Today my features are a little different. I usually only feature one shop per day, but there are ways for shops to get featured without having to wait. As a result, I am featuring not one, but TWO awesome shops. The great part is both shops are based out of areas near me! :) Our first shop is based out of Nichols, SC - LightShine Designs. LightShine Designs is a little different than the previous shops I've featured. Most focus on one thing such as jewelry or photography. This shop specializes in photography and jewelry. One of my favorite items from this shop would have to be the Blue Rose Engraved Wooden Beaded Adjustable Bracelet. I love the bright colors. With that being said, don't forget to check back at noon (12pm EST) to see our second feature of the day. Now, let's get to know a little more about LightShine Designs.
A: I thought long and hard about the name for about almost two whole weeks. I knew that I couldn't change it on FaceBook once I made my page, so I made sure it was something I could live with first before making my FaceBook business page. One night I was laying down to go to sleep and thinking about it, before starting to say my prayers, the old children's song "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine..." came into my head, and hence LightShine Designs was born. I started out wire-wrapping my raw gemstones which I have mined in NC and then started to venture into other areas of jewelry and accessories. I am a self-taught photographer who mostly deals with natural views and still life, but have recently started offering portrait services locally at affordable prices.
Q: Do you only sell online?
A: I sell online and in person.
Q: What inspires you?
A: All kinds of things inspire my creativity. Nature, photography, and the colors of life that surround us everyday inspire me in my jewelry design. I often have no idea what I am going to make until I sit down with all of my inventory to do it. I am inspired by vintage items as well. In photography, I can be inspired anywhere and everywhere I go to snap a shot, so many mundane things can become breathtaking in the eye of a camera.
Q: What is the hardest part of what you do?
A: The hardest part of what I do is promoting honestly. Trying to get my stuff out there and my shop known has been a thing I've worked at really hard the past few months. Besides that I love what I do so it is not very difficult, although sometimes wire wrapping can be kind of rough on your fingers after doing it for awhile.
Q: What is one of your favorite items from your shop?
A: Currently my favorite item is my Handcrafted Steampunk Inspired Sparkle Drop Swarovski Crystal Clock Jeweled Necklace on 16" Chain.
Q: Do you only sell on Etsy? If yes, what made you decide to use Etsy instead of sites like ArtFire and MadeItMySelf?
A: I only own a shop on Etsy, but I also sell through FaceBook, and through Ebay auctions. I also have a website which links to my shop on Etsy. I have a business email in which to receive custom requests as well. I checked ArtFire out and found that I didn't really like the prices or set up with their shops. I have never checked out MadeItMySelf. I am thinking of starting to use TopHatter. I'm also on Twitter.
Q: Is Etsy your only "job", or is it something you do on the side?
A: Yes, currently Etsy is my only official job. I am unemployed and looking for work otherwise. I also act as part caretaker for my mother who has been sick for the past two years battling lung cancer and heart problems. I graduated from college with a Paralegal Associates Degree in 2010, but have not found work near home in the field as of yet. I am currently looking for an at home online job until I find another one.
Q: Are you attending any art shows in the future?
A: I would love to, but currently have no plans to do so.
Q: Any future projects?
A: Plenty!!! I have custom orders right now which are waiting on supplies to make a "Fifty Shades of Gray" jewelry set, and also a "Vampire Diaries" charm bracelet. The upcoming project I am most excited about is the Charity Line of my handcrafted jewelry in which the pieces will represent different diseases/causes and all of the proceeds of which will go to the charity that represents each of them.
Words of Advice from LightShine Designs: Stick with it. It can be frustrating at first and hard to get noticed and can be discouraging. If you truly love your craft and know you have what it takes, then don't quit! Just stay positive and keep trying. I would suggest making sure you have a FaceBook business page, an Etsy shop, a website, and a unique email address just for your business. The more online accounts you can make with your name and your information, the more likely you will be in gaining fans, customers, and overall popularity. Also, make sure you photograph your products nicely, a photograph makes the item for the customer. I suggest natural lighting, and they have many DIY light box ideas online.