First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Angela and I’m the creator of A&J Jewelry Designs. I live in Columbus, Ohio. I am married, and we have four boys and three cats at the moment. I have a full time job as an office manager for the past 24 years in a medical practice. I also do some medical transcription at home on a part time basis, and I use every spare minute that I can to make jewelry for my Etsy shop at .
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I love to make things. I sew and crochet, have done ceramics, and dabbled in a few other things. I also have metal allergies, so after years of fighting with finding earrings and bracelets that I could wear without breaking out and itching, I just gave up wearing any jewelry at all except for my wedding ring. Then one day, I saw a beginners beading class listed at Joann Fabrics, so I decided to take it and make my own jewelry that I could wear. From that, I ended up taking additional wire wrapping classes at a local jewelry shop. I fell in love with working with the wire and metals. That interest progressed to taking jewelry making and metalsmithing classes at the Columbus Culture Arts Center. It was here that I found out that I love to pound metal with a hammer and set it on fire. So, here I am!
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I was moving along, making my jewelry, and soon realized I had way too many earrings! I began giving the women in my family pieces as gifts on every occasion that came along. As they were wearing my pieces, they were getting compliments from their friends, too. Then, I met a lady in 2008 who also made jewelry, and she told me that she was selling her items with some success on Etsy. I checked it out and was pleasantly impressed with the quality handmade and artisan items that were listed throughout the site. It was after encouragement from my family that I decided to jump in and open my own shop.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
Etsy is unique in that you are able to find so many different handmade items of such great diversity and interesting design at all price levels. I personally have bought gifts for family members, and I also buy many of my supplies from other Etsy shops. As a seller, it is also extremely user friendly. It was relatively easy for me to set up the shop initially, and it has continued to be easy to maintain. The administrators are working on many updates and improvements for the sellers on Etsy with the goal of making our lives a little easier. The forums are a true wealth of information, and everyone is usually quite willing to help a newbie out with any questions or concerns.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
This is always a difficult question to answer, and I honestly don’t know exactly what inspires me in making my jewelry. I have a million ideas that pop into my mind just from seeing something on TV or in a magazine, something in nature, seeing the shape or color or style of a particular cabochon. My husband is my biggest critic, fan, and enabler when it comes to my jewelry, and he pushes me to take those ideas and expand on them, develop them, and try to think outside the box.
What is your favorite piece you have created and why?
I love every piece I do! I won’t put something out there if I wouldn’t wear it myself. My favorite piece at the moment would be my rhodochrosite and sterling silver necklace. It is the first piece I have done with the wire embellishments and granulation, and I fabricated the entire chain by hand. I love the old world, renaissance feel of this necklace.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
Obviously, I would like to have a successful shop with many, many sales! Don’t we all? Honestly, if the sales in my shop only amount to enough to allow me to continue my addiction of making the pieces, I will be a happy person.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I always seem to have a few projects going. I have been doing some traveling this summer and bought some new cabochons that are screaming brooches at me! I really enjoy making brooches because you can really get pretty imaginative with your designs. The bigger, the better!
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
Other than my Etsy shop at I do have a Facebook Fan Page at Please stop by and visit!