Today, I'd like to introduce you to a new friend and my very first Guest Blogger interview: Brenda's Jewelry Box! *Ü* I first met Brenda online a few weeks ago, through the Etsy Bootcamp challenge we've both been participating in. I was searching for a "Bootcamp Buddy" for one of the first weekly challenges and when I read her profile and saw her beautiful jewelry, I just knew she was the perfect pal for me! We've been having a great time, getting acquainted, motivating and encouraging each other as we work to make our Etsy shops the best they can be.
Brenda asked me if I might be interested in doing a mutual guest blog article on each other and I thought it was a fantastic idea. I've never tried this before, but she's a real pro at it, and I've been having so much fun interviewing her, I know this is something I'd like to do more often! So here goes…
Pretend we’re sitting down together over a cup of coffee and tell me a little about yourself?
Hi, Lori, it's really great meeting you! I was born and raised in West Texas, but I reside in Eastern Washington State. I get homesick sometimes, especially when I hear a southern draw, but I love it here. I raised my son here, and I met my best friend here whom I married 11 years ago. I love my family, my friends, my pets (which are my babies) and I’m following my passion for making jewelry. (Great coffee… I think I hear a slice of apple pie calling my name! ;-D)
How did you get started making jewelry?
I first started by making earrings as gifts for Christmas in 2006. I chose to make them because my financial picture wasn’t very bright, and I had a big box of beads and supplies stashed away that was given to me by my Mother. I didn’t have a clue about making jewelry, nor did I think I could do it… but with the loving support of my husband and my late brother, I gave it a try and the rest is history.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
Oh gosh, inspiration comes to me from so many avenues! It can be the colors of the season, a shape of an object, the current holiday or reading an inspiring story. Ideas come to me in my dreams a lot and sometimes, right off the top of my head. Beading and craft magazines are a great way to get inspired! Not by copying the designs, but learning from them and putting your own spin on a project of your own.
Share three photos of your work that best describes your personal style and tell me why?
“Gwyneth” Bracelet: I love the way this bracelet turned out! It reflects my vintage style with the mixture of antique brass, copper and the soft brown and golden colors.
“Forest Fairy” Necklace: This necklace reflects my eclectic style. It shows that adding a little flair, such as the fairy charm, to a sophisticated gemstone necklace can be fun to wear.
“Mary Rose” Bracelet: This bracelet reflects my feminine style. I love the soft blend of green peridot, pink rose quartz, and antique copper.
What artist or designer (past or present) would you love to meet?
There are actually two jewelry designers I would love to meet, Vicki at Orion Designs and Nicole at Beadwright. I admire both of these ladies for the strong and positive women they are and for their amazing talents. Also, I admire their strong worth ethic and successful businesses. I feel very fortunate to call them my friends.
Where do you see yourself a year from now?
Hopefully, I’ll be more successful with my jewelry business. A couple of my goals are to try my hand at selling in a few craft shows at the local fairgrounds next year and to expand my items to local boutiques. A new shop on Artfire.com is in the works, as well as possibly adding some of my items to a surf shop in Florida. I recently found out I’m going to be published in the April 2011 issue of Bead Trends. I’m so excited!
Thank you so much, Brenda! I'm excited for you too and I know you have a wonderful future ahead of you!
If you love this small sampling of Brenda's work as much as I do, please check out all the other wonderful goodies she has in her Etsy shop, Brenda's Jewelry Box. She's also generously donated an Exclusive Coupon for 30% off any one jewelry item in her shop for one lucky reader who will be picked in a random drawing by me. (This does not include sale or Clearance Bin Section items.) And when you visit her blog to read her interview of me, you'll see that she'll be doing a drawing for my own 20% coupon off one in-stock item in my shop too!
• To enter the drawing for Brenda's coupon, just post a comment here on my blog.
• To enter the drawing for my coupon, leave a comment on Brenda's blog HERE.
DEADLINE: Please post your comment by Saturday, November 13th.
We'll draw the winning names this Sunday.
You can also get a few more opportunities to win by:1) help spread the word about my and Brenda’s shops and our special coupon drawings on your own blog, and/or
2) “like” my Facebook page (see my box in the right-hand column of my blog), and/or
3) “follow" Brenda's blog and add a link to her site on your own blog.
Please add a separate comment if you do any of these extra things and include a link back to your site, along with your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.
Good luck! *Ü*