Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Feature -- Kezi Handmade Jewelry

This week's featured SF Etsy artist is Christine of Kezi Handmade Jewelry. I always love browsing through other jewelry shops on Etsy, especially ones full of gracefully elegant pieces like the ones you'll find at Kezi Handmade! I particularly admire the simplicity and beauty of Christine's wire work pieces, like this lovely Amethyst and Hammered Gold Wire Wrapped Necklace.

Enjoy the interview!

1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?

I design and make handmade jewelry. I started making jewelry as a way to both exercise some creativity and because, well, I'm a picky person. Whenever I went searching for jewelry at stores, there was always something I wanted to change about the pieces being sold - too short, too showy, too overpriced - and I felt like so much of the jewelry on the market looks... mass produced.

I'm 100% self-taught, which has been a fascinating and challenging process. When I first started, I was genuinely surprised to receive compliments on my creations. I thought I didn't have the "right" technique, or that my lack of formal training would ostracize me from veteran jewelry designers, so the warm reception I've received on Etsy has been a wonderful surprise. I've come to love my unique approach and am thrilled there are others who like it as well.

My creative process varies wildly. Sometimes I'll get an idea when I'm out on a run and turn around to start working on it. As I do in life, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, so you won't find any sketches or detailed planning. I guess you could say the creative process hits me when it feels like it, and I get working as fast as possible.

2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?

SF Etsy (of course), EFA (Etsy for Animals), Etsy for Charity, We Love Handmade and Etsy, I Heart Rescues, Creative Handmade Artisans...

3. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

I've lived abroad many times. The name of my shop, Kezi, comes from the Hungarian word for Handmade. In addition to Hungary, I've lived in Italy, Austria and Thailand, where I was a Tsunami relief volunteer for about a year and met my current boyfriend.

When I'm not working on jewelry or enjoying the outdoors, I work in Health Economics. Suffice to say not many people are familiar with that field, so in a nutshell, I work with numbers and statistics all day. Big difference from jewelry design.

I'm also an animal lover, so I donate a portion of proceeds from my Etsy shop to The Humane Society of the United States.

4. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?

I think as many people would agree, it's getting noticed amid a sea of talent. I think Etsy is a wonderful place to buy, sell and network, but it certainly can be difficult to stand out.

5. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?

I think my favorite item (at least today) is my "Little Dipper" necklace. I like it because it really epitomizes my whirlwind creative process. I had no set vision when creating this; just had a feeling about making something whimsical and unique, and out this came.

6. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?

I'm sure this isn't impressive to most people, but when I first started getting international sales - especially when I think I was unknowingly charging too much for international shipping - I was pretty happy.

7. Give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.

My friends recommended I sell on Etsy, and I realized that this would not only be fun, but would also be a way to generate some revenue to donate to charity. I currently donate 10% of net proceeds to The Humane Society of the United States and hope to someday raise that amount.

8. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

I have a Facebook page for my Etsy shop, and I LOVE meeting fellow Etsians on there!

I also have a blog where I feature other Etsy artists from around the world.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!


Christine Murray (K├ęzi Handmade Jewelry) said...

Thank you so, so, sooo much!!

Sonja said...

Such beautiful jewelry and for a beautiful cause. Win-win! :)

andrew siddle said...

I find your articles very useful, as I'm trying to know how to market my handmade jewelry

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