My ninth featured artist is Trish of Bejewelled Bespoke Designs ... I met her in the Follow these Easy Steps to make more sales... thread in the Etsy Forums. Trish makes bold beautiful jewelry the likes of which you won't see anywhere else...
Start off by telling us a little bit about yourself
My name is Trish and I am a jewelry designer based in Hong Kong. I moved here not too long ago from Australia with my partner and cat. I design everything in our apartment which doubles as my studio and showroom. If I am not designing jewelry, I am probably doing something outdoors - running, hiking, exploring. My other passion is snowboarding - although unfortunately it doesn't snow where I am so I do spend the other half of my free time planning our next trip =D
When did you start your art/craft and how
did you get into it?
My mother was a fashion designer when I was young – she made the most fabulous couture gowns and of course, adorable girly things for me. Growing up, I did everything from painting, drawing, to sculpturing and even tried my hand at the sewing machine - but it was jewelry design that I really love. Eventually at university, I was selling to my network of friends but never thought to really promote further than that. Half a year ago, I moved from Australia to Hong Kong with my partner which meant I had to quit my corporate day job. He is the key driving force behind my business – with no social network in HK (and no job!) to begin with, he encouraged me to really start a proper business after I always kept getting asked where I bought my jewelry from. I now sell on Etsy, and offline – via a catalogue and custom orders!
Where do you get your inspiration for
I am inspired by elegance – my mother is probably the most fashionable lady I have ever met and she is my muse. My creations are for the female who is not afraid to make a statement through her accessories and who wants to be centre of attention. I am inspired by colour – I have a special soft spot for anything in gold as you will see from my designs! Lastly, I am inspired by my partner – I definitely wouldn't be where I am now without his tireless encouragement and emotional support.
Do you work at your art/craft full time or do
you have another job?
I would love to be a full-time jewelry designer! At the moment, I have two jobs and barely any sleep!
If you could start over with your business is there anything you would do differently?
I definitely would do many things differently! With your own business comes a steep learning curve and there is not a day that goes by where I haven’t learnt something new. The main thing I would do differently is to have had the confidence to start my business earlier!!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Why?
Wow, that's a tough one. I honestly don't know. Hopefully I have my own established jewelry label by then! I would also love to branch out into vintage clothes, and other accessories.
Who do you admire (artist or otherwise)? Why?
I admire all the artists on Etsy for having the courage to set up shop and display their talent. I recently read an article where someone said that the sellers on Etsy cannot possibly be considered as artists because many of them are self-taught and don't have a Arts degree, etc. - and if you take a look around the Etsy community, that person is very very wrong. I secretly love Miriam Haskell - I collect as many of these vintage jewelry stampings and designs as I possibly can - and hoard them. Fashion-wise, I am a huge fan of D&G, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga...everything classic yet edgy.
What tips would you have for someone that is just starting out?
If you’re planning to start your own online business, my tips would definitely be:
1.) Promote! And promote more! Take advantage of the social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, the Etsy forums, and more. With thousands and thousands of other online businesses, especially in jewelry, getting your designs out there is especially hard if you don’t get the hang of promoting.
2.) Good photos of your products – I never once thought that I would be opening that digital camera manual and absorbing each word until I started putting my designs online. As customers cannot actually touch and feel the product, getting clear and well taken photos is a MUST for every online business.
3.) Lots of patience AND persistence – Don’t just set up shop, wait a few days and complain you have no sales! Keep promoting, persisting with putting new items for sale, promoting, etc…. and eventually the sales fairy will come!
And lastly, I wouldn't restrict oneself to just selling online - there is a huge market where you are located ready to be tapped, so get out to craft/designer markets or put together a portfolio to show stores!
Be sure to visit her Blog: Bejewelled Bespoke and her Etsy shop...