april artist

the wishing tree necklace.

first off, can i just say that i'm really, REALLY happy to have this month's artist on my blog? if you take a peek at my inspiration slideshow on the right-hand bar, many of my items were hers. like i had to cut back to give others a chance to be in that little photo montage. i totally don't remember how i found her shop, but i do know that i love everything in it. EVERYTHING! which is almost impossible...i'm quite a picky girl!(: so, here's the one, the only, barberryandlace ...

the amour necklace.1.)Tell us a little bit about yourself! (name, location,pets, family, etc.)My name is Leigh and I live in Loveland, Colorado. I live with my boyfriend, Mike (who also works from home), our pup Sadie and our two kitties, Molly and Bert. Needless to say, our two bedroom condo is quite busy!

2.)How did you become to be an artist?
I've always loved to create things. I made greeting cards for a while and loved doing it. I kind of fell into jewelry and it's such a great fit for me! I love seeing things come together and ordering supplies that I think will make a great piece. It's all very exciting!

3.)What inspires you?
Lots of things. I really love vintage things, pastels, the "shabby chic" look... I like that my studio has a window so I can see nature. I love watching the seasons change.

4.)What is your creative proccess like?Usually I'll find something that I absolutely love and try to make it into something someone else might love. I just love the creating process... finding things that inspire great pieces.

the teal daphne ring.5.)What do you do in your free time?(besides creating)
Free time... what's that? :) I have a part time job as a waitress/bartender that takes up my weekends. I usually work about 25 hours in those three days to afford myself the time to create and sell jewelry the rest of the week. I'm also getting geared up for my first craft fair in May, so getting my booth design put together and making the jewelry for that is also very time consuming... but I love it.
6.)What would give as advice to someone just starting out on Etsy?
Don't give up and MARKET. I was fortunate to have built my blog up before I started my shop, so I already had free ears to listen. I think my biggest success has come from word of mouth... friends blogging about the shop and sponsoring giveaways. I always remind myself: you have to spend money to make money and marketing is the best money spent.

7.)How do you promote your work?
My blog, others' blogs, giveaways, email marketing, handing out business cards like it's nobody's business, twitter, etc. Social media networks are AMAZING... as is word of mouth.
the pink mallory headband.

8.)In ten years, where would you like to be?
Goodness... that's tough. I can tell you that THIS year, I'd like to move my shop into another location. Possibly a store front, or maybe just my garage. I just need to have room to expand!

9.)What handmade possesion is closest to your heart?
My grandma made me a cookbook of all our old Amish family recipes and I think it's awesome. I'm not a great cook, but having it all in one place and made by my grandma is really special to me.

10.)What would you like to see more of on Etsy? Less of?
Oh my gosh... I'm obsessed with the little knit animal hats for babies. I think they're DARLING! Less of? Can I say jewelry? I'd like to corner that market! ;)

the petite rosy ribbon earrings.

visit her on facebook here and on etsy here .
can i just say that when i linked to her etsy i spent like 20 minutes looking at her site when i was supposed to only test the link for correct-ed-ness? yeah....i've got the b.a.l. fever!

March Artist!

hey everyone! sorry it's a wee bit late, but here's your march artist of the month-musettemade! (but you can call her shannon:) ) i stumbled upon this awesome, kick-butt artist back in my other post, it's almost spring!: what you need to know about earrings this time of year . she was the awesome lady who designed those gorgeous leaf earrings under organic. i looked at her shop and realized that this artist was someone with real talent, so, take it away, shannon!
trellis - avocado green hand painted filigree and glass earrings
1.)Tell us a little bit about yourself! (name, location,pets, family, etc.)
- My name is Shannon Conlin and I live in Charlotte, NC with my boyfriend Joe and our cat Bosco. We live in a great neighborhood with lots of restaurants, shops, and bars all within walking distance.

2.)How did you become to be an artist?
- I have always been an artist. I grew up drawing and painting and when it was time to go to college I decided to go to the Savannah College of Art and Design. My first love has always been painting!

3.)What inspires you?
- I am really inspired by other artists who are out there doing what they do best - being creative! I also love, love, love beads - the shapes and colors always leave me with new ideas. Going to the bead store can be really dangerous for me! I also like to pull pictures out of magazines for inspiration.
4.)What is your creative proccess like?
- I have a bunch of bulletin boards hanging in my studio with baggies of beads pinned to them. I find it helps me to be able to see them all - I can pull colors to mix and match easier than if they are all in boxes. Then I just kind of put things together to see if they work!
5.)What do you do in your free time?(besides creating)
- I love to hang out with friends, cook, and generally relax! I also am addicted to Netflix instant - Joe and I like to cook dinner together and watch movies or a new TV series.
henna - gold and glass teardrop earrings6.)What would give as advice to someone just starting out on Etsy?- I would say do your research! Look around on Etsy at others in your category who are selling well. Find some shops you admire who have great photos and interesting items. How does your shop measure up? Also, I do the best when I am listing new items and making my shop look fresh.
7.)How do you promote your work?
- I love my Facebook fanpage! It is a lot of fun to link to new items and see the responses you get from people. I also give out a lot of cards and my friends, family, and return customers are really great for word of mouth!
8.)In ten years, where would you like to be?
- I would love to still be making jewelry! I would also like to have another shop for my paintings at some point. I guess overall I just want to be happy and healthy and doing something creative!
9.)What handmade possesion is closest to your heart?
- There are so many! I have lots of artistic friends and I try to surround myself with their work - pottery, paintings, collages, needlework - to name a few. But my favorites are the handmade cards my boyfriend makes me for my birthday!
10.)What would you like to see more of on Etsy? Less of?
- I would like to see more truly handmade goods on Etsy and less resellers! I hate the thought of someone buying something they think is handmade but ends up to be cheap and factory produced!

wildflower - twisted silver wire flower earrings

thank you so much for being on my blog shannon!(: you can find her lovelies here on etsy and here on facebook !

think you have what it takes?
email me here if you'd like to be featured!


selling to stores-what you need to know

so i recently got a question about how i approached the ever-scary task of selling to stores. warning: this WILL be a little scary and intimidating. but the results are well worth the risk and effort.
first off, i'm not going to lie. i'm currently selling to three boutiques, so don't by any means think i'm some kind of expert. i'm far from it. also, i haven't talked with a corporate company yet-therefore i have no clue what you should do about that. what i do know are a few little tips that might increase your chances of selling to local boutiques.

-be well-groomed and well-mannered when you present yourself to the head of the company, manager, etc.
-i have found more success in calling ahead; this usually gives me the owner's personal email or phone number
-call/email the owner and try to set up an appointment with them. this way you won't catch them off guard. i've found it helpful to provide a little portfolio of pictures over email so they have an idea of what products you have
-do your research; only cater to the store if it carries things that are truly your style/kind of item
-if you set up an appointment with an owner, be on time at the very least. seems obvious but goes a long way
-don't have too high expectations-you're not going to get $200 straight up for a pair of plastic earrings
-stores typically buy for around half of the price they're planning to sell for; price items accordingly
-i can't stress enough the importance of having a set price. it's fine to negotiate for a few dollars, but never come in without a price and expect to sell your item-how will they know to price it right if you don't?
-don't get discouraged if they say no. hey, their loss!

those are just a few of my basics-feel free to email me with any more questions you may have and i'll try my hardest to answer them!



it's almost spring: what you need to know about earrings this time of year

as spring starts to be felt all around the world, new spring trends are popping up like moles in a whack-a-mole game! my favorite trends occur in jewelry (duh!) so i gathered a nice little collection of spring 2011 jewelry trends for you! p.s.-I included pictures...hold the applause, please(:

1.) nautical
don't think that because this trend has to do with sailors and boats that it's only a summer trend- those hardworking sailors work away at their jobs in the winter! (but this trend wasn't popular back then)

Nautical Earrings by BrittanyChavers

BrittanyChavers does a great job of mixing fun and class in these great earrings!

2.) flowers
spring blooms
, right? yes, it does. with floral jewelry trends!
Cream Passion Dangle earrings Sweet and Romantic by beadpod8
this is one of my favorite spring 2011 jewelry trends just because can be worn by anyone with any outfit! my favorite look to wear floral earrings with is a romantic, flowy look.

3.) bright, neon Colors
though a little bold, this trend is super fun and playful!

Neon Nebula Earrings/ SS2010 HOLIDAY SALE by conquerjewellery

conquerjewellery's creation is a really fun look and brightens up any outfit you can imagine!

4.) earthy/organic
pieces like these are really gorgeous because they take something very common and familiar to us and make them into a piece of art.

leafy - silver and gold leaf teardrop earrings by musettemade

i truly love these earrings...the mixed metals work so naturally in this piece.
so there you have it! a nice little guidebook to spring jewelry trends 2011, pulled together by yours truly!