Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings
Tell us about yourself.
I have always been interested in the arts and self employment. I have formally been trained in the culinary arts and worked many years in this field until my employer closed the kitchen. Having enjoyed working with my hands and a love for animals, I went back to school and became professionally trained as a groomer operating my own mobile dog grooming business. Sadly I wasn’t able to continue working in this field due to a back injury. Needing to keep busy and enjoying being creative, I picked up some jewelry making tools, wire, semi precious gemstones and beads and started designing accessories.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my business in 2014 on Etsy with my shop BeachandButterfly listing a small collection of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. I started making eyeglass lanyards because I was at that lovely age now where I was starting to need readers. I kept losing them and thought to myself, there must be something out there that I could wear that will keep them always handy. I searched the internet but I found nothing that caught my eye and was quite what I was looking for. I started creating some designs and tested them on friends and family, finally listing them in the shop. The lanyards started selling really well and so I decided to work on building a new line and branding. I opened a new shop in 2016 – SightStraps Eyewear Accessories that now offers unique high quality eyeglass lanyards, chains and necklaces for men and women.
Tell us a bit about your products.
My eye wear lanyards are made with high quality materials. I use premium Greek leather certified lead free and enjoy designing with copper, silver, brass, pearls and gemstones. The lanyards are in styles ranging from modern to rustic and most are adjustable in length and versatile to wear as a stand alone necklace or to hang your readers or sunglasses on. Every order is sent in lovely packaging ready to receive as a gift.
What inspires your work?
My inspiration comes from all around me. I enjoy spending my time outside hiking and camping and find I am drawn to rustic colors found in nature. I also enjoy vintage styles, textures and time-worn patina on metals and draw inspiration from these too.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
My goals this year is to expand my product line to include vegan faux leather and more one of a kind pieces. I also would like to see my brand expand into gift shops and boutiques.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I feel my brand of artisan handcrafted eyewear accessories are very affordable and versatile making them unique gifts for both women and men. I also strive for excellent customer service and have had many happy customers who return to buy these lanyards from me as gifts for friends.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
My studio work area is located in my home in a small corner of my dining room. I have a beautiful old solid wood desk that I work on and some shelving and storage located nearby.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
What I have learned since opening my business is that I wish I could have started sooner. I absolutely love what I do. Since starting the jewelry design business I have taken a few workshops on silver-smithing as well as Lapidary. I hope to add more metalsmithing courses in the near future.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Don’t wait ! Open up a shop and start. The old saying stands true…”Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life” It is so rewarding when you hear positive feedback that your jewelry design has been noticed and appreciated by someone.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
When I am not working I love to spend time with my fiancee and our two fur babies, Annie a miniature poodle and Zoey a border collie puppy going for nice long walks. I also enjoy gardening, photography, road trips, camping, hiking, rockhounding and riding our dirt bikes and atv’s
What is your favorite quote?
My favourite quote is “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”
Where can people find out more about your business?
I can be found on Etsy using this link: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SightStraps
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