fredag 14. november 2008

Cool Temptations

It is time for a new presentation of a great Etsy seller. Today I'll let you all meet Maria João from Lisbon, the crafter behind Cool Temptations.

1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
My shop’s name is Cool Temptations and I design and create jewellery and accessories, mostly with lampwork and glass beads. I design and handcraft necklaces, bracelets, earrings, lariats, and smaller pieces like key chains, brooches, book markers, glasses holders and everything else which is doable with beads!!

My friends, and greatest fans, always said that my pieces were a temptation they could not resist, and that they would always come back for more! That showed me the way when it came to deciding the name!! Of course I took some precautions, as the word “temptations” can easily lead you to a very different kind of products, once you google it!!! And I added the word “Cool”, in its several significant, meaning fresh or refreshing, smart, updated, fashion, that’s everything I want my jewellery to be!

2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs to the rest of the world?
Well, the truth is that jewellery is a rather recent addiction. I didn’t use to pay that much attention to it and always wore a gold chain with a beautiful pendant, always the same, but from the first necklace I made in early 2004, I realized that there was something about making beaded jewellery that opened a new world of colourful options.

And one thing led to another: my friends started to ask me to make them something new to wear with this or that outfit, I started to buy more and more beads and spending more money on my new hobby, and I started to make one or two jewellery parties at home, and friends’ friends came in and bought my necklaces, and that was the best way to finance my addiction!!!

Last year I discovered Etsy and I loved the concept of creating a world wide shop supported by crafters from all over, so I decided to join in this fantastic community and share my jewellery with them!

3. How do you let the world know about your products?
It hasn’t been an easy task, I can tell you!
I’m an architect and I have been working in my own office for the last 20 years. Being my own boss doesn’t allow me to always stick to time tables, as when a new project comes into the office, or deadlines for competitions arrive, I must drop everything else and concentrate entirely on my work and have no time for fun.

This means I’ve been trying to list frequently at my Etsy store, but it’s been difficult to keep up to an everyday routine. I also joined a wonderful team in there (http://www.europeanstreetteam.etsy.com/), which allows me to communicate with a fantastic bunch of creative people, and I try to get some treasuries to promote the work of other crafters, I looked for a mentor that helps me and gives me useful advices on Etsy activities.

I also have my own site English written (http://www.cooltemptations.com/) and a blog written in Portuguese (http://www.cooltemptations.blogspot.com/) where I show my jewellery and sell it too. I’ll be making it bilingual shortly!

And I still have one or two jewellery parties now and then, where I try to get as many friends as possible, and ask them to pass the word around their friends!
And I always wear my own creations, of course!

4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
Well no, not really! I know people think one doesn’t wear this or that colour in this or that season, but I always create with all the colours in every season! I just need to find a set of lampwork beads that I like, and that’s that!
Sometimes people come to me with a sweater or a dress asking me to make them something to wear with it, and then we both decide if it should be a long or medium necklace, a bracelet and earrings set or whatever she prefers.
When it comes to the small accessories I mentioned before, I generally make them mostly for Christmas Season, as they make unique and rather inexpensive gifts.

5. How do you get inspired?
Lampwork beads are my best source of inspiration! I buy some exquisite sets from several glass artists I’ve been coming across these last 4 years, through the internet, and then I look for other top quality glass beads, seed beads, semi-precious gemstones, silver beads and findings to keep them company!

Lampwork beads always fascinate me with their infinite combination of colours, shapes, transparencies and opacities and a large variety of designs that lead us from figurative to complete abstract landscapes.

Making a necklace or a bracelet with this or that bead depends on how it talks to me! I tend to visualize first where I would like to wear it, and then decide the design! 6. Do you ever get a creative block?
Oh yes! I have been sitting in front of my working table for hours with no idea what so ever! They’re my blank periods, where I look attentively at the beads, but don’t get any kind of message from them!
When this happens, I just go for a walk or do anything else! I stay out of the room for a few days and I only return when I feel like cleaning it and tidying everything up. It’s a wonderful exercise before starting again!

7. What is a normal day like for you?
I’m not a very early riser, so I wake up around 7.30 or 8.00 am, feed my cat, get breakfast, check my messages and my Etsy store, wait for my husband to be ready, then I get a shower and get to work.
My returning hour is never the same, but I try to get to the gym before 7pm. I need to get exercise at least 3 times a week, as I need to loose weight and I have a lazy thyroid that keeps stocking up everything I eat into my thighs!!! Sometimes I pick my teenager daughter at school and we go together to the gym, or we return home, she studies for a while and I sit at my table to play with beads. When I get too excited about some new beads, and I start making something, I tend to forget about dinner, which is a good thing, but I get reminded of it by my family and I‘ll just make something and get back to it!
At weekends I love to stay in and spend hours with my beads, making something different everyday! It really full fills me!! 8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
Well, I do this mostly for fun and as an anti-stress for my working life.
It began as a hobby and as something I could do with my daughter, but then it evolved both to an addiction and as an escape from a serious problem I had some years ago. My mother used to live with us and she had Alzheimer’s. She passed away in 2005, but her last two years were very demanding and difficult to deal with. I had to stay home for hours and hours to be with her, and beads and creating jewellery were the only things that prevented me to go insane!
Today I can say it’s a little bit of both, fun and serious business, as I love creating and I sell my pieces in order to support this beautiful addiction I have.

9. How do you see yourself down the road?
I would really love to be able to make a peaceful transition from my architecture office to making jewellery as my everyday work (=fun).
It hasn’t been easy to run an office here in Lisbon, with this entire international crisis around! And I would surely have a better life if I could find a way to be earning some money with my Etsy store. I would love to get the time to promote my jewellery and sell it both through the internet and in local shops.
Maybe I can get there in two or three years, who knows? I’ll keep trying that’s for sure!!!

10. What else interests you besides your craft?
I’m really fortunate to live in Lisbon and be able to go for walks along the river and go to the beach from May to October, but I also love to travel and visit new places.
I love to read and going to the cinema, theatre or a good art exhibition. Oh yes, and I also love some TV series like Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls and The Practice.
And most of all I love staying in with my family and friends, as they are the most solid part of my life and the ones I could never do without, and join them in a good meal, a great wine, a good laugh and a great conversation.

11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
I always have a wonderful time while creating my jewellery, and I take special care in details, comfortable findings to wear, good quality materials, and one of a kind designs. I hope that you will enjoy looking at and wearing my work as much as I enjoy making it!!

Take good care of yourself and have a wonderful life!





If you would like to see more Maria João's products, please take a look at her shop: Cool Temptations.

.....and of course, I'll be back next week featuring anoter talented crafter!

6 kommentarer:

ana carina sa...

Wonderful interview!!! I love reading this :)

nanouke

kraplap sa...

great read ! cool creations from a cool artist !

Nicole sa...

A fantastic interview! Great work Vkno -

ingermaaike sa...

I love to read about the people behind the avatar on the forum!

TheresaJ sa...

Great interview, wonderful shop and jewelry designer. Thanks for keeping us in the know... :)

Bee Skelton sa...

I great to know how other people work :)

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