1. Who are you and where are you from?
I'm Chris, and I'm from Baltimore, MD. I've been on an extended stay in Albuquerque, NM, but will be headed back East come summer.
2.What is your craft and how long have you been doing it?
I am a maker of shiny things. Most often, that's gemstone and wire jewelry. As for how long I've been doing it... well, when I was about ten or so my aunt took me to a bead store and showed me how to string some beads. As ten year olds do, I forgot all about it until much later. After college, I had gone through a rough break up and needed some way to occupy my time and my hands, so I went into another bead store and bought the basics-- glass beads, pliers, practice wire. Over time, it snowballed into a part time job, and now a full time one. I've had my Etsy shop for just over two years now, and use some truly fine materials.
3.Where do you get your inspiration?
Fairy tales, steam punk, good literature, Pre-Raphaelite paintings, interesting color combinations, and images of historical figures.
4.What are your favorite materials to use?
I love found or vintage pieces-- old keys, escutcheons, and the like. But I also have a passion for stones. Labradorite is probably my favorite, but I like rutilated quartzes, sunstones, and fluorite quite a lot as well.
5.If you could do any other profession, what would it be and why?
People always tell me I'd be a good party planner or a personal shopper. I think it's because I have a strong sense of visual coordination-- I tend to be quick to put together interesting colors and silhouettes that address each client's wants and needs. I'd also like to go back to school to be a counselor later in life. The world needs more compassionate listeners.
6.What other activities do you like to do?
I'm a dancer! I used to be heavily into swing dancing, but now most of my passion is directed straight into improve Tribal bellydance. It's just so fun to up there with a group of other dancers, smiling and connecting and having a lot of fun! Aside from that, my boyfriend and I like to hike, and I spend way too much time watching costume dramas!
7.What is your favorite flavor ice cream?
Oooh, a hard one. I think it's pretty evenly split between Ben & Jerry's Half Baked (chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownie) or mint chocolate chip. But ALWAYS with rainbow sprinkles on top!
8.What advice do you have for people thinking of selling their handmade items?
Work on your photography! Seriously, this is something I struggle with to this day and although my pictures have gotten a lot better, they still have a ways to go! Aside from that, don't get discouraged if you don't sell right away. Marketing your stuff takes time and effort, and it'll probably take awhile before the ball gets rolling. It's usually not a reflection on the quality of your product, so just keep pushing on.
Please check out this very talented artist at www.sihaya09.etsy.com