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Friday, April 4, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Chic Designs by Hayley

The Independent Designer of the Week is Chic Designs by Hayley - a delicious jewelery shop on Etsy specializing in everything from do-it-yourself tools to beautiful special occason pieces.

Here is my favorite piece from Chic Designs by Hayley - Turquoise and Chrysocolla Necklace. Turquoise is so HOT!!! This would look killer with a bright red top, dark blue jeans and your new peep toe pumps!!!

I asked Chic Designs by Hayley a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?
I would say that my jewelry is sometimes funky, sometimes elegant, and sometimes somewhere in between! I love color and I love things that have some sparkle to them.
How did you get started?
I first started making my own jewelry using inexpensive beads and plated wires. Once I felt like I had mastered the basics, I started diving into buying actual semi-precious gemstones. I learned most of the techniques I know by heading to my local library and checking out jewelry-making books and by buying beading magazines. So pretty much I self taught myself everything I know. People around my small town started asking me about my jewelry and if I was selling it. It wasn't until my jewelry collection got ridiculously large that my husband suggested the possibility of selling my stuff. I also noticed that when I had yard sales and was selling some of my first beginner pieces, people where showing up early and literally ripping jewelry out of each others hands. That was really exciting to see people eager to buy even the basic stuff.
How long have you been crafting?
I've only been making jewelry for about 4 years now, but come from a family of crafty people so its in my blood.What is your inspiration?As I've gained more confidence over the past few years of making jewelry, I've gotten bolder at making more interesting color combinations in my work. I see some of the fabrics that my sister uses in sewing her handbags and I just fall in love with the colors. Mostly though my inspiration just comes from wanting to make something out of the ordinary that you wouldn't find at the local shopping center.
What is your favorite piece in your shop today?
I absolutely love my white topaz and freshwater pearl earrings. I think they are absolutely stunning.
How do you market/advertise your wares?
In addition to selling on etsy, I have my jewelry in a gift shop in a neighboring town. People are able to pick up one of my cards there too which directs them to my etsy shop. Although I would love to be able to list at least one item a day on etsy, sometimes it just doesn't happen (3 kids) although I definitely list at least 3 or 4 pieces a week or even relist an item. I also make sure to wear some of my work wherever I go, even to the grocery store, and keep a full stock of business cards in my purse so that anyone who comments on what I'm wearing can be handed a card. I find that is like being a human billboard. Who cares if you are just heading to the Post Office or the grocery store, throw on a fabulous chunky necklace and matching earrings and turn some heads. I also get on the "We Love Etsy" network usually daily and list photos of my work. I also check out the forums on etsy and convo other etsy crafters.
Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?
Be persistent. You can't list 10 items on etsy, not do anything for a month and expect the sales to come rolling in. Get your name and your craft out there. Do a craft fair or something of that nature. It's a way to get your name out there to a lot of people at one time. Don't be afraid to share what you do with people. For me, the best kick start to my business was getting my items in gift shop.
Thanks Hayley!! You have delicious pieces :> I love your advice about wearing a few fab pieces of jewelery even to the post office! I think that as a mom myself - I need to hear that advice!!!


MSD Design said...

Hello! Linked here from Swanky Moms. Great article(s).

CozyMoments said...

Lovely feature! Hayley's jewelry is GORGEOUS!! :)