It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Beccijo from The Enchanted Cupboard, one of our most recent sponsors on Natural Suburbia.
In Beccijo’s words:
THE ENCHANTED CUPBOARD•.,¸¸,:•:**:•
You enter a quaint gift shop at the street corner. You see the gypsy-like shopkeeper, and she smiles at you as you walk further into the room. You feel like you have just entered into a place timeless, magical, yet familiar all at the same time. The woman raises her finger to her lips as if to silence you. Then she looks around the room and points to the back of the store. You see a large old enchanted cupboard with a vast amount of drawers and doors; you walk to it as sweet, whispered words fill your ears,
“Inside you will find your heart’s desire!”
The Enchanted Cupboard is a wonderful mix of handmade items that are truly part of my soul. You will find it full of wonderful wooden toys, custom wedding cake toppers, and a few enchanting things for the young at heart. I specialize in wooden dolls and playsets that work wonderfully with Waldorf nature tables. I have been developing wonderful educational toys that inspire learning while children are having fun. I make custom family dolls and wedding cake toppers that are lovingly painted to look like the people who will receive them.
Natural Suburbia: Tell us about the beginnings of your business and how it has developed and grown over the years.
I started out just making items for my own children, then it grew to other children of friends and family. Soon friends of friends started asking me to make them and from that simple hobby a business started to grow. I found Etsy in 2008 as a customer and then started reading all I could about online selling. I traded a few items in the beginning and then sold my first toy online in 2009.
Natural Suburbia:Who or what is your inspiration?
I have always had a very elaborate imagining. I spent most of my childhood in the woods playing with fairies, trolls, and goblins. I came from a large family with extended family all around and there was always someone to play with. As I grew my Art ability started to blossom and I was able to put my imagination to work on paper and canvas.
As an adult I went to the English Nanny and Governess School to pursue my dream of being a Nanny. I again was able to use my imagination as a source of inspiration for my work. I had a long wonderful career that end a few years after I married and started my own family. Having a lifetime surrounded by children gave me a great opportunity to study how important play was and what was needed to inspire the imagination of a child.
To read more about my life see my website here.
Natural Suburbia: What is your creative process and how long have you been crafting?
I come from a very creative family and crafting was just part of my life from the beginning. I am a bit of a Mad Hatter when it comes to my creative process. I see something that just sparks something inside me and then like a wildfire it takes off in my brain. In a few moments my brain has connected all the pieces like a puzzle. Not just the what it is but also the why it would work! I get very excited and pace around and start talking to myself. When I think of a toy, it also has a story, a life that goes with it. Sometimes I sketch it out or I might go right to painting and creating. Once I start I can’t stop until I have finished it. After I finish I give it to the children to see what they do and how they react. It is a lovely but wild process!
Natural Suburbia: What do you do to avoid burnout, how do you relax?
Having balance is the key! Making sure I give to all the parts of myself, the mother, the wife, the toy maker, the daughter, etc. and to ME. I learned very early in life that you need to take care of the ME or there will never be enough of yourself to go around for all the parts that you are to others. When in an airplane for safety you are told in a emergency to put your oxygen on first then take care of others. The same is true in life! Doing things that renew your spirit is like giving your life the oxygen you need for emergencies. Some of my favorite ME things is reading and planning our future mini farm. I love using Pinterest to mark all the really great information that I find and all of the inspiring photos. I also make sure I spend time with friends and family that make me feel good when I am with them.
Natural Suburbia: How do you balance mothering, crafting and homemaking?
I am a very organized person. Everything has a place and with 4 kids, 3 being boys, it can be a challenge. I work best when my life has order and then everything falls into place. I also get help when I need it, if my business has a growth and I can’t get to the housekeeping then I hire someone till I can handle it again. I have an assistant who helps out from time to time and that need grows as my business grows.
What a generous giveaway! My kids and I look at her shop all the time, ooing and ahhhing at all her creations. Thanks for the chance!