Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Inner Princess

I am thrilled to have My Inner Princess as the next Hoarders Unite feature!

Sandi, who operates the My Inner Princess shop on Etsy and Ebay, lived many years as a teacher in inner city schools, convinced she had no creative ability. Then came early retirement after beating leukemia. Suddenly she had the desire to release her new-found creative energy. What started out as the desire to make something unique from her mother’s and grandmother’s jewelry has turned into the fabulous creations you see in her shop. Not being able to bring herself to alter her family’s jewelry, she started collecting a few pieces of vintage jewelry and frames to alter. She received such positive feedback when she showed friends and family, she realized she’d found the inner princess she never knew she had. The hunt was on!

As all hoarders can relate to, she needed “a few more” pieces of vintage jewelry and frames. She is now also altering trinket boxes, vanity mirrors, clocks and even a jean jacket. She’s discovered that she absolutely loves decorating shabby faux pearl initials. Receiving a few huge orders has added even more incentive!

Sandi finds inspiration from several sources. On a personal level, her husband, who she describes as being the most humble and noble man she knows, causes her to want to be a better person. Surviving leukemia has allowed her to see life on many new levels. She emphasizes that you just never know when you won't have another chance. If you're thinking something positive, say it. If you want to do something for someone, do it. Don't ever let anyone question just how much you truly care for them. As for her crafting inspiration, Sandi began by making everything totally symmetrically, lacking the confidence to be bold, which matched her type A personality. She needed to consciously stretch to find ways to make her frames more whimsical, original and unique. She was determined to show just what she had to offer, and to finally take risks. And did she succeed!

Sandi finds crafting therapeutic, and often allows herself to work through the peaceful night hours. She begins with no specific direction in mind, and stretches from there.

Unlike many crafters who grew up from an early age with crafts in hand, Sandi started only a year ago, with a bag of scrap repair jewelry and one frame. She keeps her supply hoard organized. She has at least 30 tubs of brooches and earrings, all grouped by color, "themed" items such as rhinestone telephones, bras, (she even has a little rhinestone bra pin), animals, motorcycles, dancers, musical notes and instruments, crosses and angels. She keeps plenty of clamps on hand as she sometimes works on four or five items at a time. Proof that she is a true hoarder: Sandi bought 200 pretty little pink "a gift for you" bags, but has ended up wrapping the gift in with everything else as she can’t part with the bags. I’m guessing everyone on the Hoarders Unite team can tell a similar tale!

Sandi doesn’t limit her hoarding to craft supplies. She has duplicates (even triplicates) of some things for fear of running out: shoes, purses, desk supplies, you name it. She can’t part with her boxes of teaching materials even though she will never teach again.

The oddest hoard Sandi has is her approximately 400 packs of photo paper in various sizes. As she can’t keep up with the ink demand, the paper may just sit there forever.

Sandi’s advice to other hoarders: Find what you love to do and love what you it so much that it's therapeutic for you. Being organized helps you work more efficiently. There is no need to pay a lot of money for supplies or organization aids. Sandi uses cute $1.00 containers from a dollar store, and little flower planters for her clamps. She shops at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and Ebay. Her advice to on-line sellers is not to give up. It takes time. She had many moments doubting herself when sales were low, then someone would come along and buy 8 or 12 frames at one time and another would buy 4 or 5 shortly after. She gets raving compliments from her customers, and that’s what keeps her going. That, and the wonderful friendships she’s made with some of her customers and the many awesome people she’s met in cyber world.

Sandi lives in Middle, Tennessee (there is no North or South), but she is eager to move someplace where she has never been – perhaps the mid-west or the shoreline of New England. She remarried in 2000 and together, she and her husband have five children, two daughters-in-law, two grandchildren, three cats and two dogs.

Visit the My Inner Princess etsy shop at

Sandi has just opened a second etsy shop, Blueberry manor, where she will be selling beautiful brooches.

Read her blog at

Photos: (1) a wee bit of Sandi's hoard (2) how organized!

1 comment:

  1. Be still my heart! I want to be let loose in Sandi's hoard! Beautiful stash, just like the stuff in her studio... Thanks for the peek, Trudy.