First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hey there, my name is Suzanne Bowen and I am the owner of Barnacle Jewelry. Most of my family calls me Suzi. I come from an extremely creative family. Art has always been an important part of my life. Having my son, Patrick, nine months ago caused me to focus even more on designing as my creative outlet. If I couldn’t create these beautiful pieces of art, I’m not sure what I would do.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I have been designing jewelry for well over ten years now. I started making earrings for myself because I could never find exactly what I wanted in any store. Soon, I began receiving compliments and requests from family and friends. As interest grew I branched out to rings, necklaces and bracelets. I found there was a real desire for unique and artistic pieces at a reasonable price, so Etsy seemed like the natural next step for my business.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
My sister told me about Etsy about a year and a half ago. I only do 2-3 art festivals a year and was looking for other ways to promote my work and reach a large audience. I opened my shop, BarnacleJewelry, in March and business has steadily been growing since!
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
Etsy allows anyone the ability to offer their services, talents, and sought after goods when they may not be able to otherwise. Etsy is incredibly affordable and easy to use. The resources and support offered to buyers and sellers are unmatched any other! Advice on every topic is easily available. Etsy truly wants to help you make the most out of your business. From virtual labs to blogs on tons of topics, even a beginner will soon be selling like a pro. I am very grateful to Etsy. I also enjoy connecting with other artists. There is a real sense of community on Etsy and I feel that, as artists, it is always important to find others you can relate to, discuss ideas with, and perhaps work with! The friendships that are fostered are an extra bonus!
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
I can find inspiration in just about anything. I especially love the coast. Nature. Earthy elements seem to catch my eye the most. It is fun to take something organic and try to recreate, reinvent it. As an artist, I see colors and shapes in nearly everything. Thinking like that makes an easy transition from idea to reality.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
That is a tough question! I would have to say my favorite piece is a black diamond Swarovski crystal crucifix necklace. I sat down one day with my wire in one hand and the crystals in another. No absolute plan in mind. The end result was so beautiful. I truly feel blessed with my ability and opportunity to share it with others. I love my custom orders too! Making a one of a kind piece is always a challenge I am up for. I was especially moved my a recent piece I did to be worn on the clients wedding day. That was such an honor to know my creation would be involved on a day when every possible detail has been well thought out.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I am enjoying every chance to create something special for someone. I would love to continue doing just that! I, also, do charcoal and graphite drawings. I plan on opening a separate Etsy store for those in the near future.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
Of course! I am always working on something new. I go through phases with my favorite materials to use. Right now I am using a lot of mixed media. Combining different textures can create some really beautiful combinations.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
I would love for everyone to become a FANacle on my BarnacleJewelry FaceBook Page. I offer special discounts and regularly run contests with free jewelry prizes. There is also my Etsy shop. I, also, can be found on Twitter showcasing my new items. I am working on improving my blogging skills at my blog. My goal is to be able to show my creative process for show pieces. From idea to fruition. Please feel free to contact me!