Sunday, December 15, 2013

25 Days Of Christmas Celebration # 20 - Shop Feature With Anna from GuiltFreeDecadence

For today's 25 Days Of Christmas Celebration, we are diving into the delicious and whimsical world of GuiltFreeDecadence! 

This cute shop, owned by Anna Young, offers an irresistible selection of miniature foods created with polymer clay. The tiny delights can be bought as key chains, fridge magnets, necklaces, Christmas ornaments, rings and earrings.

No need to count calories when you enter GuiltFreeDecadence! 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a psychology major in college and will be obtaining my Bachelor's Degree in cognitive behavioral therapy in 2014. I also have a Bachelor's in American History that I received in 2012. I plan on going to medical school to obtain my M.D. in Psychiatry. 

I'm a very simple country girl who enjoys being outdoors. I love adventure. Jet skiing, hiking, sky diving, and riding dirt bikes are among my favorite things to do. Crafting is evidently a significant hobby of mine. I get so much pleasure out of making new items and sharing them with people around the world. It's almost like therapy to me. If I'm sad, upset, angry, or just feeling blue, creating new items for my shop is always a quick method of cheering me up. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is in the U.S. Army and currently deployed to the Emirates. He's my biggest support system, even though I believe I overwhelm him with pictures of my new creations ;-)

Tell us about your creations.
Each of my food items is made from polymer clay, a type of clay that is baked in an oven to harden. It's amazing to me how, with some effort and time, something as simple as polymer clay could be transformed into such realistic-looking foods. I feel safe to say that, with my clay, I can create any type of food but have the most fun making items such as peanut butter and jelly slices, cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, and donuts. Making realistic food items, however, is not as easy as it may appear. It's more than just sculpting clay. A great deal of shading, blending, and texturing is done to make each item as vivid as possible. 

What inspires you to create your products?

My inspiration to create new products comes from my desire to share little pieces of me with the world. Whenever I get an order, I am always excited to see where I'll be shipping it to. I can't even describe the satisfaction I get from knowing that people from a variety of places are wearing or displaying something that I created - it's exhilarating! 

On determining what, exactly, I will create next, I am often inspired by my mother's baking. I grew up watching my mom make tons of gourmet cookies, cakes, and pies. Whenever I am debating on what to make next, I often think about all of the delicious sweets she has made over the years and it gives me inspiration to transform them into clay models.

What is your favorite food?

I can't say that I have one favorite food. I love a variety of foods. Chinese, Cajun, and some good, homemade pepperoni pizza are among my absolute favorites. I can't pick just one. I love anything pumpkin flavored, too. Pumpkin rolls, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin everything! 

Tell us about the very first item you made : what was it? When did you create it? 

I actually laughed at this question because my first experience with polymer clay was a total disaster. I'm a very impulsive person. One day, about a year ago, I was at my local craft store looking for fall decor for my home. I came across polymer clay and realized that I could do something with it, so, like any impulsive person would, I went ahead and purchased a clay block in nearly every color in stock. 

When I got home and began working with my clay, I decided on trying to replicate a rainbow layer cake because I had just made a real one the previous week and wanted to see if I could successfully transform my beautiful cake into polymer clay. The layers of my "cake" blended together somehow. Instead of a fluffy set of rainbow layers, the majority of the cake turned an ugly brown color. When I went to top off my cake with liquid clay "icing", it actually burnt in my oven and nearly caused a house fire. It was a complete mess. Needless to say, my technique improved. That first cake is history.

What are the top 3 tips you would like to share with new sellers?

If I can give any advice to new Etsy sellers, it would be that patience is a virtue. It takes a bit of time for shops to start reaping gains. When I first started out in early August, I wanted to give up often because I wasn't getting much traffic or many sales. As time progressed, however, I began noticing more and more people viewing and "favoriting" my items and purchasing from my shop. Time is everything. 

Another helpful tip that I stress is promotion. Promoting has significantly helped me and will likely help most sellers get the most out of their business. Be active in the Etsy community. Join teams. Post in the forums. Create treasuries. All of these are beneficial. 

Lastly, stay positive. Good things come to those who remain optimistic.

What is the strangest thing you have ever created?

The strangest thing I've been asked to create was a peanut butter and salami sandwich for my 9-year-old nephew. He is a huge fan of both peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and salami sandwiches, so he wanted me to combine them into one polymer clay sandwich to put on a key chain. Though the combination is seemingly disgusting, the sandwich turned out to be extremely cute.

Are you a buyer on Etsy as well? What do you usually look to buy?

I definitely am a buyer on Etsy!  I actually began buying from Etsy years prior to setting up my own shop. I always look at handmade candles because I am a huge fan of scented candles. I also like to purchase military-related handmade items and really like the handbags and diaper bags that are made from Army Combat Uniforms. There are so many talented, wonderful creators on Etsy. I wish I had the funds to purchase one item from every shop!

What is your personal favorite item from your shop?

My favorite item from my shop is my whole pumpkin pie magnet. Though I have a huge following on my peanut butter and jelly series, I really love my pie. It's just so realistic and cute, and I'm a pumpkin person! I guess that it just represents "me" more than any other item in my shop!

Thanks for interviewing with us today, Anna. SPST wishes you the best of luck with your Etsy business!

Please Visit Anna's Etsy Shop GuiltFreeDecadence Here :


My name is Natalie. I am a French-Canadian gal, but I live in South Korea. My passion is called "Hanji" : sumptuous Korean paper made of mulberry pulp. Hanji has been used for a thousand years in Korea to create decorative or ceremonial objects. For me, it is essential to offer useful and practical objects, that can enjoyed on a daily basis. Tissue cases, pen holders, piggy banks, fridge magnets: let the beauty and unique character of Hanji make our everyday life objects irresistible!

Follow Natalie's Blog For The Latest Updates To Her Shop

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