Saturday, April 30, 2011

Interview by KimberlyNoland

'm sharing the love to some on my favorite Etsy shops! Check out my custom handmade dress shop at

Fresh Spring Crystal Jewelry at MagdaleneJewelsApril 26, 2011 //4

Explain your shop and what you sell.Actually I have two shops on Etsy MagdaleneJewels The shop consists of all one of a kind pieces of jewelry – all created and designed by myself, Pamela Baker.

My other shop consists of hand crocheted items, such as baby sweaters, dresses, hats, maryjanes, scarfs, neckwarmers, and fingerless gloves.

How did you get started?Often when I would go into a boutique shop I would see a piece of jewelry and think to myself – “I could make that”. Many of the pieces I would wind up making for myself; and when a friend would see it and asked where I got it from – I would just give it away. Then I started creating pieces as gifts for friends or myself. A friend suggested that I should sell my jewelry (which was something I had never even thought about). She was selling quilts on Etsy and suggested I look into opening my own shop.

What are your inspirations?I have always been into music, and very often there may be a song which becomes a part of me or my life and consumes my whole being. The Beatles music and philosophy have had a great influence in many of my pieces. Since I always have music playing, I often will hear a song and in my mind I begin to visualize certain colors and designs – hence a creation comes forth.

Is selling on Etsy your full time job?I stopped working 7 years ago, unfortunately having to go on disability. I never look at designing my jewelry as a job, nor do I have a set goal on how much I should sell or be selling. I view my work as an extension of myself and my creativeness.

What are your favorite materials or colors to use?Looking at my shop, one can tell that I primarily work with Swarovski Crystals. I love the colors that evolve as the light shines through each piece. My favorite colors that I work with are pinks, reds (Siam), black, and various colors of purple. I love things that are very feminine.

Explain your design process from idea to completion.I honestly never know what I am going to create when I start. When I go into the bead shop where I buy my crystals – a certain color may catch my eye and I will buy various sizes (mm) of that color. From there I let the crystals talk to me; then I will lay out all the beads and visualize what I wish to make – that being a pair of earrings, necklace, and bracelet. From there I decide what will enhance each piece, whether it is a crystal in a contrasting color, Bali beads, pearls, or seed beads. Once that is all assembled, I begin to let my thought process take over and design a creation that often reflects my own personality.

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?I do a few craft shows each year, which are always seasonal. There are two particular shows I do at Christmas, and a few during the Spring and early summer. In fact, I have a show coming up in a few weeks, which does take a lot of planning and preparation.

What’s your best/most successful marketing strategy?Showing my work on Facebook has been a tremendous help in marketing my jewelry. I have gotten many requests for custom items from someone seeing a certain piece. Also, I highly recommend if you are on Etsy to do Treasury’s. Often a shop that you may have featured will in turn feature a certain piece from your shop which gets you a lot of exposure. Also, I love doing YouTube Videos of the many Treasuries I have made. I also have done YouTube videos of pieces within both my shops and emailed them to friends, which has gotten me many custom orders. Besides making the videos, I try to find the perfect music to enhance the pieces from the Treasury being featured. This is a link to my Channel of a video honoring John Lennon.

Do you have any business regrets?None, as again I don’t consider what a do as a business, but purely enjoyment.

What’s your best selling item and why?My favorite piece is my necklace “The Rose” from the song by Janis Joplin. It truly exemplies my personality. Since each piece is a one-of-a kind design, it is hard to define which would be my best selling item. In my shop I feature “personalized” bracelets. Just within the past 1 ½ yrs I have sold over 40 custom bracelets – each according to the color requested and the name. One can see different samples of the bracelets in the adjoining photos to the original shown HERE

What’s your favorite product and why?
I love to work with the Swarovski Crystals because of the beauty of its colors which are always enhanced when worn in a certain light.

What’s the hardest part of running your own business?Because all my pieces are my own creations and designs, I do find that every once in a while I experience a
“brain freeze”, or as you say a “rut”. When this happens I take time to work on my crocheting and knitting for a while for my other shop:

What advice would you give to people starting their own shop?Believe in yourself and your work, the rest will fall into place. If you are new to Etsy, I highly recommend that you join a team similar to what you are selling or your interests. I have made many dear friends from the different teams I have joined.

What are your upcoming shop goals?As in both shops, one has to be aware ahead of time of the upcoming seasons and Holidays. As each season evolves I move around my pieces to coordinate with that season. As of now I am showcasing a lot of “wedding” pieces and light colors for Spring and Summer.

What does handmade mean to you?To me handmade should be items that are the creation and design made personally by the owner of a particular shop. I find that what one puts into their work reflects in each piece they exhibit in their shops. I often find many shops that indicate “homemade” items, that are items being resold (using the term Vintage).

Who do you admire professionally?I truly admire many of the artisans I have met here on Etsy, one who can take a piece of clay and create a beautiful flower; many of my yarns are from a seller who shears her own sheep, spins and hand dyes her own yarns; another friend here on Etsy makes their own metals from the melting process to the most beautiful pieces of artwork. To me these are true “artisans”!

How do you get out of your creative ruts?As I mentioned earlier, when I find I am creatively in a rut, I put my work away, turn up my music and start working on another project, such as my quilting, drawing, crocheting, and knitting.


A Few of My (Kim) Favorite Pieces I think I’m a little bias to the extra sparkly pieces, but her shop has such a great range of options for every occassion!

***Visit Kimberly blog to see some more great and indepth interviews with some of our other Etsy artists! /

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