Meet Penny Stern

PenelopeStern is one of our "homeys" as an artist residing in Ra'anana, Israel. She describes her shop as a "fun, colorful place, full of unusual and one of a kind pieces." Just one visit and you'll see this is a completely perfect description. She works in sterling silver, polymer clay, semiprecious stones, and yarn.

Sterling Silver Flower Bracelet
Her love of creating began with her late mother, who not only encouraged her to excel in school, also took the time to do crafts with Penny with household items such as cereal boxes, toilet rolls, paint and, in Penny's words, "lots of glitter."

Knitting since she was 5 years old, Penny found she hated being idle, so she also began studying silversmithing once a week for the last 3 years. As for polymer clay, she admits that is mostly self-taught, although she's attended workshops by local and international artists in recent years.

Sterling Silver Garnet Pendant Necklace
With so many crafts, and so little time, Penny is honest about having difficulties budgeting her time. Her goal is to create a few new items a week, photograph, list and promote. "But what with housekeeping, cooking for the family, trying to fit some exercise in every day, running errands, etc., it doesn't always work out." (We understand completely, Penny!)

She found out about Etsy when she was on a polymer clay website forum and noticed many of the members were discussing their Etsy shops, so she decided to investigate. One thing led to another and she joined Etsy as a seller in December, 2007.

Knit Ruffle Scarf
As one of the original members of Etsychai, she tells us why this team is important to her, "Etsychai is important to me as I enjoy feeling part of a community, especially one that has  Jewish content. The group is not too big, which means that I can have a sense of who everyone is here, and hopefully vice versa. The team works very hard at promoting each other, and I enjoy seeing what everyone makes, especially in their Judaica sections."

Inspiration for Penny is no problem. She tells us, "Inspiration is everywhere! I can't get my ideas out fast enough! Magazines and craft books are a huge inspiration. Having a mooch around all my supply shops really gets my creative juices flowing."

Polymer Clay Chamsa

With a strong presence on Etsy (in addition to Etsychai, she belongs to five other teams), as well as memberships in Facebook, Twitter, and a strong presence on the Etsy forums, she finds her most successful sales tool is still the simplest: proper tagging of her items.

As usual in these interviews with our members, we asked Penny for her advice to new and current Etsy sellers, since you can never have too much of a good thing.

For new sellers, she recommends spacing out listings to one or two new items a day. She says, "Don't expect your sales to really get going until you have about 100 items in your shop.I think that it is also a really good idea to write a blog, something which I hope to start doing in the coming year."

As for her photos, she had a novel approach to this most important aspect of selling on Etsy, "I had a professional photographer come to my studio and show me how to use the available light, set up a background and figure out the right settings on my camera. This helped me enormously."

Penny is also fortunate enough to have her work exhibited and sold in the Cecilia Colman Gallery in London. We're fortunate enough to have her on Etsy, so we don't have to travel thousands of miles to purchase her wonderful work.

Smoky Quartz and Garnet Sterling Silver Earrings
-- Post by April Grunspan of AgruArts


Tracey said...

Love these posts, its so nice to get to know our team better. Hope we are going to have a post on April too :)

Linda B said...

Penny, beautiful items. It's so cool you got to study metalsmithing.

Glad you're on the team.

GoofingOff said...

Love this series, well written and very interesting. It is nice to get to know our members better. Penny's work is beautiful.

Penny said...

Wow! April - thank you so much!! I love how the article came out. You did an amazing job - it is very much appreciated.