Friday, March 6, 2009
Thank you very much Michelle for taking the time to answer a few questions about your etsy business: SilverJewelOman.
Q. How did you hear about Etsy?
A. I was poking around in a little silver shop in Thailand and I met a lady who said she sold Hill Tribe silver on Etsy. Extremely interested I couldn’t wait to get home to Oman and check out the website. From that moment on I was hooked.
Q. What made you decide to sell on Etsy?
A. I had been making jewelry for friends and family and soon I had many people asking me to make them something. Then last year I had a second child and stopped working full time. This gave me the perfect opportunity to start selling online.
However, the biggest issue I had was finding a website that suited my needs living overseas, having flexibility and catering for both the Australian market and the rest of the world. Etsy fitted right into that!
The decision to add other interesting items, along with silver beads, to my website came from many people asking me if I could get them some. So as an example of some of the things I use and are available – I put them on Etsy also.
Q. How did you originally get into handmade jewelry?
A. I was quite young at the time, early teens. I was with my Mum and Nana (both extremely creative and made many handmade items) when we discovered a bead store in Brisbane, Australia (I grew up in Australia). It was like walking into a candy shop. I bought beads to make my own jewelry. I continued to make small items on and off. However, it wasn’t until I moved here to Oman that my hobby became an obsession. I walked into the souk (the local traditional market) and from then on couldn’t help but buy great bead and silver finds.
Q. Which materials do you use to create your jewelry?
A. I mainly use sterling silver and semi-precious beads. I use some Hill Tribe fine silver and Kazuri beads from Africa. I like to use rare find glass beads also. Recently I started making my own Lampwork glass beads and sterling silver pieces.
Q. Why your jewelry pieces are very unique and of high quality?
A. The majority of pendants I buy come from Oman – unique pieces that are not found anywhere else in the world. These are traditional Omani designs. There are now cheaply made copies available that are not made by Omanis and are causing the ‘real’ Omani silver to become harder to find.
I have started to research the history of silver in Oman and the traditional practices used to create. Silversmiths are a rare find now in Oman (there used to be many but now very few). I have managed to find a few who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with me. Therefore I want to contribute to the continuation of this unique trade and give others the opportunity to own a very stunning item of jewelry that is likely to be rarely seen.
I handpick all of my beads and silver and therefore can guarantee high quality in my jewelry pieces.
Q. What do you like most about being a seller?
A. I have traveled to many parts of the world and I have found some very unique things. I have often thought why didn’t I buy this or that or more of something I have found on my travels. The internet completely changes that and you now have access to many things that previously were unobtainable unless you traveled there. I want others to have the opportunity to own something ‘unique’ and get as much joy in wearing it as I do in making it for someone else. *I very rarely get to wear one I have made for myself, as someone usually buys it not long after I have put it on!
Thank you very much, Michelle.
Posted by Helen Janow Miqueo at 11:03 PM