Tell us about yourself?
I am a 40-something year old with a 20-something year old mindset! In my regular everyday non-creative life, I am an elementary school teacher. I’ve lived my entire life in the Metro-Vancouver BC area, and I love it here. I have two dogs and a cranky elderly cat that occasionally like to help supervise the creative process!
What is your creative process?
In a word, it’s irregular. I am bad at setting a time and sitting down and creating: I find that it’s essential to my process to be ‘moved by the spirit’, as corny as that might sound. I find that when I try to make myself work on a schedule, or because I feel like I should be working on something, that the work feels forced. I am just as likely to be working in my pyjamas in the middle of the night or in the evening after a long day of doing not much as I am to be working first thing in the morning if an idea has hit. I am lucky right now to have the luxury of time to do that, because I have been on a sick leave recovering from back-t- back major surgeries, 8 weeks apart! I might have to look at being a little more structured when I go back to work.
I love working with silver: I particularly love working with heat and silver. I started taking silversmithing classes in July of 2009, and I am continuing my education in this medium, because the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know and need to learn!
Who or what inspires your designs?
Good question! I think beautiful bold women inspire my jewellery. I have pieces in my shop inspired by Cher, by Stevie Nicks, by Audrey Hepburn. I try to design pieces that are classic with a slightly funky edge, but with a timeless quality to them. I would like to think that my designs are something that a woman might buy in her twenties, and still be wearing in her forties. I like to hear that customers in their forties (i.e. MY age!) are buying pieces for their daughters and daughters in law! I also love to design custom pieces for brides and graduates: however, I want to design pieces for them, or for their bridesmaids, that they will wear and enjoy as a reminder of those special occasions for the rest of their lives!
What advice do you have for NEW Canadian Etsy sellers?
a) Network, network, network! Join a team, participate in forums, hang out in the chat rooms, and get your name out there! Start a Fan Page, a Twitter and a blog for your business, and follow people whose work you like, or who makes a product that you use, or who sells supplies that you can use, and cross promote. (You can find me at http://wildheather-handcrafted.blogspot.com/ and at www.twitter.com/wildheather!)
b) Spend the time and money to get professional looking business cards made: if you look carefully for online specials, you can end up with LOTS of business cards for very little money. Alternatively, find an Etsy seller with lots of great feedback to make some truly unique ones that represent your business. Find out if they will do trades, and take the opportunity to get your work seen too! It does make a difference!
c) Fill out your profile, and most importantly, fill out your location!!! Make sure you include CANADA in your location. I have had several customers find me because they were doing a geographic search: I am listed as Delta (where I actually live) Surrey, Vancouver, BC Canada just to cover all of the bases! Speaking for myself, I ALWAYS prefer to shop Canadian when I can, and I am always thrilled when my jewellery is staying local!
What was your first purchase on Etsy?
The very first purchase I ever made on Etsy, In June 2008, was 100 fine silver 26 gauge headpins, from the incredibly talented SkyDreams. I have since learned how to make these for myself and I am glad I did! It’s so much fun to watch the fine silver melt and form a perfect little ball that doesn’t tarnish!
A special promotion for followers here:
First of all, basic shipping within Canada is ALWAYS free!
How fun is that?
To enjoy a further 15% discount on your purchase,
just write WILD FEATURE FRIDAY
in the Notes to Seller at checkout!
A special thank you to the talented artist behind Wild Heather.
Thank you for taking the time to be featured on our blog!