For today’s interview please welcome Jelene Britten as she shares with us her chain mail and glass jewelry designs.
1. Firstly, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you are based, for example in which country and part of that country? My name is Jelene Britten and I live in Chicago, the third-largest city in the USA. It may be cold here in the winter, but it’s such a beautiful and vibrant city that I love it anyway!
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/design based business. I’ve always loved creating things with my hands, so crafting elegant chain mail and glass jewelry comes naturally to me. Building off the foundation of traditional glassworking and chain mail techniques, I use my modern design sensibility to fashion both luxurious statement jewelry as well as classic everyday pieces.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? I want to share my love of chain mail and glass jewelry with the world! Ever since learning these two jewelry-making techniques, which have each existed for centuries, I have been obsessed with using them to create wearable works of art for the modern world. With so many creative ideas in my head to pursue, I started my jewelry design business as a way to share my love of these techniques with people who appreciate handmade goods.
4. How long now have you been established? I began selling my jewelry on Etsy and at art fairs in 2012.
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your great ideas? The versatility of both chain mail and glass keep me inspired. I’m also inspired by my travels around the world. A beautiful sunset, a colorful festival, or art at a museum can all spark an idea. For example, I’m working on a series of glass beads inspired by gorgeous ceramics I saw at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? I have a full-time job so I have to manage my jewelry business when I’m not at work or spending time with family and friends. It can be tough to fit it all in!
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? Since I do it all – designing, creating, selling at art fairs, bookkeeping and marketing – in a limited period of time, I set clear goals each week on what I want to accomplish. I don’t really have a typical day because it depends on what needs to be done at the moment. Right now, I’m preparing for the holidays by stocking up my Etsy shop and planning inventory for art shows.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? When you’re doing something you love, it’s easy to get carried away with the business and spend all your time on it. But you have to remember to take time for yourself and recharge. This is something I still remind myself to do. And it’s usually when I’m taking a break that I have great new design ideas.
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. Yes! I enjoy knitting, sewing, drawing and cooking. Especially desserts!
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?
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