February's Feature Artist - Lindsey

The Brat team would like to introduce to you, February's Artist/Seller of the month;

Lindsey of

*Baubles for Everyday Wear*

*Wire Wrapped Creations*

*Tell us a bit about yourself?

After eight years in the Navy, I landed in Central Massachusetts with my dog. My last tour was teaching NROTC Midshipmen at the College of the Holy Cross. I was lucky enough to find another job in the same town and have been working as an Engineering Product Manager for just over three years now. Although I enjoy my day job, I needed a creative outlet. So when my sister suggested I stop by one of the wholesale bead shows that are abundant in my area, I did and was hooked. I think the most enjoyable part of my jewelry business is buying the stones. I love learning about them - where they came, their chemical make-up, what stones are associated with others. I never knew there were so many types of natural stones out there until I started working with them; and the natural colors of them never cease to amaze me.

*What inspires you and where do your ideas come from?

An idea can start from one simple stone. Once the seed of an idea is planted, I become obsessed with finding the best combination of colors and textures. The most frustrating thing, and I’m sure we have all been there, is knowing exactly what you are looking for, and not being able to find it. I think most of my ideas center around color, shape and texture. It may take me a few tries to find the right combination that makes the finished piece pleasing to my eye.

*What are your favorite materials?

Natural stones combined with colorful crystals. I work mainly with sterling silver, although sometimes I think the design calls for gold. I use a lot of wire and I enjoy finding what new ways I can securely wrap something. (I haven’t stepped into the realm of soldering my jewelry, but someday I will…

*What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

-Keep working at finding your niche. Don’t try to make it all – keep your designs within a certain style so your customers can recognize you. -Treat your customers as you would like to be treated – communicate, communicate, communicate!-Market yourself .-Don’t expect immediate success on Etsy. You have to work at it almost every day.I think that my shops are still in flux, but I can look at other Etsy success stories and work toward making one of my own. My shop has come a long way from where it began, and I am still trying to improve it. My ultimate goal is to be recognized by the Etsy community (and I don’t just mean ‘getting on the front page’. I recognize other seller’s styles when I see something in the Time Machine or in a search. I’d ultimately like to be recognized by buyers and sellers that same way.

*Why should people buy handmade?

I take a lot of pride and responsibility in the pieces that I sell. I want the people who buy my pieces to be as happy about them as I was making them. You just don’t get that level of commitment when buying something that was mass produced. I want to support the other artists who feel the same way I do. There are so many creative people in this world; why would I limit myself to a brand name just so the person next to me knows who I am wearing? I would miss so much if I did that…

*What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

This is a tough question. I think that Etsy does a great job at making necessary changes when we tell them what works and what doesn’t. I think Etsy is as useful as we choose to make it. So, I can’t think of any changes that I’d like to see from them at the moment.I think a better question for me is “what would you like to see happen with your jewelry business?”
Festival season is right around the corner and I am very excited. This will be my second full summer of festival season and I have my schedule pretty well solidified. The jewelry market really is a tough one, so I’ve been making sure my pictures accurately represent my jewelry. It helps both on Etsy (yet another lesson learned from fellow Etsians) and so I have great portfolio to submit to the juries. Here’s hoping to a successful 2010! Before I get too wrapped up in festival season, I’d like to redefine myself at home by creating a studio for myself in the house. Right now, my studio is the dining room table. I am organized to an extent, but I want to be able to easily see the materials that I already have. So, my next goal is to change out my den into a sort of studio for my jewelry making. I love rearranging, so to pull apart the den and make it functional is going to be A LOT of fun for me!

*Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am an Engineering Product Manager by day. It allowed me to get my jewelry business up and running and now supports my jewelry habit. I don’t expect to make millions in my jewelry business. I will continue to create new pieces as long as I enjoy what I am doing.

*Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I am an Engineering Product Manager by day. It allowed me to get my jewelry business up and running and now supports my jewelry habit. I don’t expect to make millions in my jewelry business. I will continue to create new pieces as long as I enjoy what I am doing.

*Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am an Engineering Product Manager by day. It allowed me to get my jewelry business up and running and now supports my jewelry habit. I don’t expect to make millions in my jewelry business. I will continue to create new pieces as long as I enjoy what I am doing.

*Read any good books lately?
I am always in the middle of a book. Right now, I am reading one by Barbara Kingsolver – Pigs in Heaven. She has written some favorites, Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer. I’ve been waiting for Diane Gabaldon to finish the 6th book of her Outlander series, though. She is a great story teller and is very well written. My mom is reading it now and will hand it over to me when she is done. They are the types of books that I just can’t put down, even when I know I should be doing other things.

*Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years, I would like to be traveling around the country to various shows, selling my jewelry. I have found that I really enjoy being face-to-face with my customers. I never thought that I would love that side of my jewelry business, but I look forward to the Festival Season every year! In all practicality, though, I will probably be doing the same thing I am doing now – selling at shows and online all year, while working as an Engineer during the day. I enjoy the way it has all started to work out.

*How did you come up with your Etsy Shop Name?
Years ago, on hot summer nights, I used to drag friends to actually go swimming in fountains– back at the University of Michigan or in Charleston where I was stationed for a little while. I threw around a few different ideas for a shop name, but once I came up with Swimming In Fountains, I liked how it rolled off the tongue. I was a little concerned that it didn’t have anything to do with jewelry, but I kept it anyway… if people find me and like my pieces, they will come again.

When I started selling jewelry, I was making more standard, simple pieces (stranded or linked), still focusing on color, texture and finding fantastic stones. When I starting making my wire wrapped pieces, I noticed they really showed my personality. I loved how they were turning out! I saw that other Brats had multiple shops, so I thought I’d open another one specifically to showcase my wire wrapped pieces. I came up with the name, Wired and Twisted, as a play on words. In addition to describing my wire wrapped style, it expresses how I feel sometimes, especially after one to many cups of coffee. I still love making my original pieces, so I won’t be phasing those out. I think my customers appreciate my original jewelry as well as my new designs.

*What is the connection between being a Crafter and being a Brat?
I think that putting your artwork out there on the web (or in a craft show) takes a lot of courage, forward thinking, and self esteem. Although he never specifically said it, through his involvement in the Marine Corps and his personality, my father taught me not to be afraid of anything and to go after what I wanted. I enjoy traveling and meeting new people; I speak my opinion; I take pride, whether in my country or myself and my work. I learned all those traits through my military upbringing and I believe they are necessary traits of being a successful crafter. My father always did it all… why shouldn’t I?

I have a Facebook page under ‘Jewelry Designs by Lindsay.’
Everyone on facebook should become a fan! I will be running a special while being a Brat Feature. I run other specials throughout the year, so anyone can follow my shop through the page to keep updated on new listings, sales and promotions. I have all my past pieces in albums also, so if you see something that is not in my shop, let me know and can wrap up another one. My show schedule listed on the Facebook page, too. Most of them are in the New England area, but I sell at a festival in my hometown of Canandaigua, NY. I would love to meet any fellow Brats or Etsians that are in the area!

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know one of our FAVORITE Brat SELLERS!


February Birthday Babies

2-1 2PureJoy
2-6 ForYourJourney
2-7 oceankisses
2-7 comfuzzled
2-16 LizEdgar
2-21 BirdcageBalcony
2-21 SueLaing
2-27 earthseessencellc
2-27 MichelesEssentials
2-27 thrudkukinglassbags