Monday, February 13, 2012

Give that way


A fellow blogger is hosting a give-away and I've submitted an item from each of my shops to the prizes! Go to Valerie's blog to see all the great things you could win!

The Handy Bag - Upcycled - Henna Tattoo Inspired

 ^^ Thank you Dianna, hope this bag finds you enjoying life in Idaho! ^^

Friday, February 3, 2012

Featured Seller : Janellery

I am pleased to introduce to you the newest featured seller of Etsy, right here on the Simply Natural Designs Blog! This young lady is full of life and energy which shows through in her unique creations. But before I give too much away, read on! And I hope you enjoy this interview half as much as I did!
Tell us about yourself and what you offer in your shop:

I am a 20 something want-to-do-it-all. Literally. I have my fingers in many pies and usually that results in some very interesting combinations. I’m currently in school for Interior Design. I did Improv, acting, singing, cake decorating, writing and piano (this one not very well). I took a fencing class, tennis and archery. I suppose so many things excited me! I wanted to experience, at least in small ways, as much as I could. I think I’m best described as a ‘Rabid Activity Monster’. I like the taste of life. Crunch. J So no, I am never bored. Some of my pies have not been as fully sampled as others. Beading just happens to be a pie that I completely demolished. Also I ate the spoon.  
Janellery is one of my more refined outlets of creativity. Jewelry making has made me a happy person. My store has offered everything from feathered hair clips to pendant necklaces to glass earrings. I adore acting so most of things I call ‘stage presence’. Meaning no one could miss you wearing them. My favorite thing to work with is feathers, hands down. There is something about the way they move and the way they combine with other materials. It’s a lovely thing. It is one of the neatest experiences to have someone buy a piece of my jewelry. To see it shipped across oceans and think ‘someone far, far, far away is wearing my stuff’.  It’s like they’re buying a part of my brain.  

How did you come up with your shop name?
My store name was not any cleverness of mine but that of my splendiferous brother in law. Bob (fondly known as ‘Bub’). When I first told him about opening up an Etsy account he exclaimed ‘Jewelry by Janelle! Janellery!’ The boy is a wonder. And so it stayed. I rather like it.

There Lived a Hobbit...
There Lived A Hobbit

How did you get started?

I’ve been beading from the dawn of time. False. But I’ve been beading since I became aware of such magical things called ‘bead shops’. One of my favorite things to do is run my fingers through JoAnne’s bead strands and chuckle like a content dragon.  The shimmer. Oh! the shine. I practiced and threaded and bead hunted till I bettered my beaded creations. I heard about Etsy from a friend and one day I took a few pictures and POW. Janellery was born.
Describe your style in as few words as possible:
Hmm. For my calmer pieces I think I’d call them ‘Slightly Vintage/Whimsy/ Curious’. My feather pieces I describe as ‘Can’t miss ‘em/ Aztec’.  J
What do you do when you’re not on Etsy or creating?

In my spare time I work at a used book store called Top Shelf Books. It is a lovely, magical place. BOOKS AND MORE OF THEM. I read like a fiend. I also fool about with my pet drum ‘TeleRudna’ and write. I. Adore. Writing. I am so blessed to have numerous hobbies. It means when my mom hides my drum I have a fall back plan. I run a small Open Mic every couple thurs nights. I plagued the people there with my scrawlings.
What is your favorite feature on Etsy? Why?

The Favorite button. And not just because it has a heart on it. Such a neat thing, to keep your favored items within your grasp. Rather like an Empress and her subjects. Except most of my favorite items are nowhere in my immediate access. Sigh. One can dream. 
Where do you draw your inspiration?

Nature. Books. The darker glints underneath bird’s wings. The gurgle right before the roar in a waterfall. Costumes. COLOR. Color most of all I think. I am a very visual person. I’ve seen many a friend politely grimace at my outfit. Some days it just feels right to be colorblind. Red sings to me, it has always been my favorite color. Most colors (the very pigmented ones) have a heartbeat, a tremor, a constant vibration that is weavable, stringable, wearable.
What is your best/most successful marketing strategy?

Word of mouth is underrated. I use it often. I have a Face Book page and my professors occasionally let me display my wares after class.
What handmade possession do you cherish?

My current favorite necklace was made by a very dear friend of mine. It was shocking and I mean that it the best of ways. She had taken words from a story I’d written and typed them out on small paper squares which she had hand stamped with red and black designs. She rolled the squares into long tube beads and strung them into a kind of Egyptian Bib Necklace. The beads were capped with black tears. My goodness gracious, it took my breath away. The sheer amount of time she put into it was stunning. And the personal touch brought me close to tears.
Do you have any advice for those thinking of becoming Etsy sellers?

Yes! Three things!
Expect to put a ton of time into it. When I first started out I was amazed how much time listing took. You have to be clever and cute and original. Let me tell you, does not come easy for most people. No sir.

Mad I Am (hair extension)
Mad I Am (hair extention)
Pictures are a selling point. No one wants to buy grain. So keep it out of your pictures. (I really hope someone gets that joke) But really, the amount of times I’ve wanted to buy something only to reject it because of picture quality is past number. People get nervous when they can’t see the product. When looking at the pictures ask yourself ‘would I buy that?’ 

Lastly, go all out. People like wild. People like confidence. Make that piece of jewelry or clothing the best it can be! Go for gold, or something like that.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards to running your own business?

Time, as always, is at fault. I wish I had more time to be on Etsy. The few snatched hours just never seem to be enough. There are always things to be listed, always descriptions to be updated and always marketing that could be done. You can’t do it all.
On the plus side the times I do sell are beyond exciting. I have pieces in California, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Czech Republic, Spain, and Texas. If I sold a million pieces tomorrow each and every one would have me pleased as punch.
What does handmade mean to you?

To me handmade means awe. I know most things aren’t robotically manufactured but Etsy still takes my breath away. People on there are creating ‘new things’, new ways of making things, selling things that were precious to past generations. Handmade means outlet. Handmade is an individual’s visual, careful statement of creativity.
Any last words?

‘I’ll be back’. Haha. Not. I’ve just always wanted to say that. Nothing but ‘Prosper and flourish you crafters!’ Enjoy Etsy. Enjoy any outlet of creativity you have on hand. They’re gifts.
Janelle - Creating force of Janellery
Be sure to check out Janelle's one-of-a-kind items in her shop at Janellery on Etsy! You can also find her on facebook!
Let me know your thoughts of this featured seller post; leave a comment and tell your friends!
Thanks - K

Do you have a unique Etsy seller who is working hard at their craft and small business that you would like to see featured here? Send me suggestions! You never know who just may show up featured!