ME: What is the name of your etsy shop and what do you sell?
JEN: The name of my Etsy is www.Northstarjewellery.etsy.com and I sell handcrafted jewellery made with a wide range of materials such as freshwater pearls, semi precious gemstones, glass and crystal. I specialise in custom bridal jewellery.
ME: Where are you located?
JEN: I am located in County Donegal in Ireland.
ME: If you have a website or a blog outside of Etsy, what is the url?
JEN: I have a website and also a blog;
ME: Do you have your items in any shops?
JEN: I will be putting some of my jewellery on display and for sale in a local bridal boutique in two weeks time so this is a very exciting time for me!
ME: How did you get started in your craft/art and how long have you been doing it?
JEN: I have always been very creative and have been painting and drawing since I could hold a pencil, and I got into jewellery making 4 years ago when pregnant with my daughter. I got hit with that whole nesting thing but one bag of strange knitted shapes later, I realised that I was never going to be a knitter lol! so I turned my attentions to the fascinating world of beads and jewellery making.
ME: Are you inspired by anyone or anything when you are creating?
JEN: I am inspired by so many things, nature, the words of a song... the need to create, the world has much to offer in the way of inspiration
ME: Do you listen to music when you work and if so what kind?
JEN: All the time! and I like everything from heavy metal, to classical to old 50's classics, it depends on my mood.
ME: Where do you shop for your supplies? Do you have a particular design in mind when you are shopping or do you pick randomly things you like and then design with them once you're home?
JEN: Unfortunately I have to go outside Ireland for my supplies because what is available here is very limited and quite expensive. I don't always have a design in mind when I go shopping for my supplies, unless I have a custom bridal order. Otherwise I shop by colour and instinct!
ME: What is your most favorite thing about your craft? What is your least favorite?
JEN: My favourite thing about my craft is the absolutely endless techniques available to learn, I love to push at the boundaries of my skills to see where something new will take me, and I love being my own boss.
My least favourite thing.. well I don't really have one except that I have to go outsource all my materials.
ME: If you had to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
JEN: Not really, but I would try to be better prepared for the sheer amount of hard work involved in promoting your own business, and trying to juggle your personal life more easily with the business side of things
ME: Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?
JEN: Hopefully running a lot more smoothly with a mostly regular salary!
ME: Describe your workspace? Is there anything you would like to change about it?
JEN: My workspace is a 9x12 foot room just off the kitchen that I have taken over to use as my studio. One corner houses my office space, computer, printer, camera etc and also big shelves of my book collection. The rest of the room has a work table on which sits my cd player and whatever I happen to be working on at the time, and various different storage units for all my jewellery making and art work. The only thing I would change about it would be to make it bigger! I never have enough space..
ME: Describe a moment that touched you as an artist when either displaying or selling your art.
JEN: Well I have quite a few of those but I guess one of them would be seeing my jewellery on a bride for the first time, another would be when I sold out a jewellery party and impressed a group of women enough that they now have me do a jewellery party for them twice a year- happy days.. I guess that moment when someones eyes light up when they try on a pice of jewellery you have just made for them and they really like it- that always gets me!
ME: What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own crafting business?
JEN: I would say that the world of self employment and crafting is not an easy one, and you have to be prepared to work really hard to get where you want to go. Things will only happen if you put in the time and the effort. You must also believe in yourself and keep up your faith in what you do. But it is a very satisfying career for me, I love what I do completely, and how many people do you know who can say that and mean it?