Etsy Shop Spotlight – Saniki Creations

Please welcome another fellow Artisan Group {and a fellow CANADIAN!!  Yay!} to taradara!
Penny has some real intricate creations and some great advice as well!!!
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What do you make/sell? 
I specialize in Chainmaille Jewelry (bracelets, earrings, necklaces/pendants, rings), chainmaille charms for accessories (cellphone/bag/zipper pulls), and chainmaille home decor (suncatchers/ wine charms/ornaments)  I do have a few one of a kind beaded jewelry items, but am phasing them out by mid year to concentrate on chainmailling.

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When did you start doing your craft?  
Mid 2008 would be the beginning of my adventure. My daughters love jewelry, but being young (ages 8yrs, 5yrs, and a newborn) I wasn’t going to buy them expensive fine jewelry, so they wanted me to buy the beaded, sparkly “made in China” products you would find at the dollar stores and at those small outlet chain stores in the mall.  Unfortunately being only kids and not quite old enough to take care of their jewels, and the quality of the product was cheap,  the items they got would break, and being a mom on a budget, I didn’t want to keep buying replacements. So I would fix the earrings, necklaces and bracelets from materials I would purchase from a craft store. (Now come to think of it, it would have been cheaper to buy replacements instead of materials. LOL) Thinking it was fun and rather easy to repair their little trinkets, I started putting my own spin onto the designs by adding extra beads of various styles to the item, changing bracelets into necklace, necklaces into earrings and so forth.  I have always been creative, tried painting/drawing, writing and photography as my outlet to no success, but would have never even thought of jewelry making to pursue the creative bug. So revamping the kids’ jewelry, plus my own, felt gratifying and a nice little hobby to have as I become a full time stay at home mom (my newborn liked to sleep, it gets boring staring at babies sleeping after a while, LOL).

I started searching the internet for ideas on styles and techniques to do and stringing beads into something snazzy seemed to work.  I kept buying materials, and kept making beaded bracelets, then necklaces, then earrings until finally I had to start selling some of them to pay for materials to make more.  In January 2009, I purchased my domain name and set up shop on Artfire and listed the extra jewelry I had made. Participated in a couple of craft fairs during the year and in one year’s time I set up another shop under my domain and website.

At the beginning of March of 2010, I saw a chainmaille necklace while searching for trends in Google images, and since I’ve always loved metal whether it’s jewelry, sculptures, I decided I wanted to do that.  I went online and took a look at a couple of tutorials of different weaves and tried it out.  To me it was like knitting, once a pattern is made, repeat it over and over again. Once I mastered a weave, I wanted to learn more so I taught myself via some tutorials and by just looking at pictures.  I was, still am, addicted to it and now use it as as my preferred technique/specialisation and haven’t stopped since.  I no longer have my Artfire shop now so I can concentrate on my own site.

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Who/what inspires you? 
It’s hard to explain.  Inspiration just pops up out of nowhere for me.  I could be waiting in line at the store, washing dishes, watching a show, playing on the computer, then “poof” an idea comes to mind.  Laying in bed before I sleep seems to bring out my “Creative Fairy”… usually by morning I would have forgotten what it was.  Most people have told me to put a pad of paper and pen at my nightstand so I can write it out, but lazy me would have to get out of bed to turn on the light, plus I don’t draw very well.
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Where do you create? 
At first it was the computer desk which is in the living room, but as I started collecting more materials, no one could see the desk anymore.  I still work in the livingroom but at a 6′x3′ table beside the computer desk (we lucked out having a large living room)  I like it there as I can still work and be part of what’s happening with the other members of the family.
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What’s your biggest challenge owning an online store?
The SEO aspect of it.  I just don’t get it, and have tried many a times to figure it out.  I really can’t afford to have a company doing it for me so this is my struggle for now.
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How do you promote your store?
I don’t really promote it very well, it’s more of me promoting my brand and style and just telling people where to buy my brand.  This is on the “To Do” list.  I figure if I promote myself people will visit my site to learn more.  So I network alot via Facebook, Twitter, plus I have joined an Artist Guild in my city who helped me alot in getting my name out there within my community.  Online I’ve joined a couple of groups, but since joining The Artisan Group, I have noticed increased views and followers.

What advice would you give to other store owners?
Expect to be patient and you got to promote like crazy.  Network with other people, they can be your next customer or refer you to other customers.

© 2012, Tara. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. Colleen J. says:

    Hi I just found your blog from a fellow and TAG members page while doing the like link up. I’m also Canadian. You have a great looking blog! I need to figure out how to add all those buttons. ;)

    [Reply]

  2. great interview.. well done!

    [Reply]

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