Saturday, June 18, 2011
Saturday Artisan: Jewelry By J
Meet Janelle of Jewelry By J, our Saturday Artisan.
Oh how I dream to live where she lives, where the weather is gorgeous most of the times. But the fact that we still can go there for a vacation and enjoy it as tourists is a blessing. I love where I am now but I just with it doesn't rain much, like today.
Read on and find out more about Janelle.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I love arts and craft! I of course make my jewelry! It started off seeing a necklace in a store that was ridiculously expensive for silver metal and fake pearls. I thought to myself, " i can make that!". A friend of mine was making jewelry and I asked for her guidance. A month later, i made my fancy pearl necklace out of sterling silver and real pearls for about the same price! I was hooked!
Going into boutique stores, you see a lot of over priced jewelry, and that's not what I am about. I wore the above necklace to work and everybody loved it and wanted their own. So I started branching out. I only want to wear real stuff but don't want to pay boutique prices, so that's what I stick to - sterling silver, gold filled, occasionally copper since the latter two are getting so expensive, semi-precious stones - at affordable prices.
But besides that, I make all the earring and necklace cards my jewelry comes on and hand stamp every gift box. I also make greeting cards for personal use =) I had to stop myself from starting to scrap book, since that was getting to be an expensive hobby!
Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I love coming up with new designs and trying things out. It gets my creative juices flowing. The designs don't always work themselves out, but sometimes it leads to unexpected things.
For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city?
We live in southern california - its very nice! The weather is beautiful most of the time and there's so much to do within driving distance! Of course, there's Disneyland, Santa Monica pier (picture attached), Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm; but there's also a lot of great hiking (to the hollywood sign) and beautiful beaches to hang out at.
Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I store everything in separate baggies. All the wires go in one box and are stored in order of their thickness. All my findings are stored in separate baggies and then stored together in a larger bag by sterling or gold filled. And last but not least, all my stones are sorted by color so I can easily find colors together.
What is your best seller?
My best sellers usually rotate. Right now it's between the circle trio necklace and the silver hoop with quartz earrings. My best seller this past christmas time was the custom name necklaces.
How does your day go in general?
It's pretty boring. i wake up early, check my email, try to get myself to work out and then get ready for work.
How do you balance your personal and work life?
That's tough. I try to rotate. I'm a little obsessive when it comes to doing what I love, so I have to make sure to make time for everything. If I'm making jewelry, I tend not to work out because making jewelry is the first thing I think of when I work out. So I usually have to not even start with the jewelry making until after I've worked out. Same goes for reading (my other favorite passion!).
Do you have a favourite Etsy seller?
There are just too many! I love everyone's creativity and the stuff all the shops carry are quite amazing!
What inspires you?
i love classic things with a twist. I think everybody loves being different and a little off trend. I think that my jewelry reflects that. While they are pretty and classic there's always a slight twist to them so that they aren't 100% classic. Also, the stones and the material themselves inspire me. Sometimes just looking at a stone tells me what to do with it and which metal to pair it with. Of course, I'm always open to suggestions.
What is your goal for 2011? And are you on the right track?
I am hoping to make 50 sales in my etsy shop. I think I'm on the right track, considering I just opened about a month or so ago. =) I think the most thrilling thing was to sell something to someone I didn't know at all.
What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
My husband! does he count? He's so supportive, I cannot even begin to tell you! He takes all my photo's and he provides feedback from the male perspective. I think sometimes women tend to go a little out there in design for our own accessories and he sort of reigns me back in.
How do you promote your shop?
I have a Blog and Facebook.
I joined a lot of teams on etsy and promote on each of them
I wear all my own jewelry - that's how I initially got all my sales.
Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
It's a lot more work than i thought - especially the promoting! But don't give up and push through. If you have a good product, it will happen, it just takes time!
Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?
I try to buy everything on sale or in bulk. I just bought 250 shipping envelopes because they were cheaper the more i bought. Little did I know how much that really was! The box was 9 lbs!!! I'm running out of room to store all my shipping supplies!