Tell us a little about *you*:
My name is Kimberly Nicole and I’m a wife, mother of two grown sons and two dogs (a reddish golden retriever and a Boston terrier) and grandmother of two, residing in Milwaukee, WI. Two years ago we bought a gorgeous 100 year old house where I currently make my lampwork glass beads full time in my in-home studio.
Tell us about your craft ~ How did you get started? What keeps you motivated and inspired?
I am self-taught and have been “torching” (aka making glass beads) going on 3 years now. I’ve always been fascinated with glass beads and how they were made, after attending a demo 10 years ago. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get started on this fun adventure in glass bead making until my two sons were grown and my life settled down a bit, and I’ve been addicted ever since!
What inspires me is just about anything from a drive in the countryside, to a clothing catalog, as well as the many uber-talented glass artists of today such as Kimberly Affleck, Candace Seebler, Corina Tettinger, Bill Rasmussen, and Anne Ricketts, to name a few! Color, my emotions, and my love of melting glass are what fuel my creativity.
How did you first hear about Etsy?
I happened upon Etsy simply by browsing the internet for inspiration. Little did I know then how much inspiration I would continue to receive after joining Etsy!
What is the best piece of advice that you could give to a new Etsy seller?
Patience, Persistence, and Promotion! I think for most of us once we join, it takes a little time to begin being “seen” by buyers as there are so many shops and so many creative categories available, but with a little patience and “homework”, it will pay off! There are so many good tips for newcomers and even those of us who have been around for a while too… but here are a few of mine.
The easiest way of drawing attention to your shop is by visiting other shops and “hearting” them as your favorite. Most times, those shops are happy to do the same for you which getting your shop in the front door to success.
I also would encourage newcomers to utilize the forums by putting a post out asking other sellers to critique your shop. This draws attention to your shop, and can provide you with valuable information from experienced sellers on how you can maximize your potential with their tips and advice.
Lastly, I would definitely use the free banners and avatars that Etsy provides as it is an inexpensive way to give your shop a professional look until you’re able to purchase a banner and avatar set from some of the talented web designers on Etsy. Also, provide simple, brief and understandable shop policies and listing descriptions, ship your items as quickly as possible after payment, and make customer service a priority!
These are just a few things that can greatly help newcomers to Etsy become successful.
Time to toot your own horn ~ tell us about your proudest crafting achievement (either on or off Etsy)
I think my proudest achievement was creating something that someone wanted to purchase from me . . . my first sale on Etsy! After 3 months of waiting for a sale and not sure what I should be doing or not doing, I was more than elated when I woke up the next morning to find that someone had bought one of my bead sets! Although that first sale was over 2 years ago, and my beads are much more professional looking now . . . the feeling you get is always like the “first time!" It’s beyond exciting!
I’m a huge fan of holidays and the whimsical stuff. I think Halloween and Christmas are my favorite times of year when making glass beads because of the fun and creativity that can be done with glass beads. I’m currently making my Halloween and Fall sets (my favorite time of year), and they usually are the source of my biggest sales.
We all know there is Life outside of Etsy ~ what do you like to do in your “spare” time?
Most of my spare time is creating glass beads, but I also participate in a medieval re-creation group called the Society of Creative Anachronism, which is a world-wide organization of people who enjoy recreating the Middle Ages from the 600 to 1600th century in their clothing, trade skills, martial arts, heraldry, pageantry, cooking, daily living, etc. In fact this is where I first learned about Lampworking/Flamework 10 years ago, as it is an art form that has been around since the early Viking days. When I’m not playing in the “middle ages” or making glass beads, I like to cross stitch, sew, cook and bake, and spend time with my family and friends.