Sunday, March 8, 2009

Interview and Perspective by Youniquely Chic...


Recently I won a contest for Valentine's Day by Youniquely Chic, an Etsy seller specializing in uniquely-designed Swarovski crystal jewelry. I was impressed by the quality of the necklace set, and after browsing her shop, I struck up a conversation with her about her jewelry. The jewelry market is slow right now, with so many people cautious about the economy, and reluctant to buy jewelry for themselves. Mother's Day is coming up, so I thought I'd do a feature on her jewelry, which is very different from my personal style, and though I didn't think I was really into crystal myself, I'm finding it's growing on me! Check out her shop. You'll love what you find!

Youniquely Chic is having a giveaway in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Check it out! not much time left! You could win the Emerald green set below, if you visit her blog and follow the instructions.

1. How when and where did you "get into" jewelry? About a year and a 1/2 ago a friend of mine decided to make jewelry and try to sell it, and she would come to my house to hang out and make it. Well it wasn't long before I couldn't stand it and decided to give it a try myself, I started out making items for myself, because I am a person that believes you can NEVER have too much jewelry! Then I started giving it as gifts and had a pretty favorable reception, but it all changed when I went to a family reunion last summer and everyone in my family was going nuts over my stuff, I made just about everyone there earrings or necklaces... for FREE! They kept telling me I was crazy to just give it away and I should sell it (they would say this as they were taking the set I made for them for free!! lol) When I got home I started doing some research, and decided yeah, I should give it a try. I signed up for an EBay store, then Etsy and now Artfire as well.

2. Do you have any other hobbies or interests? I love to read and watch movies but my business has pretty much become a full time thing so finding time to do anything other than make jewelry or promote my jewelry is pretty hard... I do try though!

3. How are your designs inspired? That is a tough question! I'll admit it I am inspired by other jewelry designers, of course I would never steal someone else's design but sometimes looking at the overall layout of a design will inspire me to make something... I think mostly my inspiration comes from my own imagination... I can sit for hours with a bunch of findings and crystals spread out in front of me and just stare at them, building different designs in my head until I come up with something I love.. And I only make jewelry that I love; I simply cannot make myself create jewelry that I would not be happy wearing myself.
4. Do you have any advice for other crafters, jewelery or not, for selling "in these difficult times?" any success tips? Promote yourself everywhere! That is the single best tip I can give, I am far from an expert in the subject but my sales have greatly increased since I joined social networks... As far as jewelry designers go, we are all very small fish in a very very large pond and if we aren't constantly getting our name and brand out there for people to see it doesn't take long for us to be lost.

5. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first got started? That Sterling Silver wasn't as expensive as I thought it was... also that it is a LOT easier to work with then the cheaper stuff.


6. What's on your horizon -- what skills would you like to acquire, goals that you'd like to accomplish? I plan to take some metal smith classes. I would also love to make the front page on Etsy! My main goal is to just continue to push myself to learn new things!

7. Do you sell to boutiques? Craft fairs? Online Exclusively? Where do you get most of your sales? Yes I do, I sell at just about any craft fair that I can afford to get into and there are a couple of stores here locally that sell my items. Just recently I was put in touch with a great Etsy seller who is opening a boutique at the end of March in downtown Colorado Springs and she has graciously allowed me to sell my items there, it is a great gig because she just charges a monthly space fee for a certain number of items and then when things sell she will send me the money and she takes zero out of sells, can't get any better than that! I'm not sure if she is accepting any more people or not but if anyone is interested you can find her on Etsy at http://kabibimei.etsy.com/
8. Tell me about your giveaway... I am giving away an emerald Swarovski necklace and earring set on my blog.. All you have to do to enter is post a story of good luck in your life. The contest runs until midnight March 9th and I will choose the winner the morning of the 10th and I will ship the item to the winner at no cost.. Everyone is welcome to enter, even those won don't live in the U.S., and I ship worldwide!http://youniquelychic.blogspot.com/

5 comments:

storybeader said...

great story and interview. I don't wear too many crystals myself, but they are stunning to look at!

Youniquely Chic said...

OMG Laura! Why didn't you tell me this was up!! thank you sooooooooooo much!!! Awesome, gotta go blog about this right now!! LOL

Thanks again!
Tara

BrigaBauble said...

So glad you featured Chic! She's an amazing artist and I'm personally checking my mailbox each day, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the emerald green necklace and earring set that I won for Chic's St. Patty's Day giveaway. Best of all, Chic's work is a true inspiration for other jewelry designers :)

Laura said...

Tara, at YouniquelyChic, is one of those rare people who makes you feel happy that you talked to her. Her enthusiasm and spark are contagious. I'm glad to have advertised for her and her blog!

Nancy said...

great interview and oh so lovely jewelry!