1. Welcome Kelly. 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 Kelly Martino and my business is K. Lynn Designs. I make jewelry and I am in Northern California. I make jewelry out of many different materials and in many different styles. I strive to make jewelry that is unique and that anyone would be proud to wear.
2. How did the idea for your business come about? I’ve always been a jewelry lover and in fact worked at a high end jewelry store when I was young. But the idea of jewelry making as my business came when I was purchasing a necklace made by Hollyashi. This jewelry company was started by two women and became very successful. I looked at the necklace I was buying and saw how simple the design was. I said to myself “Hey, I could make that”! and so it began.
3. How long now have you been established? I’ve been in business now for 9 years and it’s exciting and fun to see how far I’ve come since I started. When you’re first learning a craft, it takes a while to perfect it and to be comfortable with the final product.
4. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your designs? Some of the pieces I make are styles that I’ve seen elsewhere and really like. Most of my designs are things that I like and would wear myself. I usually take out the things I want to work with (ie…crystal, gems, chain or charms) and I sit there until I decide how to put them all together. And of course, if there is a holiday coming up, I focus a lot on pieces that would be good as gifts (ie..Mother’s Day).
5. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? I have been retired now for 2 years so I’m able to spend a lot more time creating jewelry and marketing it. I try to work on it every day as it is a source of relaxation for me. And I love being creative and the feeling I get when I’ve made something that I’m proud of.
6. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? I usually go into my studio to make jewelry in the late afternoon and when I’ve finished a piece or two, I take photos of them, edit them and put them on social media. However, all day long I’m checking my K. Lynn Designs Facebook page and my e-mail in case I get an order or a question about one of my pieces. I would say I spend about an hour each day trying to increase traffic to my website and/or Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/
7. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? Advice I would give to anyone wanting to run a craft based business is that they need to love what they do. If you don’t love the process of making the craft, then do something else. Also, if you are going to sell your craft, you have to get out there. Not only on social media but in your community. I’ve gotten a lot of exposure from doing local craft fairs and donating items to for a raffle at local fundraisers. So basically, you have to have the time to do the legwork. Since I’ve been retired and have had so much more time to spend on the marketing part of the business, my sales have increased dramatically.
8. 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 enjoy making anything with my hands but making jewelry is really my passion so that’s good enough for me right now. I also love gardening and photography when I’m not in my studio.
9. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business where they can find out more? My website URL is www.kaylynndesigns.com. Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/