Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Abbey - Unplugged!!!

It's interview time!!! My first seller interview/product review will be posted THIS WEEKEND!!! I know that you guys are really excited to start learning about awesome products and wonderful sellers, so your wait is almost over!!! The only thing is - I'm all about the 'never have someone do something that you wouldn't do yourself.' So, I am going to bite the bullet and answer the interview questions myself.... So you guys get to pick my brain first, then score the scoop on other talented etsians...

Here goes...

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

I enjoy designing my jewelry. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of something non-art related, and a design will just come to me. At that point, I'm gone - I have to stop what I am doing and sketch out my idea. I love seeing my thoughts drawn out on paper. I think the hardest part for me, is just finding the right balance between home life and work life. When you work in your home, it's very easy to let the two overlap each other, but at some point you have to set those boundaries.

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

I find inspiration in a lot of things. Right now I am very big on the 4 seasons and have different jewelry collections based on each one (Spring Renewal, Endless Summer, Autumn Splendor and Winter Fantasy). I also believe in giving to others and designed a jewelry collection with proceeds going to domestic violence prevention. The inspiration for that collection came from a lot of different things: past personal experience, an art card created by the wonderful etsians nadine and kathleen, , and a bible verse that helped me in my own situation - " bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes...and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..." Isaiah 61:3

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

My favorite item is the 'I am my only hope' necklace from lionessden, . I suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of my second child. It took 3 different doctors 6 months to diagnose me, by that point it was so severe that I took matters into my own hands and was able to get the treatment I needed. And now, almost 4 years later, I can look back on that and say that if I hadn't done something about it, who knows where I would be in my life right now. I bought this necklace for my girlfriend that suffers from depression and is suicidal. I gave it to her and said, "Look, you are the only person that can save you. We can help you, and we can be here for you, but you have to want to be here, you have to want to be alive."

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

My 'Breast Blossom earrings for a cure', . I made them for the September Challenge and the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

The cassette tape necklace from goblingblinggo, !!! I have been drooling over this thing since I joined Etsy!!! It is amazing!!!

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best non-etsy advice I received was from my mom. When I was dating my now husband, she told me not to marry him just because I loved him, but to marry him if I could be committed to him. Love is just a feeling and as such, it is often fleeting, but when you commit yourself to someone, you are choosing to love them, even if at times the 'feeling' is not there. Almost 5 years later, our marriage is going strong. It's not perfect by any means, but we aren't afraid. We never have to hide anything from each other, we can argue and fight truthfully, sometimes almost painfully, we can be separated for days, months and even years (yay Army, Hooah!!! lol) and not worry about infidelity, because it is not being in love that keeps us together (although that part is nice), it is our genuine commitment to each other.

The best business advice I received was from my dad (he owns his own business). He told me, "Kiddo, you're not just selling stuff, you're selling you." And he's right. As artists/artisans, we create who we are. When you sell something to someone, you aren't just selling stuff, you are selling a piece of what makes you 'you.' So get to know your customers, talk with them, develop relationships with them, afterall, you are selling your creation, your idea, your talent, your love of whatever it is that you do!!!

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Your online customers don't get to meet you face to face, so customer service online needs to be more prominent than that in a B&M store. Answer your convo's in a timely manner, check up on customers, deliver the items when you say you will and be sure to follow-up. Don't forget to leave feedback!!!

8.How do you promote your work?

I'm on Craigslist, I have a window cling on my car (lol), I try to talk to as many people as possible, I pass out business cards, I do give aways, I send out promos, I am starting to do craft fairs and shows, I am doing the Little Black Box in December!!! I just try to get my name out there as much as possible. Oh, and if you ever want to read it, I have a blog too ;)

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I have 3 kids, all 5 and under - so most of my time is spent mothering. Other than that, I love to read. I read anything I can get my hands on - newspapers, books, magazines - if someone recommends an article or anything, I will find it and read it!!! I started and instructed an independent open color guard before we moved, so to keep my skills sharp I continue to practice between a few hours a day to a few hours a week (depending on time), I also write and design color guard shows to any songs that catch my attention. I'm also a writer and jot down anything that comes to mind, I'm currently writing a book and trying to get my poetry published. I went to school for a journalism degree, so I guess it just comes naturally to me. I also have OCD (lol, I know), so I spend a lot of time organizing and re-organizing my house!!!

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I found Esty when I googled an item I was interested in purchasing. The very first listing was for MaryMo's etsy shop, . I had never even heard of Etsy before that!!! I have been making crafts, jewelry, clothing, etc, for years, sewing since elementary school. I also had been making items for my family and friends for awhile. I liked the look and idea of Etsy, so I decided that it would just be the logical next step in my life.

11.How would you describe your shop?

My shop is. To me, it just 'is.' It is what I love to make, which is luxe jewelry and gorgeous accessories. I would also describe my shop as an ever changing extension of myself. I am always changing and striving to do and be better. My shop image and items change with me. Today I am sewing makeup bags, tomorrow I might make wallet chains, and the day after? Who knows!!! I like to keep my items fun, practical, and just plain brilliant!!!

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

Right now I am trying to get ready for my FIRST craft show (yay), so I am producing a lot of my pocket mirror pouches, but I am also making new items that won't be available in my etsy shop yet, like tote bags, makeup bags and clutches. As far as something I would like to learn - I really would love to learn how to bind books. I think that beautifully hand bound books are just gorgeous and luxurious!!!

~Well, there you have it!!! A little about me, my life and what it is that makes me tick... If you ever want to know anything else, just ask!!!

A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I loved reading your answers, Kimberly. There is such a personable feel to your writing.