Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AlphabettiSpaghetti, a soup? no, jewels !

Let me introduce you to Wendy Humphreys.

Tell us about yourself Wendy
I make precious metal jewellery in my little attic workshop in Italy. I like to make as many of my components as possible without relying too much on pre-made findings or casting. This can be time-consuming but also makes an item truly unique and handmade

I started making jewellery at home as a hobby about 9 years ago. I used to sell to friends or make things to give away for birthdays, etc. In 2005 I moved to Italy and no longer had a job. I picked up where I'd left off in the UK, but this time with my very own workshop space under the roof at home. I started to sell on Etsy at the beginning of 2006.

A lot of my inspiration comes from things I see around me, be it a lamp in a restaurant or a fallen leaf. I love creating pieces inspired by nature, with bees, leaves and acorns being my particular favourite models.

How does your culture, upbringing, and/or environment influence your designs/crafts? Although I'm no artist in that I'm hopeless at drawing, I've always been quite good at creating things with my hands. I rarely draw a piece before I make it, having a clear view in my head how it should turn out. I'll only jot things down on paper to remind me of certain features of a piece such as dimensions, finish or stones to be used. My father is a bit like this, but apart from him, I'm the only one in the family who is creative in this way.

What are some of the ways you market and promote your business/Craft?
I do a little outside advertising of my jewellery and send out newsletters to existing customers, friends and family with the latest offers I have available. Every time I list a new item I mention it on Twitter and Facebook. Any new pieces get shown off on Flickr. This is a good way of showcasing your best work and reaching a wide audience for free. When anyone comes round for dinner, I sneakily turn the subject around to my latest creations and ask them if they'd like to have a look at my latest work. Mostly people are too polite to say no!

Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other crafters selling or looking to start selling their crafts?I think anyone who is starting out and hoping to sell their craft has to stay one step ahead of the competition. Copying can be rife on some sites so it always helps to have a unique thing that you do, and something that either isn't easy to copy or that would take a lot of effort to do so. Photographs are one of the most important tools when selling online and should be crisp and clear and show the item from as many angles as possible. Descriptions also need to be clear. Also with so much competition you can never take your eye off the ball. Always have some kind of promotional idea lined up and keep plugging away. Join groups of like-minded people for tips, motivation and inspiration.

When I'm not making jewellery or catnip toys, I can sometimes be found sitting on the back of our motorcycle, zipping around the gorgeous Italian countryside.

Where to find her creations:
Shops: in Euros, on etsy in US$ and

To spoil your kitty cats
Her blog, and also Mukkatours

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