Thanks Nicole for being Stellar!!!
Tell us and the Etsy world a bit about you, anything you'd like to share...
My name is Nicole and I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where I currently live with my fiance, Tyler, and our menagerie of furry and feathered friends. For me, life before Etsy was 10 years as a graphic designer and photographer (and part-time dance instructor, which I still do today). About five years into my career, I began dreaming of having my own design business. Five years later, I finally decided to do it. Etsy was going to be a way to make some extra money in case business was slow. Little did I know that a few months later, it would take over my life.
How did you meet Etsy? Was it love at first sight?
My best friend, Kara (CharmantShop.etsy.com), told me about Etsy one day. I believe a friend in her neighborhood turned her on and when she told me about it she said, 'We could totally do this'. Well, I'm not sure if she used the word totally - that's something I would say - but you know what I mean :) Since I had always been crafty and had been making jewelry my entire life, I decided to give it a go. We both opened shops shortly thereafter.
How did you get into jewelry making?
I can't even remember when it first started. I've always been into anything I can do with my hands and everything artistic. From the time i was old enough, I remember walking up to the local craft store and picking a new project every week and through the years I've dabbled in just about everything including, candle making, soap making, paper crafts, crocheting, sewing, woodworking, ceramics and on and on. Jewelry was one thing that always stuck (along with drawing and photography). My style always changed and my skill level along with it as I got older, but it was always my primary love. I was thrilled to find such an awesome outlet for me to be able to share my creations with others.
How have you done so well in only a bit over one year on Etsy? Any secrets to your success that you'd like to share? ;)
Oh boy, I wish I did have a secret that I could share but honestly, I guess my Dad was right when he told me that hard work pays off. I'm intensely dedicated to everything I do - in my personal life and my professional life. It, of course, helps that I have a great passion for it. When you love what you do, it shows. But it certainly hasn't been easy. I have sacrificed a lot if my personal life, especially when it comes to time for pleasure, and sleep :) I work about 13- 16 hours a day and sleep about 4. One year in and I still see no hope of ever finding a balance, but I do strive for it everyday. The few things that I think have helped me - a quality product, of course, good customer service, being active in the Etsy community - in the way of making Treasuries, attending Virtual Labs, joining a team etc. Also, having a blog and working really hard to make it something people want to read. These days I put almost as much time into my blog as I do on my shop. Finally, you have to stay on top of your game, ahead of the pack. There is so much competition out there, especially in my craft. When you get really busy, the last thing you have time for is working on new designs, but situations I've had the unfortunate experience of dealing with, have made me realize how important it is to stay on top of it and make time for new pieces.
Describe yourself in 1 word: supercharged.
Do you have a favorite:
blog or website you frequent on a regular basis?
I cant really think of anything for this one!
two are definitely tied:Fourth of July - Love the fireworks! Thanksgiving - Love the food! If I could have Thanksgiving dinner while sitting on a rocker watching fireworks - I'd be one happy gal.