Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Featured Seller

This weeks Featured Seller is Gemma Sowerty of Bristol Treasures
Feast your eyes on Gemma's exquisite jewellery.........

Please introduce yourself and your business
I'm Gemma and I live in Bristol. I work full time as an illustrator but in my free time I love working with wire and beads to make jewellery.

When did you establish your business?
In December 2011 I started selling on a British crafts site, but realised that if I wanted to start selling more items I needed something that reached a wider audience so I moved over to Etsy in January this year.

What prompted you to start your own business?
I very much enjoy making and designing jewellery but I couldn't possibly wear it all myself and I definitely couldn't afford to make the amount I would want to!
I started this as a way to fund my hobby and hopefully make some extra pennies too.

When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I started making beaded boxes in the summer of 2008 after deciding that none of the jewellery boxes on the high street met my requirements.  I then discovered Swarovski crystals a couple of years later and that's when my jewellery obsession began.

What inspires you?
Most of my inspiration comes from the work of others. Although I love working with the techniques I use, I actually find the design process quite difficult. I tend to continuously redraw my designs until they work so a lot of my inspiration must be subconscious. Also I go on the lookout for interesting items in the jewellery section of my local craft shops and then try different ways of weaving the wire around them, so that inspiration comes from the materials themselves.

How did you hear about Etsy
From friends down the pub of all places.

How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy
I haven't! Making a sale on Etsy at this stage would probably make my whole week now that I've been on there a while with no success

What do you like about being part of Etsy
Probably an obvious answer, but I like the community and looking at other people's work, almost as much as making my own. Another thing I enjoy is learning all the things I can do with the API and Developer tools; my first challenge was to get my listings to automatically update elsewhere like my Twitter feed or Facebook, now I’m on the lookout for other ways to link everything up.

What advice would you offer other Etsy sellers out there?
First get involved in the community and do lots and lots of social networking. Twitter and Facebook are key in getting your items seen.
Secondly, if you have a craft that can be worn, wear it!
I have a ring that I've made called my "Where did you get that Ring" ring, which has gotten me a little bit of commission work from friends and work colleagues.
Lastly, be smart about spending money. I don't make the chain for a necklace or pendant until I sell it, therefore not spending a huge amount of money on them upfront.
If you make steampunk jewellery it's amazing how much response you can get from an email around friends or work colleagues asking for old clocks and watches. Get what you can for free!

Would you like to offer the British sellers on Etsy blog readers a special offer?
I already offer free shipping in the UK but a 10% reduction can be gained by using code ETSYUK10P until the end of March.

Where can we find you?
All my websites can all be found from one useful little site; http://www.bristoltreasures.co.uk./
I have a blog, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter feed.

My Etsy shop can be found here http://www.etsy.com/shop/BristolTreasuresUK

Important Update
Since completing the interview Gemma has had 3 sales
Congratualations !


Unique Beaded Gems said...

Beautiful jewellery and a great interview!! Following this blog, it's a great one full of variety!! Keep up the great work!! Jo x

Joy said...

They really are unique. Some truly interesting pieces there. great interview too.

Bristol Treasures said...

Thanks for your lovely comments. I've just updated my own blog: http://bristoltreasures.blogspot.com/2011/03/design-process.html

witchmountain said...

Congratulations on making your first sales! I like the steampunk things with watch parts and I also wonder about your work as an illustrator...? Best wishes from Witchmountain x