Zoie and Leal from http://www.etsy.com/shop/gilliauna interviewed by fauxsure
What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
We offer handcrafted jewelry and accessories. Most of our pieces are made with beads and gemstones although we just recently added some woodwork and fiber wrapped pieces as well. The pieces we offer include necklaces, bracelets, earrings, charms, eyeglass chains, badge lanyards, bookmarks and rosaries. We've also recently opened a section that sells destash and have intentions on starting to list a selection of stitch markers, chaplets and have a few other ideas we're kicking around still.
How did you first start selling on Etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
We listed our first item on Etsy on October 20th, 2009. So, just about 3 months now. We also have a shop over at 1000Markets, but we don't promote there or do much there other than list items.
Etsy is our first online selling efforts.
Zoie's mother runs a candy and craft business called "Aunt Billie's" that sells in craft fairs in the Pacific NW area, and we often have a selection of our accessories available for sale through that venue. We've been selling through Aunt Billie's for a couple of years. Neither of us consider this actual selling experience since we don't participate in the fairs ourselves but simply provide the pieces an take a cut of the profit from them.
Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?
Zoie - I like to sit down at the table where my supplies are located with a blank slate in my mind. I have a very large coffee table and my bins an containers of beads and findings are spread out over it. When I sit down, all the colors are there to help inspire me and I let instinct take over to pick what will go with what to piece together a new creation.
Leal - I dream a good portion of my pieces before they come into reality. I often wake up with new ideas fresh in my mind. Like any dream, sometimes they stick and you remember them later. Sometimes they don't. The ones I end up remembering are the pieces I end up making. Like Zoie, I'm set up on my coffee table and sit on one of those athletic exercise balls for working on my craft. It's easier on the... uh, posterior, than a chair and since I'll often sit and work through until a piece is finished (excluding rosaries, which take about 25 hours of work to complete) it's important to be comfortable while working.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Zoie - I love working with beads and glass. Jewelry making isn't my only kind of craft and I also work with glass in other ways (etching, etc). I like the way glass beads feel when I work with them and sound.
Leal - Stones. Gemstones. And more recently, wire.
Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your Etsy shop?
Zoie - Absolutely! My family is a family of woman crafters, and I was raised in a very creative environment. I love working with crafts and I'm always learning or working on something new. I enjoy landscape photography (preferring SLR 35mm film camera), glass etching and a variety of other activities.
Leal - I'm a full time college student and my interests lean heavily towards plants and botany. I'm not sure if gardening and landscaping is considered a "creative project" but that's where most of my creative interests outside my jewelry design are directed.
Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
Zoie - I love to read. I've been an avid reader my entire life from a very young age. Most of my spare time an hobbies are crafty or artsy though and so I spend a lot of time there.
Leal - I think I answered this already above. I garden and do landscaping design. I also participate in literary role-play with my significant other, which is similar to a creative writing exercise between yourself and others with similar interests. I hike and bike ride. I also love to eat, although I'm not a big fan of cooking.
Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
Zoie - I'm not sure if it does or not. It's a part of who I am, so I guess so, since I put a lot of myself into my pieces. I'd be hard pressed to explain how, specifically, it comes into play, though.
Leal - I occasionally make pride related items that we sell either on Etsy or at the craft fairs Zoie's mother attends. I think that my "queer identity" comes into play in my work no matter what I'm making though, if for no other reason that my father frowned upon my jewelry design interests as a "part" of my being queer for years. It seems to have, over time, caused me to blend my interest in this art with my "queer identity" in some ways.
What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
Zoie - Finding other sellers we can identify with has been something we've been interested in since beginning at Etsy, but we haven't had much of a chance to explore the Teams. When we came across Queer Etsy, it seemed the perfect fit.
Leal - Like-minded sellers. We hope, over time, to become an active part of the QEST community. Zoie, in particular, enjoys online social activities, etc.
My Blog: http://gilliauna.blogspot.com