Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is Yoko. I’m a jewelry designer. I graduated Fashion College and learned designing and pattern making for women’s fashion. My policy is if you can’t find what you want, make it by yourself. I love-making original things. I believe power of fashion. It makes life much brighter! So I always try to create something makes people happy.
I live in Michigan with my husband and a little dog. I came to Michigan two years ago from Japan for my husband’s job. We were living in NY couple of years ago as well. I’m happy to be an artist since I can continue wherever I go.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my Etsy shop in 2008 when I was living in NY. I was looking for the place to sell my jewelry. When I found Etsy accidentally during browsing internet, I thought this is it!
I have two shops on Etsy. My second shop is selling Japanese style upcycle kimono fabric items and accessories for kimono. I opened 2013.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I’m making simple and feminine jewelry which you can enjoy daily. I’m using gemstones and wires for most of the items. I also do some metalsmithing as well. Small stud earrings are popular in my shop. Also I’m enjoying mixing technique of wire wrapping and metal work.
What inspires your work?
Stones give me big inspirations. I try to find the best design for each stone. There are just flawless beautiful stones. On the other hand, there are stones which has imperfect part but it makes stone look charming. I’m enjoying working on each stone and it’s my favorite time.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
I’d like to reach 100 sales. Hopefully within one month! I want to have sales constantly too. My goal for this year as an artist is to have hit items in jewelry line which I can renew and make sales more than one time. I make many types of jewelry now. I always feel I should work on variations of one design deep down instead of having many lines. It’s little difficult to shift to limited line since new design keep coming up on my mind and can’t stop working on it! But if I think it’s not hobby. Its business, I think it’s time to move on.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
Simple design but something different like you can’t find anywhere else. Also many of customers chose clip-ons earrings from findings option. Most of my earrings are available to convert into clip-ons. I hope everybody don’t have to give up buying their favorite jewelry cause of findings. It’s not about designing but I’m still happy when my customer tells me she’s satisfied with available on clip-ons.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I call my room as work space (atelier). I have everything there. Tools, books, materials, desk, shelf, iron, photo shooting space, sewing machine (I also work on sewing project for another shop) I spend most of time there with listening radio.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I learned about SEO about a year ago. I wish I had known for years!
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Know about SEO. Of course you can learn it after opening store. I’m still learning and it’s kind of endless! Join team(s)! You’ll get great tips from etsy fellows. Get and share ideas! As an artist, passion is biggest weapon I believe. The passion reflects in your pieces. That attracts buyers.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I have many hobbies! Golfing, playing ukulele, Wearing kimono and go somewhere… Since I’m working alone, to enjoy hobby with my husband and friends is good to unwind!
What is your favorite quote?
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.
Where can people find out more about your business?
Wayoko (my second shop)
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