This week's interview is from Marilyn of nikkoblue.
*Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm somewhat of an empty nester. Still have a 20 year old son who is home and another son who is on his own. Up until a couple of years ago, I had a full time job managing a cancer screening program at a hospital. When funding ended for that program, I began my Etsy career. It's nice to have more time for making jewelry, but, I actually am looking for a regular full-time job, too. I'm not yet making enough money here to pay all of the bills!
*How did you find out about Etsy when you first started your shop?
I honestly don't remember when I first found Etsy or how I found it. But, I do know that if I hadn't found it, I'd probably have a lot of extra hours in my day. But, my Etsy hours are the most fun part of my day, so, thank goodness I did find Etsy. If I'm not actually creating jewelry, I'm creating treasuries, looking at treasuries or simply wandering all over the Etsy site marveling at the creativity of everyone on Etsy.
*How did you come up with the name of your shop?
My shop name - Nikkoblue - is, as some may know a variety of hydrangea. One of my passions is gardening and I have several hydrangeas in my garden. I just always liked that name and thought that 'nikkoblue' sounds nice.
That, also, is what inspires my jewelry-making - a love of beauty (who doesn't?) similar to that of the flowers and plants in my garden. Therefore, you probably won't see anything too bold or funky in my shop. I go more for the traditional, pretty, feminine type of creation. However, Etsy always inspires me to branch out a little and try new things. So, you might see me evolving in some way in coming months or years.
*What is a typical day like for you? (do you stay on a schedule?)
A typical day for me is having coffee while I check everything on Etsy. On an ideal day, I start creating pieces after that. I always put some great music on and sit out in my sunroom near the windows to work at a table that is littered with jewelry supplies. It's wonderfully relaxing to me and I can sit there for hours.
I'm a slow, methodical worker so I don't typically get a lot of pieces made in one day. I spend a lot of time looking at my stash of materials: beads, gemstones, findings, etc. trying to imagine what might look good together. I do a lot of experimentation and, many times, have to start over when something doesn't turn out quite the way I'd like. I don't usually make more than one of any necklace, bracelet or earrings. So each and every piece is new and, hopefully, unique. As we all know, there are a lot of jewelry sellers that make pieces in similar styles. It's really difficult to stand out in the crowd because there are so many of us. I try all the time to make something that might be just a little different than what you might see in other shops. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes not. But, I always hope that a buyer will find something that strikes them just right in my shop.
I take photos whenever the light seems right and am always taking many more photos than I can possibly use in the effort to get that one shot that shows a piece really well. I tend to edit my photos and list items at night because those are things I can do when it is dark out. I don't really like to work on jewelry at night as even with a special task light, I never feel that I can see exactly how a piece will look. The colors of beads and gemstones can really look quite different under artificial light as compared to natural light.
*Do you have a blog, twitter, facebook, or any other social media you’d like us to know about?
I have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but, use only Facebook for occasional shameless self-promotion (I'm on Facebook as Marilyn Fleischmann and Twitter as Nikkoblue1 - would love to have more Friends and followers!). Social networking is an art that I need to learn more about so that I can increase sales.
It's so rewarding when someone buys a piece or simply compliments me on my jewelry. I love making jewelry, but, like anyone else, like to have positive reinforcement that what I do is creative and maybe even beautiful! One of the very best parts of being on Etsy is making new friends here. We encourage and support each other and there's a great feeling of community. I love to feature these people in treasuries and "talk" to them about our experiences here. I'm hoping that I can continue to sell on Etsy for quite a while and get better at it and more successful while continuing to enjoy it as much as I do now.