Friday, December 12, 2014

Berkshire Collections: Totally Totable

Nancy Swantek is the Etsy shop owner of Berkshire Collections at She has been and Etsy shop owner since August 2013 and has done quite well with her totes. I have gotten to know Nancy a little bit through the Etsy team, Relevancy and SEO for All Etsy Shops where we are team leaders. Recently I asked some questions about herself and her shop.

Mary: Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Orange Tote Bag $80.00

Nancy: In my youth I fell in love with fabrics when my mom use to sew all of our dresses for my sisters and I. I loved going with her to fabric stores and help choose the colors and textures for the outfits she was going to make. Later, my love for fabrics led me to the field of home design.

Mary: How long have you been in this field and what is it that you specifically do? 

Nancy: I've been in this field for 26 years as a interior designer. I have my own home based business where I design and sew custom window treatments. 

Ivory Bride's Wedding Handbag Purse $50.00

 Mary: What are some of the advantages of having a home based business?

Nancy: I was able to be home when my kids came home from school. I was also able to move my schedule around so I never missed driving them to activities. This also allowed me to volunteer time at their school parties.

Mary: What made you decide to open an Etsy shop?

Nancy: I always had small scraps leftover from my many projects throughout the years. They weren't really big enough to do much with them so I took them and began sewing small things for my daughter, daughter-in-law and my 5 sisters. When I started making the tote bags my daughter and daughter-in-law said, "That's enough giving these things away, you need to open an Etsy shop."  So I did.

Red Snowman Pillow $45.00

Mary: What have you learned from your home custom drapery business that can be applied to your Etsy Shop?

Nancy: I have learned that quality fabrics make all the difference in a finished product. Therefore, I use only quality fabrics in the tote bags, clutches and pillows that you see in my shop.

Mary: How did you decide on a shop name?

Nancy: I had a bit of hard time trying to figure that out. I tried for a name that included the word "tote", but then I didn't want to pigeon hole myself, in case I wanted to expand the creations. I live on Berkshire Street. I love the name and think it's homey and classy. I hoped the totes and pillows would speak for themselves, so that the name would stick in peoples minds.

Mary: What else can you tell us about yourself? What are some of your outside activities?

Nancy: Besides my love of family, fabrics and the creation that come from them, my other passion is volunteering at our local no kill animal shelter. I walk dogs for them every Friday afternoon. I head their fundraising team. I foster puppies for them, until they are ready and old enough to go up for adoption. I also train new volunteers to work in the shelter. On occasion I work at the

Raspberry Red with Chocolate Brown Tote Bag $80.00

adoption desk. One of my greatest joy is to witness an adoption of a cat or dog and the smiles on the families faces. Most of all it is knowing that a homeless pet is no longer going to be homeless. Volunteering with that shelter fills my heart and soul.

Mary: What events or craft fairs have you recently attended or plan to attend?

Nancy: The Holiday Bazaar at the animal shelter was last weekend, I head that particular event. I sold a few of my totes there and a snowman pillow. All proceeds go directly to the care of the cats and dogs.

Mary: Thank you Nancy for letting my readers know a little about you and your shop. Now let's take a look at more of her shop and what she has to offer.

Women's Gray Tote Bag $77.00

Blue Yellow Tote Bag $72.00

Pink and White Small Purse $39.00

Monogram Button Pillow $85.00 

Women's Large Handbag Tote $59.00

Brown Handmade Fabric Handbag Tote $72.00

There isn't many days before Christmas, and if you're still searching for an unique gift for her, whomever that may be, then consider one of the many totes Nancy has to offer at See you on Etsy.