|Blue Moonstone Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Pendant|
A typical story from many Etsy sellers, Christine has been making art since she could work, always going to arts and crafts stores, working on projects being promoted at the time. She says, "I never had the opportunity to officially study art; but I pick every artsy brain that I come in contact with, I read library books about art, and I check out classes on the web. I am always learning."
Her love of jewelry making began because she wanted some pieces that were real and not made in China. She made a few items for herself and found people wanting to purchase them from her when she wore them. After doing some research, she found wholesale sources for her supplies and began wearing and selling her pieces.
|Polished Glass Judaica Bracelet with Hamsa|
Making art connected her to other artists which, in turn, made her interested in other forms of art. She began playing with pen and ink drawings, oil painting, and watercolors. So, in addition to her ever evolving jewelry designs and materials, she's recently added painted wooden breadboards and prints of her paintings as cards to her shop.
|Chanukah Kislev Original Watercolor Print|
In 2009, Christine's daughter introduced her to Etsy, and she's been buying and selling on it since then. Soon after that, she was invited to join the Etsychai team. Shen speaking of EtsyChai, she says, "EtsyChai has been my mentor, my Etsy parents. When I first started, I had no idea of how things worked, and the team has been such a big help in teaching me the ropes, and all about promotion. I LOVE being part of a great team of artists!"
In addition to Beads of Paradise, Christine also sells show dog leashes made of kangaroo leather and beads in her other Etsy shop Kangalulu. Additionally, she sells jewelry and accessories for dog lovers, tutors children and the disabled, and teaches music classes.As if that isn't enough, Christine and her husband write and perform music with a small band, recently having put out their first CD album.
When asked how she budgets her time, she admits, "I am terrible at budgeting anything...especially time! I find my artsy self with my head in the clouds tending to do what I feel like doing whenever I can get away with it."
However, she sets aside one day a week for art after she's done her basic house chores to "keep my family happy."
|Carnelian Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Ring|
As with our other featured artists, Christine has valuable advice to other etsy sellers, new and old. For new sellers, she advises, "Patience, patience, patience. Just keep plugging and join a team!" She also says, "I think it has helped me to have a variety of different items of varying prices, so there is something for everyone."
When asked about photos, she concurs with everyone else saying, "Make sure to have good pictures!"
We asked her to elaborate, and she did, "I asked some of my fellow Etsy folks that had good pictures and someone recommended that I get a good camera with a SUPER MACRO. He pointed me to a refurbished FujiFilm FinePix and this camera has been terrific for me! I rarely even have to touch up the photos, and they are ready to go. I take all my pictures in the morning near my big picture window so I get natural daylight. I try taking the pictures from different angles. I experimented with several backgrounds to find the right thing that will accent the jewelry."
|Star of David, Aventurine, & Moss Agate Sterling Silver Necklace|
As for the all-important promoting, she gets resutls by passing out her business cards everywhere, does several shows a year, and is an active user of Facebook and Twitter. Happily, she's also a paid member and active participant in EtsyChai. (Thanks Christine!)
As the season of gift giving approaches, visit this, and all the other EtsyChai shops to find that special gift for that special someone.
|Braided Kangaroo Leather Necklace|
-- Post by April Grunspan of AgruArts