Made in SLO… Hermitage Homespun


Hermitage Homespun is that kid in school that was super rad without trying. You know, they just had that heir to them and we all wanted to be them. We’re so lucky to have those kids, right here in the city of San Luis Obispo, making beautiful things that you can’t live without! Read more about the magical and enviable style that is Hermitage Homespun

Who are Hermitage Homespun?

We are Anicia & Tyler.

Where do you live in SLO?

Tyler lives in a little mystical hobbit house near the SLO airport.

Anicia and her husband live in a bungalow overlooking the city.

Are you originally from SLO? How have you seen SLO grow?

Tyler- I came to SLO about 12 years ago for school and have left a couple times, but it keeps drawing me back.

Anicia- I’ve lived in SLO for 19 years. My mom and I moved here after living in New Jersey for a bit. SLO has grown so much since I’ve been here. I remember when Vons was where that car dealership is on Broad…. it wa sa lone grocery store in a massive parking lot…and all of the costco/target are used to be just beautiful fields! Kind of sad for me. But growth happens eventually, usually.

What do you love most about SLO?

Tyler- My community of people I have around me, they bring creativity and purpose to life.

Anicia- I love the hills, the small town feel of downtown, and the creative people that live here.

How is SLO different from any other place?

Tyler- It’s in the air, once you are here, you just know, there aren’t a lot of places like slo.

Anicia- Yeah, it truly is just a unique little valley. I feel like the combination of the sea and hills and mountains just makes this vortex of unique.

How/Why did you start creating?

Tyler- I started creating because I needed an outlet, I love using old thrown out materials, and just started that way, piecing things together.

Anicia- I was little and loved to color, paint, and what not… I used to use those little safety scissors and glue stuff together. Eventually I began to use my moms super old singer to make simple things like pillows and aprons… it evolved over time and now I cannot NOT be making something or working on some project, whether it is paper, fabric, paint… whatever!


How did the name of your shop come about?

Traditionally, a hermitage refers to a place of seclusion, either alone or with community, in which one can take a step away from the world and draw on the innermost part of their soul.

This lifestyle ushers in a fresh breath + a free mind…

Life in a hermitage is simple; consisting only of the basic elemental necessities in material goods and space–drawing upon the spiritual in order to bring forth life and authentic creativity. (Thus creating new thoughts + ideas!)

What do you create?

We create complete handmade goods, loving to use old, salvaged, or thrown away items to repurpose and recreate. 

It comes in different forms from building to sewing.

What is your workshop like?

Tyler- It’s the house, the backyard, the shed, and the shop. I work anywhere I can get the space to do what I need to. 

Anicia- My work space is a wild scene. Its a 2nd bedroom in our home. It’s fairly clean but there are many photos hung up, drawings and paintings from friends, photos or articles rippled from magazines and taped to the wall, etc…I like to have an eclectic vibe going on — so that everywhere I look I get inspired.


Where do you get your inspiration?

Tyler- Through seeing old items, I can see the restoration taking process, so many times, I see something and just space out for a bit and it comes to me.

Do you listen to music while you work? What is happening in the background while you work? Take us behind the scenes!

Tyler- I love to smoke my tobacco pipe. Definitely not the TV (I don’t own one.).

Anicia- When working on my own items (I work part time sewing for another local business in town) I like to listen to music or listen to one of the many podcasts I subscribe to.

What lessons have you learned from having your own small business?

It’s just the beginning, so we are figuring it out as we go. I think the lesson would be, in having a business partner, honesty is best.

We know that Homespun Hermitage is bound for greatness and we feel really lucky that we get to watch it from the beginning. Follow their adventure by visiting their shop often! We can’t wait to see what they will create next.


Made in SLO… This Little Bird


Making friends in a new town, when you’re 30 something, is kind of difficult. Luckily, I have met some pretty rockin’ people that have made that easier. The most rockin’ of them has been Amber Long of This Little Bird! She is as nice as she is talented, which is pretty huge. We share the same passion for all things local and we’re looking forward to working together in creating more opportunities for the local maker community!

Not only does Amber create and run her beautiful business, This Little Bird, but she is a full-time graduate student at Cal Poly, has another job, is married, and has fur children! How does she do it all? I have no idea. Oh yeah, and she’s captain of the Central Coast Etsy Team and a leader in the SLO County Sellers Team. I’m exhausted just listing it all, imagine living it! Truly awesome.

Read on and learn how you too can be like the inspiring Amber Long…

Where do you live in SLO, how long?

I currently live in Santa Maria. We’ve been here 5 years. Before that I lived in SLO and Shell Beach for 8 years, bringing my grand total to 13 years!

What do you love most about SLO?

I love the variety we have to offer here, from landscapes, to paces of lifestyle.

How is SLO different from any other place?

We have a unique mix of fast pace and SLO pace here. You can shop at a big box store or a farm stand. You can live on a ranch or in an urban loft downtown.  You can hike or surf, go to an open mic night or the symphony.

What is the name of your shop? How did you come up with the name?

My shop is This Little Bird.  This same graphic designer friend and I chatted on Google Chat for days on end trying to come up with something. I happen to like bird décor (although I’m pretty picky about it) and so I know it would center on “bird”. But it really only came about by tossing things back and forth with someone I trusted. I am the bird in This Little Bird so to me, it means “there is a piece of me in everything I make”.


What do you create?

In my Etsy shop I sew zippered pouches, bags, aprons and seasonal home décor items.  Outside of Etsy I also paint, refinish furniture, crochet, do hoop art, and try my hand at quilting.

What is your workshop like?

I’m fortunate to have an entire bedroom in my home dedicated to my studio.  Depending in the day it is a serene spot with all the fabric in it’s place and other days it’s a hot mess!  My cats like to “help” sometimes so there is always something being knocked over. (But I keep them off the fabric, by bribing them with other fabric!)

And some crafts do find their way to the living room and dining room. They have legs of their own!


How/why did you start crafting/creating?

Well I originally learned a lot of crafts as a child from my grandmother.  I’d spend a week with her each summer just learning.  Sewing, painting, cooking, needle point, reading. We did it all.  Fast forward many years to the recent past and I was sitting around with a sewing machine and a graphic designer friend who kept sending me links to this Pinterest thing (it was still the early days of Pinterest) and I was so inspired by what I was seeing.  I was pinning all kinds of crafts! I was also an avid Etsy shopper so an idea came to me that if I made nice enough things maybe I could sell them!

That was how, but the why is a different story. I suffer from anxiety and I was told many times to find something to do with my hands.  The entire process of sewing, from picking fabrics, to the finished product is a time of meditation and inspiration for me that keeps me grounded.

Wow, that time and those memories with your grandmother are definitely reflected in your well-sewn pieces. That love and meditation seem to be a winning combination.

Where do you find your inspiration?

A lot of times I get color and style inspiration from Pinterest and the people I follow on Instagram.  I love color and love seeing how others put together color.  We go to San Francisco a few times a year and I’m always impressed by the store displays and urban art I see, so I take inspiration there too.

What inspires you?

I’m visual so nature and other people’s art are my main craft inspirations.  I’m also inspired by people who are living a balanced and honest life.  The more balanced life is the easier it is to be inspired by the simple or mundane. Additionally, crafting in a certain sense has a very long tradition and I want to be part of that tradition and carry it on. That’s why I learned to crochet. It’s something our grandmothers and great grandmothers did. Now I do it to but in modern colors and styles.

If any, what do you struggle with or still have yet to master by having your own business?

I still have SO much to learn.  I have things to learn as a maker, as a business owner, as an accountant, delivery person, and prototype maker.  Currently my greatest struggle is finding enough time to invest since I’m in grad school and work part time.

What goals do you have for your business?

Working backwards, in 10 years I want to have my business providing me with 1/3 of my income. In 5 years, with grad school out of the way I hope to have a schedule where I don’t work 40 hours at the day job and can commit regular hours to my business. In 1 year I want to be fully invested in my local creative community.  I’ll also almost be done with grad school.

I am so glad that we finally were able to do this! Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us.

I hope that all of you have enjoyed learning about Amber of This Little Bird! She’s offering our readers 10% through the end of this month with code SLOLife! Make sure to grab yourself something wonderful at her Etsy shop.


Made in SLO… Kraft & Roseate

k and r

We had the pleasure of making friends with Ruth of Kraft & Roseate via Etsy and we’re really happy to share more about her and her wonderful shop! She has a great eye, as you can see in her work, and you’ll just fall in love with the typography and color choices. Enjoy an exclusive discount for MSSL readers, Free shipping on orders of $6+ with code SLOLIFE10!

You may not live in San Luis Obispo but Santa Maria is our adopted neighbor! How long have you lived there?
I moved to Santa Maria with my husband one year ago (august) and gave birth to my son in January.

Where did you move from?
I was born in Mexico and came to the States when I was 4 years old. I lived in Bakersfield, CA most of my life until I came to live here last year. My husband graduated from Cal State Bakersfield and got a job at Vandenberg AFB, so that’s why we moved to Santa Maria.

As a SLO neighbor, what do you love most about it and how is it different from any other place?
I love the culture, downtown, and all the great mommy meet ups! The atmosphere in SLO is so artistic and inspiring. I always leave SLO feeling crafty! When you visit you always get a warm welcome, and you can tell the locals really care about their community.

How did you start crafting?
I started crafting when I was a little girl. My mom is a gifted seamstress and both of my grandmas loved to make things with their hands, so you can say I come from a generation of crafters; it’s in my blood! For as far as I can remember I have loved to make gifts for my loved ones, things for myself and my home. 

The best artisans have been taught to appreciate making things with your hands by the generations before. You can tell you have it in your blood! What do you create?
I make cards, party favors, embellishements, and inspirational little things. I mainly make things with card stock, but I also like to incorporate other materials like clay, twine, and ink. Right now I am experimenting with different products; as a crafter I make all sorts of things, but I’m slowly creating a niche for my shop. For now I am creating a shop that houses adorable little things that can be gifted or purchased for personal use. 

What is the name of your shop and how did you come up with it?
Kraft and Roseate. The Kraft in my shop name represents my love for crafting, and Roseate for how beautiful these things can be! I wanted people to think handmade when they heard my shop name, and I hope this is what it transmits. I want to remind foiks how a handmade item can be so special and add value to their lives. 

What is your workshop like?
Oh man I definitely have a messy corner in my living room! I have taken over most of it too haha. I live in a one bedroom apartment, so that is the only place I was able to set up shop. As you can imagine I have materials and tools on the table, under the table, and in one big book shelf I purchased at Ikea a few years ago; I also have stuff hanging from my walls. Right now my son is seven months old, so he’s not quite crawling yet, but once he starts to crawl and walk I’m going to have to move everything up.

What goals for the future of your business?
A year from now I want to have a steady following on my blog, and at least 400 sales on Etsy. Fast forward 10 years from now, I would like to have an independent online store and my own line of embellishments and crafting supplies. I think most crafters dream of being the next Martha Stewart, and I’m definitely one of those! I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but I do want to add valuable products to the existing market.

Thank you so much for giving us an intimate look into you and your artsy self! We really appreciate you taking the time and are looking forward to seeing you grow. Don’t forget to check out her shop on Etsy!
k and r work

Made in SLO… Stranded by Kylie

kylie made in slo

The lovely Kylie Holt of Stranded by Kylie shared her creative life with us and we are thrilled to, finally, be sharing it with you. Enjoy a special discount at her Etsy store using code SLOLIFE13! Thanks, Kylie!

Where in SLO do you reside?

I currently live in Paso Robles and grew up in Templeton my entire life.

How has SLO grown?

Living in SLO county is great. In Paso Robles alone there have been so many businesses that have grown so much over the year, especially the wineries. In the past couple years even the dance department has expanded to two new studios in SLO county; Artistry In Motion in Paso Robles (where I work) and Main Street Dance have been added to the selection of dance studios. Overall, SLO county has added more variety in many different aspects.

I grew up as a dancer and worked as a choreographer, so I really appreciate the growth of dance companies throughout the county as well. It seems as though there is a new studio that pops up every couple months. What do you love most about SLO?

My favorite part about SLO is at times it can seem like you know everyone around you but then you suddenly meet someone never even heard of! It seems like a small town but a big one at the same time. There are always new people coming here weather they are just visiting or moving here.

I’m a newcomer myself and love the small town feel. It is one of my favorite things about SLO too! Now you have to tell us about your pretty jewelry. How/why did you start crafting?

My crafting started early on. My Nana taught me how to make plenty crafts and my favorite was jewelry. She taight me about jewelry one year right before Christmas. We made gifts for everyone that year that was all some type of jewelry! Later in 2012, my Nana had a stroke and was put into a coma. Today, she is still pushing through and she inspired me to do more than just go to school. I decided to make jewelry dedicated to her. She would have wanted me to do something special and I feel happy when I do make things.

I bet your Nana is very proud of you!

How did you come up with the name for your shop?

The name was an idea from one of my relatives who makes his own jewelry. It explains exactly what I do!


Artists always have unique places they like to work, what is yours?

Currently, my workshop is in the dinning room of my house. I live with my two aunts and I cant just leave everything out! My stuff goes in and out of my closet when I have time to make new things. It doesn’t get too messy when I make jewelry in the dinning room. I like to keep things clean.

We really think that your creativity shines through your pieces and we wish you a lot of luck in growing your sales! My favorite of your pieces is the dream key necklace (pictured below far right). Thanks for taking time to hang out with us, Kylie!

kylie 2

Made in SLO… Celeste Craft

celeste 1

Celeste Sibbach of Celeste Craft shared her innovative creations with us and explains how she is “transitioning [her] shop towards a more socially and environmentally friendly model”! Our readers can enjoy a generous discount of 15% with the code SUPERSLO through December 31, 2013 on all of her hand crocheted goodies at her Etsy shop.

Celeste grew up in Atascadero and happily lives there now after returning from college + a few years.

How has SLO Grown?

SLO has grown and changed quite a bit. I remember the mall in San Luis, as a child it was unimaginably huge. It was rare that I got to go there, but I thought it was the a huge treat to get the sensory overload from walking the hall and to eat at the food court. As an adult, I prefer the relationships that come from the small shops and I avoid the “big box” experience.

What do you love most about SLO?

SLO is such a beautiful area. I love that I never have to look far for inspiration. The hills that surround us constantly changing, the different styles of seashore, the architectural lines of the little streets and the diversity of people and ideas. I love that there is something for me to learn everywhere I go.

I too find SLO to be, overwhelmingly, inspirational! How do you find it different from any other place?

The strength of the arts community so close to the agricultural lands makes life here opulent. I feel so fortunate that to have such great local foods and local talents.

What do you create?

For my Etsy shop I crochet hats, shawls, handwarmers, slippers and costume pieces. I write patterns so other people can crochet my designs.

How did you start creating?

I’ve always been a creative person. I’ve spent time in theatre, singing in choir, swing dancing and doing all sorts of crafting. I can’t imagine a life where I wasn’t creating some sort of art.


Where do you do your work?

I have a shelving unit in my home where I keep my yarn. I often keep a small project in my purse and I crochet on my lunch break and when I stand in lines. When I have a new concept nagging my mind, I’ll sometimes take a bag of yarn to Dunbar Brewing in Santa Margarita and make a prototype over a beer and conversation.


We really enjoy the idea of being socially and ecologically minded and you’ve mentioned that you’re moving toward that in your shop, how so?

My favorite yarn supplier is in Nebraska, they do almost all the processing and dyeing of the wool themselves and have developed water-recycling systems. I like knowing that the products that I make are gentle on the earth, don’t involve poor labor standards any where along the way, and turn out beautifully.

Thank you for your time, Celeste! Support this Local Artisan and visit her shop on Etsy. Don’t forget to use code SUPERSLO when checking out to receive your exclusive discount!

celeste 2

Made in SLO… Miss Violetheart


We had the chance to chat with the beautiful lady behind Miss Violetheart, Shari Staufenberg, about her business and her life in San Luis Obispo. We’re thrilled to feature her as our first local artisan in the Made in SLO feature. All of our readers will enjoy 10% off on her colorful jewelry in her Etsy shop using code SLOLIFE10 through December 31, 2013!

You moved back to Cambria 2 years ago from Santa Barbara with your family, can you introduce them to us?

My family consists of me, my husband Bruce, a musician, and my daughter Arabella, an awesome singer, budding keyboard player, and loves to do arts and crafts with me.

Bruce and Arabella are new to living in SLO, how are they liking life in SLO?

Bruce has taken to living here even better than I imagined (he grew up in Santa Barbara and lived there basically his whole life) and Arabella loves it too. Definitely the right choice for us!


I absolutely love Cambria! As a native of SLO, how has it grown?

I think for the most part, SLO has stayed the same. Obviously it has grown some, but fortunately people here appreciate the lifestyle and strive to keep the charm and keep it from getting too big. When I first move to Santa Barbara [for college], no one knew where Cambria was. When I was moving back here, EVERYONE knew about Cambria (and was so jealous I was going to live here).

How did you start creating?

I have always dabbled in creative oriented pursuits, especially as I got older. I took many classes through adult ed over the year- watercolor painting, glass fusing, jewelry making. 

Crafting was always something I did on the side, not my “real” job. In 2008, our neighborhood was destroyed by a wildfire. Although our house survived the fire, the physical and emotional challenges of re-building the neighborhood eventually took its toll on us. My family decided that we needed to have a change of scene. So, in 2011, we moved to Cambria. Along with the move, I decided that I wanted to re-invent myself and do something totally different than what I had been doing, something I loved. I had taken a wire-wrapping jewelry class shortly before we moved and I was hooked. I love the whole proves of designing a piece and the actual making of it.

What do you create?

I make bright and colorful, one-of-a-kind jewelry. I utilize many different elements- handmade fused glass beads made by my older sister, Su (who lives in Paso Robles), pearls, vintage beads, Czech fire-polished beads, and natural stone.

miss violetheart2

What is the name of your shop and how did you come up with the name?

Miss Violetheart. I wanted to come up with a name that meant something to me- it had to reflect something I loved. I have been a purple fanatic my whole life; at one point in time my whole wardrobe was purple. My logo is a red-winged blackbird (only she’s purple, of course) which is another thing I love. I have fond memories of these birds from my childhood in Cambria.

Can you share what your work space is like?

My dream is to have a lifeguard stand in my backyard to use as a studio. But for now, I use a desk in my room, the kitchen table, or outside on the deck when it’s nice.

Thank you for hanging out, Shari! Before we go, what are you goals for your business?

I would love to be making a decent living selling my jewelry. I am so pleased when someone likes what I have done.

Visit Shari and her Miss Violetheart shop. Help us Support SLO, a movement that is so important to the vitality of our region. Don’t forget to use the discount code SLOLIFE10.