August Birthday Brats

8-11 FlutteringDesigns
8-19 TristaBell
8-21 Bamdesigns


July Feature - Michele of Michele's Essentials

Every month, the Brat Team chooses one of our members to “highlight;” this week. we are pleased to introduce our featured artist and seller

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Michele Collins and I live in Kenosha Wisconsin. I am a Soap and Candle maker that loves to make products for your skin. I've studied Alternative medicine, holistic therapies, and herbs for nearly 12 years and I hold a Bachelors Degree in Science from The American Institute of Holistic Theology. However, I studied herbs and herbal remedies for some 5-6 years before I received my degree in Science.

Dead Sea Therapeutic Bath Salts SEA SIDE SCENT w Sea Kelp Lavender and peppermint

The use of Herbs and Essential oils goes back in history many thousands of years and has been used to treat many various conditions and ailments. In other countries, herbal supplements and Essential oils are often used medically before pharmaceutical drugs are administered. They also approach ailments with a combination of alternative therapies and common drugs for a heightened and usually improved outcome to the ailment.

I am fascinated with the power of herbs and essentials oils and love helping others with natural alternatives. I have had great success with many of my products. My goal is to own a brick and mortar shop within a year, and be able to fully support my children on my own.

I am a mother of 7 children 5 of which live with me and 2 whom live with their father, I am currently working on improving my business sense through multiple outlets and incorporating various tools to help me expand what I have already achieved.

Basil and Sun Dried Tomato Kitchen Soap

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?

During my childhood, my mother and I were involved in craft shows. I remember making the old reindeer clothespin ornaments and selling them at the local show, along with various other items. It was so much fun going to the craft fairs and meeting all the people who made things; I enjoyed looking around and seeing just how creative other people where with their wood making skills, painting skills, and hand made dolls. It's always been like a second family to me.

Watermelon Votives

My first year in High School, I made an outfit in a class competition earning me a walk down the runway to show off my skort and matching shirt.

I think that is why, still to this day, I love to make my soaps, I have ventured far from where my mom and I started out, but I can honestly say that my mom was a large part of why I chose this path. I also love to create with polymer clay, even though that is a 'hobby' now.

What inspires you and where do your ideas come from?

Honestly, I take my inspirations from nature along with needs. I like to look at certain things and use them together for a certain necessity for my family or friends and I usually don't go wrong.

EVO Clean Laundry Soap

What are your favorite materials?

My favorite materials are oils, fragrance oils, essential oils, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and butters, anything I can make for your skin or in home scented needs.

Mojito Shower Gel

What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

To keep working at it!

Fresh Forest Soap

Why should people buy handmade?

I believe in handmade because I believe in America, I feel too many people buy items made from other countries supporting their needs, and while doing so hurt the very country they live in. Handmade also brings that what our forefathers have worked so hard for back to life once again.

What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

I like it all, there are SO many things to choose from on Etsy, I just love the actual variety that Etsy offers, if you can see it in another store I can usually buy it off of Etsy.

REFREASH Facial Toner

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I am a full time stay at home mom, who is working on going back to school for Cosmetology, with the hopes of bringing my company a complete full circle.

Lime Votives - "Oh My Gosh"

Read any good books lately?

My favorite books to read are actually information books, however I do like to indulge with an occasional fiction story, lately I have been very into a series of books by Yasmine Galenorn, So far I am on book #3 in her series called 'Darkling'.

In ten years I'd like to be?

In ten years I'd like to see my products in every house in America, LOL....

Snoz-Berry Bear Soap

How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?

I created my avatar from my logo design. After being on etsy for awhile, I realized I needed to bring a common ground to my products, so I designed a logo. As far as my business name, I used to use Earth's Essence, but I have more recently changed it to "Michele's Essentials" because I wanted to personalize my business and put a part of me into it.

What has being a brat at Etsy meant to you?
I love the support of the Brats, the ladies here are by far the best ladies you will ever meet anywhere on etsy!
To me a brat is someone who has a common ground with others or a group of others. Having a common ground is helpful because I feel we each have our own gifts or talents, and by sharing those talents along with the same backgrounds through our parents being in the Military, we all have that commonality.

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know one of our FAVORITE Brat SELLERS!