Thursday, June 3, 2010

Focus On... Chella Bella Designs And Greyt Escape Accessories And A Giveaway!

{{giveaway closed}}

I'm an animal lover; I can't turn away any animal in need that crosses my path. That's one of the reasons I am so proud to share this interview and giveaway with you. Michelle, of Chella Bella Designs and Greyt Escape Accessories, is an avid dog lover and a portion of the proceeds from both shops goes straight to Greyhound Rescue! Enjoy the interview and the giveaway!

Tell me some basic info about yourself.
My name is Michelle, I am 35 years old. Married. No kids but I work with rescued Greyhounds and have up to 10 in my house at any given time. (That counts for kids, right?)


We live on a beautiful little 5 acre old Spanish style ranch in Tucson, Arizona. It needs a lot of love & care but we are very blessed to have been able to buy it. We do our best to maintain the natural environment around us and live “clean.” Gardening, composting, recycling, reusing / repurposing items and shopping local & at Farmers Markets. We even use biodegradable trash bags & poop bags and all natural cleaning supplies! We have learned and continue to learn how to incorporate a more natural lifestyle yet live with modern furnishings & surroundings at the same time. We just replaced all the single pane windows in our home to reduce our energy costs up to 40% and I can’t wait to get solar power installed!

{Riley}

I work from home caring for retired Greyhounds (Greyt Escape) which opened up the doors to great opportunities in using my crafting skills on the side. I have two Etsy shops (Greyt Escape and Chella Bella Designs) both of which we donate a portion of our sales of to Greyhound Rescue.

{Opa}

I love working with the dogs and I have been a "creator" most of my life. In High School, I joined an ROP class in Fashion Merchandising & Design and loved it. Though through my 20's, I found little to no time to develop my craft while working full time the opportunity came around 30 while planning my wedding.

I had my dress designed and made by a now wonderful friend. All of the touches to the wedding were handmade by me. All the way down to centerpieces, save the date cards, invitations, seating cards, table themes with stories & the wraps the girls wore, etc. From that day forward, I knew I had been missing that part of me.

So, Greyt Escape Accessories came about first and it provided A fun way to continue to build my Greyhound business in my community.

After awhile, I started making other things for myself and then for friends, family and now Chella Bella Designs. My drive behind both is to have donations for Greyhound Rescue while still offering affordable merchandise.

Thank goodness I have a supportive husband. A man who once said he didn’t want a houseful of pets now has 2 greyhounds and a bird and loves having all the greyhound “guests.” He tends to shout a “whoa hoo!” whenever I say “hey look! I have a sale!”

What kind of mediums do you use and why?
With Greyt Escape Accessories, I wanted to offer a collar that wasn't too stiff. Why any collars need such heavy, thick webbing is beyond me! In addition to a soft & pliable polypropylene webbing (Still rated at 600-900 lbs strength!) I want them "pretty." So I searched high & low for companies who will sell gorgeous jacquard & grosgrain ribbon to a little business like mine at wholesale prices. Add really strong hardware and voila!

With Chella Bella Designs, the sky's the limit. Though I seem to be using a lot of home decor and upholstery fabrics these days. I love the wide variety of colors, patterns, designs & textures they offer. I drive over an hour one way to shop for these at my favorite fabric shop. Add some cording or other decorative bits and well, I just have fun designing. Recently I picked up a leather hide at an estate sale (for just $6!) and will look at it every day until the perfect idea arises.


What made you decide to sell on etsy?
People kept stopping by my booth at the local Farmers & Artisans Market and mentioning Etsy. I don't know how I had never heard of it before but, after several months of hearing about it, I logged on and did the research. Soon, I joined. I was ecstatic to sell my first collar within 2 hours of listing! Of course, I waited quite awhile before the next one and even longer before they became somewhat consistent.


Where do you get your inspiration?
I have always loved Fashion. Had I had the opportunity to go to college, I'd have wanted to go to FIDM in downtown LA. In the heart of the Fashion & Fabric district. I dreamed of runways and fashion shows. But I think a lot of my inspiration now comes from the reality that I don't work for someone else and can take the time to enjoy my creative process. Wandering through fabric stores and matching fabrics or thinking of cool new accessories always helps too. Looking in stores at the hottest colors of the season or just simply choosing my favorites. I never get out of the fabric store under $200!

My Mom was quite the seamstress growing up. Though she stopped sewing years ago, I still have a set of Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls she made for my birthday when I was in the 4th grade.

My Aunt was also very creative. Though we didn’t spend much time together growing up, I still remember very specific projects she made. Sun dresses out of old sheets, a painted cement floor in the house (My house now has several of these!), spray painting old yard sale finds, etc. As an adult, I spend as much time with her as I can. We are in separate states but she visits a few times a year and we talk on the phone regularly. I’m trying to convince her to open an Etsy shop of her own with her fabulous knitting projects!


What is your favorite music to craft by?
I start my morning usually listening to NPR. Yes, I know that’s boring to most. But it gives me a little bit of news I otherwise wouldn’t here being that we have just one TV in the house. Then, I listen to local mixed music stations flipping back & forth to find some fun beats. If I cant, I load the IPOD and pop it on the IPOD station. I never know what will play next so it’s fun. And I do love Michael Buble, Lady Antebellum and so much more!


When it's cold outside... I light a fire and bundle up. Sometimes I avoid work & curl up with a book but most of the time, I end up in the studio anyway. Though “cold” doesn’t happen much in Southern Arizona.


When I'm hungry... There better be something quick & healthy to grab & eat! Dinner is the only meal I like to spend time cooking.


When I need a boost... I walk the dogs to get the blood flowing.


I wish I was/were... Not “as” tied down to business. We board dogs 24 hrs a day / 7 days a week / 12 months out of the year. We never close! Though we did sneak in a vacation last year.


If I could give one gift to everyone I know, it would be... peace of mind.


If I could have coffee with anyone, it would be... My old high school ROP teacher “Mrs. Gordy” who supported and inspired me beyond anyone I have ever met. Her encouragement and pride in me will never be forgotten!


What's your favorite piece of your own?
Hmmm that changes so often! Right now, the yoga mat bag because it’s fun, my own design and I’ve had soooo much positive feedback! Oh and I love that I’ve found a use for the “scrap-fabric” that would otherwise have been considered waste. Thank goodness I kept it all because there will always be great coin purses made from it now!


What are your favorite blogs/websites right now?
The Succulent Wife
Facebook

Greyt Escape on Facebook


Michelle is a great interviewee! :) And she's generous! She has offered to give away the winner's choice of any coin purse or yoga mat bag from Chella Bella Designs!


- To be eligible for entry, you must be a follower of my blog through google friend connect or through your preferred RSS reader. -
- Make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you win. -
- Please leave separate comments for each entry. -

First entry (mandatory):
Head over to Chella Bella Designs and tell me your favorite item!

Extra entries (optional):
- Go to Greyt Escape and tell me your favorite item!
- Become a Facebook fan of Chella Bella Designs.
 - Become a Facebook fan of Greyt Escape.
- Sign up for the Kate and Oli mailing list (in sidebar).
- Add my button to your blog (in sidebar).
- Become a Facebook fan of Kate and Oli.
- Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link.


Fine print: Giveaway begins when it is posted and ends at 11:59pm pacific standard time June 11, 2010. A winner will be selected by a random number generator on June 12, 2010 and will be emailed promptly. Chella Bella Designs will ship anywhere in the world!

121 comments:

  1. great giveaway! Yoga is an amazing exercise :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to enter.

    I just love the coffee bean bags!

    lisa.2713 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the Natural Elements yoga mat bag.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great giveaway, i like the Yoga mat Bag - Bye Bye Birdie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Spinning Circles Coin Purse
    susanerios at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fan of Kate and Oli on facebook
    susanerios at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. If I had a dog, my favorite item would be the Dog Collar / Tag Collar -Fast and Furious Red from Greyt Escape
    susanerios at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I follow (follower name is Damla).
    I like the Coin Purse - Dark Brown Stamped Faux Leather: http://www.etsy.com/listing/45781501/coin-purse-dark-brown-stamped-faux

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like the BOO Hankie AOE TEAM: http://www.etsy.com/listing/28825194/boo-hankie-aoe-team

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Email subscriber.

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your button is 66 on the right on http://sweepstakelover.blogspot.com/

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Blogged: http://sweepstakelover.blogspot.com/2010/06/chella-bella-designs-giveaway.html

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the coffee bean bag :)

    samyrocks92 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Sundae Dog Collar is cute!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am a Facebook fan of Chella Bella Designs.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am a Facebook fan of Greyt Escape.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am signed up for the Kate and Oli mailing list

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your button is on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am a Facebook fan of Kate and Oli.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love the Purse / Handbag - Peaceful Retreat. omydarlingblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. my favorite thing from chella bella is the Earthly Tiny Coin Purse.

    sarahbobloblaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. my favorite thing from greyt escape is Dog Collar / Tag Collar - Retro Dots.

    sarahbobloblaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I became a facebook fan of chella bella design

    sarahbobloblaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I became a facebook fan of greyt escape

    sarahbobloblaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I became a facebook fan of kate and oli

    sarahbobloblaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. My favorite on Chella Bella is the Peaceful Retreat handbag.

    sabrita@juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. My favorite item on Greyt Escape is the Dog Tag Collar in Cancun Red.

    sabrita@juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm an email subscriber.

    sabrita@juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love the Savannah Market Bag!

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I like the Spicy Burgundy Paisley yoga bag.

    hngoodlett (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  32. awsome giveaway! I am in need of a yoga bag :)

    one of my favourite items from the shop has to be that coffee bean bag!

    kshuttle@uoguelph.ca

    ReplyDelete
  33. from greyt escape i LOVE the Martingale Collar / Dog Collar -Pink Elephants

    That would be sooo cute on my doggy :D

    kshuttle@uoguelph.ca

    ReplyDelete
  34. i love the The Perfect Tote - Savannah

    i'm also blog follower via gfc

    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. i like the Dog Collar /Tag Collar -Flower Power (Blue) at greyt escape shop at etsy

    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. fb fan to chella bella designs
    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. fb fan to greyt escape
    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. signed up at kate and oli mailing list
    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. fb fan to kate and oli
    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. blog post
    http://gustosa-giveaways.blogspot.com/2010/06/chella-bella-designs-6112010.html
    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. button
    http://gustosa-giveaways.blogspot.com/
    black11angel at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I like the Coin Purse - Teal Stamped Faux Leather.

    slblog@post.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I like the Fit To Be Square Mini Collar from Greyt Escape.

    slblog@post.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Signed up for the Kate and Oli mailing list, slblog@post.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Signed up for the Kate and Oli mailing list, slblog@post.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love the Savannah market bag!

    bead.eclectic@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Coffee Bean Bag is my fave one!

    I follow the blog.

    Naomi

    mariko.koda@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I like the Peaceful Retreat handbag

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I love the Yoga Mat Bag - Spinning Circles
    ghainskom at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I like the Martingale Collar / Dog Collar - Bonjour (teal / orange).
    ghainskom at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'd love a Yoga Mat Bag. The Sage and Cinnamon is very pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  52. On Chella Bella Designs: I like the Earthy Delight Market Bag, it's so versatile and the colors are so warm! Thanks for the giveaway.

    yumihamano@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  53. On Greyt Escape: The Pink Elephants Martingale Collar is so sweet, love the color combination, simply adorable!

    yumihamano@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Email subscriber, thank you.

    yumihamano@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. The Perfect Tote - Savannah looks practical and roomy!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Dog Collar / Tag Collar- Amaretto Brownie looks perfect for a posh little chihuahua.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'm already your follower, and my favorite item is the Yoga Mat Bag - Green paisley.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  58. My favorite item from Greyt Escape is the Dog Collar / Tag Collar - Camelot Teal.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  59. peripatetic33
    peripatetic33 at hot mail dot com
    i like the tiny coin purse in mustard

    ReplyDelete
  60. this yoga bag ROCKS! http://www.etsy.com/listing/46690084/yoga-mat-bag-bye-bye-birdie gorgeous fabric!!! xoxoxo

    muffintopdesigns@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. hi, i am in lovey with http://www.etsy.com/listing/39870708/coffee-bean-bag-tote-aoe-team
    so cute

    email me :)
    liz_crowny@yahoo.com
    pintaliztiirene.blogspot.com

    thankies for helding this giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  62. hi, i am in lovey with http://www.etsy.com/listing/47787205/martingale-collar-dog-collar-bonjour from greyt escape

    email me :)
    liz_crowny@yahoo.com
    pintaliztiirene.blogspot.com

    thankies for helding this giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  63. I like:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/46185928/yoga-mat-bag-summer-fun

    ale84.vercelli at hotmail dot it

    ReplyDelete
  64. I love:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/47787205/martingale-collar-dog-collar-bonjour

    ale84.vercelli at hotmail dot it

    ReplyDelete
  65. kate and oli fan on fb.
    alessandra lalla vercelli

    ale84.vercelli at hotmail dot it

    ReplyDelete
  66. I`m already a follower via google friend connect. I love the Coffee Bean Bag / Tote AOE TEAM.

    ladyvogue_cannaria(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. My favorite item from greytescape is Collar / Leash Matching Set - Yellow Tropical / Luau

    ladyvogue_cannaria(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I like all the items from ChellaBellaDesigns but my fave is the
    Coin Purse - Teal Stamped Faux Leather. It's a wonderful pattern and design!

    Ronit
    internationalgiveaways[at]gmail[dot]com
    http://www.internationalgiveaways.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Blog Post!

    http://www.internationalgiveaways.com/2010/06/coin-purse-or-yoga-mat-bag-from-chella.html

    Ronit
    internationalgiveaways[at]gmail[dot]com
    http://www.internationalgiveaways.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. i love the Savannah Perfect Tote 8)

    @FlamingBlingy
    phranne[at]yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. my fave GreytEscape item:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/45488751/wind-and-sun-martingale-collar-aoe-team

    @FlamingBlingy
    phranne[at]yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I like the Summer Fun- tiny coin purse.

    debyeo at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I like Kate and Oli on FB (Deborah Yeo Davey).

    debyeo at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. I like the Martingale Collar / Dog Collar -The Emperors AOE Team from greyte escape.

    debyeo at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  76. Fabulous giveaway and this yoga mat is my favourite. And you have a new follower

    Krishenka
    chrissie.marshall@wanadoo.fr

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/46690084/yoga-mat-bag-bye-bye-birdie

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi!
    please enter me too!
    I really like this:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/48390450/purse-handbag-peaceful-retreat

    diana.bardon at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. from greyt's shop i love this:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/18061129/dog-collar-tag-collar-black-floral

    diana.bardon at gamil.com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Just popped back in to tell you I have added your button to my blog too now

    ReplyDelete
  80. i follow your blog and i love the Yoga Mat Bag - Pink Fusion!

    saladforbreakfast AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  81. from greyt, i like Martingale Collar / Dog Collar -Retro Dots

    saladforbreakfast AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  82. My favorite item at chellabella is the savannah perfect tote - the colors are great! (PS I'm a new follower!)

    jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  83. My favorite item at greytescape is the Green Sport Martingale Collar/Dog Collar - that would be great for a Baylor dog!

    jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  84. I'm a facebook fan of chellabella (Jenny Bolech)

    jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  85. I'm a facebook fan of greyt escape (Jenny Bolech)

    jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  86. I'm a facebook fan of kate and oli (Jenny Bolech)

    jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  87. I like the Sage and Cinnamon Yoga Mat bag :)

    crystalmarieporter at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  88. Omg! I love allll of her Yoga mat Bags!!! I think my favorite is the Bye Bye Birdie!! Eeek! Would so love to win this!

    kelseylaster at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  89. My favorite is the Yoga Mat bag in fall colors, love that fabric
    cathyhorner at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  90. email subscriber
    cathyhorner at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Facebook fan of Kate and Oli
    cathyhorner at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  92. Favorite item from GreytEscapes is the Red Leaf collar and leash set
    cathyhorner at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  93. Facebook fan of Chella Bella designs
    cathyhorner at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  94. Christina - xristya@rock.com - I love the Coin Purse - Mustard Stamped Faux Leather!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Christina - xristya@rock.com - I love the Martingale Collar from Greyt Escape!

    ReplyDelete
  96. My favorite...the Coin Purse - Teal Stamped Faux Leather.
    I follow on google friend connect.
    cspmom at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  97. My favorite item in Greyt Escape...the Martingale Collar / Dog Collar - Sun and Wind AOE TEAM.
    cspmom at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  98. I am a facebook fan of Chella Bella Designs.
    cspmom at gamil dot com

    ReplyDelete
  99. I am a facebook fan of Greyt Escape.
    cspmom at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I am a facebook fan of Kate and Oli.
    cspmom at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  101. love the
    Yoga Mat Bag - Fallen Leaves

    ReplyDelete
  102. I love the Coin Purse - Dark Brown Stamped Faux Leather.

    aikalice at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  103. I would love to enter

    i like The Perfect Tote / Market Bag - Earthy Delight
    its simple but very usefull

    ReplyDelete
  104. I really love the coffee bean bag. Very cute.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Yoga Mat Bag -Fall colors AOE TEAM is what I like

    emiliana.sison(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  106. I'm a facebook fan of chella bella designs

    emiliana.sison(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  107. I'm a facebook fan of greyt escape

    emiliana.sison(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  108. I love the Collar / Leash Matching Set -Yellow Tropical / Luau
    from greyt escape

    emiliana.sison(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. the martingale collar is super cute. :)

    boswife at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  110. I'm a google connect follower. - love this yoga mat - http://www.etsy.com/listing/46006486/butterfly-24-custom-design-art

    dhesh at webmail dot co dot za

    ReplyDelete
  111. I love the The Perfect Tote / Market Bag - Modern Fun!
    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  112. My favorite item from Greyt Escape is the Martingale Collar / Dog Collar -Retro Dots

    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  113. I'm a FB fan of Chella Bella Designs
    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  114. I'm a FB fan of Greyt Escapes
    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  115. I Signed up for the Kate and Oli mailing list
    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  116. I am your FB fan
    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  117. I have your button on my blog
    http://socialstudiesmomma.blogspot.com/
    laprochaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  118. i'm following you now too!

    xoxo

    muffintopdesigns@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  119. I like the
    The Perfect Tote / Market Bag - Modern Fun.
    jswandrn at gmail

    ReplyDelete
  120. I love the Summer Fun Yoga Mat Bag! Thanks so much for the opportunity! :-)

    samantha.piette[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  121. ultrasonic weldable webbing is a in-demand narrow fabric now-a-days. So check out these bargains today! http://rosemonttextiles.com/weldable-webbing/

    ReplyDelete

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