First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m the creator of the Etsy shop The Passionate Pearl. I was born in Lyon, France into a large and creative family and lived there until I was 20. From a very young age I had a lot of fun using my creativity specially connected with color. It seemed like the thing to do in my family! My mother was an artist and always creating something with her hands, she loved museums and would spend hours there with us…to this day I still cannot spend much time in a museum even though I am grateful now for the education I got at that time. My siblings were and still are all involved in art in some fashion or another. I was a fairly good artist when quite young and sometimes teachers didn’t believe I did it myself.
I moved to Biot (a small village in the hills between Cannes and Nice) in the South of France, after a wonderful Art School in Lyon where I learned many crafts such as pottery, painting, jewelry, drawing, basket weaving etc… In Biot I worked for Denis, an Iraqi/French Silversmith for the next two years. Denis jokingly called me his slave…but it wasn’t so far from the truth! He would go sailing and leave me in the “Atelier” Studio doing all the work. He taught me a lot. He was a good and patient teacher. These were my hippie years and I walked barefoot everywhere, except while on my moped and at work.
There I met my husband David, an artist, and we both started painting in the kitchen of our little apartment we rented. At an Art Supply Store in Cannes I picked up some paints for materials, which really was the beginning of my Painting on Silk business (JG Silks) for the next 15 years. I lived in CA, VT, NYC and then Boston where I have been for quite a few years. I then started a Porcelain Studio in my basement and dove into that 100%. I did that for a while, but because of health issues, I had to stop. Yes I have done all kinds of crafts and have enjoyed every one of them. It still seems that my forte has always been and is still color. I loved in art school to do a study with 2 or 3 colors and come out with 50 more as a result…Paul Klee type of paintings with little squares of colors making all together a painting. When I worked with Denis in France the only real pleasure I had was adding color to the boring silver metal by setting stones on rings, bracelets etc.
How and when did you start making jewelry and your other items?
A few years back I was looking for some earrings to match an outfit and couldn’t find it anywhere…so I went to the bead store and got a few supplies, that was how my jewelry business started. I had made earrings and necklaces with my 3 daughters for fun over the years, but until the bead store that day, there never was a real desire to do jewelry. I became obsessed with beads and silver and still am in many ways. I am a “real person” very honest with how I feel and how I see things and I couldn’t do jewelry with plated or fake anything. At this time, I would love for example to use artificial Swarovski pearls which come in all these beautiful colors, but because of who I am I just can’t and have to have the real thing. I love to work with the good quality, the different shapes, the luster and colors of a Freshwater pearl. For example most people like novels, I love “real stories”…things that happened and that people didn’t make up! “Pierre De Lune Designs” was the name of my business but eventually I had to change it because I wasn’t using that many moonstones (Pierre de Lune) and because no one here in the US could pronounce it. When I started on Etsy, I had to come up with another name.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I was at the Apple Store doing a One to One Class working on my website, when the guy who was helping me said to me: “You need to try Etsy!” It took a while but I finally started this past January. The Passionate Pearl is the name my husband and I came up with and I think it’s perfect for me. I am a very enthusiastic and passionate person by nature and do everything 100%, no in between! I love pearls and working with them and love how they are formed in the shell they come from.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
I loved Etsy right away! I just think Etsy is the greatest thing! I am so grateful for whoever put this idea into reality. It’s so awesome to be connected with all these other artists who do original things. You can connect with any of the shops and just ask questions. People have been so kind and good to me. Doing what I do can be very isolating and it’s so great to be holding hands together to make it all work. Every week we receive articles that help us with our business, it’s amazing. I can actually tell people I have a shop online. They look at me a little crooked but if they visit it, they are actually impressed. It’s a lot of work, it’s constant but I now have 100 items for sale in my The Passionate Pearl shop! The hardest thing is the photos aspect…I have taken so many digital photos since January, it’s not even funny. I have a hard time keeping up. I am grateful for digital photos as you can add them or delete them at will.
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
What inspires me the most are color combinations and shapes. When the right colors come together it’s just the best and it makes my heart leap! I love the shine and color of silver and think it makes pearls and stones absolutely stand out. I love when the right combination comes together – It sometimes takes me hours to put a necklace together…just have to work on it until it’s right. Music and Nature inspire me also, I just can’t get enough of watching the ocean, sunsets, birds and flowers and am always amazed at God’s amazing creativity which we all inherited in some fashion.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
What a hard thing to answer…that’s not an easy answer at all. Maybe my favorite piece is a Blue & Green Pearl Necklace http://www.etsy.com/listing/39429107/hand-knotted-blue-freshwater-pearl
It’s nothing extraordinary, but all of me went into it. Picking the magnificent pearls, having them be all round & in 3 different sizes and then hand knotting with 100% blue silk. Wow that was an experience. I also love the contrast of the Silver Round Toggle Shiny Clasp with the shiny darker pearls. It’s a one of a kind piece because I don’t have any more of the middle size pearls for now anyway. I love the fluidity and lightness of it, and it looks like the ocean colors on a clear day. I love the ocean, one of my favorite things being going for a long walk on a beautiful deserted beach. I love nature.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
To be honest with you, I wish I could just create new pieces everyday and not have to deal with all the administration part of the business. I have a very vivid imagination and Painting, Pottery, Jewelry have always been an outpost for them. I also get dreams about new pieces. God gives me designs and color combos in my dreams sometimes. He is the ultimate Creator.
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I have all design ideas running through my head all the time. I listen to beautiful soothing classical music or instrumental mostly, some of it Christian and they all make my spirit come alive. I believe we artists are right brain people and more in touch with our spirit than others. That’s where it all lies! I can’t really say I just have one particular piece coming, it all comes together at the right time. They are all there hanging in the balance waiting for me to have the time to make them. Often my pieces are being created right on the spot when I shop for Freshwater Pearls or Semi Precious Stones.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
I have a website which explains a little more about me and my Jewelry.
I also have a Facebook Group called The Passionate Pearl.
Right now I only sell on Etsy and all shipping is free. I used to sell on my own website but with the Etsy shop it became more