Saturday, April 10, 2010



There's no one else quite like Michele. She's always so upbeat, bubbly and positive with just a little bit of reckless in between! She's too cute for words and too much fun! And yet, she knows how to take care of business... she'll roll up her sleeves and get to work with the best of them!

As one of the first participants in "LINK LOVE," as we know it on Facebook, Michele has quite the following!  She loves her fans and they love her, too! I'm proud to say that I'm one! Are you?

Her story...

"If I remember correctly I started on the 'LINK LOVE' train when the WONDERFUL Vickey of Runway Crochet happened upon my page and left her link! I went to her 'Discussion Board' and thought 'LINK LOVE' was an AWESOME idea. I asked Vic if I could copy her list and start a 'Discussion Board' on my Page, she said yes and we hit it off immediately! The LOVE and SUPPORT was oozing from her and this newly discovered group of LOVELY people! Soon we were having 'parties' (all thanks to Vickey), and 'hanging out.'

Sometimes running a business from home can be isolating and unless you have 'crafty' friends around, people may not quite understand your endeavor. What 'LINK LOVE' has done for me is provide me with a BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL group of artisans to relate to, bounce ideas off, sometimes commiserate with and have WAY TOO MUCH FUN WITH!!! I have been inspired to keep creating and stick with my goals, and with these 'LOVELIES' behind me I believe I can accomplish all that I want!!!"

QUESTION: If you had to attribute one thing to "Link Love," what would that one thing be?

ANSWER: "The WONDERFUL support I have received and the LOVELY friendships I have made!"

QUESTION: If a new fan asked you for advice and what to do to increase their fan base and exposure to the world, what would you tell them?

ANSWER: "Hit the 'LINK LOVE' Discussion Pages!! If you work the links and engage people, the fans will follow and you’ll also make some new friends that will support and promote you!!!"

QUESTION: If you ran into some one opposed to "Link Love," what might you say to sway their opinion?

ANSWER: "I have had people say that they don’t want people fanning if they aren’t going to buy from them. The way I see it is that it’s about the bigger 'Handmade' community and fostering the movement. An example of this is recently for a birthday, I decided my gift would be all things handmade. I posted on my Page the theme of the gifts and searched through my followers. In the end I bought from a shop I may not have otherwise. I would hope that even if 'Fred,' who fanned my page may not buy a purse for himself, he may, in the future, need a gift or know someone who needs a purse and my Page will come to mind!!!"

QUESTION: How often do you hit the other "Participant Fan Page" Discussion Boards?

ANSWER: "As often as I can, though I am sure I could spend more time on them, but I do need to sew!!!"

QUESTION: What other good things could you say about "Link Love?"

ANSWER: "I have met some of the nicest most wonderful people! The support is immeasurable! I cannot even put into words the encouragement, support and valuable input that I have received!!!"


"Link Love" Start Date: December 31, 2009

Starting FB Fans: 304
At Present: 1,399

Starting Etsy Hearts: 150
At Present: 410

Starting Blog followers: 129 on Google; 86 0n Networked Blogs
At Present: 323 on Google; 154 on Networked Blogs

Starting Twitter followers: 751
At Present: 1,287


Michele makes fabulous and beautiful purses! She is, as she puts it, the owner/designer and slave to the needle (both sewing and knitting), behind By Your Side. Her business was born, four years ago, when she couldn’t find that “perfect” purse. So, she made it! Then she began designing purses to fit her needs. Later, after carrying her own creations around town and answering many questions about them, it finally dawned on her that not everyone sews or knits and they wanted to buy her purses!

She will tell you that she's a “fabriholic,” and her yarn habit is just as bad! All of her creations are handcrafted from high quality fabric and yarns, with attention to detail and functionality. By Your Side’s purses and handbags are interfaced with Pellon for body and strength, and stress points are double or even triple stitched!

Michele has sold her purses for the last two years at The Gresham Farmer’s Market and at several local bazaars during the holiday season. She welcomes custom orders. If you see a style of purse you like in her shop, but want a different fabric – just let her know. She's completely available to help you create your “perfect” purse! Just take a look at these below!


  1. Michelle is WONDERFUL! She has been such a help to Hide a Heart and offers so much encouragment and enlightenment!

  2. I haven't really gotten aquatinted with Michelle but she is familiar face I see almost daily on Link Love. In fact, when ever I find the time to hit the discussion links to fan others, I run into her lovely face quiet often, usually just a few comments before me. I to, LOVE fabrics and am a seamstress and I love Michelle's bags and will probably end up purchasing one from her instead of making my own.

  3. Nicely put Michelle. Way to go on link love!!

  4. What an uplifting article on Link Love and our wonderful Michele's success!!! We love ya!

  5. Comment from Elfie with Painting from the Heart

    "Michele is such a sweetheart, you just can't help but love her. I am honored to call her my friend and owe it all to Link Love! Keep up the great work my friend and I wish you success in ALL things! ♥"

  6. Michele is truely one of a kind. She is very helpful and considerate and passionate, and it shows in her comments as well as her personality. What a Lady she is. ♥

  7. Michele is a sweetheart! i am one of the shops she bought from. I was so thankful for the chance to make something for her little lillie :) It was a challenge for me, but i was so happy and excited to do it!
    Although I have been on etsy for a few months the sales haven't really come my way and I was VERY thankful that she took a chance on me.
    Her shop is adorable and she is excellent to work with.
    Thanks for writing this blog for such a sweetheart and for sharing her kindness!

  8. love the purses, Michelle!! I totally agree link love is wonderful, I am inspired, encouraged and uplifted by seeing the beautiful creations by fellow artisans.

  9. Vickey - You are too sweet!! Thank you so much for such a nice write up!! Gosh, I am blushing!
    I have met SO many wonderful people, thank you all for the nice comments!

  10. I love Michele! Thanks for the Link Love and for your support. :)

  11. Michele is always there to support and a great artisan to boot!

  12. WOW!
    Love the story and the part where ti says: "sometimes running a business from home can be isolating and unless you have 'crafty' friends around, people may not quite understand your endeavor."

    I often feel like that but never know if i am right by feeling that way.
    Good to know im not the only one.. and linklovers are all here to help each other! :)


  13. What a great feature! How can you not love Michele! She's awesome and so supportive...Oh, and she makes cute purses too! :)