First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jenny of Jenny M. Jewels on Etsy – I’m a 33 year old mom and wife. I have a bachelor’s in Economics and Finance. I worked full-time at an investment firm for over 10 years before I decided a change in lifestyle was necessary. I left my job at the end of 2009. I felt I was just missing out on too much (raising my son) and our weekends were just filled with catching up on errands, and my family wasn’t spending any quality time together. It was a major adjustment – we live very frugally now, but we make it work. In some ways it’s harder than before – I never get a break – but I enjoy life so much more now!
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I started making jewelry Thanksgiving 2008. My job & prepping for the holidays had me super stressed out. I needed an outlet. I had a tendency to pick up random hobbies every year or two and never stick with them. Jewelry stuck and is so much more than a hobby to me now. It’s been a joy & definitely helped my stress level. I like to say that jewelry-making today is like basketweaving was in the 70’s. It’s therapy!
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
The first time I heard about Etsy I was working with a client at my then day job who had just retired. He was so excited about this online jewelry shop he had opened & emailed me the link, mailed me a flyer & then mailed me a business card. I looked at his shop. He was making super high-end southwestern-style turquoise jewelry. That was what led me to Etsy – all I had to do was browse around for about 1/2 hour and I KNEW I could do it, too. Jenny M. Jewels was born! (I know, it’s not a very creative name, but I was drawing a blank and just wanted to get my shop set up so bad!)
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
I think everything about Etsy is unique. Even though it’s grown quite large, it still feels like a close-knit community. You build friendships, shopowners have respect for each other and their crafts. You get to know admin by first name. It’s such a diverse community, too. There are artists from all walks of life – every background you could imagine and an amazing range of skill and talent.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
My inspiration really comes from 2 sources. First, my own personal taste. I like simple jewelry. I also like a wide range of jewelry – from classic, simple pearls to hot pink huge earrings. A close runner up to personal taste is price. A big part of my own style is based on finding great deals – getting the biggest bang for my buck. I like to have a variety of jewelry to choose from without putting us into debt. I buy beads and other supplies based mostly on finding the best prices and buying in bulk. Then I sit down and just look at it all. I probably sit and look at beads ten times as long as I spend actually creating. If I can’t find a way to use something I’ve bought, if it doesn’t work for me, I sell it in my destash shop, Jenny’s Destash.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
Wow, I don’t know how I can possibly narrow it down. If we’re talking about best-sellers, then it would be my Flower Power bracelets – it takes quite a bit of time to make them, but I just love how light they are, and they go with almost anything. They’ve been very popular in my shop. If we’re talking about personal favorite, it has to be my wire wrapped rings. I love taking random, unmatched beads and wrapping them up. I have this huge chunky faceted aventurine nugget that I made into a ring – I wear it all the time. It’s not great quality, but it’s special to me – I think you can take even low quality stones and make them beautiful. They’re super affordable, but unique and so pretty in their own way.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I’ve got to tell you, I’m just thrilled that I’ve sold anything at all – I’m always amazed when something sells – it tells me people out there like what I do. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that you are filling a need. I also love passing on the savings that I find. I’m not in any hurry to jump back into a full-time job, so I’ll continue to run my shop just as I am now. I spend whatever free time I have creating, photographing, listing and filling orders. When my son goes to kindergarten in a couple of years it’s my hope that Jenny M. Jewels will really take off.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I always have tons of new creations in the works! I create a pretty wide range of jewelry, but I am planning on adding more hand-forged sterling to my shop. I have these awesome Mother’s Day necklaces I made for my mom and mother-in-law this year, and I’d love to bring them to my Etsy shop, Jenny M. Jewels.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
my Etsy shops are Jenny M. Jewels and Jenny’s Destash.
I’m pretty good about keeping up with my Facebook fan page – I post new listings and special offers on there often.
I very rarely tweet on Twitter, because my fan page tweets for me.
I have a blog, but I’ve definitely been neglecting it.