I started making jewelry in college. I had a classmate who was making these beautiful woven seed bead bracelets and selling them for around $60.00, which was a lot of money to me then, and still is! I thought it was really interesting, researched how to make them, found a local bead shop, and taught myself how to do seed bead weaving. Eventually, I moved out to California and discovered some amazing bead shops, and I started transitioning into stringing bracelets and necklaces. I also took my first metal working class. Then, when I moved to Phoenix, my neighbor made jewelry she sold at home parties and craft shows and also worked at a bead store that gave lessons in wire wrapping. That particular store also had an awesome selection of semi-precious beads, and from there, I was hooked.
What made you decide to become a part of the handmade community and open an Etsy shop?
I never sold anything I made until this past year when I opened my Etsy shop. I didn't have a formal job for the first six months, I lived in Iowa, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I had purchased some items on Etsy and loved the site, so I read all of the articles on the Storque and much of the forums. Then I just went for it. My family and friends have been really supportive, giving a lot of constructive criticism and feedback, as well as buying from my shop. I feel like I've doubled my knowledge just over the summer but that I still have so much more to learn about marketing, selling and photography. I also am enrolled in another metal working class this Fall, after which I hope to expand my collection to include more pendants and maybe rings. I feel like the biggest benefit of opening my Etsy shop has been the impetus to further develop my skills, learn new techniques and push my own boundaries.Were you always a person who makes things? If so what did you love to make as a kid?
I have always made things. We lived in Carlisle, PA, until I was five years old, and our baby sitter was an elementary school teacher and artist. We weren't allowed to watch any television except Sesame Street and Mister Rogers, so many of my earliest memories are of the craft projects she taught us and the art that she created. I always thought of myself as an artist because she told me I was. My parents really supported me, and I went to painting lessons for almost nine years with a local artist. I used to do oils and watercolors, and I would love to get back to that, as well as continue with acrylic painting. I also used to write short stories and draw the characters, and my favorite toys were usually of the art supply variety. I remember I had a loom, which was so much fun - I would spend hours weaving scarves for my dolls.
Is there a person in your life who is or has, inspired you? and Why?
My little sister is really inspiring to me. She was in Rwanda researching HIV for the past two years and just recently returned to start her PhD at Johns Hopkins. In addition to being ridiculously smart, she's a totally fearless adventurer and seen some amazing places all over Africa. (I blogged some photos by Katie back in April or May)
I'm also inspired by my former employer. She is an incredibly talented interior designer and taught me so much in the year that I worked for her that I should have been paying her. More importantly, she treats everyone she meets with such grace and respect and warmth. I was very sad to leave my job with her when I moved because I feel I had so much more to learn from her.
I noticed you have a music feature on your blog, what's currently on your playlist?
I have to admit that since we went to the Gomez concert, we've been listening to their new CD non stop. I also have been listening to Wilco's and Dave Matthews Band's newest albums. We always have Joe Purdy, Ryan Adams, and Chris Pureka in rotation, as well.
Last question, what would a perfect day be for you?
A typically perfect day would include sleeping in a little, making a great breakfast, taking the dogs for a swim or a hike, spending some time making things (jewelry, painting, it doesn't matter), shopping for a cooking a great dinner, and spending the evening relaxing at home with my boyfriend Keegan and a glass of wine. A crazy perfect day would involve a slope side cabin, 12 inches of new powder, 33 degree temperatures and not a cloud in the sky, followed by fireside beers and a great meal. Sadly, that only happens once in a long while, hopefully this winter though.