First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am the creator of Pure Rox Jewels. I am a middle child (with the syndrome) to parents who have been married for over fifty years, aunt to two nieces, both only children (think of their syndrome), call myself step mom to three grown kids (they call me their Dad’s wife) and five grandchildren soon to be six (they call me Dodie) and married to the knight in shining armor (that only needs an occasional polishing). I lived in six different states from birth to the beginning of high school. That must have affected me emotionally because I am a total nester and love being home. The knight loves travel and has trouble sitting for six seconds in a row. We spend winters in Las Vegas, Nevada (actually Henderson, but people are more impressed with Las Vegas)and visit a winter home in Bend, Oregon and San Diego, California and summer in the San Juan Islands, Washington. So much for nesting because there are also many trips in between house stays.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
I have always been crafty and attracted to the arts. I have been blessed to not have to work to support myself for the last ten years. That is about the time I began messing around with making jewelry. I made things and gave them out as gifts. I am so embarrassed now at the work I gave out thinking it was kind of cool. I finally got the picture and noticed people would actually wear what they were given and I began getting requests from their friends. I still have an occasional, “that’s not what it looked like in my head”, but I now have a self test that happens before any product leaves my work room. Whatever, I make, if it is not a custom order that the client approves, sits in my shop for three or four weeks. If I still like it after this time, I will put it up for sale. I use to ask my husband what he thought about new pieces but instantly found out he’s like asking your mom, full of praise and support but not always truthful or realistic.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I sold my work through jewelry parties and word of mouth for several years. I finally braved up and started a website. Not being very up on social networking it wasn’t very active. In October of last year I opened my first Etsy shop, Pure Rox Jewels. I had stumbled on Etsy about two years earlier while searching for glass lamp work bead artists on the internet. All these Etsy sites would pop up at the top of the search page. I fell in love with the site. I would sit for a couple hours at a time and just go through the site. You can find so many neat and unusual things and it helps to see what other people in my field are doing and not doing. I didn’t really consider opening a store because I just thought it was so vast, no one would ever find me. I had several jewelry artists I would check in on from time to time and watch their sales. I periodically stopped into the forums and listened to how people were marketing their shops and finally figured if they could do it there was room for one more artist on the site.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
Etsy is the baseball field from the movie Field of Dreams. Where Kevin Costner hears that voice that says “build it and they will come.” People come to Etsy, regardless of my shop. My job is made is easier because potential customers are now in the area. Etsy offers reasonably priced promotional spots that make it easier to find a shop and there are little tricks to help get noticed like listing your items often so you are closer to the beginning of a search list. There is tons of free advice and help from the site and other members. It keeps track of how many people look at your items and offers an attractive easy to use venue for my customers.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
I think about what I want to make as new pieces mostly at times when I can’t create. Like in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep but am lazy enough not to get up, when I am traveling or in traffic and when my husband is telling me about boring things and I am suppose to be listening. But what gets me going most is to get into my work room and check out the actual components I have and be around my stuff. It is then that I kind of lay ideas out and put color schemes together. Organization is not one of my gifts, so all my beads, silver pieces and stones are spread on every flat surface in my work room. It actually really stimulates me to see all my choices in front of me when creating. I get blocked when I don’t have a lot of different selections to sort through. Generally, when I get going, I go on work binges and make quite a few items at a time.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
I can only make things that I myself would wear. From a selling point that can be considered as not so good because I tend to have a color pallet that I constantly generate towards that may leave some peoples tastes out. However, I have been told by another artist that she makes some things that she is not crazy about but people like them and they sell. That is great for others but it is not in me to do that. On Etsy you have to be open to doing custom work quite often which is just usually modifying a piece you have already so I haven’t had to make anything that I am not crazy about. So being a little snobby, I always like what I make (after the test and usually instantly) but right now I have been wearing one of my “a lot going on” bracelets as a favorite.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I am encouraged constantly to open a brick and mortar store. Now, I am a relatively shy, nonsocial butterfly, can be recluse, it is very difficult for me to approach people and rejection kills me. Remember, I mentioned that Etsy keeps track of how many people have looked at your one of your items. I get several hundred looks on some items. Sometimes like 700-800. I cannot imagine sitting in my little store having that many people walk in and out and not buy something. I love that people can come into my shop at any time and buy something or not. I am not affected personally through the website. When traveling, I load up all my stuff and if someone buys something I can ship it from where ever I am. And since I usually make quite a few things at a time, I can list new items even though I am traveling. Basically, an online store is a dream come true for me. My focus now is too increase sales through the social network media (yikes, but I am going to try, I just got a face book page but I still am trying to figure out how that whole thing works).
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
In the last month I have gotten in a variety of large semi-precious briolette made special for me and I am starting to put those on the site. I am also working on some custom sterling charms but that process has just started so it will be a couple months before those will be introduced.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, face book, etc)?
My Etsy sites.
I have a website.