Friday, March 6, 2009

Featured Artist of the Week

I want to introduce you to a jewelry designer with a flair for creating jewelry that is not only beautiful but also unique. It is my pleasure to introduce you to..........

1. Why don’t you start by telling us your name and when and how you got starting crafting?

My name is Amy Ratcliffe. I've been crafting in one form or another since 5th grade or so. I remember visiting my grandparent's house and getting clay from the creek. I was convinced I could make a vase. It didn't turn out as planned, but I was hooked. The joy of making things has hung around ever since!

2. What made you choose your niche?

Jewelry making has always been the hobby that I have turned to. It's the one that sticks if that makes any sense. I love that there are so many options with jewelry.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Photos of textures, aging metals, the desert, vintage fabrics...

4. Do you ever get in a creative slump? And, if so, what do you do to pull yourself out of it?

I definitely run into creative blocks. Sometimes I run into this after spending too much time making stuff in one period. When this happens, I have to make myself stop. I can't tell because I'm just looking at beads and pieces, putting them together, arranging them, and then changing my mind. If it is a longer creative slump, I remedy it by looking through my how-to books, color swatches, and jewelry catalogs. I usually come across something that will get me going again.

5. How many hours a day do you devote to your craft?

Usually at least an hour and on weekends, anywhere from 1-4 hours.

6. Do you have a job outside the home or is your online business your full-time job?

I work a full time job outside of my jewelry making. I work anywhere from 40-60 hours a week, so finding time for the business side of jewelry-making. (the time spent taking photos, posting listings, and marketing) can be challenging.

7. Do you sell anywhere else in addition to Etsy?

Not at this time.

8. What would you say is the most difficult thing about having an online shop and what have you done to overcome it?

I think the hardest thing for me is marketing my online shop and getting traffic there. Despite your best efforts, it doesn't always feel like it's actually working. Your item views aren't going up, you're not selling things. It's frustrating. I make an effort to spend fifteen minutes a day at least promoting my Etsy shop somehow – even if I don't feel like it's making a difference.

9. What are your long term goals for your shop/craft?

I hope to grow my online sales at Etsy and also sell my jewelry at local markets and bazaars. I would also like to teach jewelry making classes at craft stores and bead shops.

10. Do you do custom orders?

Absolutely. I love the challenge!

11. Where would you say has been the most helpful place in finding information to help run your shop on Etsy? The forums, the help guides, other sellers’ blogs?

I find the forums helpful, but I mostly use the help guides. The tools available through the help area (like seller's worksheets, etc) are invaluable!

12. If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about opening a shop on Etsy, what would it be?

Be persistent. Don't just give up if you don't have a sale in a week or two weeks. Keep promoting, keep telling everyone, and hang in. Don't be afraid to ask for critiques in the forums!

I want to thank Amy for taking the time to let us get to know her. Be sure to visit her shop and take a look around at all of her beautiful jewelry.


Baroness Bijoutery

Some truly unique pieces..very very nice....


Very beautiful, I love the octopus!