Sunday, April 25, 2010



One of the warmest, kindest, most selfless people, I know on this "Link Lovin' " train is Kris with Aprons by MeMe! She's always there to help give ANYONE a "push" by reposting their fan page link to her wall and alerting her nearly 3000 fans. She's also one of the original "Magnificent Seven," who started with "Link Love," as we know it on Facebook during the latter part of 2009 and beginning of 2010. Kris rarely misses a beat with the NEWBIES! She's one of the one's to go to - to get a big boost with a new start!

Kris has a fantastic following of caring, sharing fans! Happy to say that I'm only one of them! Are you? She also has many friends and I lay claim as one of those, too!

Her story...

"I remember starting a fan page on January 11, because my best friend, KraftyMaxOriginals said it would be a great idea! She helped set up my Etsy Shop and she knew her way around the internet. I posted a few of my dish towel aprons and before I knew it - I had 40 fans! Then every time I would post a comment or show one of my aprons, there in the comments would be the sweet smiling face of Elfie, from Painting From the Heart. She always had such encouraging words to say and truly loved my aprons. That was where I first heard of 'Link Love.' "

"I visited Elfies fan page and found Vickey from RunwayCrochet. As I scrolled down their pages I saw support, encouragement and real caring for all of their fans. On January 14, I posted my links to Vic's discussion board for 'Link Love' and after working through all the links in her discussions I posted on Elfie's discussion board for 'Link Love' and started going through those links. I found so many wonderful crafters, artisans, jewelers etc.!

"What I saw were like-minded people who cared and supported each other. It wasn't a competition - it was people helping people. That was something I wanted to be a part of! I love waking up every morning because I know there are people who are there for me - no matter what!!! Do I have a sewing problem? They're there! Do I have a glitch on my fan page? They're there! Do I just need a swift kick in the butt? They're there! Can I complain? They are STILL there! And, when there is a time for prayers, they are truly there!"

"My business has tripled since I started 'Link Love.' My friendships have grown to almost 3,000! THEY ARE ALL my "LINK LOVE ANGELS!!!' "

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

ANSWER: "I would have to say the Friendships and AMAZING Support!"

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: "Let your fingers do the walking through the 'Link Love" discussion boards.  Really check out the fan pages you are visit. If they have an Etsy, Artfire or other tab for their business take a peek.  Let them know what you think."

QUESTION: If you ran into some one opposed to "Link Love," what might you say to sway their opinion?
ANSWER: "I have had my share of 'Naysayers.'  I was hurt at first. They were bursting my bubble. But in the same day I would get a post from a fan saying, 'Thanks for the help,' 'You've made my day,' 'Thank You, Thank YOU.' The 'Naysayer' just doesn't understand the full scope of 'Link Love.' "

QUESTION: How often do you hit the other "Participant Fan Page" Discussion Boards?
ANSWER: "Whenever I am on the computer! If I ever see a little red number up there lighting up notifications, I am there."

QUESTION: What other good things could you say about "Link Love?"
ANSWER: "Vic asked me this question on January 17, when she wrote about 'LINK LOVE' on her blog!  This is what I told her then and I beleive it with all of my heart!!! 'It is networking with like-minded people. I love it because how many times in our lives do we find or meet up with people who think like we do! I have yet to meet anyone on here that is not gracious, complimenting and genuine.' "


"Link Love" Start Date: Mid-January 2009

Starting FB Fans: 40
At Present: 2,934

Starting Etsy Hearts: 30
At Present: 203 

Starting Twitter followers: 25
At Present: 362

Etsy Sales before Link Love: 10
At Present :  36


Kris makes beautiful but practical dish towel aprons... I should know because I'm the proud owner of one! They are very well made for wear and durability, too! She also makes bibs for babies/toddlers and other unique items. If you haven't yet - go check out all her items in her Etsy Shop!

More about her craft from Kris, herself...

"I have been crocheting, knitting, quilting and sewing for most of my life. I just can't sit. My hands want to move. I'm Italian! My hands are always in motion!!! I love Babies. Always wanted to have 10 children, but God knew I could only handle one. So I have been watching babies and toddlers for 30 years now."  

"About two years ago, I was so frustrated because my little ones (who call me MeMe) were always running off with my dish towels. They were never handy and with babies around – you do dishes all day long! So the front of my blouses were always wet or always had spots on them from cooking."

"I can hear you saying, 'Why not wear an Apron?' That makes me laugh. I collect aprons, but I never wore them.  I couldn't tie them or they just didn't fit right and they were not very absorbent. A light bulb went off – an apron and a dish towel! There it was!!! The original (one size fits all) 'dish towel apron by MeMe!!!' Two-in-one!!! I designed a bib top that is fully lined with a very nice quilters cotton. All of the raw edges are surged so they won't fray in the wash and instead of using ties or velcro I attach a snap at the back of the bib to secure the closure."

"Shopping for the dish towels and then the material to match is such a treat. I have dish towels that are a smooth cotton people like as just an apron. Then I have a softer, plush dish towel for those who want it for the dish towel. You can also use the dish towel if you need to take something hot off the stove or out of the oven.  So now you also have a pot holder."  

"I love to make cookies and other treats with my 'little ones.'  So the 'mommy and me'  dish towel aprons were created.  They can be made to match or made with coordinating dish towels. The 'little me' apron is adjustable to fit a four-year old and up.

When my sister-in-law had a stroke, I cut the dish towel in half with a little shorter bib top and there it was Again - an 'adult bib' with a soft towel to wipe their faces. Also great, if you have someone in a nursing home. I also call them, 'traveling adult bibs.' When you're on the road and need to eat in the car - you need something to protect your clothes."

"My friend asked why I didn't make something for my babies. Dish towels were too big so, I used soft and absorbent face cloths. There it was again - an original 'face cloth bib by MeMe."  

"My Mom came up with the next design... she wanted something handy to put her TV remotes and telephone inside of with easy access. So I took a dish towel and found matching material. For the man of the house, I use sports team fabric.  For the woman of the house - a blend of pleasant colors.  There it was again, (wink) the 'dish towel remote control caddy' by MeMe."  

"I've been nicknamed, 'the lady who can do anything with a dish towel.' " I have so many other ideas floating around! I've been asked to make bibs for the older child five, six or seven-years old."  

"I love selling all of these at craft shows and enjoy meeting the people and talking about my dish towel creations.  It's so much fun!"  

Some samples of Kris' work is below and in the slide show above.

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!