Ok, so I'm a forums junkie! But it's not all bad because every time I'm in there I meet someone new and awesome. This time, it is DesignedbyLucinda. Never failing to chime in her two cents, or start a positive thread, Lucinda has been a pleasure to see there. Upon visiting her shop, one finds wonderful items made from natural stones. And there is quite a variety of designs, from necklaces and other jewelry, to bookmarks (at least she's good, friendly competition).
A couple of weeks ago I asked her to let me post and interview and she kindly agreed. DesignedbyLucinda - I'm sorry this took so long to post! Thanks so much for you kind patience and understanding.
1) You have some very lovely designs. What inspires them, and why do you choose the materials that you do?
I have always been a rockhound who loves to look into rocks and see images inside. Nothing thrills me more than seeing a pretty stone just begging to be made into wearable art. I listen to what the rocks have to say (yeah, I am a crazy person) and sometimes it can take a few days before I decide to match this stone with that piece of silver etc. I started working crystals into my designs because my neighbor was very into *bling* and 14 kt gold, and I could afford to use the crystals more than adding in the gold. I liked the way the crystals added some flash to the stones so I started mixing the two mediums. I just sit with a few pretty new stones and some crystals and my box of silver beads and then I follow what the stones tell me :)
2) How do you keep things new and fresh, and keep yourself motivated to make new designs?
I am always cruising the internet for new colors/shapes of stones and/or new pieces of silver. That keeps the pieces looking fresh and keeps me motivated. I also try to expand my range by adding more accessories like the bookmarks and wine rings. The bookmarks allow me to buy heavier stones than I would normally use in jewelry while the wine rings let me buy tiny fun shapes that might get lost if used as jewelry.
3) What do you think are the best things about owning an online business?
The best part about owning an online business is being able to access it anytime I want. If I want to put up new stock at midnight I can do it. If I want to take off a few hours to go watch the snow fall, I can do that, too. I can set my own hours without having to be At The Counter 70 hours a week (my retail store, while fun, was a huge time sucker). Also, the opportunity to be available worldwide is huge for me - - I get an enormous kick out of looking at a map and seeing all the places hundreds of thousands of miles away where someone is wearing a DesignedbyLucinda piece. Marketing globally is a tremendous advantage to having an online business.
4) What do you like to do in your free time?
I like talking to people, whether sitting on my porch or on the phone or in the forums. But I am bad about taking totally free time - - I will usually tinker with some stones or be surfing the net for new supplies at the same time. I should work on that ;)
5) What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting up on etsy?
Don't make the mistake so many do, that you'll put up a store and the sales will just fly out the door. It is hard work and just like with a real local shop, it will most likely take you 2-4 years to start making any decent money (know that going in so you don't start selling your items for less than they are worth just to get a sale unless you really need to). Also, don't limit yourself to thinking that your shop is there for already-on-Etsy sellers/buyers - - you have *worldwide internet presence* so market off Etsy to the world, as well.