Meet Anne Keller-Smith

Anne Keller-Smith is the owner of  Down to Earth Creations, an Etsy shop selling Hebrew name bracelets, dreidel and menorah charms, kippot (yarmulkes), and Judaica wine charm sets. Having majored in Anthropology, Anne's style has an earthy feel to it. She refers to her work as "natural, gypsy, folksy, hippie..."
In addition to Anthropology, Anne also took many courses in the Liberal Arts, a contributing factor to the art she creates today.

Eshet Chayil Bracelet
 How did she begin creating jewelry? Anne tells us, "I fell in love with crystals and silver all of a sudden, and couldn't stop working with it."

Today she continues to use sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, glass from the Czech Republic, and has added pewter, copper and other interesting materials into her pieces. Pewter and copper were added partially due to cost considerations, since sterling silver has become prohibitively expensive for some Etsy customers.

Hashamayim Kippah
Anne joined Etsy in 2007 when she found out about it from a friend who was also a vendor. A couple of years later she joined the Etsychai team. Even though she's a member of a couple of other teams, she admits she's more active with Etsychai.

"Etsychai is a wonderful, energized, friendly, haimish Jewish group and, since joining, my sales have increased! So I'm a fan!"

Sterling Silver Dreidel Earrings
Of course, getting the word about her shop out there doesn't end with Etsychai. She also promotes using Facebook and Twitter, makes treasuries in Etsy, and will sometimes blog. When asked about which tool seems to be the most successful, she confesses, "Facebook was pretty successful for me. But I haven't spent enough time on my Creations page. I always end up on my personal page."

In addition to her Etsy shop, Anne sells her jewelry at a local handmade gallery and, as if all that selling isn't enough, she also designs websites.

How does she budget her time? Another confession: "Badly!" (We completely understand!)

Hebrew Letters (Custom) Bracelet
As we like to do with all our interviews, we asked Anne for advice she could pass along to other Etsy sellers. The first part is directed at newer sellers. She tells them, "Be very careful to plan to be sustainable from the beginning. In other words, charge four times your supply cost. This covers your materials, labor, advertising, and overhead. If you don't, you'll start resenting how little you're making and won't continue."

She continues, "Make sure you find a unique niche. It's the only way to get seen on Etsy, because Etsy is too big now."

We also asked her about photography, a key ingredient in any listing. "I use a second hand EZ cube light box with two to three lamps surrounding it. I move the lights around my object. Sometimes I take photos on the patio -- silver likes natural light the best. Crystals like the artificial light."

She goes on, "I use a $200 Canon SX-110 with a decent macro lens. I get right up on top of my pieces and try to crop in really close. For my first pic I try to get a really interesting shot that shows how unique the piece is: a unique angle, a unique reflection, the shape of it. For my second pic I get the whole item from above. Third and fourth are other angles a person might experience while using the piece. The fifth is either the piece being worn or the packaging I use."

Passover Wine Glass Charms
For the upcoming holidays, and your gifts list, Anne has some fabulous pieces, and they can still reach you in time!

-- Post by April Grunspan of AgruArts


GoofingOff said...

I love the earthy feel of Anne's work. Thank you for the post.

Tracey said...

April, thanks again for a wonderful post. Anne it's nice to virtually meet you, I love the Pesach wine charms :)

Meredith Laskow said...

Great article! Anne is so talented.

Linda B said...

Anne is so talented at making jewelry, kippot and our new Blog Maven.

Thanks Tammy for all you do.

Beads of Paradise said...

I love your work, Anne. I am nuts over silver and crystals too!