A big CONGRATULATIONS to CherryTime for winning last weeks Treasury Challenge, making this their second win! You GO GIRLS!!!!!!
Vesna & Mojca have been so generous as to offer up their blog feature to KristenCWatts who was a runner up in the challenge. I must say she was very thankful and excited about it, and it was a pleasure interviewing her for this feature. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!
So without further ado lets all take a moment out of our hectic lives to get to know Kristen of Connielou's Designs a little better...
~ My Interview With Kristen ~
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?
I am a high school English teacher, who loves being busy. I have a wonderful musically talented husband and two sons, 15 and 10. I love teaching, writing, reading, singing, and of course...making jewelry! My business card slogan is "I never leave home without my earrings!" because I don't:) My jewelry is very unique, colorful, random. Sometimes I use recycled jewels; sometimes I use parts of my grandmother's old costume jewelry. However, I buy a lot of my parts from artisans and sellers on Etsy, though. I also buy from small stores near me most often because the world is consumed by corporations.
2. What inspired you to open your shop?
My sister told me to open a shop almost 2 years ago. I attempted, put up a few pics, but then just pushed it aside after a short period. Also, everyone knows I make jewelry because they've gotten gifts from me, and their compliments inspired me to re-open!
3. Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?
My main job is teaching English; however, I am also lead singer in my band Losing Gravity, and I work part time making teeth for my dad (he's a dental tech). I love singing and writing music; I've had the band for over ten years now:)
4. Where, who or what does your influence come from?
My store is named after my grandmother Louise, who died from cancer, and my great grandmother Constance "Connie," whom I was named after (my middle name is Constance). I owe my love for jewelry to my grandmom because she would never leave home without her earrings, either:)
5. What inspires you to be creative?
I would say other people's encouragement. The initial spark is my love for anything fun and creative. I make jewelry, create scrapbooks, write music, etc.
6. How do you get out of a creative rut?
In terms of jewelry, I just buy more supplies. When I write, I like to do so under pressure, like when someone in my band tells me I have to write something new. It usually works.
7. When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist?
I've been creative since I was little. I went from painting and drawing to writing novels (as a 7th grader:), to writing poetry and songs, to making jewelry. This is what i really like the most right now. I hope my love for it will keep going strong!
8. Can you describe your creative process for us?
That's a tough one. I just look at what I have, and then create it. I buy random supplies and add recycled pieces, too. I usually don't know what I'm going to do with them until I sit down and play around with what looks good.
9. What is your most cherished handmade possession?
The jewelry my dad has made for me over the years. Since he makes teeth, he can also cast molds.
10. Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?
I know it takes a lot of time, hard work, and energy, but I want to be really successful because I enjoy sharing my creativity with people.
11. Where would you like to be in ten years?
I'd like to be right here, right now.
12. What is your best advice to newbie Etsian's just opening their shops?
Stick with it; if you give up, you'll never know what could have happened. My husband always tells me, "Patience is a virtue." Be patient.
13. Where else other than Etsy can you be found on the net?
At the moment, Etsy is it. I'm starting to do home shows, too, and selling in little boutiques near me.
14. Do you have any coupon codes that you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, right now I am offering 20% off everything in my shop. Use coupon code 20OFF and free shipping in the US. All my jewelry is mostly $20.00 or less.
Thank you for sharing all of this with us Kristen, your jewelry is beautiful!!! Thank you Vesna & Mojca for your generous offer, before we go have a look at the beautiful winning treasury by CherryTime below...