Tag Archives: dreds

Artist Of The Month: Melissa from Gr8fuldreadgrrl



My name is Melissa aka Gr8fuldreadgrrl.



I am a Wisconsin native, now residing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, near Seattle. Recently Moved from Joshua Tree,CA. That is where my shop started 5 years ago. I now create mostly from t-shirts, and other recycled materials. My main things are the Patchy goodness t Skirts, and my T gauchos. And its no lie, I am obsessed with exposed seams. I sometimes even wear my tshirts inside out to expose the seams, HA. I love recycling and creating items from handfuls of items that are no longer loved or needed.




My team is me. Although, Ethan my son, is awesome at helping.






He plays the drum set while I sew, dances around with me, tells me how cool stuff is, makes me fake food in his kitchen, and keeps the pretend coffee coming! He is the best!


My shop name came from my way early years in the Deadhead chat room in AOL, yeah, remember that? Ha. I have been Gr8fuldreadgrrl everywhere online since. Gnarly Garments came from Gnarly Head wine, ha! One of my favorites! So I just combined it all to work for me.

My creative process starts at the thrift stores I guess. So many amazing items to find thrifting!! I am in love with vintage and wild stuff from the 70’s, and even starting to appreciate awful 80’s prints. Ha. I then get all the shirts and such, washed and pile em in the sewing room and start laying out stuff that looks great, move, throw, cut up, and rearrange items until I like what I see. Lay em out, cut, pin, sew, finish, photo, list. Sounds easy enough right?


My last day job was in CT. I was the pregnant chick working at the liquor(package) store, ha. I was supposed to replace the other pregnant girl, and found out I was too! Backfire! But we didn’t stay there long and headed to California. There and since, I stayed an at home mom, and stitching mama.




My mom was and is very crafty and sold her crafts when I was a child too. I do remember a pink crocheted blankie she made me when I was around 5. She also made some clothes for me, and all the rocking Halloween costumes. But I always remember my grandma, and great grandma’s being crafty as well. My mom had a sewing maching out for the later part of my childhood, and then I started to tinker around with it, and making myself some patchiness. Until, she later bought me my own machine, which I still use today.


Well let’s see, if you read any of my listings….pretty much everything I make is my favorite! Its so hard to part with items!! But I am boarder line clothing hoarder as is! I really stand behind the gauchos being the comfiest things ever. I do believe the skirts are too. I love easy to wear and comfy items. Everyday pieces, that can be worn whenever and wherever you want.


Big surprise here, but yes the Grateful Dead, HUGE inspiration. I mean all these great shirts, all the phenominal artist that make the shirts, tie dye, colors, patchwork, other stitchin mamas, music, festivals, food, smells….there is just soooo much!


This all started when I had shirts from festivals and shows I didn’t wear. I never had enough to come home with the amazing patchworks from the lot that i drooled over, but I could usually sewing a shirt. Downside is they were all over sized mens shirts. So instead of sitting in storage I started tinkering around with them to actually wear them, turned out others liked what I did!


The shirt hunt make it interesting for me. I am obsessed with grateful dead shirts, and thrifting. I still have some shirts from my aunt and uncle, and ones they brought me back while I babysat my cousin, while they would hit a dead show or two. I still get sooooo excited over shirts I haven’t had yet. I always have about 5 that stay in my “to keep” pile. Did I mention the Shirts?!


The lovely people I have met while doing this also make it so very rewarding. I swear I have some of the best supporters, sisters, friends, and customers. They also give the best feedback. Totally keeps me going!


I think my first concert was Lorrie Morgan. My mom liked her, and I have seen her more times than I would like to admit. I have also rocked out at def leppard, tim mcgraw, journey, bad company, ted nugent, slipknot, tool, black Sabbath…you know, just trying to appreciate all music! First festival would be Ozz fest 1998, alpine valley.

But by 2000, I bought a 1973 VW bus (Herbie), started my first set of dreads, and was hitting only the good music, string cheese, further fests, Dead family reunion, phish, ekoostik hookah, big wu….all the Wisconsin festivals I could get too, 3 G’s will always have a place in my heart.


I don’t mind slow time. My kid is the best, and I would never complain about more time with my favorite lil man. My shout outs to Stealie the gumpy old cat, Phillmore the puppers, Jon my main (and only) man. Ha. My mom is pretty great too! They are my heart! usfamily




{{I have a twitter, I don’t twit much though. Ha}}
My etsy shop www.gr8fuldreadgrrl.etsy.com
Google+ as Gr8fuldreadgrrl

Happy New Year!! From all of us at DHAA!!



Everyone here of The Deadhead Art Alliance would like to wish you a happy, snappy new year! We’re wishin’ you much success, good fun, good laughs and happy memories to smile about this years new holiday season!

So many of our artists have already come out with new works and we’re so proud  of them and their endurance. For many of us, last year was a bit of a rough one. Maybe during the holidaze you might have been a-wonderin’ what you could do to boost some sales or at least get your shop to a better place this time around? Well, so many of our artist banded together to come up with some killer ideas when shop critique came up as a topic for a couple of our chat threads!



Always a hot topic around Etsy… “I think that if all your [listings] had the close up views of your [work] as the main photo, it would read more cohesive overall.” says Mary from Perpetual Sunshine Creations.

She’s definitely right here… Close ups are a great idea! An even better idea to be sure of the clarity or lighting of said pictures! Time and time again, we’ll see some killer work overshadowed and sadly, not brought up  to its amazingness all because the picture’s great, but the lighting and colour is crazy dull. Check the contrast setting on your cameras, people! Or simply, make sure it’s clear and you can edit it on your computer….but, if you can’t edit it on your computer for some reason, just adjust the contrast, lighting or saturation setting on your camera and your work is sure to pop out!

“I would also say to eliminate any stuff in the background of your pics (I’m guilty of this too).” says Erica from Erica In The Trees. Also a good point to point out 😉 Too much business in the background take away from the greatness… It can come across as distracting or cluttered. Maybe you’d totally dig having “featured seller” clarity or a cool desert back drop, but you live in an area where those things are far out of reach? That’s cool, man. No worries! Something as simple as a cool tapestry (exotic or solid) will bring it straight to the point, without the pointyness of a cluttered background!

Also? Be sure to utilize the “Adjust Photo” option that is available to you during editing and adding listings. Make sure you have what you want to show in focus!

Another idea? Profile pic!! It’s cool to have picture you that goes with your work. For example:


Maybe you have an elegant or tribal style body of work? But, you like that one pic of you at that BBQ festival totally whipping that one guy by winning that rib eating contest cuz it makes you laugh? I mean look at the sauce and the smile!? It spells deliciousness *and* victory!!

Well, be careful, man… It’s cool for your Facebook, but you’re gonna want things to mesh. Maybe you don’t dig on taking a profile pic of you because you’re bashful? That’s cool, dude. Simply use a piece of your work. The idea is to blend it all together 😉

*Details, details, details…*:


What can pile up the confusion is the details…rather, the lack there of…

Be sure you have accurate measurements of what you’re sellin’! Is it custom-made? What are its measurements? What sizes can it be made in?

“The other thing I would suggest is to put actual garment measurements on items, rather than just size. I would just go ahead and list them, as some people won’t bother contacting you. I know sometimes [my size differs]. It’s helpful to see those measurements right up front. You don’t want to lose a sale because someone doesn’t want to send you a conversation.” adds Erica.

Bashfulness happens. We’d also like to recommend adding some good policies to go with your shop. Review them. Check out what some of your favourite older and wiser shops have up there. No returns? Health restrictions for hats? Trades? Exchanges? What if their package is lost at sea? You gonna get out the scuba gear?

Let ’em know!



Okay, this one’s a toughy for some. Sometimes we just don’t like to say “yeah, man, I hand painted that and I want $200 bux fer it. So there!” So we go ahead and mark it down to like $25.00 even though, we totally know it’s worth more, but you don’t wanna be mean or seem like…well…ridiculously priced for something that some consider hobby-work?

The idea here is profit. “You should be able to feed yourself, plain and simple and not be on the losing end. They want quality? Well, girls gotta eat, right?” says Lauren from The Wild Earth Childe. ((That’s also where good pictures come in)) So, here’s what you need to figure…

Material costs.

Craft time. (how much you asking for per hour, day, etc?)

Shipping. (packaging, shipping costs, do you have to take a bus to get there?)

((In other words, you shouldn’t be spending your profit to ship and item or end up with $2.00 for a hand knit sweater or something of the like, unless you seriously don’t care…))

“Your pics are also a good price indicator. People won’t pay X amount over $100.00 for a pic that looks too… well, “in the front yard? They *will* for a pic that looks right out of Twilight or Lord Of The Rings… Or even a Catalogue. Clear & Crisp, Vibrant and In Person Accuracy is best (even if it *is* in the front yard ;} ) Your pics say a lot about your pieces quality too.” adds Lauren.

And this is true.

Think about it. You see an add for Victoria’s Secret. The girls are all pretty and for some reason lounging and twirling half-naked in Versailles. The lights are flashing, their hair is flipping, there’s twirling and somewhere in the midst of all those hot pink, golden blonde,  and flowing brunette frames you saw those chonies fer half a second and are totally gonna run out and spend $75.00 for that bra and $23.00 for at least two pairs of hipsters!

By the afternoon, you have the radio on blast and you’re putting on a twirling and spinning show like a 6 foot tall model for your cat! You rock!

Now ask yourself honestly, if you saw that very same bra and chonies on a Facebook profile style pic with deodorant chunks in the chicks pit that go un-noticed while the poor dame smiles in her bathroom with her face half cropped… You gonna pay $100.00 for it?

Seriously though, nobody’s sayin’ you have to be a 6 foot tall model with legs for days (you are totally fine *the way you are*), but we *are* sayin’ your pics can tell the price. You wanna take good clear pics that bring the pieces worth up. People don’t so much pay for the product itself as much as they’ll pay for the feeling the picture gave them. You bought the bra and chonies to feel like the models on t.v. . You bought that dress to project that same feeling. It took you there, so you bought it!

Also, try not to be offended when people haggle or even try to pull the “well, I could make that” line. Those people don’t get what us indie artists do and how heavy it is to not make a sale.  Just be the bigger person and tell em “okay then do it.” (That is, if you*want* to give em the time of day, that is. You do not have to…).

*Locations! WR U AT?*:


Facebook pages? Twitters? Blogs? Even better what do you sell? You even open? In the “Info & Appearance” page, you are able to edit your shops header. Be sure to include what you can find in there so it will show up in the Google search. For example, Your Shop’s name is JohnDoeCreations. You make Tie Dyed Clothing. Hand sewn? Tell the world, mate! It’d be a good idea in the “Shop Title” section to write what you do so it’ll show up as “Hand Sewn Tie Dyes by JohnDoeCreations”. Also, in the “Shop Announcement” section, write what can be found in your shop. Let’s say you make batik tie dyes, not just tie dyes in general. Say so 🙂 It’s a good idea to write “Hand Sewn Batik Clothing For Men, Women and Children Can Be Found Here!” first in your shop announcement. This is what will come up for Jane Customer when she’s lookin’ for a batik onsie for her padawan.

She types in “Batik Childrens Clothes”.

Your Shop will show up as:

“Hand Sewn Tie Dyes by JonhDoeCreations”

“Hand Sewn Batik Clothing For Men, Women and Children Can Be Found Here!”

Voila! Next thing you know she’s checkin’ out the shop and adding kiddie shirts to her cart!!


Adding your other sites to your Profile/Shop Announcement is a good idea too! People might wanna follow along for a sale or to see what’s new and up and coming with your work so they can be the first to snatch it up!


Here’s a couple of good sources, provided by Jenna from xDropBearStitcheryx to see what’s working and what isn’t in the scheme of things and an easy way to fix it!:

Google Analytics:


The Etsy Shoptimizer App:




Bulk/Batch Editing:


Keep in mind, you can use more than one word for your tags in one line. For example: “Hippie” can be spelt two ways. “Hippie” and “Hippy”. So you can go ahead and use “Hippie Hippy” to save a tag or two. Many artists like to go ahead and use tags in their listing titles. Example: You made a patchwork sweater called “Autumns Sweater”. An artist will sometimes write “Autumn’s Sweater-Ready Made-Size Large- Unisex adults, men, women, teens, tie dye, upcycled, patchwork, recycled, hippie, hippy, elf hoodie, jacket, sweatshirt…” (well, you get the idea…)

This is up to you to do, it may help to add em, should you let’s say wanna add more tags to give your work a fighting chance, but this is in the eye of the beholder too. Sometimes, you’ll see a shop that will just simply read “Autumn’s Sweater- Patchwork Elf Hoodie” and they’ll have 2000 sales and the other guy with the paragraph for a title will have like 26 sales.

If you wanna try it, try it! Can’t hurt, right?

Hopin’ our tips help! And be sure to add a few tips if you’d like to our comments! Spread the love, man!

Enjoy your new year! Today is the first blank page of a 365 page chapter in your life and the life of those around you. Let’s take the opportunity to make this year a good one and grab hold of the opportunity to be even more kind, loving and bright this year! Let’s be even better people than we were last year!

May this new year bring you peace, love, happiness and lots of inspiration and prosperity!

Hippie New Year!!!

The Deadhead Art Alliance Team of Etsy

Hello world!

The Deadhead Art Alliance

The Deadhead Art Alliance on Etsy

Greetings & Love!

Looks like the DHAAlliance Team on Etsy went and don’ got themselves a blog! 😉

Be sure to follow along and subscribe for our Monthly Featured Artists, Newsletters, Events and more!

Peace, love and light!

See You Soon!

~DHAA Team