Friday, April 3, 2009

Etsy Artisan Interview - Bead4you

Yes, my next artisan admits it. She’s a beadaholic! “Beading is not my hobby, beading is my passion.” And this month is her one year anniversary at Etsy! Jessica is currently designing earrings using a combination of Czech glass and Japanese seed beads. I didn’t see these on Etsy, but if you go by her Flickr site, there’s a whole set on display.

  • What's the name of your Etsy shop?
Bead4you


  • How did you find out about Etsy? Where you a buyer before a seller?
My former co-worker told me about Etsy when she decided to open a shop, selling handmade silkscreen baby tees and onesies of her own design.

  • What is your favorite item in your shop today?
Under the Tuscan Sun Spiral Rope Necklace would have to be my current favorite. The focus of the necklace is beadwoven beads using czech beads in an umber orange color. This hard to find color is one of my favorites.

  • Do you have an online photo storage site, where we can see more about you and your surroundings?
I have a flickr account and my username is bead4you. However I currently do not have many pictures uploaded. I will be adding some more photos soon [I think this is past tense!]

  • Are you involved with any of the Etsy teams?

I have recently become a member of the Etsy Beadweavers team (EBW Team).

  • Are there additional venues where you sell your work?
I try to have a few home jewelry shows a year. I occasionally I attend craft fairs to sell my jewelry. I recently discovered artfire.com and set up an account but I will have to give that some time before I decide if the upkeep of two shops is beneficial.

  • Over the years, what materials and mediums have you worked with? What's your favorite?
I have been creating jewelry since I was a little girl. My beginning materials were from simple kits from A.C. Moore which mainly included plastic beads and charms as well as embroidery string. Most of my current work is with Czech glass beads and Japanese seed beads. The possible combinations of these two types of beads are endless.

  • 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 have struggled with the photo taking process for some time now. I found that if I take pictures between noon and 2pm in natural sunlight, the pictures come out the best and require less editing. Since the cloudy days of the winter months leave too few days to take images this way, I have purchased a few daylight bulbs. While natural sunlight is better, I find these bulbs work much better than a standard bulb. I have two lamps that have a bendy arm on them that I can move to any angle or position I need them in.. The more lit up the room is the better the pictures are. I take many more photos of a item than I need and try out a few backgrounds to see what compliments the piece best. I bring the photos into photoshop and adjust the levels, color balance, brightness and contrast settings until I am happy with the photos.
  • Are selling your products a full-time job, or do you have an additional occupation, outside the home?


I work at Lightbulb Press Inc., a small financial content company in New York City as web production artist. I do hope to someday make web design more of a hobby and beading my full time job in any way. Whether it be selling items I have made or opening a bead shop. Who knows where this passion will take me.

  • We are all looking for good marketing advice. What's the best tip or trick you can share with us?

I am no marketing expert but I do know that marketing success is not something that happens overnight. The cheapest and I think most effective marketing is word of mouth. Always have your business cards ready to share with someone. I try not to leave the house without wearing one of my pieces. It is amazing how many people have asked me "Where did you get that bracelet." My second tip is, it is easier to have repeat customers than to find new ones. Try to keep this in mind when you are dealing with your customers. Any communication with your customer should be polite even when the customer may not be.

  • Where can people find out more about you - do you have a blog, website, instant messaging account?
I am a member of mycraft.com and bead-space, member name bead4you. There is a blog built into this community where I share my thoughts or ideas when I have them. I also post images of my jewelry on these sites.
http://www.mycraft.com/bead4you
http://bead-space.com/bead4you
http://twitter.com/bead4you

OK, time for the storybeader's pick! Thought this bracelet (right) was very striking! I love the way Jessica mixes her seed beads and Czech glass. She's right, there is no end to the combinations!

8 comments:

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

That first picture, Under the Tuscan Sun Spiral Rope Necklace is beautiful! Very talented beader!

Splendid Little Stars said...

You're right, that bracelet IS striking! great interview! Thanks for sharing with us!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

She does incredible work! Thanks for sharing it with us :)

BeadedTail said...

Wow! Gorgeous work!

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Wow! Beautiful items! They look like they'd take forever to make! She does a great job!

AliciaMae said...

woooooowwwwww

I'm speechless at the intricacy

Audrey said...

WOW!! She is amazing!! What an awesome imagination she has and such wonderful earrings.

PurrPrints said...

another great interview--the bracelets are especially lovely.

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