Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Butterfly Sundries

Good morning!  Hope everyone had a great weekend & a wonderful Labor Day.  I spent my day doing some summer cleaning and part of my evening/night listing some Halloween/zombie prints and other Halloween items in my craft shop. :)  Halloween will be here before you know it.  It's my absolute favorite time of the year!  Hope you all enjoyed getting to know some great shops last month.  I am still featuring shops, but will not be promoting it as much since I will be spending this month getting everything ready for a festival next month.  Today's shop comes from Butterfly Sundries from Moses Lake, WA.  Be sure to check out the Abundance Necklace & Earring set.  Very pretty!

How did you come up with your shop name?
I knew I wanted something involving butterflies, to represent the ability to transform and grow wings... especially from beginnings which can be seen as more humble. But, I didn't want to limit myself to any one product- especially as I want to branch out into also offering handmade soaps, lotions, etc. I ran a number of ideas that simply didn't quite work by my partner, and was given in return "Sundries" (it means: "miscellaneous unspecified items"). It felt right (and I just love the sound of the word), so I kept it. smile

Do you only sell on Etsy?
Etsy is only one of my venues for sales. I sell on Artfire (www.butterflysundries.artfire.com) and I also do private work and sales. I'm looking into some new consignment shops, and I'm vending in Tacoma for Maritme Fest this weekend (Aug. 25 & 26th).

What inspires you?
My life- and everything around me. I keep a sketch book in my purse at all times. A couple of months ago I got a design idea (which I'm still playing around with) from a very beautiful and graceful woman in line at Starbucks. She just had this way of moving that I wanted to capture. I get design ideas from textures, colors, images, flowers....  But, as far as what inspires me in my business model- I am very grateful for all the opportunities I've had in my life, and I want to share what success I've had (which I could not have had without the support of others) and support others in their endeavors- especially those who do good work to support education, social justice, communities, etc. I want to help make the world better and more beautiful with more than beautiful pieces of jewelry- I want to make things that make a difference on a larger scale. That's why it's so important to me that I always have a featured charity and donate, at least, 10% of all my monthly profits to that charity.

What is the hardest part of what you do?
Juggling all the hats I wear. I do customer service, contracts, jewelry design, jewelry construction.... I love every minute, and I love being able to vary my activities... but sometimes I lose track of which hat I'm supposed to be wearing at a given moment. smile

What is one of your favorite items from your shop?
I have to say one of my recent favorites is Copper Naval Knot & Shell Earrings. I was researching nautical knots while I was working on some of my wire-wrapped shipwreck coin pieces; I wanted to see if I could add anything else into my designs which was more thematic. Some of the knots I found were just gorgeous! So, I started incorporating them into designs and clasps. Once I got more comfortable with the skill, I wanted to make a set of earrings and this is what I came up with. I still love them!

What made you decide to use Etsy instead of sites like ArtFire and MadeItMySelf?
I actually use Artfire, at least for the moment. I chose Etsy because it has the brand recognition; most of the people I know who shop for handcrafted items look on Etsy first. I also have an Artfire shop, and so I'm able to keep two different inventories in each store.  I've never heard of MadeItMySelf.... I'll have to go check that out!

Is Etsy your only "job", or is it something you do on the side?
Butterfly Sundries is my full-time job; my hobby is volunteering for a local nonprofit... between those two things, I lead a very full life. smile

Are you attending any art shows in the future?
Not really. This weekend (Aug. 25-26th) I'm vending at Maritime Fest- but in general I shy away from art shows. I have a couple of auditory disabilities that make it very difficult for me to be in environments with background noise- normal everyday sounds are both painful and exhausting.

Any future projects?
Tons! I'm currently developing a whole "inspired" line of jewelry for my next Featured Charity (September-November 2012) which will involve lotus flowers. I feel really excited about these new projects- not only because of how beautiful they are- but also because I'm branching out into doing some casting of original pendants and metal etching.  Also, my current featured charity has given me an opportunity to develop some custom pendants using an imprint from a real medieval seal matrix.... I feel all excited and tingly just thinking about it!

What would you say to someone just starting out in the handmade world?
I'd say, learn your craft- do it well- and show pride in your work. Whatever you make, make it an expression of your own artistic vision- make it your own. Also, visit you local library- you can get a ton of books on just about any skill you might want to learn!

2 comments:

Yankee Burrow Creations said...

those nautical knot earrings are great!
Debbi
-yankeeburrowcreations

Rebekka Van Der Does said...

Thank you, Southern Belle, for featuring my humble shop... and also Debbie of Yankee Burrow Creations, for admiring my Nautical Knot Earrings. :)