This week I would like to welcome Donna from DonnasEarthlyDelites. Her shop is full of wonderful handmade jewelry which she creates herself. She is currently running a "Christmas in July" sale in my Etsy shop. So read on and find out how you can get your Christmas shopping done early!
1. My "day" job is as the owner and operator of a dog boarding kennel which my husband and I have at our home, though we both started out in a very technical field. I have a strong background in science, but have always needed a creative outlet as well (crochet, knitting, drawing, painting), and jewelry making has become my most recent creative passion.
2. I discovered Etsy in 2010, I don't recall exactly, but I probably read about it somewhere online.
3. After making as much jewelry as one person could reasonably wear for myself, then moving on to my family and friends, I decided to try to bring my creations to a wider audience so that I could keep creating new pieces without having to rent space to store it all!
4. I sell handmade jewelry which is focused on the use of natural, undyed gemstone beads.
5. I've always loved the phrase "garden of earthly delites", and since I prefer to use natural gemstones from the earth in my jewelry, I wanted to call my shop Earthly Delights--but that name was already taken on Etsy! So I had to modify it so it would be unique and still fit the character limit, so I became Donna's Earthly Delites.
6. My shop specializes in quality handmade jewelry created using natural undyed gemstone beads.
7. Generally I am most inspired by the colors and shapes of the gemstones themselves. When I get a new focal stone, I love to just look at it and feel the texture of it for a few days, then pretty soon ideas start to pop up in my mind about how I could use that stone in a piece of jewelry. I also get inspiration from what's currently popular in jewelry, for example I started using more copper metal in my pieces when I realized that it had become a very popular trend in jewelry recently (probably as a cost effective substitute for gold and silver, which have become very expensive ), and also because I love the color of copper and I think it works very well with many of the stones I use.
8. I would say Etsy has most changed my life by putting me in contact with so many exceptional artists from around the world. Having a home-based business, while very rewarding, can also be very isolating, so I have really come to appreciate and rely on the sense of community Etsy provides. I have also found Etsy to be a very user friendly and cost effective platform for an online shop. I honestly don't know if I would have dared to try an online shop if it hadn't been for Etsy!
9. You can find me on Facebook
11. Given time, I can execute a new design in as little as an hour to a few hours, depending on how complicated the design is and whether or not I am familiar with the technique or am trying something new.
12. I spend at least a couple of hours per day just checking my shop, my Etsy teams, and other online resources and this is not counting creating new pieces or packing and shipping orders.
13. I've been promoting my shop online wherever possible--for example, craft & jewelry directories, Facebook, auction sites like Tophatter and Ebay. Being more active in Etsy teams has helped. Also I have business cards that I leave wherever I can.
14. I can't really say how important social media has been for my shop, since I don't know for sure if anyone has found my shop that way.
I am currently running a "Christmas in July" sale in my Etsy shop: Use coupon code HOLIDAY20 to receive 20% off any finished jewelry purchase through 7/31/12.