I had some time to browse the Time Machine function in Etsy the other day and came across something absolutely wonderful - poetsummer's shop. The amazing variety of jewelry she had was great and the designs were totally unique. I looked through her sales to see how her business was going, and I wasn't disappointed. Lots of people seemed to love her creations as much as I did.
I contacted her to see if she would like to do an interview to be my weekly seller and she kindly
Where did you come up with the inspiration for your designs?
My inspiration is nature of course and anything I hold dear to my heart. I love old romantic movies and old post cards (I have thousands of them). It's almost like looking into someone's life, someone here long long ago and it's their way of connecting with you. When I am making a Marilyn Monroe bracelet I can almost hear her whispering "That's right darling tell them how fabulous I was."
2)How did you get into selling on etsy?
I started my business on ebay and after 5,000 sales there one of my customers sent me a link to etsy. My customers have been so wonderful and they almost direct my business. Long before I was making steampunk pieces I had emails asking me to make them.
3) You have TONS of sales in the year and half you've been on etsy. What do you find are the best ways to market yourself and what advice would you give someone who's just starting out.
I give away. Giving back is very important. To my family and friends I give them my jewelry to wear and a pocket full of my cards. They hand them out to everyone and they are my biggest cheerleader. I also refer my sales over from ebay to etsy because etsy is where my heart is. At the holiday i hand out flyers at the L stations in chicago and months after I have had a sale I will send a card or a pair of earrings for a holidaiy to my biggest customers. Ir reminds them you're around. I also don't give out feedback immediately. I like to sit on it awhile so when I do give it it once again reminds them you are still around and draws them to look at what you're doing "these days."
4) Is this your day job, and if so how did you make the switch? If not, would you like it to be?
It's my day, night and weekend job. I work far more now than I did when I worked in the corporate world. About 2 years ago I had a major heart attack due to my valve not working correctly. At the age of 40 I had to heal and to figure out my life and I knew I didn't like wearing a suit every day and as my son was about to go off to college I knew I had prepared well enough to try something new. So, I purchased a box of junk jewelry on ebay and took it all apart and put it together the way I saw it working. I have sold over 10,000 bracelets since then and haven't looked back. I quit my job a month into it, sold my little condo and purchased a big house in the burbs with a studio space and haven't been this happy in my entire life. I can't imagine doing anything but jewelry now, although I do paint on commission and I love to garden.
5)What are some things that you do in your free time for fun?
I play the violin. I work out marketing strategies for my little business. I paint, garden, collect rejected cats, decorate my house, but the most fun thing? I love to spend time with my best friend goofing off, reading together, having a pic nic, and playing a little game we called "7 days to fix your life." It's an eye opening view of how someone close to you looks at your problems and how to solve them. It almost always involves ignoring the bossy republican boy toy in my life.
6) Is there anything else you'd like to say or would like everyone to know about you?
I am just a girl trying to figure out her little portion of the world. I know what brings me joy and sharing that with other people doubles that joy. The first time someone called me an artist I couldn't clean the smile off my face and it only motivated me to hear it again and again. Do I always do the right thing? No, of course not. I have an artist's temper and I am always trying to "let it go."
poetsummer - I'm so glad that I found your shop and your lovely things. One day I hope that my shop will be as successful as your and my life just as fulfilling.
This is one shop visit that will not leave anyone disappointed.