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

Many readers have probably already heard about, a website that features handmade goods in the form of anything from hand-carved furniture to couture clothing, but did you know that many of these shops are here right in our backyards? Ok well not literally in our backyards….. but you know what I mean. What amazes me about is, not only is easy to use and filled with a plethora of options, but it also places a large emphasis on “community.” allows you to specifically shop from individuals located in your area thereby contributing to your neighbors. Don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy now? I had a chance to wander around the internet and check out some of’s local D.C. shops. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we have some true hidden (ok maybe not so hidden) gems amongst us.  I sat down with Mandy Pellegrin, who is the founder of one of my favorite shops located right here in D.C. called “fabricpaperglue,”  which makes some of the most adorable clutches and pillowcases I have ever seen! The bright colors are just what every girl needs to ring in the spring this year!  Mandy also has a super fun blog which is really where her craftiness started to flourish and ultimately led to the opening of her Etsy shop. Like a lot of folks in DC, Mandy says that she “is a bureaucrat (and proud of it), but I like to dedicate my free time to all kinds of different projects (everything from sewing quilts to infusing liquors to throwing parties). Then, I pretend that people care by blogging about it.” Well, Mandy, I am someone who definitely cares!

—  I asked Mandy how and when she got started with your Etsy shop fabricpaperglue?

MP: I like things big, bold, and bright, and I like making them myself when I can. So, I suppose I thought my products worthy to sell because, at the very least, they have a distinct perspective and they’re handmade. I opened my Etsy shop in late 2010. I crafted like crazy for my wedding in Sept 2010, and once the I-dos was said, there was this great big creative hole so I started making clutches to sell. Then after cultivating a pretty unhealthy obsession with jumbo hounds-tooth for a few months in early 2011, I designed some fabric on and made myself some jumbo hounds-tooth pillow covers. Then, I added those to the shop too. So, now, I’m sort of a two-trick pony: bright clutches and bold pillows.

— What is it that you enjoy about

MP: The interface is just so easy and affordable for someone starting out. Not everyone can afford the infrastructure to open their own internet storefront, and then there’s the added expense of advertising and who knows if it’ll even catch on?! Etsy really mitigates the risks of dipping your toe in the water.

— What does shopping local mean to you?

MP: I love shopping in local boutiques in my neighborhood. Not only do you get the friendliness and knowledge of the local staff, but you know that your dollars support not just the business owners that live in your community but the development of the whole neighborhood.

Make sure to check out the photo slide show which features some of Mandy’s products  and also make sure to stop by her Etsy shop as well @