First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Julie and I live in a cool town right in the middle of California. I am the mother to two young boys, ages 1 and 3. I stay home with them during the day while my husband keeps bad guys in check. At night I teach English as a Second Language at our local adult school. I love my students and my night job. I love travel, learning about new cultures, anything outdoors, and of course, crafting! Two years ago I started my Etsy shop, juliethefish designs. These days I spend every “free” moment working on orders and designing new pieces for the shop.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
During college I loved to hang out at the downtown bead store and make earrings and other fun things. I still make beaded jewelry for myself and friends, but my Etsy shop juleithefish designs is full of hand stamped custom creations. My passion for hand stamping jewelry began a few years ago. A friend of mine had a simple hand stamped pendant with her son’s name on it. I really liked it and thought, “Maybe I can do that!” I purchased the supplies I needed and got started. Things have changed a lot since those early days of practice. Now I have over 200 different designs at juliethefish designs.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
A couple years ago I was reading a friend’s blog and she had an Etsy mini on her blog that displayed items from her Etsy shop. I clicked and was introduced to the world of Etsy! I was amazed that there was a website specifically for buying and selling handmade. I was hooked!
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
Etsy is a fabulous for its support of artists. Giving artists a way to show and sell their work is a terrific asset. I love how easy it is to browse around Etsy. There are so many different ways to shop, even by color!
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
I am inspired by my amazing customers. Because all of my pieces are custom made, I get to hear a lot about my customers’ occasions for giving. I love to hear their stories and learn about their lives. I appreciate that they share part of themselves with me; it helps me connect with them and create a perfect piece for each person.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
I love so many pieces for different reasons. One of my favorites is the hand stamped square name necklace. I’m energized by the process of making this piece. I start with a slab of sterling silver. I love cutting, filing, and molding the piece into shape. It makes me excited to see the end result.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
Like most Etsy shop owners, I would love to be the Featured seller on Etsy’s front page some day. Until then I hope that I can continue my current momentum…creating new designs, marketing them, and building my customer base.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
Of course! I’m always working on new designs. Mixed metal is really popular right now, so there are some new mixed metal designs that will hit the shop soon. I also have a really cool thick brass bangle that I’m working on. I’m excited to introduce that to my shop as well.