HippieChicJewelz was this weeks Treasury Challenge Winner for the theme CHARM! There were so many beautiful entries into the challenge this week and I want to thank all who participated. I had an opportunity to speak with Jewelz of HippieChicJewelz about her craft, shop, inspirations and aspirations and have put together a wonderful interview for your reading pleasure. Grab your beverage of choice, sit back, relax and learn a little bit about a fellow Etsian.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?
I am a self-taught polymer clay, glass lamp work and jewelry designer. I am a bit eccentric, happy go lucky, flower child whose artwork reflects everything from the beauty of nature to “all things should have bling”!
I like to be different, to stand out and catch peoples eye, my artwork is a sheer reflection of that personality trait! I strive to create jewelry that is as unique and beautiful as the person it is made for.
A hippie at heart, I have always been a bit eccentric and never one to follow the crowd.
A self-taught jewelry design artist, I have been creating beads and jewelry from polymer clay, glass and silver for over fifteen years.
I am a deeply tormented soul whose only form of genuine self-expression is through my art. My art comes from within, but it is the result of a variety of life experiences and outside influences. The beautiful and colorful people I meet, the sights and sounds of nature, the emotions that swirl around me, all of these things are sifted through my being, to be reborn later through the jewelry artwork I create.
My whimsical style is light hearted and portrays my sense of humor in simple things. My style I would describe as fun and colorful with a hint of eclectic flair. I create hand sculpted, one of a kind pieces of wearable art.
What inspired you to open your shop?
Initially, opening up an online Etsy Shop never really crossed my mind. I am an artist at heart, and for me, commercializing it didn’t really seem like a reality, I kept thinking “What if.” It stayed that way for a long time until I started receiving multiple requests for custom designed jewelry orders from friends and friends of friends. My orders for custom creations accumulated and my family and friends strongly encouraged me to start my own jewelry business. I took a leap of faith.
Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?
I have taken up photography, so whenever I have a spare moment I head outdoors and see what kind of photos I can snap. Besides that I love to write, I have a personal blog and I write articles for the Self Taught Artists Treasury Team on Etsy.
Where, who or what does your influence come from?
Most of my creations are influenced by music and everyday surroundings. I may hear a song that makes my heart smile or see a sunset that has extraordinary colors that I want to capture and off to my work station I head to create a work of art.
What inspires you to be creative?
My inspiration for “creating” can be found anywhere and everywhere! Wherever it comes from, I just love that feeling I get when something grabs my attention, I start thinking about all the possibilities of creating something fabulous and the rush that gives is the absolute best! More often than not, it’s the littlest thing that can get my creative juices flowing.
How do you get out of a creative rut?
Sometimes, the smallest change in my environment can inspire me. I have discovered interesting things when I change my path or walk somewhere I normally do not go. A change of scenery is all I need to spark an idea.
When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist?
Ever since I can remember I wanted to be an artist, for me it was never an option to do anything else. I am always amazed how many people say they want to or wish they could do something creative. I believe that everyone is creative to a degree; just some choose to leave that creativity on the back burner. That’s why I am always thankful for being in such a creative industry.
Can you describe your creative process for us?
Oddly enough my creative process starts with materials, polymer clay, glass and silver. When I purchase my supplies I usually have no idea what I am going to make. I am specifically drawn to colors, I can look at an array of colored clay and glass, my mind starts clicking. I just buy whatever catches my eye. It’s like solving a puzzle, but starts from being inspired. As for the process of generating ideas, I get ideas when I least expect them and in the strangest places.
What is your most cherished handmade possession?
That is a hard question to answer, I have more than one! I would have to say it is a magenta knitted poncho that my sister made me; it is so beautiful and soft. The fact that she put so much love and time into making something so beautiful for me makes it more valuable than diamonds!
Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?
I want to see my shop as a successful means to support my family. I would love to be on the front page of Etsy, and be a recognized shop name there.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years I would like to be teaching glass lampworking, polymer clay and jewelry design classes, I have even started writing how-to articles in which I am compiling for a future book.
What is your best advice to newbie Etesian’s just opening their shops?
It takes a lot of hard work and determination. If you want sales you have to spend a lot of time networking. The best place to advertise is on the internet, If you don’t promote your artwork avidly, who will? Get a FaceBook, Myspace, Twitter, Stumbleupon and blog account if you haven’t already. These are the best FREE advertising tools you can use! I also suggest joining a treasury team on Etsy and creating at least two treasuries a week. If you want to get your shop items noticed, there is no better way. You have to devote a great deal of time and energy if you are serious about making your shop a success. It is also important to have a supportive group of friends who can work together. STATTEAM on Etsy has been a blessing to my life and business, this team is amazing in that they will go above and beyond to help and promote each other. It is more like a close-knit family than a group of team members.
Where else other then Etsy can you be found on the net?
You can find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Hippie-Chic-Jewelz/308582126553
My photography on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Hippie-Chic-Photography/158719687528659
STATTEAM on FaceBook:www.facebook.com/pages/Statteam/155398704519800
My Hippie Chic Jewelz Blog: hippiechicjewelz.wordpress.com/
Do you have any coupon codes that you would like to share with our readers?
I have a wonderful coupon code for 25% off! Use coupon code: HCJFAN