As more people utilize online platforms for their holiday shopping, companies like Etsy create an avenue for small business owners to showcase their business.

For Lodi native Amanda Zimmerman, Etsy gives her a place to sell embroidery patterns, which she designs herself and uploads to her online store Spellbinding Threads at

People that visit her Etsy shop can pay to download her designs and contact her online for unique pieces.

Here’s a lightly edited version of the interview.

Q: When did you become a seller on Etsy, and why did you choose that platform?

A: I opened my Etsy shop in 2017. I began to focus on hand embroidery in 2016 and was selling my hoops at small boutique pop-ups and holiday markets. After a few events, I felt that opening an online shop was the next step to grow my hand-crafted business.

Q: What about your shop is unique, and why do you think people are drawn to hand-embroidered hoops and other festive items?

A: What makes my shop unique is that I design and handcraft each embroidery hoop and ornament. My style is fun, whimsical, and even a bit magical! I take inspiration from classic Disney films, Harry Potter books/movies, or my favorite songs. I keep a running list on my phone of things that catch my eye. This year some of my holiday hoops are inspired by vintage postage stamps. I love that nostalgic feeling I get from looking at old stamps.

Q: Why did you decide to build a shop around hand-stitched items?

A: My background is in studio art, mainly photography, and for the last six years I’ve been working in the marketing industry. In 2016 I began searching for a more tangible way to express my creativity. Hand embroidery allowed me to combine digital sketching with a classic art form. I loved the juxtaposition of marrying the old with new. Hand-stitched items are such a special gift for someone, or yourself for that matter, they can be personalized and each one is unique.

Q: Will you have holiday items available for purchase, and if so, what types of items?

A: I will have embroidered hoops, hand-embroidered ornaments, digital-pattern downloads (both holiday and non-holiday), embroidery kits, and embroidery tools for purchase through my Etsy shop. I also have hoops and ornaments at The Local Collective in Lodi and the Haggin Museum in Stockton.

Q: Can customers make personalized items or put in custom orders?

A: I take a limited number of custom orders. I love working with people to come up with concepts for patterns — it’s so fun. Custom orders can be made through Etsy or by emailing me at

Q: How long does it take to make and ship an order?

A: That all depends on the size and complexity of the hoop. An average time would be about one to two weeks for a “5-10” hoop. Smaller hoops can be finished in 3-5 days.

Q: Will you be participating in Black Friday and CyberMonday? If so what kinds of deals can people expect from your shop?

A: Yes, I will be participating in both this year and I will be offering 20% off all my digital patterns and hoops listed in my Etsy shop.

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