First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am a 25 year old mechanical engineer who graduated back in 2006 from MIT. Since then I’ve dabbled in many different possible career paths, from working on the space shuttle and Mars rover programs at NASA to developing consumer products. My current daytime job is at a small startup company in Silicon Valley designing and testing medical devices. On the side I am also a part-time graduate student, getting a masters degree remotely from the University of Southern California.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I first started making jewelry one summer back in college when I took up lampworking glass as a hobby, and making pendants was one of the first things I learned how to do. Unfortunately, setting up a glass studio in my tiny dorm room single was a little too expensive for a student budget (although I doubt it would have been considered unusual at MIT!), so I switched over to making wire work jewelry instead.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I first came across it when I was working as a consultant studying consumer trends in the United States back in 2007. The idea of anybody being able to sell their handmade crafts online with a relatively small start up cost was really intriguing and appealing to me. Over the years I found myself constantly going back to Etsy to browse and check out items and draw inspiration for my work.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
One of Etsy’s greatest strengths is the shear amount of variety and creativity that I see everyday on the site. You really can find any kind of craft item you can think of on there, and if you can’t, then you can request to get it made. The other part of Etsy that really strikes me as unique is its community. I’ve sold things on many other sites on the Internet and no where else have I found a place that is so supportive and friendly. The forums are overflowing with tips, advice and feedback.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
All kinds of things inspire me, from movies and TV shows to renderings of concept art and other random things I find on the Internet and in my every day life. For example, a few of my items were inspired by things I saw while scuba diving in Monterey, and I have a whole series of earrings inspired by calligraphy. Sometimes when I’m sitting down to make a piece, I’ll ask myself what a particular fantasy character would want to wear and just go from there.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
My favorite pieces right now are these gemstone pendants I made with really intricate wire weaving. When I was a little girl I really wanted to be an elf or fairy princess, and wearing them makes me feel like one!
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
Right now my Etsy shop is a really great creative outlet for me to display my work and my ideas and get feedback on them. Eventually I may want to take it even further and build it into a business, but right now my priority is to finish my masters degree.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
It’s really quite hard to predict what I’ll be making next, since I get inspired by so many different, random things, but I think in the near future I will expand my line into bracelets and rings.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
You can follow me at any of the following places:
Etsy shop: http://fantasian.etsy.com