Gloria's Jewelry Box is very excited about our weekly Artist Spotlight Series. You have to check out the creative work by this multi-talented artist! I am in love with the Haley's Comet Bead and Chain Earrings! Show this amazing artist some love!
1. Tell me a little about yourself! What inspired you to open an ETSY shop and what is your business?
My name is Adrianne and I have an Etsy Shop Called Mlle. Café Au Lait where I sell earrings. It started last year, with me attending a beading class with my mom, at a local bead store in San Diego. It was “Beading 101” and we had to make a necklace. I had my heart set on making earrings and the instructor allowed me to make bracelets instead! Once I got home, without knowing how, I decided to try to make some matching hoop earrings. I mainly started making earrings for myself that I couldn't find anywhere. When I wore them, I got lots of compliments! I have a Youtube Channel and several of my subscribers made comments on earrings that I wore in my videos. I then started making hoop earrings as gifts for family and friends. Eventually people were saying to me that "this person" or "that person" wanted a pair of earrings. That they would actually pay for me to make them a pair. I was so surprised! But also delighted! People were interested in the earrings that "I" had made and were willing to pay for them?!? It amazed me! My mom suggested I try to sell on Etsy and that is where I have started. Etsy is a great place for anyone who is artistic or crafty to develop their art or product!
2. What ETSY team(s) are you a part of?
So far, I only belong to four Etsy Teams. I belong to Etsy Business Topics. It is a great forum to meet other Etsy-ers and get to know them. And it is also a valuable place to discuss concerns and get or give business advice. I also belong to Etsy Artists of Color, a wonderful place to meet and support other artists of color. The last two are Etsy Talent Hunt and Shameless Self Promotion where I discovered one is able to promote their recent listings. I love looking to see what other Etsy Artists have created. It is a great way to check out other shops and support one another!
3. When did you begin your business?
I started making my own earrings about a year ago in May, 2010. I held the “Grand Opening” of my Etsy Shop, “Mlle. Café Au Lait’s Chic Boutique” and started selling in November of last year.
4. What inspires you to create?
My inspiration comes from many different sources. Lots of times it will be the beads themselves that will remind me of something from my childhood. For instance, this past April, I had many beads that were made from shells or looked like something you might find on a beach. That inspired a group of earrings that I call my “By The Seashore” series. They made me very nostalgic! Living in Southern California and growing up in San Diego, we spent so much time down at the ocean’s edge and we would pick up shells, sea glass and other shiny bits. I wanted my earrings to have the feel and delight that a child would have of nature’s treasures. So, the beads started the inspiration, but my memories finished it. Other times, it might come from an object or an idea. Currently, I have been making brightly colored wood earrings and for some reason, they remind me of picnics. So that is what I named them. And, it seems that almost every batch of earrings that I make will have a pair that reminds me of Egypt or Cleopatra! I don’t know where that comes from! LOL!
5. What do you envision your business in the next five years?
My current plans include selling earrings at events, such as edgy art and craft fairs and maybe Natural Hair Shows where natural hair products and accessories are sold. I would like to be able to sell to Boutiques that specialize in handcrafted wares or stores that cater to Women of Color. These are my immediate goals. Another current goal is to develop my own website. Long term goals are that I have my own shop, not necessarily selling just earrings, but perhaps even clothing and other fine handcrafted items.
6. What is the best business advice you have ever received?
“Make and keep it fun.” You must truly like and enjoy what you do! In other words, don’t take it too seriously. Have fun with creating. And help your buyers have a sense of delight when they order from your shop. Fun packaging, a personal “thank you” note and even a little gift go a long way to show your gratitude. That was my second best advice. “Always be grateful and let your buyers know that you appreciate them”. Because really, folks could buy earrings from anybody, they could just go to Forever 21 or H&M, but they have chosen to purchase my earrings! That makes me feel so humble. And I am very grateful for my customers. I try to show it by making the nicest earrings that I am able and send them off, packaged nicely, and I always try to add a personal touch. It is really from the heart when I say thank you to my customers. They have been so wonderful! I have been very lucky to have met some of these incredible women! I probably would not have been able to do this if it had not been for Etsy.
7. What are three of your favorite ETSY shops?
Lucky Spot Shop-They have such pretty beads! I admire their excellent customer service and appreciate the little extras that they always include with my orders!
Lottie Frank Illustrations-This is the artist that I worked with to create the logo for Mlle. Café Au Lait. Lucy was invaluable as an artist. She was so open and patient with me. She took all of my ideas and made them into just what I had envisioned. I highly recommend her. Plus she has some very adorable ready made cards and illustrations.
Modern House Art-I love Susanna’s art work. It is Contemporary. (My favorite style) She calls it Palette Knife Style and all of her paintings have beautiful texture. Besides being very talented, she is very kind.
8. What is something that you tried crafting, that turned out to be a disaster?
When I first started making earrings, I never paid attention to how heavy they would be! I have a soft spot for EXTRA LARGE earrings; the bigger the better! I cringe sometimes when I think of all the stone beads I loaded on to my hoops. I should have called them Wilma Flintstone Hoops! Now, I really take weight into consideration when I am crafting earrings.
9. What are three things that few people know about you?
I am extremely shy when it comes to meeting new people. I sing, and hope to perform on Broadway! I love animals! I would be like Jim Carey in “Ace Ventura Pet Detective” if I had the room! Remember that one scene with all of his animals? That would be me!
10. Check out this fabulous seller at (Give your ETSY shop, Facebook, Blog and Twitter info if applicable):
I began beading when I was a little girl. I would love to spend time with my grandmother rummaging through her jewelry box.
A little more about me... I love pink and green. I love bold colors. I love interesting and eye catching jewelry. I love unexpected color combinations. I love vintage jewelry. I love the beadwork of the Masai and the beautiful bangles from India. I love to have fun with my jewelry and I hope that you will enjoy it too!