Member Feature: TopShelfJewellery

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Anne Houghton of Top Shelf Jewellery & Accessories, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I have always loved to create!! Even from the earliest age I had a pencil in my hand drawing or coloring.

My great-Aunt taught me crochet when I was very small and I have loved it ever since.

Painting was my passion for many years, I have always needed to do something with my hands.

Around 15 years ago, I had my first encounter with a Bead Market. All those shiny glass beads, well that was it. I was hooked! I went home armed with a few basic tools, findings and some beads, and taught myself how to make jewellery and never looked back!

When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

Top Shelf Jewellery & Accessories was born not long after.

For many years I made and sold beaded jewellery at markets then opened my Etsy store in 2012.

I started to work with jewellery wire and found you could do so many things with it, from wire wrapping to crochet, which I love.

Tell us a bit about your products.

All my creations are one of a kind , jewellery crochet with wire and beads or even crochet with cotton and beads, beaded jewellery and wire wrapped.

The process is unique and no two pieces are ever the same, as such they make stunning statement pieces and one of a kind wearable art.

What inspires your work?

The very uniqueness of the process, depending on the beads, wire used and inspiration is very exciting! Each creation takes on its own form as it evolves.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I would love to see more exposure for Top Shelf Jewellry & Accessories, get my brand out into the world.

More time to create, continue to develop as an Artist and never stop learning.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

Each creation is original, unique and one of a kind.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

As many of us I started out on the kitchen table, this then took over half the house! Now I am lucky enough to have a dedicated room which is my studio.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

It will not be easy, the isolation of working on your own can be an issue. You need to network and find like minded people.
Not everyone will get what do or even like it, that’s OK, each to their own. You need to learn rejection is not personal.

Believe in what you do and do it, there will be hits and misses. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn. Some even have become my best work !

If you love what you do it will show.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Persistence,  like most things you get out of it what you give, hard work and networking.

Etsy is a huge platform, you need to be noticed, exposure and embrace it.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

Spending time with my family, going to the beach, BBQ’s with friends and bead shopping!

What is your favorite quote?

“What if I Fall. Oh But My Darling. What if you Fly?” by Erin Hanson

Where can people find out more about your business?

My Etsy Store:  topshelfjewellery
Facebook:  Topshelfjewellery

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for the opportunity to feature my little store.

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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.

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Member Feature: Whimsy Whimsical Paper Goods

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Chan Yee Von of whimsywhimsical, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m Yee Von from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’m the illustrator & founder of Whimsy Whimsical, which is a collection of woodland-inspired stationery aiming to bring a touch of whimsy into our daily life.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I started my Etsy back in 2010. I was in the midst of converting my graphic design career into illustration, and I came across Etsy through an inspiring artist because she was one of the top seller at Etsy. So I thought why not give it a try and see how people responded to my work. That’s how I started my illustration career!

 

Tell us a bit about your products.

Founded in 2010, Whimsy Whimsical started from a mini collection of foxes and rabbits note cards, and now grows to a range of paper goods which includes note cards, greeting cards, invitations, art prints, stickers and gift tags. All of our paper goods are proudly printed in Malaysia on FSC-certified paper stock with light texture for that personal touch, and environmentally friendly soy ink.

 

What inspires your work?

My life experiences that resonate with me, and things that bring joy to my heart. For example, reading and having tea are my favorite pastime, and you can spot them in my animals daily activities too. Also I’ll create products that I’d love to use on a daily basis, but can’t find one to my liking in the market. The weekly planner was born out of this need.

 

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My goal for the year is to extend my current products range further, for example planner and notebooks, which I haven’t tried before. I aim to bring my work to a different level, where it is aesthetically joyful, yet functional to use. My dream for this business is to see them in every part of the world.

 

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I think the illustration style of my animals set me apart from other sellers, in which the way my animals’ eyes were close, and every fur on them were hand drawn. People love it because it gives them a very relaxing, ease and joyful feeling.

 

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

Yes, I do. My studio is 15 minutes away and it is a place where all the cards and packing materials were stocked. I used to work from home and when business was growing, things got everywhere. Cards and envelopes were stocked in the bedroom, papers beneath the table and I had to use dining table for packing, especially during Christmas season. It was a chaos! Hence the following year I decided to move everything to a nearby studio, which served for a place for packing and having people to drop by. However, when I need to do sketching or computer work, I’ll work from home or nearby cafes.

 

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I wish to know how to do financial budgeting, accounting and marketing from the start. It took me only last year to properly learn to apply this knowledge onto my business, especially on how to set proper formula to the budgeting. Better late than never!

 

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

The quality of photography comes first. We can have great products, but without great photos to showcase them on digital world, people might just pass by without knowing how great they are. Invest in photography if you can, it will returned several times later.

 

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

When I’m not working, I love to study and join online courses to further improve myself. Also, I love spending time having delicious desserts with a pot of hot tea at nice cafe, doodling my days away.

 

What is your favorite quote?

“Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself.” – J. Michael Straczynski

Where can people find out more about your business?

They can find me at:

Instagram: whimsywhimsical
Facebook: whimsywhimsicalstore
Pinterest: chanyeevon

Is there anything else you would like to share?
We all have our own sets of gifts. To discover those gifts and share them to the world, is our mission to the world.
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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.

Member Feature: Accents By Cat

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Cathi of Accents By Cat, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Cathi (Cat) and I have four amazing children ranging in age from 8 to 20. They can keep me pretty busy but I also enjoy doing all sorts of crafts. Besides my jewelry, I also paint and sew. I enjoy going to the Renaissance Fair and have sewn my own clothing to fit the era. I have made some of my jewelry also based on the Renaissance time period.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and it has taken a toll on my health and a lot of my abilities. Even though making jewelry has become somewhat harder for me and takes a little more time than it once did, I still enjoy doing it very much. It makes me feel relaxed when I am in creativity mode and proud when I reach my final product!

When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

I opened my shop on June 7th 2014. I had been making jewelry for a while at this point and selling pieces to friends and family. Everyone had encouraged me to open a shop on Etsy so I finally took their advise.

I first started dabbling with making Hemp necklaces and bracelets back in the early 2000’s. I also would make my own beads out of clay. I had stopped until around 2012 when I had found some of my old supplies in my attic and I have been creating new pieces since.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I have found it hard to concentrate on just one style. I love to create new pieces that can be enjoyed by anyone and not limited to just one type of genre. Some of the styles I have worked with would be Vintage, Renaissance, Steampunk and Boho.

I enjoy learning new techniques! I especially enjoy working with wire.

What inspires your work?

There are many different things that inspire my work. I think what inspires me the most is knowing that there are people out there that WANT to wear my jewelry and that it makes them happy and feel good about themselves when they are wearing it. Kind of like when you go out shopping at a store and you see something that you really like and then you put it on and it just completely changes your mood. Makes you feel like you look great and feel great about yourself. Then I think to myself “I made this and people get that same feeling from something that I created!” That is inspiring.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My goals for this year are to try to learn more techniques to better my skills and make my small business more successful! I would love to increase sales and surpass 100 sales before the end of the year.

My dream for my business is to become more established and to maybe find a place that would want to feature some of my pieces in their store or shop.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I do not have a designated work space where I create my jewelry. I have brought supplies with me on the go and worked while parked in my car waiting for school to let out. I have worked at a table next to my boys at their Pokemon league! But mostly, I work at the living room table or sitting on my bedroom floor!

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I think that the biggest things that I have learned since opening my shop that I wish I would have known before hand would be that it is not easy. You don’t just list and sell. You have to put a lot of work into it. Research what it is that you want to sell first! There are a lot of products that are an over saturated market, jewelry being one of them! You need to put a lot of thought into your descriptions and also your titles and tags. And also be prepared to do a TON of marketing and promoting of your items and your shop.

Where can people find out more about your business?

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

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.

Member Feature: GaleriaMarian

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Andreea of GaleriaMarian, our featured member!

GaleriaMarian

Tell us about yourself.

I am Andreea, mom of three, visual artist, passionate about everything that’s beautiful – jewelry making, painting, fashion design.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I opened an official busines in 2013, when I officialized my passion for jewellery and I opened a physical store and in short time I opened a store on Etsy.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I started working with sterling silver because it was hard to find good and custom jewelry findings for my creations. First I made them for me, after that for a friend and when I opened the Etsy store, I was thinking to start with this handmade jewelry findings, especially ring blanks. There was a great success, so now, manufacturing ring blanks takes about 80% from my free time and energy. I try to make nice, custom and affordable products, so other artist to freely manifest their gifts. All my findings are made from sterling silver, part of it is recycled silver, as we try to protect our planet resources.

I had another shop for my jewelry, now I am trying to unify them, as becomes harder and harder to manage both of them.

What inspires your work?

For my ring blanks I am looking for innovative models, but wearable and solid the same time.

The inspiration for my jewelry comes from nature, water edges, stones, blossom and trees all this fascinates me.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

This year I want to expand my findings models, to start offering gold plated silver findings and gold findings.

I also hope I will manage to promote my finished jewelry also.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I guess that the fact that I am a small producer, not a factory with lots of employers, makes the communication easier, and being artist too, I speak the same language as my clients.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I had a studio in my physical store, but as we had a new baby, I wasn’t able to spend all day there, so I moved it at home and we are building now a new space to accommodate all our beloved tools.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I had to learn to become organized, even this is the hardest part for an artist.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

I encourage all my friends to sell on Etsy, there is a great visibility and it is a platform very friendly to use.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I am never working, just hobbies and fun!

What is your favorite quote?

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Where can people find out more about your business?

On my site www.galeriamarian.ro, on Facebook Galeria Marian or contact me on Etsy Galeria Marian.

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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.

Member Feature: HeidisHomemadeSoaps

Contributor post by Cindy of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Heidi of HeidisHomemadeSoaps, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mother of three children whom I home-school. I take great pride in offering safe and effective products that are environmentally friendly and never tested on animals.

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I started my business in 2014 and opened my Etsy shop in 2015. I have many of my products in local stores.

I started my business because I began reading all the harmful ingredients that were in the products I was using on myself and my family; and I did not like it. I am passionate about the products I make & sell. My products are made using organic ingredients. They are ALWAYS cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and NEVER tested on animals. Many of my items are also vegan. My soaps are made using hot and cold process. ALL of my products are made with extra care and love.

I truly enjoy hearing the testimonies of my customers who have purchased my products and have fallen in love with them.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I am in business because I want to offer natural and organic options. I believe that what goes ON your body goes IN your body! I use organic ingredients whenever possible. My products are NEVER tested on animals. They are environmentally friendly.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by God first and foremost, and by His beautiful creation. And sometimes by food.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

My future goal for this year is to continue making quality products that are safe and organic. I would also like to expand my product just a little more. My dream and long term goal is to open a store and sell my products at a location so customers can come in and sample and smell my products. In doing so, I would like to employ individuals who are in great need of a job such as battered women, sex trafficking victims, and the homeless. My goal isn’t just to make a profit but to touch as many lives as I can while I’m on this earth.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I make a pretty large variety of products. Every item is handmade by me from start to finish. This includes choosing responsible companies to purchase my ingredients from all the way through designing labels and packaging each individual item. I am about quality control and happy customers.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I work out of my home at this point and time.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

That life is a learning process and this is no different. Fortunately, I had some experience running my husband’s business so I was somewhat business savvy. I understand customer service and quality control. But, I am still learning new things every day. I prefer to listen more than I like to speak. One thing I did not realize before I started my business was how much work would be involved. However, I have learned with a lot of work there is great reward.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Networking and advertising are keys to success, but this takes perseverance and patience. Stick with it!

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

My business started out as a hobby and then very quickly grew into a business. I enjoy making products; I find it to be very relaxing. However, when I am not working I like to spend time with my family.

What is your favorite quote?

“Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

Where can people find out more about your business?

My Facebook page and my Etsy site.

Facebook: HeidisHomemadeSoap

Etsy: HeidisHomemadeSoap

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for this opportunity!

 

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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.

Member Feature: Vadjutka

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Judit Wild of Vadjutka, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am Judit Wild, a Hungarian jewelry designer, but I wasn’t born as a jewelry designer. I studied photography, journalism and sociology. I was working as a journalist and a market researcher for 15 years in total, and I slowly changed to making and designing jewelry.

When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

I opened my Etsy shop 10 years ago, in February, 2008.  At that time I was already making jewelry for 6 years, as a hobby, and I wanted to have a consistent online presence.

 

Tell us a bit about your products.

I design and make jewelry. You can see my sterling silver work in my Etsy shop.  I love to combine all sorts of materials. My newest love is plexiglass, and it goes with sterling silver very well. Back in the time of opening my Etsy shop I was using glass beads, fused glass pendants, later fabric, and then wood.

What inspires your work?

My greatest inspiration is the sea / ocean, and the sky above.  My main aim is to express feelings via my jewelry, so anything can inspire me from food to buildings and nature.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

I have a small shop in Budapest (capital of Hungary, my home) and my plan for this year is to have only silver jewelry in my shop. Currently I have the fabric / wooden jewelry as well as the silver ones.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

Honestly, I have no idea. I haven’t seen too many people so far combining sterling silver and plexi.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

Yeah, I have a shop in the heart of Budapest, and I make my jewelry there. For the sterling silver jewelry line I work in a different studio, that is suitable for silver smithing.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

Many-many things. Actually it is a constant learning process. I will try to highlight a few.
1) Being persistent and patient.
2) One should really mind his/her own business, and not look at others too much.
3) Balancing between my own way (artistically) and what people like / want.
4) Listening to my gut feeling. Rational decisions are important, but one cannot neglect the gut feeling.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

I think that being active on 1-2 social platforms is essential for any online businesses. I chose Instagram and Facebook for myself, because they suit me the best. Others may prefer other platforms. The main point is, that the platform you use, suits your skills. (I am strong in photography, but not in 160 characters texts, so Twitter is not for me.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

Photography, dance and cooking.

What is your favorite quote?

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. (Oprah Winfrey)

You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference. (Steve Jobs)

Where can people find out more about your business?

I have a website: http://vadjutka.hu/eng/about-myself/
A Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vadjutka.design/ (mostly in Hungarian)
An Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/vadjutka/ (mostly in English)

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you for reading this through!

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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.

Member Feature: YEHsProduction

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Adele of YeHsProduction, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Adele. I am a stay at home mom with four little kids. We used to live in California but relocated in 2015. We currently are serving in a missionary school in Taiwan. We enjoy our new chapter here. There is so much to explore and learn from.

When did you open your business and what made you decide to do so?

Everything started when I had my first baby. I was a social worker before being a wife and mom. When I got married and soon got pregnant with my firstborn, I know I had to stay at home. I want to spend every moment with her. That’s my best investment! So I put my professional career aside and picked up my crafty tools.

After my first baby was born, I felt I had endless ideas! I felt like I want to hand make everything I can for her. That’s about the time I knew about ETSY.  In 2011, I opened my first shop!

Tell us a bit about your products.

Originally I only sold kids related items, such as baby hats, hooded cowl, and etc. with some canvas panel works in between. But mostly, they are all kids related items. Then, I got a chance to design some cast iron pot knob covers for my friend. So you can see some of that in my shop too. Until recently, I started to make aroma stone. I like things that smell well. So when I first learned about aroma stones, I just had to try. Now in my shop, you can see aromatherapy home decors, jewelry, car vent diffusers and even wedding favors and place card holders. I am very excited about my new work.

What inspires your work?

I would definitely say, my kids! Just by watching them grow, gave me tons of ideas. I just don’t have enough time to make all of my ideas come to life. Etsy is a way to share my creations with people.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?

Moving overseas is definitely a big challenge for my Etsy business. My shop has been very slow since we moved to Taiwan. Many potential buyers would show their interests at first, but decided not to purchase due to the shipping time and many other reasons. This year I am hoping I can win back some people by listing some “ready to ship” items.

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I design all my products. From yarn to plaster, from hats to home decor, I made the designs my own. Therefore you can’t find anything like this in other shops. Also, the time I spent in each product and the detail-oriented work is definitely not something you can find anywhere.

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I do and I don’t. I have storage with all my craft supplies in my laundry room. But I do most of the work at my dining table.

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

I had no knowledge of marketing. I remember before I opened my shop, I thought I just have to keep knitting and that is enough. I didn’t know that making my shop seen is even more important! Even now I am still learning how to promote myself via social media. I am definitely not born to be a business woman.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do not be discouraged at first. Build up your inventory and accumulate your ideas and experience. Also observe other Etsy shops, and try to find your own style and pace.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I love to sing, more specifically, harmony. So I would pick up any song and start to harmonize with it. I can sing almost any part. I love doing that.

What is your favorite quote?

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23

Where can people find out more about your business?

You can follow me via Facebook page Yarn and Everything and IG Yarn and Everything 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Do not limit yourself. But also do not be too confident with everything either. Know your inner self, know your limitations, and keep strengthening it. And remember no matter what the result is, keep your eyes on the one above. He will guide you and lead you.

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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.