Today I would like to introduce you all to EcoEtsy Team member, Martina Oelinger who hails all the way from Australia. I love featuring our International team members because they all have interesting wares and unique items that we may not be able to find so easily here in the USA. Martina is owner of NaturesArtMelbourne, she is an Austrian living in Australia. She’s been on Etsy since 2009 and boasts over 1,850 sales in her 5-star customer rated shop and she offers some absolutely beautiful and unique jewelry pieces created from organic elements that she sources locally in Australia. Martina shares here story with us.
Can you share with us a little about your personal story?
I am Austrian living in Australia. 14 years ago I traveled Australia on my own for 6 month and overtook in my old car a bush bike rider in the middle of truly nowhere and this event changed my whole life. I returned to Austria to migrate to Australia 6 month later and leave everything behind to be with the man of my life. The bush bike rider and I married 3 years ago after 11 happy years.
We still travel 3 month every year Outback Australia to be in nature, to have time for us and to collect the materials for my creations.
What is your craft? and products do you offer in your shop? What are your most popular products?
I collect whatever Mother Earth offers freely. mainly rocks, wood, feathers. Stones have to be on the surface or left behind by others as we do not dig into Mother Earth. Wood is only takes from already dead trees and feathers come also from the Outback taken without any harm to any living creature. Collected with respect and love for the land is my philosophy.
What were you doing before you started your Etsy shop?
I learned tailor when I left school but after that my wish was to be social worker so I got my degree and worked 10 years with homeless and refugees. I was also a trainer for empowerment and self defense for women but gave that up with my move to Australia.
How did you get stated in your chosen craft and what do you enjoy most about it?
When I migrated to Australia my degree was not acknowledged and I did not want to work employed any more. We traveled for 3 month and I decided I would know after this time what my purpose would be in this new land. I started to collect nature bits and got ideas… the dream to make a living from it came into being after 2 years believing that it is possible.
My secret “self full filling prophecy” was: “I will make a good living with what I love doing!”
Where do you get your inspiration for your products?
I see a rock, a piece of wood,a feather and they tell me what they want to be. If nothing comes as idea I do not work it as I feel the time is not right. If it flows with ease and joy creation wants to hatch. I am getting better and better to listen to the whispers of Natures gifts. I feel I am lending my hands to spirit and birth creations into creation.
What makes Your Business Green?
I collect, work and sell my creations with respect for the land, myself and the customer. My creations are made with ease, flow and love – something missing in our world.
In one word, describe your creative process.
Where do you craft your products?
I have several work areas. A stone and wood workshop in our large garage and indoors in our launch room the work space where I do fine work as drilling and setting of stones.
What advice do you have for Etsy shop owners who are interested in greening (making eco-friendly) their business?
You have to do what feels right for you. To make your business eco friendly simply for the sake of feeling you can sell better does not work. Be authentic, show yourself and love the planet and yourself in every act of your life and you are on the path.
What is your biggest challenge running an eco-friendly business?
I do not feel it is a challenge as it simply is beautiful to live in harmony with Mother Earth. She is part of us and we are part of her and if we respect her we respect yourself and what more would we want.
Where else can we find you?
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