Friday, June 15, 2007

Animal Charity Donations from Sales!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hi all :) Love the new interview, Tashi is soooo cute :)
I wanted to follow up Tamara in saying that 10% of all sales
in my Etsy shop go to different animal charities every month,
for June, 10% will go to Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons
Check out my Animal and Nature inspired Paintings, Cards, Prints, and Jewelry.
Here is my new business card and link to Etsy for Animals: Artists Helping Animals.
Michele :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Interview with Sandra Eileen

The second of an ongoing series of interviews profiling EtsyVeg members.
Interview by Jeanette of vesselsandwares and vegandish

Sandra Eileen-Artisan Jewelry For Your Good Life

Sandra lives in New River Valley, Virginia. I have had the pleasure of driving through Virginia numerous times. Even stopping on occasion. So it is little surprise, that Sandra finds inspiration in the nature that surrounds her.

Sandra is also helping her community deal with the tragic events that took place in April on the Virginia Tech campus. She has donated pieces from her line of Hokie (aka Virginia Tech) jewelry to various fundraisers for the Virginia Tech Memorial Scholarship Fund and will be donating jewelry for a fundraiser on June 16 related to the Hokie Healing Blanket Project.

Q. What inspires your jewelry?
A. In making my jewelry I strive to create things that make women feel good, special, comfortable, that conjure an emotion. I enjoy working with asymmetry, varied texture and color. I find that nature can inspire some very interesting color combinations and enjoy nothing more than knitting or creating jewelry based on something I’ve seen out in the natural world.

Q. How long have you been making jewelry?
A. Well, like lots of other children growing up in the United States, I made the typical jewels with macaroni strung on yarn or embroidery floss bracelets when I was young, so technically speaking I have been making jewelry for many more years that I would care to admit.

In high school, I remember making a pair of purple and orange hip-hugger bell bottom pants (now that ages me) and I needed something to go with it, so I made a coordinating headband and bracelet, from strips of braided fabric that I embellished with seed beads and sequins. That was probably the start of my real fixation with making personal adornments. My first jewelry that I sold professionally was about 16 years ago.

Q. On your blog, you have a list of the treasuries that you have been in for the last week and it is impressive. Clearly, you are getting your name out there. Any advice for other etsy sellers?
A. Mmmm, how to get your name out there….I don’t really know, I’m just trying to be myself. The entire online experience is very new to me. My introduction to the internet really coincided with the opening of my first etsy shop in March 2007. Since I listed my first item on Etsy, I have set up my blog, a myspace acct, opened a shop in Mintd, a destash shop on Etsy and am now in the process of developing my own site, I think my name is out there now, just by virtue of the fact that I post to my blog regularly and read and post comments to other’s blogs (both inside and outside of Etsy) and I do participate in the Etsy forums and have curated 5 treasuries myself.

Q. Is etsy
a large part of your business? How else do you sell your work?
A. To date, Etsy is not a large part of my business, but it takes the majority of my time. Which I did not anticipate sell the majority of my jewelry through boutiques or wholesale to other shops.

Q. Are you an etsy addict?
A. I am amazed by the vast variety of products and personalities on Etsy. I have made some nice acquaintances/friends on Etsy, who I now interact with on a daily basis, which I do enjoy. But no, I wouldn’t say I’m an Etsy addict, just a fan.

Q. You just opened a destash store on etsy. Do you find it difficult to maintain 2 sites?
A. Well, Its only difficult now, in that I am still setting up the destash store and now find myself in the middle of establishing my new SandraEileenJewelry store. The main issue I am dealing with changing the name of my jewelry store is just the actual effort involved in relisting each item. Along with that, I am taking the opportunity to retake some photos and rethink the organization of my store. But because neither site is really taking off yet, it has not been all that difficult to maintain. I just periodically log in and out of each site, list new items, etc. When all the sales start rolling in, that all might be another story.

Q. Do you have a day job?
A. I am a jewelry designer full time.

Q. What other crafts do you do?
A. I have always had some sort of creative outlet, watercolor painting, quilting, knitting, sewing, gardening, cooking, baking, jewelry making. I always have something that I am doing or making.

Q. Your blog is nice to read, as are your descriptions on your etsy site. I have always thought that being a writer would pretty much kick-butt. Do you secretly (or not so secretly) want to be an author/writer/journalist?
A. Funny you should mention that, I worked as a lifestyle editor at a county seat newspaper in Ohio for a few years, I am also a published poet and have gone through about 1,000 pages in draft/writing a novel, that is sitting in boxes at the moment.

Q. I saw your post for banana pudding in your blog. My boyfriend will love you forever when I make this. What is your favorite cookbook?
A. My favorite cookbook is Vegan with a Vengence , I can honestly say that I have yet to make a recipe from that book that I did not enjoy. I also enjoy Everyday Vegan, though I generally just use these recipes as a guide, I find Vegan cooking very forgiving and modifiable.

Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian?
A. I can’t remember exactly when I decided to avoid meat products. I came from a family of carnivours, though I was never a big meat eater. I have been some level of a vegetarian for many years. I just feel healthier on high vegetable/plant based diet with food being as unprocessed as possible.

I decided to avoid all dairy and eggs and become more vegan about a year and a half ago.
It’s very difficult though, to eliminate all animal derived products from ones diet, especially if you like to purchase anything that is already prepared, particularly by a major food processor. Animal products are everywhere. I feel it is a process. I am in the process of becoming vegan.

Q. Tashi, who I imagine to be a real bundle of excitement and energy, is your new puppy. How has being a new puppy-mom changed your routine?
A. Being a new puppy mom has totally changed my routine. Prior to Tashi, I was only answerable to myself so I routinely made visits to boutiques that carry my jewelry, did the displays, worked new designs into the displays and rotated others out. We have now begun to visit together, and the shopkeepers just love Tashi, but he is a handful and difficult to keep an eye on. I feel a sense of responsibility and duty to the little guy, because after all, I brought him into my household. So his needs come first and some days we just stay home.

Since Tashi, I have had little time to sit, uninterrupted and design jewelry, I look forward to the day when he is housebroken and can settle himself down between his bursts of energy and play. For now, I just try to enjoy his exuberance. He has such a sweet and playful disposition and is all dog all the time.

Q. I have to ask...the statue that you use to model your jewelry for your etsy store....what is it and where did it come from?
A. It is from a local gift shop and I purchased him just for his photogenic qualities, for the pics in my Etsy shop. Tashi is quite fond of him.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Charitable Endeavors

Hi all, just thought I would let everyone know that I'm donating 5% of my sales for the month of June to Vegan Outreach (more info on my blog). Anyone else have charitable projects going on that they would like to share? Leave a comment or let me know if you'd like to be set up to post here on the blog!