Favourite colour? -- I'm a color maniac who is very much into color theory and the healing properties of color, so it's hard for me to choose just one. Mostly I favor blues, purples, greens and oranges. See? I tried. Can't do it. :c)
Favourite item in your shop of all time?
My favorite items seem to be the newest creations I'm working on or have just listed, but my Immortal necklace is probably the most meaningful to me.
For several reasons. First, I really love the vintage lucite cabochon. Most importantly, though, it is made from Fallen Angel Brass , a new line of gorgeous warm black brass created by my partner, Karen (of Treasures by Karen) and myself. Our new jewelry supply business is really a dream come true. We sell items that we longed to be able to use ourselves, and will continue to grow this business with a goal of selling wholesale. Our filigrees, stampings, chains and findings are already doing well, and we have only been in business for just over 3 months.
We are coming out with our Fall line later this month and are very excited about the new offerings we have coming up. We're already starting to work on our Spring line. This shop is also my favorite because it's emblematic of the friendship that Karen and I have developed. All of the hours of Etsy convos and emails, getting to know each other better and find just how much of a shared passion we have for jewelry components and beads, and how similar our vision is when it comes to not just selling a product but the relationships we build with our customers and our own suppliers. It's exciting and satisfying for both of us.
Favourite shop that isn’t yours? Mixed Species.
Why? -- They have the wackiest items. Hilarious stuff there and it keeps me laughing. I especially like this: As they say in their shop greeting, they are not for the faint of heart.
Jewelry is a VERY crowded market – what do you consider your “unique selling point”? How do you stand out from the crowd?
There are a few selling points, I guess. First, I have decades of experience designing and crafting jewelry. That's always a good foundation upon which to build. The fact that my son James and I are a mother and son team is also rather rare in the jewelry design world, and what that brings to the table is an even more eclectic selection from which to choose.
James' designs are in general very Bohemian and full of texture. Mine are in general more smooth and full of color. We both cross over, of course. :c) I often hear about the photos in our store as being a real draw, which is a lovely compliment. I work hard taking a lot of photos so that I can have a wealth of images from which to choose. Doing so is time-consuming, but the process of photographing is such a pleasure.
It's marvelous putting the various pieces in the light and seeing what can be coaxed out of them when it comes to color, refraction, cast light, glow -- and in some cases a sort of atmospheric fuzziness.
We do have some very original designs, too, though originality is often difficult as many people come up with similar designs. I've seen the same designs repeat over decades -- some with but a few variations, others look much more updated. Look at a variety of stores and in just about any store you'll see some similarity with others, even if it's just a few pieces. So what you really have to look for, aside from designs you really like, is quality and customer service.
That brings up the issue of selling handmade. Being a handmade seller give us marvelous opportunities to really connect with our customers, to get to know them a bit and grow relationships built upon mutual satisfaction. I specialize in making jewelry that fits each person's needs and body, whether she is extra petite or plus size. That's a mission that is dear to my heart. We have the opportunity to give our customers a really satisfying buying experience, and they have the opportunity to make a direct, immediate difference in our lives by buying our wares and helping our small businesses be profitable. You just don't get that from WalMart.
Like Niftyknits, you’re quite new to Zibbet. What feature have you been most pleased to find out about in this new marketplace?
I really like the fact that we can upload many more photos there, which means more visual information for our customers before buying. I also like the ability to put various widgets on our storefronts for ease of use and personal customisation, though I haven't quite gotten to that yet.
What has been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far that you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Love what you do. If you don't love it you'll burn out, because let's face it, those of us who are wanting to make a living from our creations have to work hard, and many more hours than one would at a regular 9 to 5. A number of tasks we do have nothing to do with the creative process, which is often what brought us here. So to me it's important to focus on the joy of making jewelry and not getting so bogged down by doing the other necessary tasks, like listing, promoting, etc, that I forget to play and have fun. That play time and building relationships is what it's all about, to me.
Thanks Tina - and I sooooo agree. I think it really shows if you're enjoying what you do.
Adorn Me Jewelry: http://www.facebook.com/AdornMeJewelry
Fallen Angel Brass: http://www.facebook.com/FallenAngelBrass
Adorn Me Jewelry: http://twitter.com/AdornMeJewelry
Fallen Angel Brass: http://twitter.com/Fallen_Angel_Co
Adorn Me Jewelry: http://adornmejewelry.blogspot.com/
Fallen Angel Brass: http://fallenangelbrass.blogspot.com/
Adorn Me Jewelry on Zibbet and Etsy
TreasuresbyKaren on Etsy
and their combined shop:
Fallen Angel Brass