Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Feature ~ Tea House Glass

Welcome back to our Friday Features! Each week we will showcase one of our talented SF Etsy team members.  You can join the queue here.

Meet Annie Kuhn of Tea House Glass

"I live in the Oakland Hills.  My studio is a tea house that my boyfriend built many years ago. It is at the top of the hill in a little canyon.  I love walking up there in the morning and looking at the trees, checking out what is growing.  We have vegetables and fruit trees.  We also have 5 chickens whose coop is next to my studio.  
4 days a week I go to San Francisco and sell my jewelry on the street.  I am part of the San Francisco Arts Commission which gives me a license to sell.  I love the community of artists there we all understand each other and support one another in hanging in another hour or commiserating when someone gets a zero day.
I was a special education teacher for many years and just couldn't do it any more.  I tried office jobs but I was always wanting to make things and couldn't focus on my work.
I participate in an organization called Beads of Courage which supports children with serious illness through the arts. This February, I gave 10%  of the sale of my hearts to BOC and I also send them many beads. "
Annie Kuhn of Tea House Glass at work.
To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
Daily Etsy Sales
Beads of Courage (A new one that I am starting which relates to giving back.)
Etsy Promotion and Advertising
Craft Fairs
The Circle Clicking Team
Seller Group Promotion Team
Seller Group Shows and More

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 make lampwork glass beads.  I also make jewelery from my beads.  I started doing lampwork about 2 years ago when it was suggested that I try it because my boyfriend's son had the equipment.  I am a lifelong lover of the arts, quilting, weaving, fibers anything, painting crafting.

What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
At first, I thought I would put something up and wha-la, I'd have sales the next day.  I didn't realize it would be so much work.  Keeping up with my site, getting involved, photographing, writing descriptions.  It's a lot of work.

What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite? 
I really love my hearts, I have started making murrini which is a somewhat complicated technique.  I like mixing the murrini with dichroic glass and color to make magical pendants.

If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy? 
I love to do tutorials.  Right now, I'd probably buy some tutorials.

What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?
I want to learn metalsmithing.  I want to learn how to make cool sterling silver rings with my beads.

Lampwork beads by Annie Kuhn of Tea House Glass
What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?I met someone out selling one day in San Francisco.  She is from Canada and wanted to buy beads.  She didn't' want to buy too many because she would have to declare it.  I woke up one morning to see that I had a new fan and a good sales.
If you had to be an animal for one week, which animal would you choose to be? And what would you do? 
I'd like to be a cat.  I would find sunny windows and sleep.

What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it affected your life? 
I try to buy local.  We shop at farmer's markets.  I prefer to shop at small stores.  The challenge is that Amazon or other online market places make it so easy and cheap.  

Check out more about Annie: Tea House Glass, Annie Kuhn Designs, Tea House Glass on Facebook

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, visit Our Team Page about joining SFEtsy!

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