Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wired Originals...

I'm just full of interviews this week! This Q&A is with Cari from Wired Originals. She was so nice to help critique my blog when it first started and offered to do a post for me--thanks Cari!

I really like Cari's designs and I'm smitten with her "dizzy" ring (picture at left above). Cari would also like to mention that she's proud of her new earrings creation -- "
Pendulum" (picture at right above), now available on her website...


Please describe your inspiration behind the "dizzy" ring...
I've always been fond of spirals and swirls--probably due to my love for water. When I first started making jewelry in early 2007, I saw a free tutorial for a ring that was similar...I tweaked it a bit and came up with my own style, and "Dizzy" was born.


What was your inspiration to start your site?
Friends and family were encouraging me to start my own business after seeing what I was coming up with. I don't live in an area with a lot of good craft fairs or shows, so selling online was the best choice for me. I've also starting listing on Etsy.

Describe the style of your site...
My site is always evolving. Every once in awhile I'll change the colors or the background, but I always try to keep the overall mood one of sophistication with a side of fun.

How has your business changed/grown since its beginning?
In the beginning, I wasn't really sure what I was doing, or even if I should keep doing it. All I knew for sure was I loved making jewelry and I just kept hoping other people would love it, too. It's been a slow start, but business is definitely picking up. Jewelry is hard because there's so much competition, but once your quality becomes known, word spreads much faster.

Internet businesses can be a love/hate relationship...what issues have you run into as far as site maintenance, customer service, shipping?
In the beginning getting good, clear images was my biggest hurdle--I really struggled with that. I now feel I have that part pretty well down, but the actual picture taking, editing and uploading take a long time. I spend WAY more time on images and printing off hang tags, etc., than I do on making jewelry unfortunately. I've streamlined my process as much as possible, but I'm always looking for ways to make it more efficient. My boyfriend built the basic template for my site (bless his heart) but everything else I do myself. It can be time consuming, but I like having control of the design and content.

As far as customer service goes, I make it a point to always send out a 'thank you' email as soon as I see a purchase has been made...I think a personal note is very important and appreciated.

Where do you see your biz in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to be able to support myself full-time with my jewelry. I work full-time at the local library right now, and it's not easy juggling the two, but I can't give either one up! I hope to slowly phase out my 'day' job over the next few years.

How do you package your you include a handwritten note? cute paper?...
I designed my own logo, and found some natural looking cardstock that I use for both my jewelry tags, and gemstone meanings cards. I include both of those inside a plastic bag, for tarnish resistance, and usually put inside a silver drawstring pouch. I'll also do a brown craft jewelry box if it's requested. I also try to write a 'thank you' somewhere, usually on the tag.

If your shop could be featured on any website, magazine, art show, etc. for free--what would you choose?
There are so many! One that definitely comes to mind is the ReadyMade mag, though, because their readership values quality handcrafted goods. Their ads are very well done, but way too pricey for me at this point!

Being on the front of Etsy would be nice, too :)

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