Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey
Please join us in welcoming Linda Britt of LindaBrittDesign, our featured member!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Linda Britt, a creative person who has always made things with my hands. I am an artist, a creator of handmade jewelry and a retired interior designer.
I grew up in the Midwest (Missouri), got my graduate degree in Housing and Interior Design and married my teenage sweetheart. We moved to California where I taught home economics and art in high schools.
Eventually we moved to Tucson Arizona and I started my interior design business. 22 years later my husband died and several years later I met Peter. It was one of those ‘online’ meetings!
We now live in Prescott Arizona, a charming community founded in 1863 with over 500 historic landmark homes. (Lots of Victorians)
My home is at the edge of the Prescott National Forest and I get to create among the pine trees with big black ravens doing daily patrols through the trees. Lots of birds, deer, javelinas and other wildlife visit us.
I love nature and photography and keeping busy!
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I dabbled in making jewelry for years but when my husband died, I needed to focus my energy on something besides my interior design business. My dad and brothers mined a stone in the Mojave Desert in the 1970’s so I had some background. When my dad died I received many of the cabochons he cut from the stone. It made sense to get serious about making jewelry. I discovered the fun of creating with metal clay, took classes and became certified to teach. I kept taking classes and experimenting and learning.
When I retired about 10 years ago and moved to Prescott Arizona, I started my jewelry design business – really as a hobby. Now I just can’t stop creating!
Tell us a bit about your products.
My handcrafted jewelry is designed for the woman who wants something unique to show her individuality. Each piece of my jewelry is handmade by me and there are no two pieces exactly alike. My choice of materials range from metal clays, sheet metal, wire, polymer clay and beads. I love designing and creating to enhance an individual’s personality.
What inspires your work?
Nature inspires me. The colors of a birds feather, the wind on grasses in a lake, the patterns of insects, the petals of a flower. You name it. I love to find the line and structure of plants. Looking closely as I go on walks or listening to classical music or playing with my lizards give me time to let my mind wander for ideas to come.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
I’ve started working with the idea of collections – 10 related items in a collection. I am going to tell a story in those 10 items and it is exciting to build that idea. I’m more focused and I think more creative.
This year I am building a website (it is almost done) and that is a challenge I’m enjoying. I hope everyone who sees it will also enjoy it! At the beginning I will have 2 collections and will be adding more as I get the photos taken. I’m surprised at how many hours this takes!
I also want to add men’s jewelry to my lineup.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
My business reflects my desire to make jewelry for the individual woman. I make one of a kind pieces and use a variety of materials. Quality craftsmanship and attention to detail are very important to me.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
My studio is half of a long room that was once a porch. It is enclosed with lots of windows where I can see the pine trees sway and the birds visit on the feeders. The squirrels romp on the railing and I’m very entertained! The other half of the room is Peter’s office where he works on his computers and builds harpsichords.
I have a U shaped arrangement in my half of the long room where I work with various materials in different areas. It gets a little crowded if I don’t clean up often!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Balancing fun things to do with the doing of business (record keeping, inventory, etc) is often difficult and takes planning. Some days I just want to play!
I also have a 4′ display space in a local art market and keeping the inventories separate from Etsy has been a learning experience.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Don’t expect instant success. There is lots of competition and a method to succeeding. Take some classes on SEO’s – I found Renee Christine’s to be most helpful (look her up online). Also Marmalead.com is a good tool. Be prepared to spend time getting to success.
Seeing and hearing from people around the world is fascinating and exciting. Explore that with Etsy.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I love to read mystery novels and occasionally practice the keyboard. I’m an avid birder, love my bearded dragon and take daily walks.
In the evenings Peter and I listen to classical music with a glass of wine and a fire in the fireplace in winter. Our cabin in the woods feels like a vacation home! Actually I love being retired.
What is your favorite quote?
“Don’t be afraid to go where you’ve never gone before or do what you’ve never done. Because both are necessary to have what you have never had or be who you’ve never been.” The Universe
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Finding something that I love doing whether I sell it or not was my key to success.
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.