Friday, December 5, 2008

Etsy Artisan Interview: Beaded Tail

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sharla, who runs the Beaded Tail jewelry shop with her mom, Sheri. You can feel the good vibes floating through the ethernet when you visit their shop and blog - just good people who care a great deal for animal rights, and try to help them as much as possible. Know that every purchase you make from their shop is benefiting defenseless animals who need a helping hand. So, check out what Sharla's involved in, and spread the good cheer.

  • What's the name of your Etsy shop?
  • What types of products do you sell?
We sell beaded jewelry for animal lovers! My mom is my partner and we make beaded earrings, bracelets and necklaces with a portion of all proceeds going to animal awareness causes. Most of our items have an animal theme to them whether it's a cat bead, dog charm, paw toggle, pawprint animal awareness ribbons or even butterfly beads. We have something for all animal lovers!
  • What is your favorite item in your shop today?
My favorite item varies but I keep coming back to the Simple Elegance - Garnet and Red Tigers Eye Bracelet with Paw Toggle. This is one of the first bracelets I made and it is one of my favorites.
  • How did you find out about Etsy? Where you a buyer before a seller?
I found out about Etsy when I was doing a Google search one day for animal beads. An Etsy shop showed up in the search and that was when I first discovered it. I didn't start buying anything though until we opened up shop on December 23, 2007, and then I was most certainly a buyer before we sold our first item three months later!
  • Over the years, what materials and mediums have you worked with? What's your favorite?
My mom is very crafty and can do just about anything but I, on the other hand, didn't get much of that creative gene. I have tried working with polymer clay but not with much success. It wasn't until I discovered beading that I found something that I could be good at. I enjoy finding the right beads and the right combinations and making something beautiful and I also find it very relaxing.

  • If you are a member of the Artisans Shoppe, how did you learn about it?
I am a member of The Artisan Shoppe as a result of hearing about it from some of my fellow EtsyBloggers. I think it's a great venue for people to find a variety of items so it should be fun as more people find us there in the coming months.

  • Are there additional venues where you sell your work?

We currently only sell on Etsy and The Artisan Shoppe.

  • Are you involved with any of the Etsy teams?
I've been a member of Etsy for Animals since soon after we opened up shop and in the past few months I've joined the fabulous EtsyBloggers team and also the Etsy Angels. All have allowed me to meet wonderful caring and supportive people and I'm having so much fun being a part of them all!

  • Do you have an online photo storage site, where we can see more about you and your surroundings?
I do have a flickr site which I don't update as often as I should. I do have jewelry photos on it as well as pictures of my pets.

  • Everyone knows images are important when selling on the internet. What's your procedure for taking photos of your products? Do you have any tips on taking better photographs?
I live in the Pacific Northwest where natural light is scarce in the winter so I struggle with taking nice pictures. Currently I wait for a break in the clouds and rush out and get all the pictures I can. I tried a lightbox but haven't found the right combination of camera settings and lighting so that the background doesn't look orange. It's still a work in progress. I do know that for taking photos of jewelry, the macro setting is a must.

  • We are all looking for good marketing advice. What's the best tip or trick you can share with us?
Good question! I think the most important thing I discovered is to figure out your target market and promote with them in mind. And certainly find ways to promote off-Etsy.

Are selling your products a full-time job, or do you have an additional occupation, outside the home?For my day job, I'm a CPA and I prepare taxes all year. I telecommute to Colorado so luckily don't have to leave the house to go to work. During tax season I work 50+ hours a week but the rest of the year I work just 24 hours a week. My mom is retired and living in sunny Las Vegas so I rely on her to make most of the jewelry in our shop during tax season since my time is so limited.
  • Where can people find out more about you - do you have a blog, website, instant messaging account?
I do have a blog and try to update it daily. Come visit and meet my pets and learn more about our jewelry!

  • OK, my turn to answer a question! What is storybeader's favorite item for sale in your Etsy shop?
It's hard to pick just one - my favorite pieces are the little kitty earrings. They're so adorable - any cat lover would just flip to have a pair for her very own!


Tulip's Talking said...

Excellent Etsy Artisan and Interview...I LOVE her blog and her heartfelt, determined care of those less fortunate. Her efforts have raised my level of consciousness to DO instead of just thinking about it!

Definately a SWEETHEARTED bean...x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0

agoodwitchtoo said...

What a great interview! I really enjoyed learning more about BT :)

TNT2008 said...

BeadedTail is a blog that I love to visit daily. Her humorous take on what her little furbabies are doing is too hard to resist.

Great job, Storybeader!

BeadedTail said...

Thank you so much Story! This is my very first interview I've done and I appreciate your feature very much!

glorybe1024 said...

What a lovely interview! It is so nice to learn more about our cyber friends!

Amanda said...

Great feature on a fabulous artist and friend!!!

Sharla is a sweetheart, and has her heart in all the right places!

Amanda- Moderator of Etsy Angels...Beaded Tail is a member :)

Chris said...

Great interview! Sharla is such a sweetie and makes the cutest jewelry. Love the kitty earrings.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I love your interviews Deb! Sharla's such a fun artist :)

Sandy :) said...

Great interview--glad I came across it. I am a beader, animal lover and activist. Also, I live in Las Vegas, so Sheri will have to come to our beading parties here! Have Sheri email me--I'd like to chat with her. Also, Sharla,I will be checking out your blog regularly. I will soon be putting up my own etsy web site.I like your kitty earrings--I have two cats--Blackjack and Roulette!

Sandy :) said...

Great interview!I like that you focus on the animal theme. I am an animal lover and activist, and beader. And, live in Las Vegas, so it would be great for Sheri to come to to my beaders' group gatherings. Very cute kitty earrings. They are an inspiration for me to make for my two cats--Blackjack and Roulette.

Stormy Designs said...

Great interview!

storybeader said...

Sandy, if you're out there, leave us an e-mail, so we can contact you! Deb and Sharla

Mishkat said...

Wonderful interview with Sharla! I own some BeadedTail earrings, and they do indeed have good vibes :)! I also highly recommend visiting Sharla's blog - worth a read every day.

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