I’m proud to share Heart of Stone with you today. They are a part of The Artisan Group with me and just gifted in the Oscar Swag Bags this past weekend!!!
What do you sell on Etsy?
I make and sell handmade gemstone jewelry that features heart carved semi-precious and natural stones. The line includes earrings, necklaces, coordinating necklace sets and solo heart chokers.
When did you start selling your craft?
I started creating and selling full-time in November 2009, but began the process of learning how to make jewelry about 10 years ago. It was a hobby that grew! And I wanted to do something other than sewing all of the time (professional seamstress).
Who/What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration is my honey, George. He’s an entrepreneur himself, so his guidance has been invaluable! Should I stumble, he always has words of encouragement that keep me going. My family is supportive, but his insights to self-employment and doing it all on your own go above and beyond anything they’ve experienced. The attitude difference is astounding. And, the stones inspire me. I just love rocks and gems and minerals, so when I find a fabulous heart or even faceted rondelles that excite me, I am inspired to create something that makes me go ‘Oooooh!’
Where do you create?
I have a worktable in my kitchen that doubles as sewing table and jewelry workbench! I live in a studio apartment, so space is tight. But the table fits so nicely in the kitchen, it works for me. Even for a small space, everything flows so nicely; I’m not cramped at all.
What’s your biggest challenge of having an online shop?
My biggest challenge thus far is being a one-woman operation! It is a daily learning curve trying to balance being at the worktable or the computer. Some days I have a plan, some days it’s done on the fly! One day I hope to have assistance; fingers crossed!
How do you promote your shop?
I promote with Facebook, Twitter, being featured on blogs and doing craft shows. I don’t have a blog just now, and I think I will one day. It’s on my To Do List, but my muse hasn’t returned my call on that yet… Ocassionally, I will do ads on Facebook or Google. With the participation of the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, I do press releases, which are the hardest!
What advice would you give to other online handmade shop owners?
Advice? Keep at it! Don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes or take advice. Don’t take personally any criticism; make it your fuel to do better. Any business related forum will tell you to have the best SEO, and I agree, but do what you can understand; it gets confusing fast. And nobody sells anything with out of focus pictures! SEO is one thing; pictures that speak 1000 words are another!