As we get closer to the holidays, I thought I would highlight some of the NRW’s businesses. They’re a good source when thinking of gifts for the family.
I love life’s little coincidences. As I was prepping Sandy’s interview, I noticed she once worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Even more interesting, to me, was that’s where she met her future husband. He’s a German guy and was part of the Disney International Program. I lived in Orlando back than and was friends with many people who worked for Disney’s International Program, too. It turns out – we were friends!
No, just joking, but our paths probably crossed on Disney property since I was around there a lot back then. And now we’re all in Germany.
She’s originally from New Jersey, but moved to Germany after meeting her love.
Today, as well as being the mom of three, she is the owner, creator, and designer of Second Hand Daisy. She sells a line of handcrafted and upcycled products for little ones. Information for buying her items is at the end of the post.
Let’s talk to Sandy about what she creates, how she’s inspired, what upcoming shows she’s participating in (HINT: THIS Saturday, 29 NOV.) and her suggestions for things to do in NRW and how she got the name Second Hand Daisy.
How did you get started crafting and what made you want to open an etsy shop?
It’s funny I never thought I was creative as a kid. Both of my parents were talented artists in their own way. My father could paint, draw, sculpt, had an incredible green thumb. My mother was an excellent hobby seamstress. She unfortunately was never able to teach me herself because she had to work fulltime. I always wanted to learn to sew. It wasn’t until I came to Germany that I developed my talents.
When I came over my college degree wasn’t recognized in Germany (BA in German) so I got forced to start over. I took a sewing class to pass time and was hooked. I asked the teacher how you become a seamstress. She told me about the apprenticeship system in Germany. I was lucky enough to get a spot at a Berufskolleg for their 3 year program to become a bespoke women’s tailor. I decided to fulfill a lifetime dream and become a professional seamstress.
What’s your process for coming up with designs?
I have a waste not, want not approach to my designs. I like to use what I have and see what I can create with that. I love upcycling!
My first line of products was made completely from old pants, jeans, scraps of upholstery fabric, and other scrap fabric. It started by chance when I wanted to make a sturdy bag for my son to take to preschool and I cut up an old pair of my husbands pants. I thought it was a shame to only use a portion of the pants and started to think what else I could make from a single pair. I came up with art totes, zipper pouches and tote bags. I used everything including the zipper, pockets and even the waistband as the handles for the totes.
I really chalk my inspiration up to divine inspiration. One basic idea just sort of blossoms into a creation of mine.
What are some of your favorite products?
My favorite item I’ve created so far is my ‘Color and Shapes’ matching game. It’s very simple actually. It’s a drawstring bag and fabric matching card, like memory. The entire game is made from scrap fabric, from the bag to the ‘cards’. The cards are old swatches from a furniture store. They were going to be thrown out and a friend gave them to me. They reminded me of the cards at Boui-Boui in Düsseldorf, Bilk. This market has a form of a memory game. So I cut out some shapes in various colors of scrap felt and made my own environmentally friendly fabric version of the game. It’s the item that gets favorited the most in my Etsy shop.
I’ve recently introduced a collection of custom order toddler messenger bags in my shop. These bags all have a bright, fun, patterned lining and soft, fine, corduroy on the outside. My customers select the bag with the lining they like and then can choose from a variety of colors for the outside of the bag. I can also personalize the bags with name or an applique of choice. These options are under the category of embellishments in my shop.
If someone wants to buy something from you, what do they need to do to make sure they get it in time for the holidays? (do you need more time for customized orders?)
I need 3 business days to sew and ship a custom order once the buyer and myself have nailed down the details. For overseas buyers I have a shipping cut-off of December 6th arrive on time during the holiday season
Will you be selling your items at any craft fairs or christmas markets this season – if so, which ones?
Yes, this year I am very excited to be selling at HOMEMADE Winterbazar in Düsseldorf! It is taking place on November 29-30th at Boui-Boui in Düsseldorf, Bilk. This market has an alternative twist. All of my Etsy shop items will be available. I am also making some new upcycled Christmas items and will be selling a mixed variety of vintage trim (ribbon).
How do people order something from you?
Simply place an order through my Etsy shop. If you have something in mind you don’t see in the shop click on the ‘place a custom order’ button on my page. I’m thrilled to work together to make something special and unique for my customers. About half my sales are custom orders. I can always be reached through my business e-mail account as well. (Links are at the bottom of the post)
What are your top 3 picks for things to do in NRW?
One of my favorite things to do is going to flea markets, hence the second-hand in Second Hand Daisy. They are generally held on Saturdays or Sundays in parking lots from large stores or in warehouse halls. My favorite location to go is Gare du Neuss. It’s in a huge old railroad station behind the Neuss HBF. They are open every Saturday and Sunday. It’s an antique market. At those, the good old finds of grandma’s attic are sold. In NRW are also great special flea markets to buy just children’s items. They tend to be held by the preschools. My absolute favorite is a series of great flea markets from an organization called ‘Weiberkram‘. Their motto is ”Klamotten, Mukke, Kunst & Bier” (‘Clothes, Music, Art & Beer“). There is always a fun and relaxed atmosphere at those markets with food, music and drinks. These flea markets travel from city to city. They alsoo run a few different types of markets Weiberkram (women’s clothing), Kinderkram (children’s items), Designerkram (art and handmade items) and Nachtflohmarkt (Night flea market).
My favorite restaurant is Pamorama on the Neuss Sport Hafen. It is directly on the Rhein. You can sit outside or inside a and have a view of the Rhein. They have a great, decent priced menu with everything from salads, steaks, seasonal treats like white asparagus, in the summer and also coffee and cake or fresh waffles. It’s an open kitchen with the full menu till 10pm. Also, just a short walk around the hafen and you can take a walk along the river.
My tip for families is the Wildfreigehege Tannenbusch in Dormagen. It’s a huge animal park and petting zoo. In a large wooded area you can see and feed goats, pigs, horses, birds and more. There is a large playground area for big and little kids. It has a cafe inside the park and on some days a small snack stand. It’s big enough that it doesn’t feel mobbed even on a busy day. The best part is there is no entrance fee.
Connect with Sandy from Second Hand Daisy
- Second Hand Daisy Etsy Shop
- Second Hand Daisy on Facebook and Instagram
- Email directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for sharing your talent and interests with us today, Sandy!
(Photo Credit: Second Hand Daisy unless otherwise noted)