Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spotlight on...

Tide Together Jewelry and Gifts

Gloria's Jewelry Box is very excited about our weekly Artist Spotlight Series. You have to check out the creative work from this talented artist! I am in love with Nautical Night Out - Sea Glass and Black Metal Bead Bracelet! Show some love!

1. Tell me a little about yourself! What inspired you to open an ETSY shop and what is your business?

We started beach combing a lot as a family when my son was about two. Before long I had SUCH a stash of "things". My boyfriend is an artist (Ryan Jacobson Art) and he suggested I start making things with the items we found.

I am currently in two local boutiques and Etsy seemed a logical way to branch out to a broader market. So far it has been an amazing experience - not just for the sales but also for the friends and mentors I have found in the Etsy community.

2. What ETSY team(s) are you a part of?

Teams are a HUGE part of my Etsy satisfaction. I learn a lot from my team members and I take being part of a team very seriously. As a nod to the importance of these relationships - I list all of my teams on my shop profile.

I am a very proud member of the following Etsy Teams-

*Etsy Tristate Area (TATeam) - TEAM LEADER

*Virginia Treasury Team (VATT) - They accept me in spite of my MD residency :-)

*Etsy Eco Team - Check Member Listings for the 4 star Eco Tips!

*Earthly Etsy

*Inspired by Nature

*Maryland Etsy Street Team (MDStreetTeam)

*Sea Of Love

*Sea Glass Sisters

3. When did you begin your business?

In August of 2010 Ryan's father had a stroke. We had a benefit fundraiser and I put a few pieces into the auction. I was pretty excited when a local boutique offered to carry my pieces. I was too nervous to jump right in but by November I had a business license, a FaceBook page, and a supportive shop carrying my items.

4. What inspires you to create?

I seriously work in CHAOS! I surround myself with materials and different things just jump out to me at different times. I have beads that I've brushed over for months before creating an entire collection inspired by the colors I've overlooked until their time came. I never know what's going to move me on any given day so I just keep the whole stash sprawled everywhere until the mood hits to put something to use :)

5. What do you envision your business in the next five years?

Honestly - five years makes me nervous. Things have happened SO FAST in less than a year - I am certainly pleased by my business success so far but trying to look that far out is daunting. I'm an optimist. I assume I will do well because I work hard. Other than that - I take it a day at a time to keep things managable. A new shop wants to carry me? Great - redistribute stock. Getting low on Etsy? Ok - pump out more pieces. Big order came in? Alright - beg a buddy to make a mail run for me. I'd drive myself nuts if I tried to anticipate all the curveballs that get thrown my way. I just take everything as it comes and appreciate that I get to make money doing something I LOVE.

6. What is the best business advice you have ever received?

I've received a LOT and most of it is helpful. I think the bottom line best though would have to be "Never turn down money" Accept any form of payment (just wait to ship til it clears!) Accept any venue to show your work. Accept any invite to discuss your product. Never turn your back on an opportunity to sell because you never know where your next big buyer will come from.

Chances are you will get burned at some point but there are sneeks everywhere - being overly cautious will probably block more genuine buyers than thieves.

7. What are three of your favorite ETSY shops?

This is HARD!!!!! I'm going with my first two picks b/c I've been collecting their work for ages even though they are new to ETSY. The third is my favorite "window shopping" store(s). When I start raking it in on Etsy it will all go right back b/c I love SO MANY shops LOL

Pieces Of Amber - I've been wearing her jewelry for years and she is one of my top jewelry making mentors. She helped me when I first started creating and thought fishing line made fine beading wire!

Ryan Jacobson Art - Again - I've been collecting his art for years. It is much cheaper now that we practically live together. LOL He has so much talent it is RIDICULOUS!

I really tried to narrow this down but I couldn't pick - my new favorite style is this Southern/BoHo/Gothic Romance look that I've really admired here on Etsy and I tried to choose between my two favorites but I just couldn't!!! So Creole Sha and bayousalvage tie for my third.

8. What is something that you tried crafting, that turned out to be a disaster?

Crochet!!!! I can braid hemp but MAN I get tied up in yarn!!

9. What are three things that few people know about you?

*I'm actually pretty shy in person unless I'm with a good support group. It takes me a bit to warm up to new people socially.

....actually that may be the only thing because once I do open up - I rarely shut up LOL

10. Check out this fabulous seller at (Give your ETSY shop, Facebook, Blog and Twitter info if applicable):

On Twitter @Tide_Together

Enjoy ;)

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