First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Amanda and I am the owner of Black Dahlia Designs. I live with my wonderful husband and our crazy kitty Liberace in a little Southern California town where it wouldn’t surprise me if the horses outnumbered the people. I work for the government by day, and I craft by night. I like to paint, garden, go to concerts, winetaste, and spend time with friends.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
As a kid, my mom was always really supportive of my creative endevors and encouraged me to do whatever crazy craft was in my head. Back in those days, I would often make beads out of tightly rolled strips of glued paper and turn them into necklaces and bracelets. Between then and about 3 years ago, I did mostly painting and ceramics, but turned my attention back to jewelry after being inspired while looking for jewelry for my wedding.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I found Etsy about 2 years ago while searching for bracelets to wear for my wedding. I was initally looking for vintage and antique jewelry but then explored the rest of Etsy and discovered how amazingly talented people are!
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 each shop you visit is an individual creating the pieces you see, not a machine pumping out items by the thousands. Etsy brings back what was lacking for so long in our modern buying — a link directly to the creator of an item. I love to have customers contact me and ask for custom items or little tweeks on existing items in my shop.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
As cliche as it is, I am inspired by life in general. I may see a color combination in a falling leaf that gives me an idea for a piece. I might read a book and imagine what that character might wear. It may be a period of time like the 20’s or 40’s (my current favorite time period), or a lightbulb that clicks in my head when I have supplies spread out on the table.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
This is so tough! I love all my pieces for tons of reasons but I’d have to say recently, I absolutely LOVE a custom piece I was asked to do for Mother’s Day. She contacted me out of the blue and we collaborated and came up with a wonderful necklace (http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=28717670). I also just created my first hat which I am super proud of(http://www.etsy.com/listing/45300780/red-felt-feathered-cloche-with-antique) and fell in love with a bridal hair piece I did for a friend during an A-HA moment (http://www.etsy.com/listing/44041255/retro-style-pearl-beaded-and-feather).
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I have already accomplished more than I thought I would at this point: being shown in a Museum shop exhibition! I would love to continue with artist exhibitions, possibly get my items carried in a boutique, or be in a magazine. I don’t expect to become a millionaire but it would be fun to be able to stay home with my eventual children and make jewelry and accessories full time.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I would love to do some more hats, and I am adding a wider range of wedding jewelry and hair pieces.
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 have a Facebook Fan page, Twitter, a blog, and I also have a recently opened soap shop on Etsy called BlackDahliaSoapCo. Purchases can be made in both shops and shipping will be combined!