Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Artisan: GirlyGirlBead

Meet this week Saturday Artisan: Michelle of GirlyGirlBead.

She is another super busy woman trying to juggling what life throws at her. Read on how she 'survives' the daily chaos.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I'm a working mom with two young girls - Fiona is almost 3 and Phoebe is 16 months. I've been married to my loving and supportive husband for 15 years this summer. I got interested in making jewelry about 10 years ago but have only recently decided to turn my occasional hobby into an actual business. I find my craft is very therapeutic and it helps me relax at the end of a busy day.

What is your favourite item in your shop?
My favorite item is probably the silver leaf earrings with picture jasper stones.

Or maybe the pearl and silver chain necklace.

Or maybe the hematite and red crystal earrings.

I guess I love all of it!. That's why I make it. If I don't love a piece, I won't list it for sale. But I really do want to keep those silver leaf earrings for myself. I may have to make another pair!

How does your day go in general?
My day is a constant rush and starts at 5:30am and I'm usually not in bed until 11pm or even midnight. I work full-time and then work on my Etsy shop, making jewelry, blogging, etc. in the evenings after the girls are in bed. Its exhausting but exciting and fun at the same time. To keep up with everything, I try to dedicate each evening to one task. One night I make new jewelry, another night is for social networking (blogging, reading blogs, Facebook, etc.), another night is for taking photos and doing listings, another night is dedicated to bookkeeping, etc.

What is your goal for 2010?
2010 is all about networking and fine-tuning my shop. I'm not expecting huge sales this year. That's for 2011! But I hope to have a established a good following and fan base by the end of the year. That's one reason I'm re-launching my blog. I'll be using it to post new design ideas and ask for feedback to help me fine-tune my designs so that I can best meet the needs and wants of my customers. Besides jewelry, I have two other addictions - the internet and shopping. So I'll be indulging both those passions as well in my blog. I plan to feature other Etsians, blogs, and unique retail stores too, like you do here on your blog.

During this recession time, tell us one thing that you do to save money?
Money has been so tight for us lately, not just because of the economy. The birth of our 2nd child has really put a strain on our finances. We've done so many things to try to cut costs and save money. The biggest thing has been to just stop eating out. We added it up one month and found we were spending hundreds each month on eating out between Starbucks, lunches, the occasional family dinners out and picking up fast food on the way home. By cutting back on dining out, we're saving money and eating better too.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's giveaway sponsored by Michelle! Perhaps you want to do your 'homework' by visiting her shop now :-) I have my favorite as below:


  1. Thanks for featuring me Nat! I just had to comment - the stones in those silver leaf earrings are labradorite, not picture jasper. I just recently sold the ones that used the picture jasper stones but have these with the labradorite in my shop now. I think I like this pair even more than the other ones!!

  2. Michelle, I love the way you photograph the jewerly. How do you go about taking pictures of your jewerly? -- Susan

  3. Thanks! This is about my 3rd try at trying to improve my photos. They are getting a lot better than when I first started, but still need some improvement.

    I'm generally not able to take my pictures outside in natural light. Its too hard to take pictures of my jewelry and be sure the girls aren't getting into trouble at the same time! So I use a homemade lightbox (a plastic file box turned on its side) and two 100w GE Reveal bulbs in gooseneck desk lamps and take my pictures at night after the girls are in bed. I still get some funny shadows in my pictures at times. I'm hoping to be able to buy a real lightbox and photo lights soon and maybe that will help eliminate the shadows.

  4. So sorry about the wrong picture, Michelle. That tells you that I'm such an amateur when we're talking about stones, beads or jewelries in general. :-)