Your Weekly “Etsy Bitsy” Local D.C. Shop!

Last week I introduced you to one of the many local Etsy shops we have right here in D.C.!  This week I have the pleasure of showcasing the gorgeous jewelry pieces of Ms. Crysten Marie Glawe of “Phul Effect” Jewelry. Her inventive, whimsical, and unusual pieces are sure to be a conversation starter in any group. My favorite? A pair of earrings resembling a coat of arms called “Haute Heraldry Earrings.” I’m just going to have to pick up a pair…. all in the name of research of course. Crysten is the mind and maker behind Phul Effect Jewelry.  She lives with her cat, Edgar, on Capitol Hill, a short walk from the National Mall and minutes from some of the coolest buildings on the East Coast.  Crysten studied Economics at Iowa State University and has been producing her line of vintage-inspired jewelry for almost five years.  Since graduating, Crysten has traveled to Europe, South America, and Asia for school and play.  The places that she has been and the people that she has met have inspired her work—not to mention her designs frequently incorporate local oddities she has collected along the way. It’s certainly been a journey for Crysten and Phul Effect has definitely involved overtime, but she is proud of what it’s become and hopefully what it will be a few years down the road. I had the pleasure of asking Crysten a few questions about Phul Effect below. Make sure to check out her store as well @!

– How did you get started with Phul Effect?

CMG: PE came to fruition during in 2007 after I had finished a grueling week of final exams.  I was feeling inspired and itching to create something with my hands.  So naturally (or rather unnaturally), I launched the Phul Effect jewelry line.  I don’t consider myself a very creative person, but working with your hands provides a sense of fulfillment that is hard to beat.  I’m always so grateful, and admittedly a bit surprised when I receive notification of a sale.  It is gratifying to know others like the Phul Effect designs as much as I do.

– What do you enjoy about Etsy?

CMG: I swear I’m one of Etsy’s biggest cheerleaders.  It’s one four-letter word I love to gab about.   The exposure Phul Effect receives through Etsy is astounding.  I fill international orders weekly, and I could not reach such an audience without the Etsy marketplace.  Beyond providing a place for buying and selling handmade products, it’s a community.  It truly lies at the crossroads of the marketplace and community.  I have made some wonderful friends on Etsy and collaborated with individuals on some seriously cool one-of-a-kind designs.

– What does shopping local mean to you?

CMG: Because I take an economic approach to every problem and question in life, I can’t help but do the same for this one.  Shopping local is so important to me.  Buying within your community helps stimulate the economy.  Jobs are created and tax money helps fund local programs.  It also helps the owners of the products you enjoy continue producing them.  When you keep your money local, everyone wins.  Moreover, it is so rewarding to know exactly how and where your products are being made.  Chances are, local businesses are run by people who live near (or in) their studio and work hard to promote and sustain it.  Bottom line is shopping local is not only economical and sustainable, but it’s also just plain cool.