Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brigitte's Button Bijoux

Q How did you come up with your shop name?
A It was very easy. Brigitte's Button Bijoux: The alliteration rolls off the tongue nicely.

Q How did you hear about Etsy?
A A friend of mine had started a vintage shop on Etsy, Emma Ruth Vintage and I discovered Etsy through her.

Q How long have you been on Etsy?
A I celebrated my one year anniversary at the end of November. It's definitely been a year of learning.

Q Is Etsy a full time job or something you do on the side?
A It's a hobby. I work in the Arts but in a less artistic position so this became an artistic outlet for me. It's also a gentle way to learn about running a small business.

Q Since you make handmade items, do you buy handmade as well?
A I sure do. I've bought more on Etsy than I've sold. I'm constantly impressed with the quality of the items I receive.

Q Do you prefer handmade over factory made?
A I believe there's a place for both. But I do prefer to buy handmade and to buy local when my finances and resources allow.

Q What is one of your favorite items that you've made?
A In the button world, I'm particularly fond of my brooches. I love this one because the buttons were carefully handmade by a fellow Etsyian and have traveled across the ocean to be part of my brooch. Away from the button world, a few years ago I made a Michael Kors designer cape from Vogue Knitting's 25th Anniversary magazine that I love.

Q What's the hardest part about the items you make?
A Wrapping the wire can be a pain on the hands but truly the hardest part is pricing. They may be made from buttons but depending on where the buttons have come from and how intricate the design is they can be quite pricey and time consuming to make. In this world of mass production and bargain hunting I think finding the balance between a price where you compensate yourself for your work and and a price where the product will sell can be a challenge for a lot of handmade artists.

Q What inspires you?
A Everything around me. Nature, color, sometimes a specific person. I try to keep myself open to what's around me.

Q What would you say to a person just starting out in the handmade world?
A Be prepared for the set backs and use them to persevere and move forward. This is not a market for people who give up easily. And try to remember to enjoy the journey when you can.

Blog: Trans-Canada Etsy Team
Twitter: transcanadaetsy

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