First off, tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Lola. I’m 31 and live in northeast England. I was born and raised in North Carolina but fell in love with a gorgeous Englishman when I was in college and he imported me after we were married in 2003.
In a past life, I was a high school teacher, but I now work in learning and development for a local council, which I enjoy tremendously. When I’m not at work, I’m either on the phone with my mom, baking something, working on my Etsy shop, attempting to train my beautiful but stubborn lurcher-girl, or pestering my husband to find out when the next episode of Mad Men is on telly (Don Draper = swoon).
How and when did you start making jewelry?
I’ve always been making jewellery. My grandparents have a couple of home furnishing stores back home and I practically grew up there as it was a true family business. As a result, I spent a fair chunk of my childhood turning office products, fabric swatches, and electronics supplies into jewellery (much to the chagrin of the staff!).
I rediscovered jewellery-making a few years ago. I bought a pretty velvet blazer to wear to a wedding and couldn’t find a necklace to match, so I decided to find a bead shop and see if I could make something myself. I haven’t stopped working with (or buying!) beads since.
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I first heard about Etsy a couple of years ago when some women on a message board I used to frequent started discussing their favourite beauty products. It seemed like everyone was buying their lip balm and soap from Etsy, so I checked out the site and the rest is history!
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
I like that Etsy allows sellers the opportunity to personalise their shops. There are some absolutely fantastic little shops on there that truly feel like mini-boutiques with their great banners, stunning photography, excellent product descriptions, and interesting seller profiles.
With regard to my own shop? Honestly? I like that it pushes me to work hard! I’m always striving to take better photos, create more unique jewellery, and present an attractive and inviting shop to Etsy’s buyers.
My very, very favourite thing is seeing that a buyer is brand new to Etsy and has chosen my shop for their first purchase. To me, that’s the ultimate compliment!
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
I’m not one of those people who sketch designs out ahead of time, so this really depends on my mood. Some days, I can sit down at my desk, take a look at my beads, and immediately get to work on a new piece as the beads will have given me inspiration.
Other days, it’s about the weather. There’s a big window beside my desk and I’ve noticed that my jewellery tends to mimic whatever’s going on outside. If we’ve had days and days of rain, I’ll work with a lot of blues, greys, and purples. Bright, sunny, warm days mean I’ll be working on colourful or floral-inspired designs.
Most important is music. I have a touch of synaesthesia – sounds are colours for me, so some songs just *are* colours in my head. I’ve been working on a new collection for a couple of weeks and it’s inspired by a song – Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter”.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
The Carnivale earrings are probably my favourites to date. I just sat down and whipped them up one afternoon and they were snapped up by a repeat customer within minutes – she’d been looking for earrings to match a new top and they were perfect, so I was thrilled to a) have her return to my shop and b) find exactly what she wanted. Plus, I just thought they were really pretty earrings!
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I’ll hit my one-year Etsy anniversary on 10 August, so I’m pushing to hit 225 sales by then. I’m also working on some SEO, but I’m pretty clueless in that department, so it’s always going to be a work in progress, I suspect!
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I’m always working on something new – I try to create something every day if at all possible, so there’s usually a new piece in my shop every morning.
I have two UK-exclusive collections coming out on some non-Etsy venues in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for details!
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
I announce giveaways and sales on Twitter (@WeeSparrow).
I also have a little blog which I’m trying to spend more time on. I’d like to start doing more features on other Etsy artists and also incorporate a bit more about my everyday life there, but honestly, I’m not sure that anyone wants to read about my latest batch of cupcakes or my never-ending quest to fit into a smaller pair of jeans (which I realise could be directly related to my latest batch of cupcakes!)