Please welcome Jennifer from Current Works of Glass! She’s from Canada, eh!!!
When did you start doing your craft?
I started in the early nineties when my children were babies. It was a challenge as broken glass isn’t a good mix with small children!
Who inspired you?
My parents inspired me to follow my passion and to look deeply, not superficially in life. The Canadian author, Margaret Lawrence, inspired me to create my interpretation of my world through art.
Where do you create? What surroundings get your creative juices flowing?
I am lucky enough to live on a small river that runs close to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. I am surrounded by trees, water, and sky. I do most of my designing in my sunroom overlooking the river. When it comes time to do glass cutting and soldering I disappear into my workshop that is stocked with all my tools and kiln. I love water; even an aquarium will inspire me. The sound of the ocean gets me going too. I often get ideas for images from poetry and music. I am currently working on a design that was inspired by the REM song “Night Swimming”
What is your favorite piece to create and why?
My favourite piece is always the one I plan to make today. I am really passionate about glass and I get so excited with the process of turning something from imagination to reality. I never make the same design twice so each one is special to me.
What’s your biggest challenge owning an online store?
My biggest challenge would be budgeting my time to balance the right amount of time spent on social media and promotion to benefit the store. I am still discovering what works and what doesn’t but this has resulted in many hours reading tweets and posts. It’s addictive!
How do you promote your store?
I have focused on my network through facebook and twitter. I give out business cards and post cards all over the place. My cards have my web address and a link to my etsy shop is on the front page of my web site. My first three etsy sales came from people shopping within etsy, however, so I have just started budgeting for paid etsy ads to increase visibility.
What advice would you give to other Etsy Store owners?
I am very new to etsy so I don’t think I am experienced enough to start giving advice. That said, I did own two consignment retail stores for more than ten years and understand that these things take time. I was drowning in finished glass pieces with no sales but my husband, who is my loudest cheerleader, kept encouraging me to keep going. Just recently the sales have started to come through. It seems like they came from luck out of the blue but they actually came from perseverance. One thing I learned from my retail stores is to follow your customers interests in shaping the store. In the case of my etsy store, I can see from my shop sales and stats that glass cufflinks are a big deal. I never would have guessed that but I am now designing all kinds of original cufflinks to meet the demand.
Check out Jennifer’s stuff!
Etsy store: www.etsy.com/shop/currentworksofglass
Twitter Handle: @currentwog