Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Columbus, Nebraska, USA. I am married with one child, a daughter. I’ve lived in this town my entire life. Crafts and art have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I have always loved crafts. I got a seed bead loom at the age of 10 or so. My grandma also did beading and worked in craft store in Arizona. I would order beads from her store and make all sorts of things. At some point, I lost the desire and it was all put away.
I visited my grandparents in February 2011. While there, we looked at all her beading stuff and I was sent home with a lot of her extras and such that she didn’t need. In March of 2011, my home was robbed. I had most of my things that entertain me stolen. While waiting around for insurance and such, I dug out my seed beads that had been all mixed up and sorted them. From there, the desire to make jewelry once again
I started with the extras from my grandma and purchased some on my own. It just grew from there. I have now built up enough made pieces where I can start selling and keep up with demand if successful.
I would definitely say my grandma is the inspiration behind this. When they visited last summer, I showed her all the pieces I had made to that point. Her opinion on them meant the most to me.
I love jewelry and hope that shows in each piece that I have made.
Tell us a bit about your products.
I make, one of a kind, handmade jewelry pieces. They are made from stone, glass, and other materials from around the world.
What inspires your work
Many things inspire me. Sometimes it is a color palette. Or a scene from nature. Most of the time, it comes from the beads themselves. I choose what I want to work with and then lay them out in different patterns until I get something I like. Certain beads are bought with a certain idea in mind, but most are purchased without such thoughts.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My main goal for the year is to make enough profit to finally register my business name in my state. This also gives me time to try and come up with a catchier name, if possible. I also do craft shows throughout the state. My goal for 2017 is to get a stable set of shows to try and attend each year. My overall dream would be to make this a full-time career. My sister has experience in the jewelry industry, and to open a store with her would be an ultimate goal for me.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
My biggest stand out feature is that no two pieces are the same. There may be two with a similar pattern, but the metal or stones would be different. One thing I find appealing about a handmade item is that even when replicated, there are no two that are exactly alike.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
At present, my work and storage space are where ever I can find space. I do have plans to clean out the computer room in my home to make a small work and storage space for myself.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Keeping up on promoting is more time consuming that I would have realized. I knew this whole venture would be lots of hard work, but just how much caught me off guard.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Don’t give up and don’t let yourself fall into a promotion slump. Set up a set schedule on when you promote your store and stick with it. If you only have time to do it once a week, then just focus on making sure you do that. If able to promote 3 times a day, then stick with it. If you find that something doesn’t work, then don’t be afraid to make changes. Tweak items titles to improve SEO results. If able, study your views to see what people like, what they search for, how they found you, etc and work on improving that. Don’t let yourself get discouraged.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I like to read, write, paint/color to relax. I’m also a gamer, and often use my various types of videos games to relieve the stresses of life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do or do not. There is no try.”- Yoda, Star Wars
Where can people find out more about your business?
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.