weekly giveaway – downstairs designs:

hello lovelies! hope you all had a wonderful weekend. this week we have a very generous giveaway from downstairs Designs, a shop that features handy clutches and phone cases in beautiful fabrics. jennifer is just the sweetest and provided a super interview below. one lucky winner will receive an in touch clutch and a 2nd winner will receive an in touch pouch of your choice! happy monday!

Hello! Please tell us a little about yourself! I am in my late (yikes! already?) 30’s, with a lovely red headed daughter and sweet husband, living in the heartland. I was a business major, computer programmer and financial analyst for years and very unhappy. I left the corporate world to become a professional chef and found so much pleasure in creating for others with food. A series of events led me back to the corporate world for a while with this business as a hobby. Well, I call it the hobby gone wrong now! I left my “day job” at a university over a year ago to run Downstairs Designs LLC full time and have never been happier!

How did you get started sewing? I have been sewing about 8 years now. The beginning was a desire to make my mom a quilt for Christmas one year, so I set out with my grandmother’s old Singer Featherweight and a 1960’s text book on sewing and taught myself how to sew. After that I took a quilt class, and learned many ways to make the process so much easier (rotary cutter! templates! rulers!) and make some quilts. After an accident left me with a recovering broken back and unable to continue cooking as a chef full time, I started sewing and it took off from there.

What inspires you from day to day? My customers a LOT! I sell at a farmer’s market all summer long and get so many product ideas each week after talking to my customers about their needs and wants, and Etsy customers with their creative custom order ideas too. Identifying a need that I can’t fill elsewhere. With the clutches, I could find really corporate-looking organizers, but that wasn’t the feel I wanted for myself and was lucky that many others have felt the same way. I also have a hopeless addiction to Japanese craft books and all things zakka. My six year old daughter and sweet supportive husband are also an endless supply of inspiration!

You’ve had a lot of great success with your shop, any advice for friends who are thinking of starting up their own shop: Do what you love to do. I know that sounds trite, but it is true. Learn all you can, all the time. I still take classes, I buy how-to books and patterns, all to expand my knowledge base (I just learned zippers this weekend!! Can’t wait for new pouches to be added to the shop!). Don’t take shortcuts- being inspired by another idea and making it completely your own is wonderful, stealing and copying work is not. Don’t be in it for the money only-I see tons of sellers in my craft shows make things because they can and not because they love to, and so they never have that connection and invariably end up being far less successful.

downstairs Designs has generously offering a special discount for oh, hello friend readers. receive 15% off your entire purchase! (before shipping) enter code “ohhellofriend15” at checkout and you will receive refund via paypal.

Visit downstairs Designs and leave a comment
with your favorite item from the shop .

wait! there is an opportunity to gain one extra entry:
use this short link on twitter: http://bit.ly/dbdkVz
simply twitter, facebook, or blog about this giveaway
and come back and comment with the link :)

please check back next week to see if you are the lucky winner!

giveaway ends on monday, february 22 at 8am, pst

348 thoughts

  1. Hello Danni!

    Greeting from the sunny island in Singapore!
    I’d really like the In Touch Clutch from Downstairs Designs in ‘Oh Deer’! So very cute!

    Hope I get the chance to win! (Haven’t had much luck with such lucky item draws :/)

    p.s you have a really interesting blog. An enjoyable read. :) Love your entry on how your fiance got your engagement ring. Very sweet. My best to you two. :)


    Reply to: lianaoh@gmail.com

  2. Hello there^^

    Lovely give-away, yet again:) Etsy can be such a confusing place, but you certainly find some nice things on there:)

    I liked the Coriander Blue, but also the Green Mushroom one and…so much to choose from!

    Keep up the amazing work with your blog:)

  3. I’ve been a huge fan of the in touch clutch for months and have never broken down to buy one! Jennifer and I have similar taste in fabric, as I’d love to have any of the versions now featured in her shop :)

  4. oh yay! i love downstairs designs! i’ve frequented the shop many times. i love the look of the heavy linen incorporated with fun prints. my favorite, among the many favorites in this shop, is the one featured at the top of this entry… in touch clutch in folklore forest spice. :).

  5. WOw, this is such an amazing giveaway danni! Thanks so much for the opportunity. I had THE hardest time picking my favorite item from the downstairs designs etsy shop!! but i do think my favorite one is the one you have in your post – the In Touch Clutch in Folklore Forest Spice. I love that it has a number of different colors in it and neat designs!! Again, thanks for sharing such beautiful work on Monday morning!

  6. I’ve been such a lurker here, but just wanted to say – your blog is just lovely. Thanks for your inspiration!

    I love this giveaway – and love the cherry dot fabric. Heck, I love them all!

  7. The materials she uses is adorable and looks almost eco friendly. What a great way to present your products. My favorite item she has is the one that holds the iphone or the credit cards. I’m always looking for a place to put those items!!! l love this give-a-way!!!

  8. Oh my goodness! So many beautiful ones to choose from! I love the In Touch Clutches in Lime dahlia, Sky Lodge Lattice, Garden or one of the Coriander ones. (Sorry I just couldn’t narrow it down!!) xx

  9. My favorite is the red wallflower In Touch Clutch. I’d give it to my mama who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. It would be a cheery way to keep her thank you notes all together.

  10. I really like everything and the only thing I can decide on is the fabric! My favourite fabrics are midnight coriander and coriander fuchsia. I guess I have a theme going! Beautiful products!

  11. The category I’m really interested in is the empty business card holder category- my current one has finally tuckered out and I’ve been looking for a creative source to purchase a new one from.

    But, since that section is sold out I really like the In Touch Pouches. I travel for work and it would be perfect. To pick one color is so hard- Pink Coriander or Lime Woodgrain are my favorites though.

    Such beautiful work!

  12. I love the In Touch Clutch in Mustard Wallpaper… It would be so cheery to look at while I’m at work all day. (And I just noticed it’s pictured in your post too. It is lovely!)

  13. In Touch Pouch in Coriander, if I have to choose just one favorite. If I actually won, however could I narrow it down? I love lists and the quality of this product looks mah-velous!

  14. All the patterns are so amazing! I’ll be traveling overseas in a few months and the in touch clutch would be perfect to keep passports and all the important stuffs in one place! :) I love “Good Folks Fortune in Sun” and the “Mustard Wallpaper” :)

    hello {at} loveardently {dot} com

  15. Oh gosh so many wonderful prints to choose from! I love love love the In Touch Clutch ™ in Folklore Gray and Orange. oh it makes me happy. =)

    Thanks for the fabulous blog!

  16. I am in love with the In Touch Clutch (especially in Wallflower Yellow and Gray)! I had been looking for something just like this a couple months back. It’d be perfect for keeping my little Moleskine sketchbook with me to sketch animation ideas wherever I am :)

  17. What lovely things in their shop!
    I really love the In Touch Pouch for iPhone, iPod in Coriander Blue. I would love this as my itouch is getting very beat up in my purse.
    Finger’s crossed!

  18. This was probably the hardest shop to pick a favorite from – I love all the patterns, colors, and overall tone set by the clutches.

    My top 3 are Good Folks Fortune in Teal, Garden, and County Fair Leaves in Porch Blue.

    LOVE this shop.

  19. Oh my gosh, it is so hard to choose! I think I love the In Touch Clutch ™ in Mustard Wallpaper the most! I just can’t get enough of her stuff!


  20. Oh, I love these! I have seen them before on etsy and just posted one on my blog last week! ♥ My favorite (for me!!) is the clutch in folklore! Cute little mushrooms! Thank You! ♥ Mia

  21. I had so much difficulty choosing just one favorite! In the end I think I narrowed it down to the In Touch Clutch in Wine Watercolor Garden. I could definitly spend a good portion of my paycheck at the downstairs Design’s shop!

  22. Yet again, an etsy crafter amazes me. I love fresh takes on everyday items that could be so mundane if purchased at a big box retailer, and each of these clutches and pouches are so lovely and functional! I especially love the In Touch Clutch in wallflower green and tangerine dot (couldn’t pick just one). Thanks so much for this contest!

  23. She has so many cute designs! I am having a hard time picking my favorite between Gothic Rose and Wallflower Yellow and Grey. What a fun giveaway and a great etsy seller! Thanks, Danni! :)

  24. love love love the intouch clutch in gothic rose and coriander midnight, all the fabrics are beautiful and the workmanship is super professional, thase are adorable, since i am like many others, the queen of notes and lists, it would go absolutely everywhere i do!

  25. Hello!

    What a wonderful giveaway! It was so hard to decide on a favorite because all the designs were so beautiful! I would have to say I love the Lime Dahlia the best.


  26. Wow… what a clever idea! I love reading your blog.

    My favourite is the InTouch Clutch in “Oh Deer” (ha, how appropriate!).

    I also posted on Facebook! 😀

  27. i’m in love with this! i’ve been looking for a wallet so the one item i’m craving from this shop is the Limited Edition In Touch Clutch ™ in Atomic Barkcloth :)
    it’s absolutely stunning.

  28. I hate it that you always give away such beautiful items – then I see that 226 people have already commented.

    I love the coriander fuschia fabric – it matches the notebook I am using at the moment and would be perfect to hold all my clippings and junk that is currently shoved in an envelope at the back of said notebook.

    Charlotte x

  29. I love these little pouches and clutches!! My favorite is the limited edition in touch clutch in Paris, so precious. I would definitely put my passport, iphone, and daily planner in that! Please, please, please let me win :)

  30. Wow! She makes beautiful things! My favorite is definitely the in Touch Pouch for iPhone or iPod in Coriander Blue. So handy! I couldn’t need a purse at all! Just my phone, ID and debit card. :)

  31. Such gorgeous work! I love how nice they look but still have that great use of color without being overwhelming. I can think if a thousand uses for the In Touch Clutch in County Fair Leaves in Porch Blue!

  32. contrarily, it was downstairs Designs that led me to you (and not vice versa) — either way, i’m glad i found you both.

    i’m a big fan of the in touch clutch in rust lantern bloom. take care!

  33. I love the in touch clutch you featured! My 2nd favorite is the Coral Morning Glory.
    These clutches are absolutely AMAZING!! I am currently writing one card a week to random friends and this is what I NEED!

  34. I love how you posted your fonts. I was looking for something like affair.

    Anyway, I’m completely in love with the In Touch Pouch for iPhone/iPod Touch in Sky Morning Glory… It is exactly what I need to pocket my phone and cards that I use often.

    I think I would house my Starbucks gold card there. haha!


  35. Hi Danni!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity! I love all the things at downstairs Designs. The in touch clutches are all so lovely! I have to say my favourite item is the In Touch Clutch ™ in Good Folks Fortune in Plum!

    Good luck to everyone!

  36. What a fun idea.

    I love the In Springtime Park and Wallpaper in grey and yellow.

    It’s so fun to see the genius work of others happening everywhere.

  37. huzzah! I won! I just emailed you – sorry it took me all week…goodness I must be pregnant and running around after two other kids, or something crazy like that…:) the touch clutch is darling! what a fabulous shop, thanks for sharing!

  38. I’m so glad you showed me this shop! It’s awesome! I love EVERYTHING, haha. But I think my absolute favourite would be the in touch clutch in Wallflower Sky Blue.. so pretty!

  39. oh ok they are alll super cute! I love all the fabrics soo pretty. These are my favorite patterns, Sky Wallflower,
    Chocolate Mad for Plaid, Gothic Rose in blues, Coriander Midnight, Kelly Green Leaves, Atomic Barkcloth, Charcoal Teal Flowers, and County Fair Leaves in Porch Blue. I love the In Touch Clutch, so cute!

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