Michelle Bell, Haverhill, MA, I have three children ages 17, 16 and 14 and have been married for nineteen years. I am an animal lover, especially dogs. I work full time and go to the gym everyday after work.
2. What first made you want to become an artist/designer?
I self taught myself to make jewelry a couple of years ago and have been hooked ever since! I was looking online to open a store when I came across Etsy. I opened my store for business this past June. I was making soap four years ago and stopped ( I cant remember why!) but have recently started again. Right now, the soaps are selling better than my jewelry!
3. Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I mostly use silver plated and gold plated metal for my jewelry to keep prices down for my customers, but of course, if my customer wants sterling I will get it for them. I love working with lampwork beads, glass beads, pearls and swarovski crystals. I mostly make my jewelry and soap on weekends in my sunroom because the lighting is perfect and all my supplies are out there.
4. How do you promote your work?
I promote my work on Etsy, of course, which is http://www.mbell34.etsy.com/ in my store, on the forums and in the chatrooms, I have a blog http://www.mbell34etsy.blogspot.com/, I just signed up on Artfire http://beadlover08.artfire.com/, I have my photos on flickr, and I have ads on Project Wonderful.
5. What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Advice I would give new etsians is to be patient. Sales don't happen right away. You need to promote, promote and promote. Also, get some business cards and give them to everyone you know. Relist or list items everyday on Etsy. Make sure your photos are clear and take many photos!