First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
We are Ed and Sandy, a husband-and-wife team, collaboratively known as “Sunny Skies Studio”, who handfabricate sterling and gold jewelry. We play off each other’s ideas and designs to create jewelry that is fun and different.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
We have been making jewelry since 1975, when we quit our teaching jobs, bought a van, and started traveling the art show circuit across the US, selling our jewelry creations. It was a wonderful time to be traveling and seeing the country, from Florida to Washington state, during that earlier craft renaissance in the 70s and 80s. In 1986, we opened successful American craft galleries in Texas, which we sold in 2001 and moved to the northern coast of California.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
After selling on Ebay for several years and becoming disenchanted with the type of merchandise and customer there, we were looking for a new and better place to sell our creations. In June of 2007, we opened our Etsy store, “Sunny Skies Studio” after researching the web for an appropriate site for handcrafted items.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
There are a couple of very special things about Etsy. One, you are in such good company, with the shops of other talented artists, so it is a very nice environment to sell our work. And two, the customers are looking for handcrafted items and are respectful of the fact that you made the piece, with your own two hands. They appreciate what you do and often take the extra time to let you know how special they feel about a piece of jewelry they purchased from you.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
We are surrounded by nature here on our two acres…..small groves of redwoods, lots of fir trees, scads of birds, a sweet little bunny, occasionally a fox or skunk, the blue ocean stretched out to the horizon, the sunny sky above.
We are in a very special area of the northern California coast, called the “banana belt”, and we get very little of the fog that the coast is known for……hence, the name, “Sunny Skies Studio.” Surrounded by this natural beauty, we draw upon its forms and designs to incorporate into our work. We make lots of things with flowers and leaves….ear cuffs, earrings, rings. The beauty along with the peace and quiet are wonderful inspirations.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
In 2006, I was given a very dire, life-threatening diagnosis (fortunately incorrect). One amazing aspect of the situation was the depth of my access to creativity. I picked up a piece of abalone shell that I had found on our local beach, and in one evening created my favorite piece of jewelry of all time….a pendant/necklace using spiral swirls as prongs to hold this freeform abalone against a reticulated sterling background that looked like sand. It just formed itself, the whole piece, and I was just the conduit for its creation, which was an amazing experience in itself.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
We try to create jewelry that is different, that is well-made and comfortable, and that people will enjoy wearing. It is fun to send our pieces all over the world, knowing that someone in Australia, or Istanbul, or Brazil, or Germany, or many other places around the world might be wearing our jewelry on that day.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
Lots of ideas on the drawing board. New earrings in the works. I worked on one-of-a-kind ear cuffs with unusual dangles this afternoon that will be listed soon. Designing more gold-filled pieces in ear cuffs and earrings to affordably expand our work for those who just wear gold. And unique rings and pendants, made with wonderful stones that we have collected over the past 35 years. Stay tuned….lots of new stuff on the way.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
We have a periodic newsletter for our customers to let them know about special discounts, free shipping events, new designs and pieces, and general Sunny Skies Studio information. They can sign up by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and giving me an email address where they would like to receive the newsletter.