For today’s interview, please welcome Pam Millershaski from WiReD Boutique Jewelry.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your handmade business. In WiReD Boutique, I feature necklaces and bracelets from recycled dominoes and scrabble tiles. I create earrings too. Most of the dominoes and scrabble tiles are embellished to include beads, gemstones, and filigrees. I love creating long and short necklaces, and customized orders.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? I have always “tweaked” my store-bought jewelry but after I left my last full-time career, I decided to see if I could reach beyond my part of the world with my own jewelry designs. In high school, I painted with oils and watercolors, and continued my “crafty” ways after that. However, with a full-time job and then children, time for crafting was last on the list.
4. How long now have you been established? I opened my online shop with Etsy on January 2, 2013, and shortly after that I opened my own website at http://wiredboutique.com
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your great ideas? Some of my ideas come from when I have difficulty finding accessories for outfits I am wearing. I sketch out jewelry that would match one of my styles. Other ideas for my jewelry just evolve. I may find an interesting paper or fabric for a domino, and then see what jewelry parts, gemstones, filigrees, or embellishments. When I am out, I look for broken jewelry or parts in thrift stores, antique shops, or garage sales.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? My online shops are my full-time business. Since all of my children are in school now, I am able to work during the days. I live with my family on an agricultural farm; however, I do not work on it except to prepare food during harvests during the year.
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? My typical day begins with some form of exercise. I think this helps power my creativity and stamina during the day. I love bicycling long distance, running and yoga. I am usually ready to work by 10:00 a.m. My workday involves completing custom jewelry orders or working on new jewelry products, but I also work on the computer a lot. Blogging, posting, and promoting my online business through social media are enjoyable for a techie like me. Depending on my children’s schedules, I can work until late in the day (and I often do) but usually there is some family obligation in the evenings. I used to work Saturday and Sundays, but I now try to take these days off. It tends to be fairly hard because I really love what I do and want to work on my jewelry often. Since I have a room for my jewelry studio that I love, it is easy to be in there!
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? Absolutely the one advice tip I would give to others who are thinking of beginning his or her’s own craft-based business would be to totally love what it is you do. Also, craft-based businesses need to ensure the quality of their product and service to all the new friends he or she meets. Therefore, you can build your brand loyalty from there.
9. As this is Art of Crafts I have to ask, do you enjoy any crafts yourself in your spare time? If so, please tell us more. I love lots of different types of crafts! I am always trying new things. Currently, I am taking classes on using wire wrapping around natural stones, and modeling clay into pendants. Still not sure if any of those will be for sale. Those classes are mostly for me personally. I have worked on embroidery including cross-stitch for as long as I can remember. My maternal grandmother made everything from scratch, and taught me well. I was also in Girl Scouts most of my youth, and loved earning as many craft patches as I could.
10. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a web address, Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can find out more ?
I have my own website at http://wiredboutique.com
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