Featured Member: Ojamiya


How did you get started in your chosen crafts?

I’ve been interested in Japan for years and I admire the Asian cultures for their resourcefulness and minimalism. Learning about and sharing the crafts and bento making is just a natural extension.

How do you make your craft or etsy store eco friendly?

I’m learning more about green living and shop maintenance all the time. The team is such an inspiration for this! Here are some of the current aspects of my shop that are eco-friendly.

  • My focus is on reusable. It’s especially important with my bento boxes and bags. Bento boxes help you reduce throwaway plastic packaging in lunches – because foods are packed next to each other. You can use separators, but they can be washed and reused too.
  • The plastics in my bentos are BPA free and I translate and list what types of plastics are in them. I’ve looked into metal boxes, but haven’t found ones that are strong and aren’t sharp edged. (I have a spiffy metal bento in my personal collection, but the lid edge has cut my son’s fingers even thought it didn’t feel sharp. So I don’t send his lunch in it anymore.)
  • I keep on the look out for spiffy fabrics that I can upcycle into bags or otedama sets. And I try to use up what I have before buying new. Several of my fabrics are leftover pieces from the mountain of fabric I had from re-enactment costuming (when I’d buy 10+ yards of the same fabric at a time on a serious sale to garb my family).
  • My patterns are digital – so only when the pattern is about to be used is paper consumed. No gas used to transport them.
  • I reuse packing materials, use recycled packaging and labels, and meet the postal carrier at my mailbox with my packages instead of me driving to the post office.

Why did you join the EcoEtsy Team?

Karen (a.k.a. Ecokaren) and I began conversing on twitter and I learned about the team from her. In a kind and gentle fashion, she challenged me to start thinking about eco-friendly options for my products. I was hooked! I lurked on the team blog for a while. When I saw I could contribute to the team with an idea for re-usable tea bags (after seeing the reusable coffee filters here on the blog) – I knew it was time to see if I could join.

What steps have you taken to lead a green life style?

I feel I have so much to learn, yet I also learn something new everyday on this team. My family and I recycle, take our own fabric bags to the store, go to rummage sales and do clothing trades for my kiddos, utilize freecycle and YMCA Advancement instead of throwing things away, use CFL bulbs (and we’re looking into LED lights), consider eco-friendly building materials in house projects, use cloth napkins, pack bento lunches, and use homemade natural cleaners in the house.

Is your art/craft your full time job? If not what do you do to pay the bills?

I’m a stay at home mom. My shop is my sanity time and fills the need to keep my hands busy. It supports my crafting needs, classes to learn more about my crafts, and some Christmas gifts at this point. But I keep working to grow my shop and will be able to work on my shop more this fall when both kiddos are in school. I’m really looking forward to it!

Blog and Alternate Shop:  Ojamiya
Twitter:  Ojamiya
Facebook:  Ojamiya

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  1. i am just back in town and catching up …wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the interveiw and really think your products are wonderful…

  2. Wow! I love your work. I have just been beginning to think about making myself some reusable grocery bags. This post has inspired me (: Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much for letting me be a featured member! Eco Etsy is an awesome team to be a part of!

    (Thanks Karen! You’re always so encouraging and supportive. Glad to help with graphics – it’s fun. 😉

  4. We are so lucky to have you as a member. The graphics you did for the auction was awesome!! So glad you are offering so many beautiful reusable lunch packing solutions. And love your blog’s recipes too.

    Thanks for a great feature!!