Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Featured Shop - Mae Bee

This weeks featured shop MaeBee has some adorable jewelery to adorn yourself with. MaeBee specializes in bracelets in silver & gold.
Check out my Q & A with designer Marianne:

1) Tell us about your product and where you get your inspiration.
I make handmade jewelry (mostly bracelets) from unusual links, charms and beads in sterling, silverplate, gold vermeil or goldplate. I love the earthiness of waxed linen and leather cords. My pieces have been described as unique, simple and casual...just what I was going for! I get inspiration everywhere...nature, graphics, other art, colors...like most creators, I'm always looking for it, always visually aware.

2) How did you get involved with etsy?
I got involved with Esty through a letterpress class I took in San Francisco from Susan Angebranndt who has an Etsy shop called "Greenchair Press". I mentioned to her that I would love to sell my invitations and paper creations online and she said to check out Etsy...the rest is history! I started posting a few note sets and then suddenly one day I started making jewelry. I wanted a certain bracelet and I figured the best way to get it was to make it! My head exploded (in a good, creative way) and I went nuts (also in a good way) creating all these pieces I had in my head. Poof! M Paper Arts became a jewelry shop. Still wish they'd let me change my username, but somehow people find me. Within 6 months, I was happily working on the shop fulltime and I guess it's paid off. I love the marketing aspects as much as the creating, thank goodness!

3) Do you sell your work in any bay area stores?
I do have many pieces at Coupa Cosa gallery in Palo Alto. I've had shops near me request I consign there, but consignments are a lot to track and not usually worth the time. I've avoided selling too much to local retail shops just because they usually want big percentages off my price and it's already pretty low for my Etsy customer. This makes it not profitable or barely. Most of us fulltimers have the same problem. I do have lots of wholesale accounts in the U.S. and places as far as Australia and even Thailand! I love doing biz out of the country, it's exciting!

4) When you're not creating what are you doing?
When I'm not creating or maintaining my Etsy shop, I can be found walking my dog, hiking with friends, skiing with my family, going to kids games or goofing off on Facebook with old buddies.
And if I'm at an airport, my husband and kids and I spend time looking at people's wrists for a MaeBee bracelet -- can't wait to see one, there's thousands out there!

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