Friday, May 29, 2009

Etsy Artisan Interview - Monkeybuns

Krystal, operator of Monkey Buns, has been making jewelry all her life. She opened her Etsy shop over two years ago; last year she opened a supply store on Etsy, Monkeybuns Supplies. Right now, the store is empty. No wonder! She's been busy! I counted over 100 bracelets and cuffs in her jewelry shop, and that's just to adorn your wrist. But before you go visit her shop and blog, let me first introduce you to Monkey Buns.

  • What's the name of your Etsy shop?

  • What types of products do you sell?
For the last 2 years I have primarily done bead woven bracelets and some stringing. Lately I've been broadening my creativity spectrum into wire jewelry, glass blowing and glass fusing.

  • What is your favorite item in your shop today?
I would have to say that currently my favorite is my Lipstick Lady Bracelet.

  • How did you find out about Etsy? Where you a buyer before a seller?
After I had my son I was up a lot at night and surfed the internet. I was a buyer to start with and then I started making jewelry and refound Etsy.

  • Are you involved with any of the Etsy teams?
I love my Etsy teams. I'd have to say that I'm most involved with JET(Jewelry on Etsy Team). They are a group of really talented and fun ladies and one gent.

I'm also a member of Cafemom, IowaEtsy , and Sateam [Starving Artists]
  • Are there additional venues where you sell your work?
You can also find my work at local craft fairs and MacNider Museum.

  • Over the years, what materials and mediums have you worked with? What's your favorite?

I did a lot of stringing with cheaper seed beads when I was a kid. In my teen years I did a lot of hemp necklaces. As a grown up jewelry maker, I have found a love in Delica and Toho seed beads.

  • 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 took four years of photography and still struggle with photographing jewelry. I take great pictures of nature and people but jewelry is tricky. I use a light tent in the winter due to the lack of sun in Iowa. In the summer I use as much natural light as possible.

  • Do you have an online photo storage site, where we can see more about you and your surroundings?
I'm on Flickr

  • Are selling your products a full-time job, or do you have an additional occupation, outside the home?
I used to sell close to full-time when I stayed at home with my son. I currently teach preschool at a local daycare.

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

Marketing is tricky - you can spend a lot time marketing and not creating or you can create with little marketing. I tend to do marketing I enjoy. I love to Twitter and do Flickr. Beadspace is awesome for beadweavers.

  • Where can people find out more about you - do you have a blog, website, instant messaging account?
I have a blog that is mostly about Etsy.

OK, the storybeader's turn. My favorites are the cuffs that Krystal weaves. I love the look and idea of all those itsy-bitsy beads, making something so beautiful. I've started beadweaving, and found it's really hard to make something look random, like she does with her Harvest Bracelet (right). Think this is my favorite sort of clasp too. It's so organic and fits the piece so well. Good job, and a great price!


Hot Rocks said...

Lovely work! Very talented lady.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Beautiful work!

BeadedTail said...

Wow, gorgeous work! Great interview!

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