Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Journey With Jewelry

Ever since I was a little girl I've loved to draw, paint and create. I was a girly-girl, so jewelry was right up there on my list of favourite things. For birthdays and Christmas, my parents would get my sisters and me crafting kits that we just adored. One of my favourites was a "make your own clay beads" kit, which we had a ball turning into gaudy necklaces and bracelets that we thought were just beautiful.

A few years after that, my Girl Guide troop was taking apart old VCRs to learn what they look like inside and I found a spool of copper wire that the Guide leader let me take home. I'm sure that it just looked like trash to her, but I thought it was beautiful. I twisted several strands together and made bracelets and rings out of it. I wasn't very good at tucking the sharp ends in, though, so no one was terribly interested in wearing my creations.

Later, I discovered more tasteful jewelry, falling in love with a tiny beading store in the mall. I had a horrible time choosing what to get, there were bins and bins of shiny, colourful beads, charms and clasps. I finally settled on glass beads, leather cording and animal charms, and made necklaces for me and both my sisters.

Not long ago, my younger sister was at Micheal's and found crafting kits for making your own freshwater pearl necklaces and bracelets. She bought a kit for us both on the condition that I string hers for her. That was how I learned about tiger tail wire and crimping, a technique that I'm quite fond of.

When I first read about Etsy and started setting up shop there last January, I bought a bunch of different beads online. As it turned out, I had no concept of size and 4mm beads will absolutely not thread onto 1.5mm leather cording. Leather cording had been my main focus, but since I suddenly found myself the owner of many tiny beads I had to reevaluate. Enter the tiger tail.

Not long after that, I discovered the art of wire wrapping through online video tutorials. It took quite a bit of practice, but it's now my absolute favourite technique.

Collecting appropriate supplies and findings took me a lot longer than I thought it would, so I wasn't able to actually start listing on Etsy until February 20th. I had my first few sales within the first week, bought by some darling women I know from a message board that I moderate. It wasn't long after that that I had my first sale to a stranger, which was a fabulous feeling. :)

Since then, my Etsy sales have been up and down, with the biggest "high" coming only yesterday when I sold 3 things in one day for the first time ever! I have my fingers crossed that this is the start of more consistent sales.

So that's sort of the history of my jewelry career up until now in a nutshell. (A nice big nut shell. ;)

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