say you’re a bit of a film buff? And if you had to play a role in a movie, which role would you play and why?
Now this is a cracking question! Unfortunately, I am one of those people who has a top 50 movie list, so yes, I would classify myself as a film buff! I don’t think I could whittle a role to play to just one, however, a few that come to mind are Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton – Terminator), Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver – Alien) and any of the cast of First Wives Club (Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton). I just admire the strong female spirit these characters possess and their bravery to rise to challenges, plus “You Don’t Own Me” is an absolute banger…
If your artworks could speak…what would they say about you?
They would say I am too much of a perfectionist, and I need to stop worrying about the detail. I used to spend a lot longer on a piece than I currently do, so I am getting better!
And finally, is there anything happening soon (such as markets, events, giveaways, celebrations, new product launches) that you’d love our readers to know about, and to add to their diaries?
I wouldn’t want to give too much away, but I have a new Christmas line coming out soon – full of more of my favourite cult Christmas villains and heroes. Plus, the new Cranfields Creations website will be launching shortly so you’ll be able to experience the full Aaron personality! You can keep up-to-date with me on my social media channels and as a bonus, get a behind the scenes glimpse of my way of working.
Check out Cranfields Creations on Facebook, follow Aaron’s work on Instagramand shop his personalised portraits and pop culture artworks over on Etsy.
Would you like to be our next Member of the Month, and be featured on our website and in our exclusive Team Newsletter? To be in with a chance, all you have to do is become an active EtsyMCR team member, in three easy steps:
3. Be ACTIVE! Ask questions, support other team members by answering their questions and joining in with conversations, share news & opportunities, tag @etsymcr on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, and come along to our monthly Socials!
EtsyMCR teamie Mary Sonja Tudor chooses her fave Back to School, College or Uni goodies to make the new term a bit more fun!
Heya! I’m Mary, the owner, designer, maker and everything else over at Mary’s Jewellery Bakery! I’ve always had a love for cake and cats, but I’ve only started displaying it through my crafts earlier this year. I like to work with resin, polymer clay and dollhouse furniture to create unusual and kawaii jewellery, inspired by the Harajuku fashion.
Among many other things, I also love stationery! When this month’s gift guide’s theme came up, I just had to get involved! Here are my top picks for amazing Back to School gifts for kids, teens, university students and anyone who is stationery crazy!