This week's featured Etsy artist is the Etsyblogger of the month for April -- big congrats to Linda B's Jewelry Designs! Her shop is full of pretty, sparkly, elegant items. I especially admire the wire work involved in this gorgeous Women's Wire Beaded Kippah
Enjoy the interview!
1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
I design gemstone and glass beaded jewelry. I am self-taught. I took a few classes in wire wrapping leading to creating my women’s wire beaded kippot (headcoverings for Jewish women), new chain and wire wrapped necklaces and wire wrapped pendants and rings. Also, I create bottlecap and scrabble tile pendants and magnets because they’re fun.
2. Do you participate in any Etsy teams?
I am on the EtsyBloggers team, EtsyBead team, EtsyTwitter team, Etsy Promotional Frenzy Team, Handmadeology team, and I lead the EtsyChai team
3. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I am married to a great man for over 30 years and he encourages my jewelry making and comments on my designs. We love our 3 cats, Buddy, Fritz and Sammy (more pictures are on my blog)
I am an avid reader and a few of my favorite authors are Stephen King, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Steve Martin (yes the comedian). Currently, I am reading books about Social Media, to gather information for How to Guides to Facebook and Twitter.
4. What inspires your creations?
I am inspired by the beads or gemstones: the colors, shapes and how they look together in eclectic or classic designs. The more color the better. I create both balanced and asymmetrical jewelry. I subscribe to beading magazines and challenge myself to pick one design, change the symmetry or bead shapes and colors to create a masterpiece.
5. How did you get involved with Etsy?
A jewelry designer I used to work with mentioned Etsy to me and I decided to try it. I forgot about it for a few months and then starting listing items. I started joining teams and entering design challenges. Then, I met Tim Adams of Handmadeology online and started taking some of his advice.
6. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
It’s tough to compete in the heavily saturated jewelry market. Each jewelry designer has a style. I work in eclectic and classic styles. It’s difficult to know what shoppers will purchase; therefore, I offer a variety of colors and design styles in my shop.
7. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
Today it's my Personalized Swarovski Bracelet
The design is a variation of a design one of my new clients showed me and ordered for Mother's Day. I'm exciting to be offering these custom order bracelets (a little late for Mother's Day), but birthdays and other events apply.
8. What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Join a team! Team members provide support, friendship, and information I promoting other Etsy sellers on my blog; it is one of my favorite blog posts. Also, I am a Twitter addict and I tweet items for team members too.
9. If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy? (Please provide a link.)
Today, I'd like this handmade wearable Turkish bath towel.
10. If you had to be an animal for one week, which animal would you choose to be? And what would you do?
I would be a cat, so I could catnap during the play, be spoiled by my parents and play with shiny beads, milk rings, and other toys.
11. If money were no object for just one day, what would you do?
I would create the jewelry designs I have in the back of my mind and I might take another beadweaving class.
12. What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it affected your life?
It means taking the time to design an item, visualizing the gemstones and shapes fitting together in a pleasing design. Putting my heart and energy into each piece I create.
13. Give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.
I create jewelry and accessories out of upcycled, bleached bottlecaps and previously owned-jewelry. During certain months, I donate a percentage of sales proceeds to Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Fund.
In fact, right now, if you buy anything pink in my shop, I am putting aside money to donate to Susan G Komen.
14. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
Congrats again, Linda!