Handmade Thursdays

Beads, Strings, & All Things Between...Guest blog by Mary

I'd been thinking about starting an Etsy shop for months, but it was Wendy, a friend and coworker, who finally convinced me to do it. How did she convince me? With her beautiful handmade, sparkly jewelry shop, Beads, Strings and All Things Between. I'd been trolling craft shows and flea markets for a long time and not seen things that struck me as inspired or "made with love." Really, some people just sell a bead or two on a rubber cord and call it a day. Wendy is a true artisan.

With a degree in Visual Communication and experience in engineering artwork, Wendy spends her days designing customized logos for hard hats and first aid kits. But the nights and weekends are spent toiling with tiny beads and crimping and hand-wrapping wire around crystals and semi-precious stones.
What I also learned from her was that good Etsians buy from other Etsians! Wendy buys all her supplies from other sellers, giving back to the Etsy community, which is so important when you're starting a shop online like this. I built some of my early feedback in this way and made some great contacts along the way. Not all Etsiers are artists, and that's OK- many of the most successful sellers are those that supply artists with the raw materials they need to create their beautiful wares.

It's true that jewelry is one of Etsy's largest categories (after supplies.) But one of the biggest complaints among Etsy sellers is the influx of re-sellers- those who are selling items there that are actually not handmade, but purchased and resold as a whole unit. Wendy is a great example of a handmade jewelry artist who takes pride in designing her pieces from start to finish, with lots of thought and creativity thrown into the process. Says Wendy about her work, "Each piece is created by hand and carefully thought out. I try to create the perfect balance of size, shape, color and texture..."  Using everything from color changing mood beads to vintage style lampwork, "Every piece I create is something that I would wear myself," she says.
I run a jewelry shop myself on Etsy, in addition to my photography shop. It's nice to have someone like Wendy to "talk shop" with. Just yesterday we were discussing the ins and outs of buying strung beads versus individual pieces. Exciting, I know. But it does help!
   For this handmade Thursday, I'm going to try and remember the core reasons why I started selling on Etsy. I'm going to remember the artists like Wendy who put so much love into their work and truly enjoy what they do. I'm going to shop on Etsy and put some love back into the handmade community. And I hope to feature more awesome Etsians on my blog in the future, as I learn that blogs aren't just things you write about yourself, they're also ways of connecting and sharing with others!
In the mood for shopping, or want to see more of Wendy's beautiful designs? Visit her Etsy shop here!
Have a beautiful day!


Katrina LB King said...

Thank-you mary! I have such respect for jewelry makers, even though I could never do the same myself! Thanks for sharing your store with us, I was unaware that you were so multi talented :) I hope to have time soon to look at this and your store more closely!

Mary said...

thanks K! Wendy's work is very intricate, which I do find tough to stay on focus with. Most of mine is very playful and big (not a lot of detail work). I really love the handmade jewelry on etsy and lots of fpoe ladies also do photo jewelry, which I LOVE!! like a piece of art to carry with you all the time. x0

lis mitchell said...

Love Wendy's pieces. So true about the jewelry on etsy. Nice to see someone so passionate about what they do!