Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings
Please join us in welcoming Kristen of KestrelCollection, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
Hello and Well met! I’m an old soul and young at heart. A scientist and an artist. I love to live and live to love. But I’m pretty quiet in day to day life… just observing and thinking… some people think I’m shy but I’m not at all!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
In 2003 I started making jewelry for friends and relatives. I was working long hours at my day job and was often coming home stressed out. Spending my evenings designing jewelry for someone else turned out to be my favorite way to relax and switch gears before bed. It wasn’t long after that I started up my Etsy store.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I love blacks and grays and find the look elegant so there is a lot of black jewelry in my shop. I also love COLORS especially creating floral and natural inspired jewelry using colors that are brighter than nature.
What inspires your work?
I’m kind of a nerd. I take my inspiration from the books I read, the movies I watch, nature, and old mythology. Right now I’m working on a line of steampunk jewelry inspired by movies.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
This year I want to increase sales by 10% by utilizing better tags and working with social media more to engage customers. This year I also plan to sell at my first craft show!
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
All of my items are one of a kind. I follow my inspiration and then move on to the next
thing that strikes me.
Because of this all my items are guaranteed to be a gift the recipient will have all to
themselves. They are great conversation starters.
The way I work creates another positive for the customer in that all my items are ready
to ship. My shop policy says I ship within 5-7 days but I am usually faster than that.
Also if a customer messages me I can easily get their order out the next business day
so they have that special gift on time.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
My workspace is a desk in the corner of my living room. I love being able to work and still hang out with my husband at the same time. I am kind of a neat freak so when I’m done each day everything packs up into the drawers and cupboards. This way I can keep it a multi use space and it keeps everything safe from my feline helper.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Advertising and social media are truly vital to the success of your shop. In the past I haven’t enjoyed that part of the work so I tend to neglect it occasionally… But wow! It’s amazing the results that happen when you start connecting with your customers and sharing your process and your day. It’s fun too when you look at it as another way to learn.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
I spent a long time thinking about it, then a long time more planning for it… I wanted to make it perfect from day one and that held me back. You will learn as you go and improve the storefront as you go so just dive in!! One solid piece of advice though is pictures, pictures, pictures. Research how other sellers of your product stage their photos to get a feel for where the market is at. Make yours clear, bright, and use all 5 slots on a listing. People want to see what they are buying!
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I love to learn and reinvent myself. I’ve been a research scientist, high school teacher, and flavor chemist. Now I’m a project manager for a food company. I love my day job. However, it is through my art that I am able to continuously learn and grow as I try out new materials and techniques. My jewelry business allows me to reinvent myself with every new idea. My other hobby is reading. A book is such a lovely way to experience a new world.
What is your favorite quote?
I am a reader remember? Picking just one quote is so hard… Can I have 2 and a poem? “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” -Edgar Allan Poe A man once told the Buddha “I want Happiness.”
The Buddha replied, “First remove I, that is ego. Then remove want, that is desire. Now you have happiness.” “What is Success”? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Where can people find out more about your business?
I am also on Instagram at KristenCreates. There I share progress pictures of new jewelry plus pictures of my drawings and other adventures.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for the opportunity to share with you about myself and my art! Have a wonderful day!
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.