Friday, March 9, 2012

Etsy Seller Spotlight: 'sandee royalty'

Today is the second post in a new series here on the Fabulous Florida Mommy blog, called the 'Etsy Seller Spotlight'. In case you aren't yet familiar with Etsy, it is an online site where you can buy unique handmade and vintage items directly from independent sellers around the world.

After purchasing an apron (which I blogged about in this post) from Etsy at the beginning of January, I began to do more window shopping on the site and to my delight, discovered that there are a LOT of women making beautiful and unique items out there! I mean, I always knew that there were a lot of sellers with shops on Etsy, but hadn't spent much time on there until recently. Trust me when I say there is a lot to see, and a lot of women making and/or selling lovely merchandise. I feel they should be given a little bit of 'spotlight' and that is why I decided to begin my 'Etsy Seller Spotlight' series.

The 'Spotlight' today is on the Etsy seller Sandee and her shop sandee royalty. Sandee is the designer and creator of a delightful line of skirts that reflect the colorful Kate Spade style, but are shaken and stirred to come out in a new way.  Her shop currently features The Hartley and Katie skirts in a variety of colors and patterns, as well as The Black and White Stripe Hartley Ball skirt. I had the chance to chat with Sandee and asked her to tell us a little bit more about herself:

"I am a girl from Houston, Tx who loves living colorfully and with lots of fun! I have love for fashion, style and Happy Chic! I collect all things Kate Spade New York and blog about the brand on kate spade-aholic ."

Why did you start making the skirts featured in your shop?

"It all started with a black and white striped skirt that I designed for myself just for fun and put it on my blog. I received so many comments from my blog readers wanting me to make and sell the skirt that I decided to put it on Etsy and see what happened...about 200 skirts later, I realized that this might actually be a business! I had been praying for a way to make extra money for about two years and this just fell straight into my lap! It is funny when I look back, I didn't even realize what was happening at the time. In my mind, I was just making a few skirts for readers who wanted them. 

 I really like making skirts because they are easy to fit many body types and I only need one measurement! That first skirt design is the Katie skirt, named after the "real" Kate Spade who goes by Katie. This January I released another skirt design, the Hartley skirt, named after my daughter Madeline Hartley. It has exceeded my expectations, outselling the Katie skirt in it's first two months! I am really enjoying meeting the sweet ladies who purchase my skirts. I also love packaging up the skirt really cute so when they receive it in the mail, they feel how special they are as a person."

Vanilla Embellished Hartley Skirt

How many years have you been sewing?

"As a child I began sewing as play while watching my mother sew. She would give me fabric and let me play with my little "sewing"machine that actually GLUED the fabric together. When I was in third grade I was allowed to use the real machine. My first project was a lavender gingham peasant style nightgown. My mom didn't hover and tell me how to do it, she just let me ask questions if I had any. She said it was really hard to quietly watch and that I didn't even bother to hem it. I happily wore it to bed that night.  I am so glad that my mother let me think of sewing as play instead of a perfectionist project!  I still feel that way today. Over the years of sewing, I have developed skills and figured out how to finish my garments beautifully but it has all been for fun.  We have a joke between ourselves that if a project is not working out and starts to be no fun..."throw it away!"  Or at least put it away and maybe come back to it later.  I have designed some interesting outfits over the years. Here is a pic of a romper I made in my college dorm room from a Walmart Thanksgiving tablecloth. It was hilarious! All in the name of creativity!"

Do you take custom orders or look for specific fabrics for customers?

"I am a people pleaser to a fault so I will do my best to help someone out with what they are looking for. I have a special place in my heart for brides so I tend to go out of my way to help them with skirts for their bridal party. I love it! I will also make my skirts to fit anyone that wants to wear one. I have made them for tiny gals who can't find anything to fit them except in the children's department and for bigger girls who want to dress cute and feminine but can't find skirts to fit their body type. I keep the sizing simple on my etsy shop so it isn't confusing for my customers but I will make custom sizes anytime needed.  Design is my favorite thing about sewing. I really don't think of myself as a seamstress because I enjoy coming up with the designs that I sew, not just sewing something someone else picks out. I try to design myself something new every week just to keep the fun in my sewing! "

Red and White Gingham Katie Skirt

Tell us a little more about designing for brides and their wedding parties:

"I am making Katie and Hartley skirts for wedding parties right now so I know all about this wedding thing. It is really hard to find a look that expresses who you are and then put it on 6 of your friends! Also, these friends look nothing like you and have unusual body types.  They also don't want to be stuck with something ugly that they can't wear again.  For casual summer weddings, especially in the South, I am finding that girls are opting for the Striped Katie skirt for their bridesmaids. For more formal weddings there is the Hartley Ball Skirt, which is floor length and can be made in any of the Hartley fabrics or a combination of two colors to make a lovely wide stripe."

"I am working on several weddings right now,most of them chose the Katie stripe for their girls. Black and white is very popular also the green and white stripe. The Hartley is also nice because I let them customize the Embellished Hartley skirt with ribbon in their wedding colors. One bride even had her wedding invitations made to match the green and white stripe of the Katie skirt! Because the skirts are so versatile, it can be dressed up or down depending on the style of the wedding. It looks great with the new Kate Spade New York wedding belles and whistles cardigans or even a simple white blouse or tank top. A plus is that the bridesmaids can definitely wear it after the wedding, not getting stuck with an ugly dress that hangs in the back of the closet."

I want to say a big THANK YOU to Sandee for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and share more about herself and her lovely designs with all the Fabulous Florida Mommy readers...thanks again Sandee!

Sandee has additional skirts in her Etsy shop here. Stop in and have a look...there are many lovely things to see. :)

That concludes the latest post for my new series 'Etsy Seller Spotlight'...I hope you've enjoyed it. 

As, always...thank you for stopping by! Have a lovely day! :)



  1. Wow I loved this post. Sandee is clearly a wonderful lady, so thoughtful, stylish and kind. Her personality really shines through in your interview!
    I'm going right over there to have a look at those gorgeous skirts.
    Thanks FFM!

    1. Thanks Dani! Sandee is indeed a very wonderful lady, and extremely talented, too! Not to mention that the skirts she creates are gorgeous (just like you said), as well! :)

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  3. wow. i adore these skirts. what a talented woman and smart too!
    this is getting to be a dangerous place to visit! everything is so lovely, it makes me weak.

    1. Hi Janet! Aren't the skirts adorable? Sandee is incredibly talented and so nice, too!

  4. Thank you for the Sandee interview I LOVE her skirts! I have been following her blog for awhile now and have been contemplating ordering a skirt from her etsy site. So many colors I can't decide.

    I found Sandee last year after looking for a skirt similar to Anne M Cramer's striped Flynn skirt ($160) but at a better price point($70). Have you ordered a Katie skirt?

  5. You're welcome lisa! I haven't yet ordered one of the skirts, but would love to get one to wear this spring and summer. Which color are you considering?

    1. I am drawn to the bright colors like the red or yellow stripes but realistically the black or navy stripe would work best for me. I feel as though the brighter colors may be too young for me. : ) I also love the longer skirt Hartley skirt (but no wear to wear it) and the embelished Hartleys. LOL I LOVE them all it is a hard choice! :; )