Create a Handmade Product Line

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Whimsical Jewels :: Etsy Featured Seller








Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).


Toni Becker located in Winston-Salem, NC. Prior to moving to NC in 1997 I lived in Upstate NY. I moved here on a quest for warm weather and better opportunities. Since moving here I have established myself as an individual, I have married the love of my life (13 years this august) and now have 2 beautiful children who are 5 and 2 years old. I have taken a few classes along the way but am predominantly self-taught. I love to try new things.


What is your etsy shop address and name?

Shop Name: Whimsical Jewels


Do you have a blog (and what is its address)?

No but it’s definitely something I need to do.


What is your favorite color combination?

Hmm…this is hard because I like so many. Because I have to narrow it down. I absolutely love purple and silver, purple and black, blue and green together and natural colors together.


What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

A basket. My mother had signed me up for an arts and crafts class over the summer. I was probably 7 or 8 years old.


What inspires you?
Nature and people


Where do your ideas come from?

I get a lot of my ideas while I am driving down the road, or in my bed trying to sleep. In general my ideas also come from nature, culture, people, music, my children, philosophy and humanity.


Does the atmosphere affect your creativity?

I wish I could say no and that I could create in any atmosphere but it definitely isn’t the case for me. I create best when I am by myself with a stick of nag champa or sandalwood incense burning. Depending on my mood at the time, I am either listening to music or in a completely quiet room. My creative energy flows freely in the morning hours but because of my full time job I am unable to create at that time so I have to make do with creating in the evening hours when my day is unwinding.


Where do you create, in a workroom/ studio or in a park?

I create in our spare room (computer/craft/guest bedroom).


What are your favorite materials?
Glass and wire


What is your favorite thing to do with your creativity?

Jewelry, frames and cards


Why should people buy handmade?

So much in this world is mass-produced and quite frankly the quality of merchandise has had a steady decline. It is sad that in our society we have placed a lot of small trades out of business because of our fast paced, mass produced throw it away lifestyle. When you purchase items that are handmade it is someone’s craft that they placed time, love, thought and energy into making.


Any tips of wisdom on selling handmade stuff?

No but I could use some. J Actually, I believe word of mouth is the best wisdom and gift for selling. If you saw something you liked, purchased or believe in TELL SOMEONE ELSE.


Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I work full time training individuals in the mental health field. I am also a mother of two small wonderful children. Helping others is one of the greatest rewards of my life second to being a mother.


What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

I haven’t been on etsy for very long, but what I have learned is that this is a great community. A community that supports one another and helps each other out. {Which I support and believe strongly in} It is really important to promote yourself as much as possible via internet as well as in your own community.


Read any good books lately?

I just finished the horse whisper. It was a wonderful book and I found an amazing respect for horses. I have recently read/looked though some craft books: learning to paint, paper crafts, metal craft and various beading techniques.


Do you have any current projects that you want to describe, techniques to share, give picture of?

Along with creating jewelry I am working on some beaded window art. I am also in the process (VERY SLOW) of trying to teach myself how to paint. This may be a long process for me. LOL.


In ten years I'd like to...

learn more crafts: glass blowing, pottery, paint, screen-printing, and working with metals. I would like to have a local store that houses local artists and become financially secure enough to spend more time with my kids. My dream is to live in Asheville instead of Winston-Salem.


Here are some of Toni items listed in her shop.




The picture is of Toni and her husband, she tells us more...

This is my husband and I taken by our 5 year old. J My husband is such a tremendous support and because of his support, amazing love and individuality it creates balance and aides my creative energy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This week's EBTW...August 12th ~ 18th




Keeping it Cool!!!


We are "Keeping Cool" this week...all things metallic, icy and coolllllll!!! Sounds good!


This week, the etsyBEAD Street Team's THEME OF THE WEEK was chosen by Lori of http://virtuallori.etsy.com/


Here is how it works:
etsyBEAD's team members (now over 200 of them!!) go into creation mode and will begin to list their COOL creations. Each seller will tag their items "EBTW" and "Keeping Cool." This makes it super easy for everyone to search and find the latest and greatest work ON SALE!!!!!! In addition, sellers will upload their EBTW items to the group Flickr Pool
http://www.flickr.com/groups/etsybead/

You can also get to know us all as we update our Blog with featured members and items from the sale! http://etsybeadstreet.blogspot.com/

So much to see, and so little time, as come next Sunday a NEW THEME will be announced and all the old items go back to their higher prices. Please note, only etsyBEAD members are allowed to tag their items for this promo...please check the TEAMS page to find contact info about joining.

Of course, anyone can check out our items and YOU are more than welcome to comment here and buy anything your little heart desires. (Your husband called and told me to tell you that you deserve it!!! Oh, and his mother's birthday is coming...)