Monday, March 1, 2010

Featured Artists Melissa and Sarah of MS Jewelry Design

This week’s featured artists are EtsyNJ members Melissa and Sarah of MS Jewelry Design, Melissa and Sarah offer a fun range of casual and special occasion jewelry (see here for a few selections). So if you or someone you know has an eye for the sparklies, then be sure to stop by.

1. The Tote Trove (TTT): Your Etsy shop announcement mentions that MS Jewelry Design specializes in wedding jewelry. How did you become interested in bridal accessories? What is your favorite thing about designing them?

Melissa & Sarah (MS): We had so many friends and family members that loved the jewelry we made and wanted us to make special jewelry for their weddings. We had such a blast custom designing jewelry for them. People kept telling us we should create a wedding jewelry business, so we did.

2. TTT: According to your Etsy profile, MS Jewelry Design was hatched by two cousins (you!) who loved to create jewelry as children. Back then, did you ever imagine that you’d turn your passion into a business?

MS: We've been making jewelry since we were little, but back then I don’t think we even imagined being able to turn our passion into a business. It wasn’t until some of our friends and family suggested creating a business to sell our jewelry that we realized it was even a possibility.

3. TTT: Did you learn your craft from someone, or are you more self-taught?

MS: Our mothers had a craft business together along with our other aunt when we were young, and we would usually go to the craft shows with them or play together while they were making crafts. So, I guess crafting is in our blood. As far as jewelry making, we're both self taught. We're constantly teaching ourselves new techniques and exploring new ideas.

4. TTT: What is your favorite item in your shop?

MS: We love all of our items, but right now our Aqua Dreams Bracelet is our favorite. It reminds us of the beach, which is where we'd like to be right now.

5. TTT: What items, if any, would you like to add to your shop?

MS: We have so many items that aren’t in our shop right now that we'd love to add. It’s all about capturing the right picture that shows the true beauty of our jewelry, which is something we're working on.

6. TTT: Describe your creative process. Do you follow a routine, create when inspiration strikes, or a little bit of both?

MS: We like to find unique beads and then get together to come up with ways to use them. We also love to share ideas we had in our minds and use that to guide our creations.

7. TTT: What is the best thing about running your own business? The worst?

MS: One of the best things is being able to see and hear the reactions from our customers when we create their custom made jewelry. The hardest part was waiting for that first sale on Etsy. We’d made plenty of sales at shows and to friends and family members, but couldn't wait to make our first Etsy sale.

8. TTT: How did you discover Etsy?

MS: Sarah actually discovered it and printed out all of the information to review at one of our craft shows when we were looking for ways to expand our business.

9. TTT: What have you learned from running an Etsy business? Do you have any advice you’d like to offer other artists looking to market their work?

MS: We're still pretty new to the whole Etsy scene, but so far we’ve learned you have to take great pictures, promote in any way that you can, find a great team (go EtsyNJ!), and be patient.

10. TTT: How does selling online differ from selling in person?

MS: Our main selling venues are craft shows and jewelry parties. We love being able to meet our customers and have them see the beauty of our jewelry in person.

11. TTT: Who is most (emotionally) supportive of your business?

MS: Our mothers, Richard (Melissa’s husband), Chris (Sarah’s boyfriend), our family members, and friends. Everyone has been so supportive that it is hard to name just one.

12. TTT: Are there any new artistic/creative skills you’d like to learn?

MS: We'd love to learn how to do more wirework.

13. TTT: Tell us about life outside of MS Jewelry Design. Do you have jobs in addition to your business? Hobbies? Family? Pets?

MS: We both have jobs in addition to our business. Melissa is a first grade teacher, and Sarah is a scientist. We both love stamping and card making, and Sarah does cross-stitching. Melissa also quilts. We just love crafts in general. Melissa has a pet guinea pig and a cat. Sarah has a dog and two hamsters.

14. TTT: What are your hopes for MS Jewelry Design in the future?

MS: We hope to continue to expand our business and have much more success on Etsy. We would love to make jewelry for many more weddings and to continue to have fun together.

15. TTT: BONUS QUESTION. Just for fun, if you were stranded on a deserted island and had to eat the same thing every day, what would it be? You can pick a drink and a dessert, too. (I find that dreaming up a whole meal makes this game more entertaining!)

MS: Melissa would pick pizza, cherry vanilla diet Dr. Pepper, and cherry vanilla ice cream. Sarah would pick coffee and chocolate chip cookies.

Thanks for stopping by to meet Melissa and Sarah and find out more about MS Jewelry Design. Still got a craving for accessories? Feed it here:

Want to be an upcoming featured artist? Or maybe you have a friend who’d dig the spotlight? Just email me at mailto:thetotetrove@gmail.comwith your shop name and I’ll add you to the schedule!


Melissa said...

Thank you for featuring us! We are honored!

The Tote Trove said...

I'm so glad you like the feature! I always have such a good time doing them :)