First off, tell me a little bit about yourself? (Just a brief biography)
Not much to tell about me, my name is Amy. I’ve worked in the service industry all my working life. Started out at McDonald’s and didn’t leave til I knew how to do everything. Then I had a posh job at the Ritz Carlton…in housekeeping. It was all very exciting and lasted about 6 months. Then I was a cocktail waitress on a casino cruise that was the best job ever. I absolutely loved it, til the ship relocated and my car wouldn’t make it that far. I had to really think about what I had done in my life that I enjoyed as much as the boat. Turns out it was McDonald’s, so back I went. I even found a husband there and worked my way up to management, had enough of tenagers wanting a raise before they did what they were hired to do as opposed to the other way around. Work hard, get a raise, work harder, get another raise. So I quit. Went to a bed and breakfast and did turn down service, it was a fabulous job. The owner’s loved to tell me about how the place was haunted and then leave me there alone while they went to dinner. I found out I was pregnant and had to leave cause I couldn’t carry the mop bucket to the second floor anymore. I stayed home til my son was 9months old and my husband said I needed to get a job. So I did…in retail. Oh my how I love retail. I worked in the best gift shop in town, I know cause we were voted Best of the Best for a few years in a row. The owner said it was cause of us girls, but we insisted it was the stuff she stocked the store with. She sold the shop, and me with it and I worked there up until the day before I delivered my second son. I have only been back in the work force part time since. Now I do this….um, I raise my boys and take care of the house, and do this.
How and when did you start making jewelry and ornaments?
I started with jewelry. Back in 2006, we had just gotten this new beadshop in town. I went in one day to have a look around and walked out with a few seed beads some silk cord, some mother of pearl beads and some leather and a few other items. I went home and made an anklet and a necklace. It wasn’t fabulous, but it was just the first time. I gave an anklet to my mother in law just for fun and she said she’d like to have some earrings to go with it, said she was sure I could make some, it can’t be that hard. Ummm ok I thought and I went home and looked at some earrings I had and went to wal-mart for a couple things I needed, head and eyepins and some earwires, not that I knew that’s what they were at the time. I went back home and tried like hell to bend those wires to match a real pair of earrings, by the third or fourth one I had it. YAY…now to make a match. I was addicted after the first pair…and I haven’t looked back.
The ornaments came much later. A month ago or so if that. You ever want something and just can’t find it no matter how much you search. Well I wanted ornaments, special ones. Photograph ornaments, in a frame on my tree. I searched for months. Couldn’t find anything. Then I found these placecard holders and tried those…didn’t work. I looked some more and found some metal frames with glass on both sides, so I ordered them and while I waited, tried to think of how it was going to look if the ornaments got turned around and there was just this white blob hanging on my tree…oh no, that won’t be good at all. Then it came to me, vellum paper, cause it’s transparent. All I had to do was find one that took colored ink (some are only for use with black ink). The rest again is history, edit, crop, cut out add a ribbon history.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I was surfing the net looking for handforged metal jewelry for days and I don’t even know why, except that we sold some in that gift shop I worked in, and I loved it. I wasn’t looking for jewelry store jewelry, know what I mean. We had all this awesome jewelry where I worked and I really missed it. Couldn’t find anything like it anywhere…I used to buy it for gifts for my family. Then there on page 20 of my search was Etsy. I shoved it in my favorites folder and didn’t give it much thought. But the more I searched, pages and pages later, I found I kept clicking on Etsy. So I opened an account and stayed there.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
What I find unique about Etsy is the group of artists always willing to give advice. It’s quite a community, it’s like having a multitude of faceless friends.
I love the diversity and abundance of items available to me that I otherwise would never find. I like the layout, I find it affordable and user friendly as far as setting up shop goes. I like that I can access my profile info and my shop no matter where on Etsy I am. I love that I can see my sold items, and who purchased them. I look forward to any changes that they make in order to make the shopping experience better.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
Old things, rich in history things. Castles, Kings, knights, old iron gates, angel statues, horses, wolves, nature, cemetaries. Things that show their age and wear it well. Rustic things and elegant things. I hope it shows in my work, but if it doesn’t yet…it will.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
A labradorite necklace on a round mesh chain with a few filigree findings and a vine scrolled brass drop. I doubled the chain at two different lengths. This piece of labradorite is the focal, it’s sort of a tapered barrell with long facets in it. It’s very subtle, the necklace itself, but this piece of labradorite flashes like none I’ve ever seen. Orange and green and oooh you ought to see it. I won’t sell that one.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I’d love to accomplish being more than a hobby. I’d like to help my husband pay the bills. He works very hard to support the boys and me, I’d like to be able to support him too.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I’m thinking of turning some of the long narrow ornaments into pendant necklaces, it remains to be seen if it will pan out. I know that the square ones are too large, but I think the long ones will work nicely. I have recently added some notecards to my shop. I may try my hand at some clothing items or small jewelry or cosmetic bags. I have loads of fabric that begs to be something more. I am also considering selling photographs, I have a couple that I’ve framed, so I may list them and see where it goes. Stay tuned though…anything can happen. I’m not a one trick pony.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
I am always available at my Etsy shop or you can search me on facebook. Just tell me why you want to be friends.
I have a personal facebook account where I offer friends a discount in my Etsy shop from time to time. I’ve tried fanpages but I didn’t get many followers, most were my regular facebook friends. I don’t really blog or twitter, cause I feel like I’m talking to myself and I’ve already heard what I have to say. My items are available at Divine Finds on Amelia Is, FL. I hope to broaden my consignment horizon. Right now I just want to create a bit more and spend time with my growing boys, I’ll blog when they do…and that’s gonna be a while.