On this chilly, moonlit Friday evening, why not sit down with a glass of wine and start some early Holiday shopping? To kick it off, check out the fun trinkets over at Accessory Extraordinaire. Today's interview is with a gal who's creating super fun, affordable shoe clips and jewelry. Stocking stuffers, for sure! I love the versatility of being able to snap on the glitz - going from work to happy hour!
When I came across my favorite find, I realized these little cuties would make great bridesmaid gifts too!
I'm sure you can come up with some clever ideas as well! Enjoy the interview!
1. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
Besides SF Etsy, I belong to Top Treasury, Etsians on Facebook, Etsy Success, I Love Art, Anatolians Treasury Team
2. 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?
The main item I create is a shoe accessory that was orginally designed to enhance plain flip flops. I soon learned it could be used on many different types of strappy shoes or anything that the elastic straps can wrap around. I wear it wrapped around a ponytail, on hat bands, around a silk or cotton scarf. I even wear it on some of my sleeveless V-necked blouses to create a sweetheart neckline. I came up with the name Accessory Extraordinaire because it has so many uses!
In addition to the accessory, I also have some earrings, barrettes and pendants.
3. Tell us some other interesting things about you.
I love to upcycle old furniture pieces. Giving a piece of dull furniture a new personality gives me a lot of satisfaction, especially when someone else wants to have it in their own home.
Back in 2003 I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii to sell hand-crafted toe rings that I made using wire and beads. For awhile, I rented a space in a charming outdoor marketplace on Ali'i Drive and later moved to a spot closer to town where I was able to see the ocean and the cruise ships as they came and went. It really was a magical time for me.
I'm often inspired by the bits and pieces I use to create the shoe accesory. I gather most of the items from flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores. Many times I will bypass a particular button or jewelry piece over and over...wondering if I will ever use it. Then, one day, I'll obtain a new piece and it works perfectly with the one I thought I'd never use!
5. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
Although there are lots of Etsy shops that have traditional metal shoe clips for pumps and other classic shoes, I don't think people are searching for removable accessories for their flip flops because the item doesn't really exist in the retail world. I do worry that when a customer views my shop they may think that the accessory is attached to the shoe in the picture even though most of my titles include the word "removable.'
I guess my first REAL sale, other than selling to friends and co-workers, was in my outdoor shop in Hawaii where I sold the toe rings I made. It was thrilling to have confirmation that a stranger liked what I made and was willing to pay money to own it, especially after I gave up everything in California to move to Hawaii!
7. Give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.
I have a friend that passed after suffering breast cancer 3 times and another friend who has, thankfully, survived many years after her bout with it. I donate 10% of the purchase price of ANY item I sell on Etsy, that contains any amount of the color pink.