Our Saturday Artisan this is week is Rhonda of Shadow Jewels. Come on, take a peek at her shop and you'll stay awhile admiring her beautiful jewelry collections. Looking for a perfect Holiday gift? She gets that covered.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
My name is Rhonda, but everyone calls me Shadow. I make vintage inspired and wire wrapped jewelry. I'm a nurse and a nature nut. I'm married, have two grown kids, and a house full of cats. I live near Los Angeles.
Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
Putting beads and rhinestones together in different ways to create something beautiful and unexpected, that keeps me interested in my craft. But even more than that, I love shopping for vintage beads and rhinestones, and finding rare old pieces to use. My favorite part of all is opening a package, and finding my vintage rhinestones in their original wrapper. I love the yellowed crackly paper, the warm musty smell, and the soft cotton batting that has kept the crystals safe through the years. And of course the labels are wonderful sources of information. It's always fun to be able to tell my customers exactly where their beads or rhinestones were made.
For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city?
When I go out, I don't head for the city, I run to the Sierra Nevada mountains. There is something so serene in the high lonely places, it touches my soul. I am drawn to the forests and giant trees of Sequoia National Park. The sweeping vistas, spring flowers, forest creatures, and the colors of nature through the changing seasons are my main sources of inspiration.
How does your day go in general?
Oh boy. Well, a couple of months ago we took in a stray mama cat. Someone had obviously dumped her when she was pregnant, and she was the skinniest, sorriest cat I have ever seen. It took a few days, but she finally grew to trust us enough to bring her kittens. They are growing up fast, and mama is fat and happy now. My days are filled with caring for them and playing blanket monster and paper ball.
What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
My dremel with the burr cup attachment. With this amazing little tool, you can remove the sharp bits from the end of a clipped wire, and make your own earrings. Brilliant!
How do you promote your shop?
First, I strive every day to improve my shop and make it the best it can be. I signed up for the Etsy emails, and read all of the tips they send us. It does no good to promote your shop if you only have a few tired items, poor quality photos, or bad tags and titles.
I mainly promote my shop through team activities. Making treasuries is great for promoting inside Etsy.
For off Etsy promotion, I use social networking. Facebook, twitter, my blog, and other sites around the web. Get the word out people! Shake your moneymaker!
Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!