Through my etsy networking I've met some friendly artists, who like me, are trying to turn a fun hobby into a paying venture. Every month I will feature one here and use an interview format. It might be a little rough at first, as I am not a trained journalist, but ha! I have some great vicarious experience to draw on :-) thank you Sleyed!
Shi, a jewelry designer who joined etsy about the same time I did, kindly volunteered to be my first interview subject.
My favorite piece from Shi: The Beauty Within, A Multi-
Gemstone Chakra Pendant. It's made with garnet, fossil stone, yellow jade, unakite, sodalite, amethyst, and quartz. The pendant is wrapped with sterling silver wire and priced very well at only $25.
1) How long have you been making jewelry, and how did you get started?
I started making jewelry after a combination of things happened to me, a car accident that left me with a back injury and homebound for awhile that I had to find a hobby, next my favorite bracelet broke then began my jewelry repairing and creating venture almost 4 years ago.
2) Is it your full-time job? If not, what do you do for a living and what strategies do you use to manage both?
I could only wish I could commit all of my time to my jewelry. During the day I’m a loan clerk at a local credit union and during the night I’m a wife, mom (of twin 16 year old boys) , a human pet to 2 Great Danes and 3 cats, then last but not least a jewelry designer. Between work and my family the only time I have really to work on my jewelry is after everyone is in bed. Then it’s “me” time, I turn off the tv, put on my favorite music then let the creative juices flow.
3) How did you first find out about etsy?
I heard about Etsy after reading a post in “Crafty Vixens” on Tribe.net. I used to sell on the other “E” site, but I wanted a more personal venue to sell my wares in.
4) You work with semi-precious gems and silver, so I'd guess that's your favorite material. Am I right? Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you've made? If so, tell me more about it.
You’re right, it is my favorite material to work with and wear. With so many color choices in the gemstones I can make anything to go with whatever outfit I have. My favorite piece is something that I have just recently created using a Goddess charm that I’m waiting for a copyright on. While I was listening to a new release by my favorite band, Woodland, I had a sort of vision for this necklace. After I made it, I posted it for the band to see….well they loved it and asked if I could make two for the lovely women in the band. It’s kind of a proud mama moment…I was honored.
5) What do you like most about making jewelry?
Honestly I truly enjoy the creative outlet that it offers. I like learning about the healing properties in the stones then creating a piece with those properties in mind.
6) What, if anything, is frustrating about it?
I think the most frustrating part is just not being able to dedicate the time that I would like to it. I’m envious of the people that can do that, but I’m also happy that they’re in a place that allows them to have that freedom. It’s always wonderful when our dreams come true. In time mine will come true too.
7) Finally, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by music, my dreams, the natural beauty of the stones that I work with, but mostly the beauty, both inside and out, in the women that I'm blessed enough to have in my life.
Sea Breeze Earrings - Another wonderful piece of jewelry created by Shi.