First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m the creator of Bayly, an Etsy shop full of jewelry. I live on the Central Coast of California with my husband and two dogs, in a house filled with my art, a garden that needs help, and a sweet little view of the ocean and hills. My three children are grown and living their own adventures in distant cities.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I have come to jewelry making quite recently as part of the progression of my passion for all things mixed media.
I am exhaustively curious, always trying, exploring, and learning something new. So when I found myself in bead store a couple of years ago during a break from my regular job as a ceramic tile designer, I knew that I had to sit and play around with their possibilities. What are little glass beads after all, but just teensy little tiles, right? It was a natural fit!
About six months later I had a shop on Etsy. I needed an outlet to justify making more jewelry. How much jewelry can one person have, really?
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I came across Etsy while researching other bead artists. I was looking to see what was out there, price points, etc… and if there was a market for this kind of work. And lo! What an awesome surprise to find this GIANT community of fellow artisans. I had no idea!
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
Wow, so many things. Here’s a little list:
The humongous and diverse community of artists, all with a common purpose. The endless support, advice, and business savvy that is supplied by the sellers, buyers and the staff of Etsy. The ability to reach the WHOLE world!
The streamlined and beautiful website format that makes for a gorgeous portfolio when contacting outside selling venues. The personal contact with my customers. Wonderful folks, each and every one! (You can’t get that in a brick and mortar store.)
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
I know this may sound crass, but after thinking about this question for a bit, I would have to say that nothing inspires me more than making a sale. Honestly, when I get the sweet little email notification, “Congratulations on your order…” I want to do nothing more than run into my studio and get busy making things!
It is such a delight and privilege to know that someone searched through the thousands of items on Etsy and chose YOU! That they thought my piece was special enough to buy, go through the checkout process, wait for it to be mailed, etc… well, it really just makes my day!
You know, an artist’s life is pretty solitary. I work at home, order most of my supplies on line, and sometimes the only time I leave the house is to go to the mailbox. So to have the feedback on Etsy, in the form of ‘hearts’, ‘convos’, or sales, makes me feel that I am validated in pursuing this endeavor. Isn’t that what we all want?
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
The first and easy answer is the one I am currently working on! It’s the freshest and still full of possibilities. You see, I have this dream piece in my imagination and every time I begin a new piece I think that maybe this will be the one…
But I would have to say that I really like this piece. It’s called ‘Amor y Corazones’ and is made from some little papel picado (cut paper) decorations from Mexico. I love the bold black and white graphic quality, the antiqued zinc beads, and mostly the Mexican-ness of it. I just love all things Latin!
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I would love to see it grow! I’m working on better photos all the time because you may make the most gorgeous jewelry in the world, but if the image isn’t eye catching no one will click on it.
I’m also learning how to use the Etsy and Google search engines to my advantage, as they are key to the success of an online business. If you can’t be found in a search, then you can’t sell a thing!
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I always have something in the works! My hands and mind never stop dreaming up the next great idea!
Currently, I scour every resource imaginable for curious, unique and fabulous imagery to use in my jewelry. (All copyright free, of course!)
My current project involves creating original collages using my stockpile of images. For any of you that have made collages, you know that this is a time consuming and tedious process. The possibilities are endless! (side note: the only classes I failed in school were art–because I could never finish on time!)
I’m finding that simple is better, that I need to guard against my tendency to over work an idea, and that when in doubt I should put it down and come back to it later.
Here’s an example of one of my recent, simple little collages.
A fox in a tree? I really like the whimsical yet romantic vintage look of it.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
Although I sell my work in gift galleries throughout California (and now Oregon!) and various on line sites I like to have folks visit my Etsy shop. The selection is more varied and the prices are a little bit better. Here’s the link, in case you missed it!
Here’s my facebook link too!
And here is my special offer!
Any reader of this interview (and thanks if you made it this far!) will receive a 25% discount in my Etsy shop. Just use the words: Be Curious! in the notes to the seller when you check out and I will refund 25% of the purchase. And shipping is always free to the U.S.