Monday, February 9, 2009
Featured Seller - Jewelry Vixen
What part of the world are you in?
California...Southern California to be precise! Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade.
What does customer service mean to you?
A unique opportunity, to say the least! I mean, you've found a kindred spirit...someone who loves your work as much as you do. How can you not be thankful and elated? I do my best to package each item with care, make it pretty, because even if you're buying it for yourself, it's always fun to open a gift!
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
Well, one of my first orders, a substantial one, too, came from an alchemy bid. A declined bid, actually! It was a simple piece, and I strung it while I was waiting to hear back from the buyer. I saw that my bid was declined, but I convo'd her, and attached pictures of the necklace. I told her that if she liked mine better than the one she had picked, then we could work out the price. She ended up choosing mine, and buying four other pieces from me! Looking back, it was a very bold move on my part, being so new to etsy, but it ended up paying off!
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
Wow! You ask the tough questions! One of the great complexities of being an artist is that you have days when you are hypercritical of your work, thinking that there's nothing special about what you do. Then you have days that you look at your pieces as a whole and realize that you bring together raw materials and elements in such a way that when you look at your pieces as a whole, you see something that is distinctly "you" about them. It's amazing and very satisfying.
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
I am the type of person who sees something, and thinks to herself, "I could do that! Teach me!" or "Let's experiment!" As a child, I was a member of 4-H. I had a great mentor who taught me how to cross-stitch, and a babysitter who taught me embroidery. I've always loved to draw and paint and sculpt, but much of my learning in those areas has been from reading or imitation. Jewelry was also something I picked up on my own. One of my roommates taught me how to knit, and I am teaching myself how to crochet again, after several years! I'm always eager to learn new skills, like origami, which I learned from my students.
Do you have any formal training in your craft?
There's a great bead shop near me that offers classes in jewelry-making. I've taken a PMC (Precious Metal Clay) class, and a wire work class there. Other than that, I am pretty much self-taught.
What is your goal for the next year?
One of the biggest goals I have is being more disciplined with my time. I tend to create in spurts, but this year, I'm trying to spend more time in my creative space, even when I don't feel like it. I'm also trying to hone my skills in different art forms. There's next to nothing creative/artistic that I won't try!
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
I get motivated by tackling something new...a new skill, technique, or material, or by tackling something old...revising listings, recropping and reshooting photos. Anything that might pay off later that I can invest in today.
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage re-occurring business?
I practically LIVE in the forums and chatrooms lately. It's fun to buy, sell, and trade with fellow etsiers, and it's good exposure. I'm stil learning the ropes! I also sell my jewelry in person to friends and family. Lastly, I wear my necklaces to test drive their durability...and that helps, too!
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Don't be intimidated! There is something special about what YOU do that sets it apart. And the world deserves to know!
Thank you JewelryVixen for the interview, your designs are great and we know you will have much success in 2009!
Please visit JewelryVixen's website at http://jewelryvixen.etsy.com