Monday, May 25, 2009
Today marks another installment of my Monday blog series titled Monday Must-Have. Each Monday I will feature a fellow talented Etsian and their phenomenal work. Each featured artist will have their own online Etsy shop where you can peruse and admire their one-of-a-kind body of work. Hopefully you will find new favorite artists and artisans whose work you MUST HAVE. :)
Today's featured artist is Carolyn of CeeGee Jewellery Design.
Who are you (actual name/and or shop name)?
I’m Carolyn and I’m the founder of CeeGee Jewellery Design
What do you create?
I make handcrafted sterling silver jewellery from my home workshop.
Where are you located?
I live in a village in Cheshire, England. I’m just south of Manchester.
When did you start creating?
After spending a hectic decade after university living and working in central London, my husband and I moved up to Cheshire, about 45 minutes from where I grew up. I had trouble finding a similar role to the job I was doing in London, and decided to see if I could do something completely different. 18 months on I miss my old salary but absolutely love what I do! I feel really lucky to be able to do something I really enjoy every day.
Why did you choose your shop name?
My shop name is a derivative of my initials. It was the name I came up with when I was just testing the water really to see if things would work out, and I wanted something personal but professional sounding. I often wish I’d chosen something a bit more interesting and quirky, but I’m kind of stuck with it now! It works well in directories though as it gets me near the top of alphabetical lists!
What inspires you?
Pretty much everything! I try not to be too led by current fashions as I don’t want my jewellery to date, but am influenced by trends. My biggest inspiration is probably the changing seasons – they really affect my mood and the colours I want to use.
What is the most time consuming part of your art/craft?
The whole marketing side of things. I had no idea when I started how much time I would have to spend online, working on my website and trying to get my business name out there. Marketing on a teeny budget isn’t fun!
What's your next project going to be?
I’ve used lampwork beads in my work for some time and absolutely love them. I’m constantly amazed at the talented glass artists out there. I’ve recently started teaching myself to make them and am hooked! I’m in the process of clearing out my garden shed to insulate it and set it up as a permanant lampwork studio. I can’t wait to get it finished so I can get lots of practice in and start using my own beads in my designs. Recently I went on a metal clay course, which I really enjoyed. I’ve just launched the first of my silver clay jewellery on my website and plan to add to the range soon.
What types of things do you do to turn first time buyers into repeat clients?
I always make sure that as well as my business card, I include a card in the gift wrapping that references the business, to help customers remember where they bought their jewellery from. This is something low key that would be suitable to include if it’s a gift. The next stage along from that is getting my business name printed on the gift wrapping but I’m not quite there yet as I have to keep my costs down. I always get the customer on my mailing list where possible so I can keep them informed about new designs and offers. Apart from that I just try to offer excellent customer service so they want to come back and shop with me again!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
At the beginning of this year I started writing a blog, Trinkets and Treasure (www.CeeGeeJewellery.blogspot.com) which covers what’s happening in my business, and also features other indie designers and websites. I love the whole handmade ethos and hope it goes some way to spreading the word! Craft still has a bit of a fusty, dated image in the UK, but there are signs that we’re making progress in proving it’s not all village halls and tea cosies, and giving it a new lease of life. There are a number of UK handmade marketplace sites springing up, but it remains to be seen which will emerge as the best. I’m involved in a promotion at the moment for one of the newest UK pretenders to the Etsy throne, www.Corinadr.com. It’s a great looking site with some fantastic shops. Do check it out!
You can also find Carolyn on her main website here. If you're interested in being featured in future Monday Must-Have segments, please feel free to convo me in my Etsy shop or email me. Have a wonderful day!