1. Why don't you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself.
I'm Janelle and I'm originally from the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. I've relocated to southern california and I work in healthcare at a large hospital. I am asian american, married and currently have no children, but hope to someday =). I try my hardest to live a green lifestyle and try to use less of everything!
I've always been right-brained and while I've had to use my left brain for my income, I like to use the right side to express myself. In the past, that expression has been with paper crafts making greeting cards but I through some serendipity and a few work friends, I found jewelry making.
2. Your pieces are really unique; which is your favorite to make?
I actually have two favorite things to make.
The first one is my knot beads - I hand make everyone of those - each one is different and its interesting to see how the wire has a mind of it's own sometimes! I love the finished product - they are so elegant in such an unusual way.
My second favorite thing to make are my custom name necklaces. I like the idea of someone having something no one else has and even if you have the same name as someone else, it never comes out the same! Plus each one can be personalized with someone's favorite colored stone. 3. Describe your studio...
I don't really have a studio since my jewelry is just a hobby. I guess you could say my studio is my dining table! Hopefully one day I'll have a crafting room, although a studio would put my over the moon! 4. How soon after you started creating did you decide to turn your craft into a business?
I would say it turned almost immediately into a business - by accident! I wore my first ever creation to work and someone commented that they really liked it. I told her I made it and she asked me if I could make 3 more (one for her and one for her mom and sister for mother's day). She liked them so much, she told all her friends. That was 2 years ago although I only recently opened up my etsy store.
5. What else do you like to do when you're not working on your crafts?
I love reading! I'm a voracious reader and can go through a good book in as little as a day. I also enjoy running, working out and am trying to love cooking. But crafting is always my first love. I also use some spare time to make all the other things related to my jewelry - like personalizing the boxes and making the necklace and earring cards that they come on.
6. Are their any Etsy sellers you admire or are inspired by?
I am relatively new to etsy, but I think everyone that has put themselves out there and made an effort to sell their wares inspires me!
7. What is the most difficult and your most favorite part of crafting as a business?
most difficult - i think the most difficult thing is trying to advertise and put yourself out there. I'm a naturally shy person and I find it takes effort and a whole lot of time! It's almost a full time job! but I think that leads to my favorite part of the business - actually making a sale and knowing that someone out there loves your work and will be wearing it.
8. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
One of my guilty pleasure are rainy days. Although we don't have very many of them in southern california, I love hearing the sound of the rain outside while I'm curled up on the couch watching television.
9. Lastly, do you have any advice for fellow crafters/entrepreneurs just starting out?
i think that you should explore every option that is available to you to help promote yourself. Blogs, facebook, chats, other people's blogs. It all takes time, but I think (I hope) it's all worth it in the end. It's important to keep your day job and be realistic that it may always be your day job - but that could be okay, too. It helps relieve some financial pressure and keeps your craft something that you love to do, not have to do.