Party Hard

planet fur_party hard_ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer

“Party hard” is what Miss Planet Fur wished us innocent creative souls at the start of 2013.

Boy, were we in for a surprise.


Intergalactic powers, she has.


Last week I was invited to no less then five openings and one lecture in two days time!

I slept through was too busy to visit the lecture (soooo sorry, Mr Van Gaasbeek…) and made it to three of the five openings.


First up:

Elle Aime!

Big wow factor. Big standard set for my own shop-in-the-making.
Elle Aime is dedicated to the crafty types among us.
The shop is filled with all kinds of craft materials as well as finished products (so much nice stuff…!).
Make sure you go there asap and do enter one of the workshops. You will have a great time for sure.


elle aime shop lisa manuels__ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


Second stop:


MamaMarketing is THE Dutch platform for women that are starting their own webshop, although I can recommend it to anyone starting out as entrepeneur.
Their website is the place to go for advice on a number of subjects, including branding, SEO, etc.
The party I was invited to actually was a launchparty where the Mamamarketeers launched a productline, ranging from worksheets to workshops.
I can’t wait for their app to come out (soon!) which will also include a Quote Coach (love that)!
(you can read all about MamaMarketing in their mini magazine)


opening party mamamarketing webwinkel minimagazine_ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer copy


Third up:

Fred & Guus!

Fred & Guus sell art by young designers (including yours truly) and also offer a stage for the most amazing vintage finds.
In a short timespan they have managed to make an important mark in the Utrecht art scene.
Their taste for art is impeccable.
As is their taste for great parties!
(Which they promise to throw once every month!)


opening party fred en guus shop galerie_ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


You can’t visit a party without gifts, don’t you agree?

So I decided to give everyone a Dutch Dwelling of their own city.

This meant designing two more Dutch houses: Rotterdam and Den Haag (also known als ‘s-Gravenhage).

They will be added to my Etsy shop shortly, for all of you Rotterdam and Den Haag lovers out there.

Tell me when you feel like your city has been left out and I will try to make some time to include it!


dutch dwellings hollandje huisjes rotterdam_ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer

Are you as curious as I am about the missed lecture by Mr Van Gaasbeek?

Watch Utrecht’s Creative Mornings channel at Vimeo. Very soon his video will be uploaded!

Hello Etsy 2012

This weekend I was one of the lucky ones attending Hello Etsy 2012.

I was blessed with stomach flu the day before.
So I fit my lovely bordeaux stockings perfectly.

The day looked even brighter when in the train me and compadre Femke Veltkamp found out that our telepathic skills had made us dress completely compatible.

Oh my, the world problems us modern girls have to deal with.


ellen vesters illustrator and graphic designer and femke veltkamp at hello etsy 2012


Everything was forgotten when Janine Vangool opened her mouth. How one shy woman can silence dozens of people telling us all to just follow our hearts.
Actually, the whole day could be summarized with this sentence.

When you hang in there, doing what you love, staying true to what feels right to you, you will find success.

Call me (and a whole Piet Hein Eek factory filled with people, for that matter) unrealistic, but I am a strong believer in this mantra.


janine vangool of uppercase at hello etsy 2012 by ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


The reason that I love Etsy so much, is because they are not just about commerce. Etsy is truly dedicated to supporting a new economy, a world where big companies have less power and relationships amongst people will be more important again.

(Okay, after three talks from people who seemed to have had the same workshop in storytelling I felt some allergies kicking in, but hey, the higher message is cool!)


Matthew Stinchcomb told us that at every Etsy event they try to include speeches that trigger social awareness.
This group of Etsians had the honor of meeting 87 year old  Satish Kumar, former monk and peace activist, sharing his inspiring views on sustainability.
The energy this dude had!
87 Years old!

The man deserves a gif don’t you think?


animated gif satish kumar at hello etsy by ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


Watch all the different Hello Etsy talks below. Be sure to check out the inspiring speech of Satish Kumar, all the practical advice for starters by Diana van Ewijk from MamaMarketing (a MUST follow) and by my mate Kim Welling, and the fantastically sobering talk by master Piet Hein Eek:



If you have the time to watch, you may stumble onto this particular funny scene…


chair dance with piet hein eek etsy 2012 by ellen vesters illustrator graphic designer


***I have met so many lovely New York people the past weekend. My thoughts are with them in this storm. I really hope everyone is safe…***

Dutch Dwellings: Etsy tips and the selling of Dutch houses

During my trip to the US, I met the loveliest fellow Etsy’ers. Amongst them were Elles Lanfer and Saskia de Winter. Both Dutchies, living abroad in California.
(sigh… California!)

Saskia had just delivered a baby (three weeks old!) when I met her. And still she took the time to see me and share her advice on being successful on Etsy!

ellen vesters etsy

From all the inspiring conversations I had, I gathered the following Etsy tips:

  • Say goodbye to the fear of being commercial. Try to identify with Etsy buyers, investigate what they are looking for and adjust your listings to this knowledge
  • People tend to look for gifts when cruising Etsy. Make products, not only prints!
  • Popular products are products that tell a story, for instance about your city or country
  • Work on your photography skills, good product photography makes all the difference (still working on this one…)
  • Get over your wedding allergies (thankfully this intimate wedding did the job)! Weddings pay the bills!
  • Make sure your shop looks full, have a large array of products ready for people to choose from, but still retain a simple (visually quiet) and cohesive look overall
  • Be open to customizing, and tell your crowd about this option!
  • And then for a good-old-sneaky-commercial-thinking-bastard-trick: use Statsy Clockbot for regular relisting to get more views


All this resulted in me deleting all my old stuff from my shop and putting in new prints, but also my first product: Dutch Dwellings, or “Hollandse Huisjes”. You can now buy five varieties of little Dutch houses, each representing another Dutch city (Leiden, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Volendam and Lutjebroek). More versions to come!

And guess what… they have been blogged about already! I am so proud.
As well as very happy that there are people out there that are doing a much better job at product photography than I am…!

(the Dutch Dwellings, or Hollandse Huisjes, are for sale at my Etsy shop:


Oh Marie:

ohmarie dutch houses

Enter my Attic:

ellen vesters dutch houses

 Mintstudio Creations:

ellen vesters dutch houses


zilverblauw dutch houses

zilverblauw dutch houses