Member Feature: LaSouciqueStudio

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Kimberly of LaSouciqueStudio, our featured member!

LaSouciqueStudio

LaSouciqueStudio

Tell us about yourself.

I am a silver and freshly-trained goldsmith having apprenticed here in the USA and in the UK Channel Islands of Guernsey. Up until deciding to take the artistry route, I was working in Offshore Trust Fund Management where I managed portfolios for Argentinian and Russian millionaire and billionaires. The job nearly broke my spirit, and if not for metalsmithing, I’m not sure what sort of mental state I would be in at the moment!img_1195

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

I will celebrate our one-year anniversary on March 1st, 2017 and did not think very much about silversmithing as a full-time career until I was selected as an Emerging Artist in the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa which is a juried art festival that brings the country’s best artists. It was a springboard into full-time artistry that I’ll be forever grateful to be a part of.

La Soucique is Guernsey French, which is a latin patois spoken only by 4-500 people today. My husband’s family’s home was named, “La Soucique”, which means a timeless sense of style.img_1460

Tell us a bit about your products.

While living on the island of Guernsey, I would walk the often-lonely beaches and pick up sea glass – I had never seen a piece before and we would get an ice cream bucket full in 20 minutes! So, I had jars of it sitting around and when I came to bezel setting, rather than using expensive stones I began setting seaglass. After all, if I mucked it up, it was free. Guernsey is notoriously difficult to ship to so stones were extortionately priced (even Amazon won’t ship and you cannot get an iTunes account to save your life!). I came to find how lovely seaglass glowed when set in sterling and it is still my favorite setting.

We’ve island hopped since moving to Guernsey from Kentucky; to Guernsey then to Tybee Island (Savannah, GA), and now we live in Amelia Island, Florida. There has been no shortage of inspiration – but there is not much sea glass to be found, sadly! I rely on a lot of friends and through art shows, I’ve been able to pick through many clients’ gorgeous seaglass collections.img_1538-1

What inspires your work?           

The sea, absolutely. And the glass that it tumbles. Seaglass represents a journey of transformation, where your past doesn’t decide your future. It’s lived so many lifetimes! If only it could tell us its story… what once was clear and fragile is now strong with a certain patina, like the change from childhood to adulthood.

And reading. In fact, if you’ve never read, “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, you ought to. Written in the 1950’s, its still especially applicable today.img_1603-1

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

Slow and steady wins the race. I feel that so many jewelry artists are hungry to get hundreds of wholesale accounts but I cannot fathom what kind of quality of life that would bring. I feel that doubling my annual sales is a fair goal, which with two daughters under 8, I think is a brilliant move. Dreams are another thing! I dream of financial independence and having an income stream that is wholly my own to rely upon.img_1327

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

Flexibility and being innovative. It seems that the larger you are, the less time you have to create new work which I absolutely need. I change gears quite a lot in the day, so it’s been a challenge to focus on collections but I’m working on that.img_1372

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

Yes – a simple one just in our home. I took the plunge and bought a flex shaft which has changed my world. I still rely upon my trusty creme brûlée torch, though!img_6639

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

I believe that university business classes and in my case, communications classes, do not prepare you for sole proprietorship but merely to serve a corporation. I wish that I had known more about the freedoms of owning my own business which I wish now that I had began before having children!img_1621

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Etsy is a fantastic springboard as well, to get your work out there and to offer it for sale. It can be harrowing, at times! My first Etsy sale was quite traumatic, which made me almost quit the platform altogether. But we stuck it out. And sometimes, selling a piece is like saying goodbye to an old friend, but when you see someone happy with a piece which are gifts in many cases. That is brilliant to get those happy messages.13087086_10103427582060000_3344178603281378313_o

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

We head to the beach here in Amelia Island. Peter’s Point is my favorite and Black Rock beach is fabulous, or to Hanna Park in Jacksonville (where I find 5 pieces of sea glass per hour, on average)! I read a lot and watch a lot of movies.la-soucique-portfolio

What is your favorite quote?

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” — Anne Morrow Lindberghfolk-sons-2

Where can people find out more about your business?  

We’ve launched our own website with an Etsy shop link – www.LaSouciqueStudio.com and can be found in four locations.img_9791-1

Facebook: La Soucique Studio

Instagram: La_Soucique_Studio

Pinterest: Kimbery Hanna Wallis

 Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I am a staunch believer in Community over Competition so if anyone has any questions, even about techniques or processes, please reach out. We’re all in this together – thank you again for the feature!img_9479-1

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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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September – New Arrivals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Join the Christmas In July team as we celebrate September – New Arrivals.

Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says:

This fall arrangement is striking. The vase was given to me as a present for my shop and the fall flowers were purchased from a new store. The neutral colors in the vase are mirrored in the flowers and grasses. The arrangement includes a large sunflower, pumpkins, berries, fruit and grasses. I actually have two similar ones in different sizes for anyone who is looking for a set.

NauticoCreations

NauticoCreations

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

My town is close to Naples, which beauties and traditions are well-known all over the world.

One of these is Pulcinella, a mask who deals with life difficulties with a philosophy of his own.

Another aspect of Naples (but more generally of all South Italy) are our balconies, where you can see long cloth lines always full of laundry and bunches of chili peppers, hanging from a nail, to get dried under the sun.

So I tried to re-create this view, putting a ceramic Pulcinella on an imaginary balcony.

Ghirlandiamo

Ghirlandiamo

Melissa R from missy69 says:

I love to paint, and I also love to recycle or upcycle products into something new and beautiful. These are ice coffee bottles that have been recycled into bride and groom Gothic or Halloween wine glasses. These were so much fun to make, and I intend to do more with other themes.

missy69

missy69

Tiffanie from FrivolousFunBoutique says:

This beautiful ornament was inspired by my three-year old who requested that I make her one of my cluster pendants with her beads though bigger! (lol) It turn out amazing and I liked them so much I made more to put in my shop. I bead the wire then crochet it into a circle to make a 3 inch ornament. When I look at this particular ornament I see a wonderful Christmas gift for a special little princess.

FrivolousFunBoutique

FrivolousFunBoutique

Sally Manke from SallyManke says:

I’m a quilter and love to include the holiday’s in my work. This is my original design tree skirt with 200 pieces making up a homemade, handmade piece. Perfect to become a family heirloom or the ideal wedding gift. After showing the design at my local quilt guild, I’ve been called upon to teach the technique at quilt shops and guilds.

SallyManke

SallyManke

Angie Fitzpatrick from CraftyMom75 says:

I saw this vintage look print set and had to have it. It is a reprint, but totally brought back memories of my childhood and quilts that my mother had around the house that had been given to her. I had it in my collection for a while because I loved it so much, I could not bear to sew it. Then, one of my son’s asked about it, and I decided that it was too special to not share with others. I made one of these pillow cases for my house, and one for Etsy. Mine will be well-loved by two little boys at my house being dragged from room to room with them. I can’t wait to see where the other one will end up at!

CraftyMom75

CraftyMom75

Handmade Covers from HandmadeCovers says:

This is a zipper case for 13 inch Laptop or Mac Book 13. Recently I learned how to use faux leather with fabric to create more sturdy bags for laptops. So I had this cute paisley print in vibrant colors which I wanted to use as a pocket of the bag and a plain beige cloth for the back. When the bag was complete it looked attractive to me. Hope you will like it too!

HandmadeCovers

HandmadeCovers

Ina from InaSudjana says:

Here’s my new item just listed.

A name plaque for little Owen in Geelong, Victoria (Australia) whose daddy is a Formula 1 Racer!

A special plaque it will be!

InaSudjana

InaSudjana

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says:

Meet Dax the sassy dachshund!

When I saw the pattern in a yarn store I knew that I had to knit this cute little dog. I chose a rust color and happily knitted along. The process reminded me of my needlework class in elementary school that I hated! At that time I was knitting a polar bear, and the teacher ripped the whole thing apart because my stitches were too loose. I was devastated (I was 8 years old at that time) and completely discouraged. It took many years until I picked up knitting needles again – and I love it. This dog is my first complete knitted animal since that needlework class! I see him as a comforting cuddle toy for a little child. He sure gives those cuddles back!

CarolaBartz

CarolaBartz

Gigi from GigisBlueRose says:

I saw the turtle shell and thought, “I just have to make that.” I wanted the shell to stay on the baby as a costume so I decided to add straps and a diaper cover to make it a cute little Halloween costume.

GigisBlueRose

GigisBlueRose

Tracey Ghazal from TreasuresFoundShoppe says:

This is the first gift I ever bought for my now ex-husband when we were dating in the early 80’s. The handsome young man modeling it is our son. He wasn’t too happy about having to be my model especially when I told him we were taking the pictures outside…. its 90 degrees in Florida today!

TreasuresFoundShoppe

TreasuresFoundShoppe

Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says:

I love turquoise and leather! I found these large flower shaped beads and thought they would be perfect for this tassel necklace. I added a touch of orange and a leather tassel. I think the look is definitely boho!

EponasCrystals

EponasCrystals

Lucy Clasen from LuDesignsCreations says:

I love making leather cuffs and have made many designs. Now I am making them to buckle in the back. This white leather is beautiful, thick and has ripples in it. I finished it off with a silver Tree of Life which has meaning for many cultures and religions. I like the symbolism.

The concept of a tree of life has been used in biology, religion, philosophy, and mythology. A tree of life is a common motif in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies. It alludes to the interconnection of all life on our planet and serves as a metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense. The term tree of life may also be also used as a synonym for sacred tree.

LuDesignsCreations

LuDesignsCreations

Kimberly Hanna Wallis from LaSouciqueStudio says:

We started working with sea glass when living on the island of Guernsey where we collected gads of it at Ladies Bay. Now we’re in Florida where we’re inspired by the sunshine.

The soft Aqua Blue color of this Hawaiian sea glass is calming, seeming to change in every shade of light much like the sea does; The natural, organic shape is not manipulated in any way, only top-drilled then wrapped them in the “crazy” style with 925 sterling silver to honor the history that these pieces have seen over the decades tossed in the sea.

LaSouciqueStudio

LaSouciqueStudio

Carrie Peninger from Carebarescreations93 says:

I made these to help earn money for my friends family. She passed away about 2 weeks ago and left a lot of doctor bills. She loved Lady Bug and was a wonderful woman. All the money made from these will go to her family.

Carebarescreations93

Carebarescreations93

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese says:

It is spring time here in Australia. I love the flowers that come out this time of year and the beautiful scent in the air! I have not done quilling for a while and decided to get my quilling gear out. Being spring time I decided to make this set of floral gift tags, perfect for birthdays or to brighten someone’s day!

DesignedbyAnneliese

DesignedbyAnneliese