Friday, April 3, 2009
Thank you very much Ashley for taking the time to answer a few questions about your etsy business: A.N. Original Jewelry. Your jewelry is so simple, yet very sophisticated. ANORIGINALJEWELRY.etsy.com
Q. How did you hear about Etsy?
A. I had a friend who had a link to their Etsy shop on their Facebook page. I decided to check it out and was in awe when I opened the Etsy page. I was a giddy little girl in a candy shop. I think I told anyone who would listen about Etsy for about 2 weeks straight. To date, Etsy has been my #1 best find, it has impacted my life like no other "find" has to date!
Q. What made you decide to sell on Etsy?
A. I had been poking around on Etsy for about 3 or 4 months before I decided to sign up and open a shop. I thought the look and feel of the whole place was so unique and could be a great fit for what I was doing in my jewelry. I thought, "wow, a whole website dedicated to handmade, finally I fit somewhere!".
Q. How did you originally get into handmade jewelry and which materials do you use to create it?
A. I actually ended up going to college for Jewelry Design. I attended The Fashion Institute of Technology and studied in the Jewelry Design program. While I was in school I started making my own jewelry on the side and selling it from time to time. Before long, that little side gig turned full time and here I am. When I make my jewelry I prefer to work in sterling silver because of both it's reflectiveness and it's versatility. I love working with gemstones in all colors of the rainbow and have a particular soft spot for bright bold colors. Recently, I've been getting more in tuned with the healing properties that all the different stones harness and am working on incorporating those ideas into my newest designs because not only do I think it's really interesting but it's also something that adds something really special to a piece of everyday jewelry.
Q. What motivates and inspires you to create?
A. I've always had this constant feeling like I should create that is insatiable. I love the satisfaction of completing a piece of jewelry and then see someone wearing it. I'm usually most inspired to create custom pieces that I know will be really special to the customer. I think it's really neat to help them do something really special for themselves or a loved one. I'm also inspired by fashion and music.
Q. What other interests (besides jewelry) do you have?
A. I really love music (I'm always up for a good concert or a band at a bar) and fashion, but I'd have to say that I have a huge passion for animals! I have an especially soft spot for dogs. I have 3 dogs right now but would love more in the future. 2 of my dogs, Macy & Marley, are pound puppies and my third dog is named Mel. Mel's full name is actually Vemelope (sounds like Penelope) Sweetie Pie Lover Lambchop, she is named in honor of a 5 yr old girl's alter ego, haha. She is a miniature dachshund and is full of personality. I'm always taking time out to walk my dogs, or playing fetch with them, although they haven't mastered whole bringing the ball back thing. I also love spending time at my family's lakehouse and hanging with family and friends whenever possible.
Q. What is your best advice for new Etsy sellers?
A. I would say, be prepared to work really hard to get things going. It took me almost 9 months before I saw really steady sales and I spent A LOT of time on Etsy in the forums, soaking up whatever information people had to offer. Also, work on your photo's! Your product photos are your lifeline, I will take 50 pictures of one item just to come up with a few shots I really like, and even then, I'm always re-shooting. Be friendly and helpful to others in the community and you will thank yourself in the end. Esty is a really great place, with amazing talent around every corner, be prepared to have to work harder than you've ever worked before to stand out from the crowd of handmade awesomeness!