Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?I suppose I am a "jack of all trades", have tried my hand at many things, am a knitter, do kumihimi, Chinese knots, macramé and sew but my most favorite past time is making jewelry. I started out taking wire wrapping classes at the Art Center here in Dayton and ended up as an instructor in the Arise program. I continued classes and fell in love with metal clay for a while, dabbled in polymer, but always come back to wire. It's such a versatile media. I'm happy to learn the other things because I can use them all.
What is the story behind your shop name?I am pagan. Originally I wanted a target market of wiccans and needed a name that would mean something to that particular group. I also did not want something too witchy because it's scary to some people who do not know about nature based religions and think that Wiccans are devil worshipers so I I doodled around with earthy names and blue moons and fairy names and finally settled on Strega which is an Italian word for witch.
Who is your target market?When I started, I had a target market in mind, the metaphysical group who love natural stones and stone lore and pieces that reflected a certain spiritual inclination. Then, I grew outward from wire wrap and learned new things and had so much fun, I make all kinds of things. Now, I think that has changed and I target folks who like bold and unusual items, one of a kind.
Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?I LOVE finding or making a focal or beads and then dreaming up what I am going to do with them. I love sketching out a design and even if the idea falls apart and I have to back up and dream up something new, I love that part of it. I love finding the beads and wire components that fit together, rummaging through my stash for beads, browsing books or tutorials for links or components that will really set off a piece.
Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
Did you say "organize"? Wait, I may have to go look that word up.
What is your best seller?I sell more earrings than anything else. After that, I would have to say stone pendants.
How does your day go in general?I try to have a plan. I take care of my son's 3 boys while he works so I have to work around their schedule. Usually mornings are for "around the house" stuff. If I have pictures to take, or pieces that need hammering, I get them involved so I am not ignoring them. Even the 3 year old knows what to get when I say "I need the bench block, the chasing hammer and leather" and he can help if I am using a rubber hammer. They love doing things with me.
After lunch, when it is "rest period" I sketch or sort beads for a project work on my blog or list items. After they leave, it's me, my beads and wire. Not a lot of time but we work it out.
What inspires you?I'm inspired by the natural world, the colors, the stones, ancient stone lore and the general "feel" of a rock in my hand or the earth under my feet. I'm inspired by music some times. A song or tune will get stuck in my head and I will wonder what it would "feel" like if I put it to beads.
What is the key to success?Perseverance
What does handmade mean to you?
Hand made is time and energy and love all poured into creating something by one's self, or as much by one's self as possible. It's taking the time for details and not turning out pieces that look just like every one else's work.
What is your favorite quote, song, or movie?Apache proberb: make my enemy strong, so that if I am defeated, I need not be ashamed. My favourite song is Little Wing.
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