I make pendants, handbags, key fobs and other products mainly by upcycling and recycling "old" stuff - and I am playing around with sterling silver and other metals, learning new skills and designing + creating jewellery.
I am selling my products both locally and online at Etsy and Epla.
Today it is time to meet Bianca, the creative mind behind bndesign. Bianca has a great variety of products in her shop, and I usually discover something new every time I take a look at her shop, or something that I just haven't noticed before.....so remember to take a good look around in her shop once you're done reading this interview!!
1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
What is there to tell? Let's start with its name: bndesign. That is my design-name. It is my initials (Bianca Noodelijk) plus the word design. I already have my own online shop but that is my little jewelry shop.
Then why did I choose my design name for etsy? Well I started out as a buyer and didn't think about selling on Etsy at first... When I did think about selling I thought about selling my prints, art... But I started to list more and more jewelry, which sold a lot better;) So that is why the jewelry took over :)
I sell a lot of things in my shop, mostly jewelry. But also phonecharms, plushies (triny's), ACEO's and for 2009 I have the plan of listing photo's/ prints/ art/ cards and such.
I miss designing. I am still thinking if it is a good idea putting it all in one shop or maybe I should make a second. But I am still undecided on that one...
I am selling on Etsy since December 14th 2006 :) And I notice an increase on sales as I go along which is always good! That keeps me keen to make and list and promote more to keep it growing.
2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs tothe rest of the world?
My design/ illustration work I was already showing to the world but since it is hard to get assignments for that I also started to make jewelry which is more easy to sell on. And now the jewelry kinda took over... And I always make a LOT! So I have lots of stock. Even of products I don't use/ wear myself. And what better way to get them out of the way by selling them and making some extra cash with it?! So it really started out as a hobby. Which it still is. But I also have the dream of making my living out of my work. (designwise and jewelrywise)
3. How do you let the world know about your products?
Promote promote promote! I started out with my family (although only my mother and grandmother promote me;)) (and my bf!) and I keep 2blogs, a personal one and a "business" one, and I sometimes place ads. And of course on the forums on Etsy :) with my lovelystreetteam! Also I some times do a craftfair. And people are now finding me for time to time, which is great. My plan for next year is to invest a part of my etsy-income in more ads to get more people to notice me... I am still in the invest more than you earn part but next year I only want to invest my etsy/craft income to the crafts section of my life...
4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
Just a little bit. I always try to come up with new items to make. ButI do use more vivid colors in spring summer, Christmas fabrics forChristmas and snowflakes for winter. Although when made they will bein my shop all year round (except the Christmas items, those I do remove from my shop)
5. How do you get inspired?
Very boring: by everything around me! The butterfly necklaces I am making started out by looking at old poetry images and me thinking howcan I use those? Because I love them! Also nature brings me lots of inspiration: the colors the shapes! And of course fashion, songs,movies... truly anything can be an inspiration.
6. Do you ever get a creative block?
Oh yes! I notice when I focus myself to much on one thing like photography or just the butterflies, that I get bored and fed up with it. So that is why I do so many things! I can't get myself to focus on just one thing! Although I do envy people like Anna, thehouseofmouse, they have a style and product I have a bundle of things. I also noticed that I need time to be creative. I used to have a full-time job with no free-time almost and I had no time to create. That made me so sad and down that when I left there I took a part-time job so I can do both. Although I must say I do miss the extra money ;))
7. What is a normal day like for you?
That depends if it is a jobday or a "me" day. On a job day I leave the house around 8.40 and am back at 18.30. On a "me" day I get up (around7.30/8.00) check etsy and email when eating breakfast, get dressed. Feed the cat, go to the supermarket, post some packages (if I have sold items;)). Go home, do the laundry, some ironing/ housework. Check etsy and everything again. Take photo's of items, upload those, edit them and start listing. Or make new items :)But with the start of 2009 I also want to give that a new turn: I want to make a timetable sort of like a workday, and stick to it. Get upearly and work with a routine. So my days get more organized and I will be able to do more :)
8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
It is both :) It is not serious enough that I can live from it, but I do treat it like that since I do want that to happen :) But I also love doing this so it is also fun ;)
9. How do you see yourself down the road?
Well hopefully being able to live of my work. And I do have the dream of owning a real shop also where I sell my handmade items (and depending on the size: also handmade items from other crafters)
10. What else interests you besides your craft?
Art and design, but that is also craft related. Fashion and photography, but that is also design related, so yeah... everything in my life is connected :)
11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
Thank you VKnO for this opportunity :) You are the best (and people should check out your lovely shop!!) And I just hope people will lovemy items :D People should buy more handmade items, it is unique and more special :)
For those of you that don't know the work of Inger, remember to take a good look at her two shops once you've read this interview - I promise you it is time well worth spending :) 1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)? My store is called after myself as that is what it is about, me and the things I make. I make felted toys and scarves, some flowers and jewelry too. Whenever I see something that may be felted I will try, so my range of products is ever expanding. Tha main seller are the scarves though.
2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs to the rest of the world? I started felting about 2 years ago and having innundated all my friends and family with felted presents I needed to have somewhere else for my felt to go. And while looking for wool I stumbled across this etsy site. After a while I thought I may as well try and sell from there as well as the pile of felt was reaching the ceiling.
3. How do you let the world know about your products? First I opened a shop on etsy and just hoped for the best, then I forgot all about it till I actually sold something. Suddenly my interest was piqued. I roamed the fora and chatrooms for hints tips and suggestions. One day I discovered there were teams, I applied for membership to the EST and was added to the list. I lurked around there for some weeks and then finally introduced myself. This team has been paramount in further developing my skill as a shopowner. Constantly egged on to improve my photographing skills and descriptions. Together we make treasuries that often end up on front pages further promoting the shops. In the mean time I have started blogging as well and have a flickr page (http://www.ingermaaike.nl/ and http://www.ingermaaike2.flickr.com/ on twitter i am called ingermaaike too) 4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how? My crafting and color schemes are strongly influenced by what I see around me so automatically it changes with the seasons, but this is not something that happens on a cocious level.
5. How do you get inspired? My inspiration is found around me, in nature and from feedback and requests. Every bit that goes in gets stirred in the brain and eventually comes out in a shape or form of felt. Sometimes directly and sometimes it may take months.
6. Do you ever get a creative block? If I am a bit stuck I just make some scarves and inspiration for something new will come again. The making of a scarf is very meditative occupation, so then the ideas start brewing as I am laying out my scarf.
7. What is a normal day like for you? I get up at 7.15 take a shower and wake the boys. They fix their breakfast and lunch stuff and we walk to school. A 20 minute walk through the woods. Once I get back home I do some house work if I feel like it. Usually I will mess around on the net for a while, time flies as we all know once you start surfing. Having done that I will felt or dye or felt and dye. Maybe take the dogs for a walk and gone is the day, time to pick up the boys from school again. On coming home they do homework and I help as they are still learning the language and need help with translation. By then it is time to cook and after dinner I will felt some more or hang out behind my computer. All in all a very exciting life..
8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business? It is a business, and we need the income from it as supplementary income. 9. How do you see yourself down the road? We will have remolded our barn into a workspace for me where I can create and teach workshops, maybe even sell to passing tourists.
10. What else interests you besides your craft? I love all kind of science and read a lot about it, reading is my water and food.
11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk? Make fun every day, not just when you have time :0D
......I'll be back with another interview next week, unless the holidays hits me first ;)