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20 December 2010

Awesome Artist Feature: Etta + Billie

Lavender Body Créme
with Certified Organic Ingredients
by Etta + Billie - $23.95 USD
At the risk of sounding like I'm only a bath & body review blog, I'm featuring one of my all-time favourite local artists - Alana Rivera from Etta + Billie!

And you guessed it - she makes amazing bath & body products! But she's also an amazing human being.


Although seriously tired from preparing for Renegade Craft Fair's Holiday Show in SF, Alana greeted me with the warmest hug in the world late Sunday afternoon. Having only met her once before in person, we'd been coordinating meeting up again since the previous Renegade that summer.


You could win these awesome
soap samples in our Giveaway!
As always, her products are fabulously luscious, both in fragrance and quality. I walked in and drifted away with just a tiny bit of Geranium Patchouli Body Créme on my wrist - a little bit of heaven in cream form. :) She also passed me some of her new soaps (which I'd been looking forward to trying out)... freakin' wonderful!

And now we'd like to pass along a bit of luxury to you! Alana has graciously offered to do a giveaway of some samples of her bestselling soaps!

Find out about the story behind the raddness by reading a little more about Alana (late night dance parties & bike-riding included), followed by how you can win some of her wonderful soap here at nerd JERK!






Who are you? And what drives to you create!?
I'm a small town girl who loves San Francisco, laughing until I cry, making up words that I incorporate as my own private slang, baking, cooking, bargain hunting, reading, and window shopping on the internet.  The things that drive me to create are my passion for food (seriously, I am obsessed and have been since I was 2) and pushing the limits for creating beautiful useful 100% natural products.

Bitter Orange Soap
with Certified Organic Ingredients
by Etta + Billie - $9 USD
When & why did you start your Etsy shop?
I started my Etsy shop in February of 2009.  After making soap for almost four years I realized that I wanted to share my passion with others and grow my hobby into a real business.  I had been enamored with Etsy for a while and knew that it was a great platform for my products.  Plus getting my own website together seemed ridiculously daunting.


Describe your creative process
A lot of my inspiration comes from food. I peruse Tastespotting and Bon Apetit regularly. I tend to get some of my best ideas when I am just about to fall asleep or while I am on the bus (random - I know).  I always keep a notebook with me so I can jot my ideas down.  I will go through my lists and figure out what I think will actually work with my product lines.  For most of my soaps I sketch out the design on paper first and figure out what ingredients will give me the colors I need.  Sometimes I do test batches and sometimes I just go for it and make a whole batch.  I love the anticipation of cracking open one of my soap molds after 48 hours and cutting into my latest creation to see how it turned out, its always a surprise.


Top 5 fave books, movies, music, artists...
This is so hard but here goes:


Books: Persuasion by Jane Austen, Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Harry Potter Series


Movies: Goonies, Dazed and Confused, Center Stage (don't judge), Amélie, WALL E


Music: Led Zeppelin, Arcade Fire, Feist, Band of Horses, 80s music in general


How did you come up with your business name?
My business name is a combination of my grandmother's names.  I spent a lot of time with both of them as a child and as I grew up I started to appreciate what supportive, loving, fearless and tenacious women they were.  I wanted to make sure that I honored them somehow when I decided to embark on the crazy path of entrepreneurship.


What does a day in your life look like?
Wake up at 7 or 730, get ready, ride the bus or bike to my day job downtown, work all day - periodically checking emails and my shop, get home, make a list of what needs to be done for the evening, make dinner, pack orders/make product/wrap and label product, answer emails, update my calendar and data entry programs, go to bed around 11 or 12. :)


How do you combat "creative blocks" in your life?
I luckily haven't had to face one of these yet...


What other favourite hobbies/activities do you enjoy?
I love to get lost in books, bargain hunt on craigslist, collect 80s prom dresses, bake especially fruit galettes and banana bread, read Sunset, Real Simple and Bon Apetit, late night dance parties at a friends house, movies, getting sucked into the next Bravo show, and walking around my neighborhood.


Check out more about Etta + Billie here:







Now, for the GIVEAWAY...


To enter to win a set of Ends & Pieces Soap Samples sent to your home, you have many options!


= OR =

  • Just LEAVE A COMMENT :D

After completing your entries, post which items you did in the "Comments" section of this post. For every item done, you'll receive ONE entry (10 possible entries available)! Winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday, 25 December & announced Sunday, 26th December, 2010.

I hope you all get a chance to try out these rad products & enjoy them as much as I do!!! 

Thanks & good luck!

The Awesome Artist Feature series will be running every Monday on nerd JERK: Inspire Your Inner Geek.

3 comments:

  1. It's way late and I need to get to bed. I hearted Etta+ Billie's shop. And liked it on facebook. And her Grapefruit Cardamom Whipped Body Butter seems devine. Who says I can't try to win another crafters soap ;+}

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well I already 'like' Etta + Billie on Facebook and Alana's shop is already a Favorite of mine on Etsy - does this count :) I did share her Grapefruit Cardamom body creme on my Facebook page which will be twittered as well.

    To promote support between we SF Etsians I am now following Alana and you, Stephanie, on your blogs. Great interview by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Steph!
    I want to win some soap :D I just became a fan of their facebook page, hearted their store, and am off to post about them on my facebook page... I'm already a follower of NerdJerk's blog :) Can't wait to see if I win!!
    Ros
    www.scottishlilyjewelry.etsy.com

    ReplyDelete

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