Advice for other sellers: I work my butt off from morning to night to stock my stores, ship orders, work my day job, and take care of my family. It is not for the lighthearted! I appreciate my Husband’s support and assistance with the housework. I work seven days a week now and suggest only one thing. If you must work your butt off, you must. But make a night a week for yourself to totally forget about all your projects and just chill… and don’t forget to go outside.
Also, always know your audience and be willing to adjust yourself to cater to them. You may have a great plan for a store you would buy from all the time. But you are not everybody. And everybody is who you want to buy from you. Take great photos above anything else and have great customer service.
1. I lived for a winter in Algeria which is my big inspiration
2. sing in four languages and speak 2 plus a little (English, french, Arabic, Spanish) my family speaks englifrancaspanabic.
3. I am a saleswoman with a degree in business management who recently realized i was going crazy from lack of art
4. I tend to have a wanderlust and an eye that reaches outward into the world, but coupled with a desire to have my own space. not always easy to balance the two. I also am not afraid to work hard if its for something worthwhile.
What got you started crafting?
I have been making art of all kinds since i was a kid. I learned oil painting from a Bob Ross Paint Set when i was 12. My family is pretty artistic and crafty so it rubbed off. I rotate between jewelry and other mediums. I havent been able to paint much since I became a mother.... I recently got a sewing machine and am learning some simple sewing (not patient enough for the big stuff...)
What is your source of inspiration?
oh my... well. everything? My shop was inspired by my time in Algeria, France, Italy... and all my friends from other countries. I was deeply changed by my time in a totally different culture and have learned how to look past my own doorstep and look at things as a whole and wonderful picture. I try to bring that out through my art and share with people my interpretation... a melange of culture that is our world. I also am greatly inspired by nature, which... well... who wouldn't be? I love to work with beads made from hardly altered natural materials, like seed. I am crazy about recycled paper and glass, and also trade beads. Fabric wise i love sari silk, kimono fabric, and African prints. the more vintage the better.
What have you made recently?
I am excited because I recently opened a food shop as well, where I sell spice blends with recipes, baked goods, and soon, spicy chocolate. This one is taking up a lot of my brain power but... In my NEDJMABAZAAR shop I made 4 new versions of my "Asymmetrical Stackers" line, Which is my favorite. I rebel at my corporate day jobs by wearing subtly mismatched earrings with my suits... and that is the inspiration for this line. Earrings that strategically mismatch to just slightly break out of that front of "normalcy" that we often fake our way through. Or is that just me?
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I use ETSY as my primary place but I also sell to people I know and am working on doing some summer art festivals and such. I have a personal website which used to be e-commerce but I found ETSY to be more productive and less costly. I use my website to route locals to my etsy shops and also to consolidate them. I have a blog on my site and a facebook page as well. I market whenever I can locally and online. I talk constantly about my shop until I am sure people wish I would just shush.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
I have a closet full of inventory that was fairly traded but made by others and i have NO problem with that, as other peoples' art is great too... but that just sits in the closet these days as i find myself much more passionate and successful when selling what i made and love and have a vested interest in. I think people tend to be disconnected from the fruits of their labor in most jobs, which is an unfortunate side effect of the way our economy runs. We sell our time for others rather than using it to be ourselves. I believe that EVERYONE can be an artist, if they have or take the time to figure out what their medium is. I also think the world would be a better place if we focused more on making and less on getting. i will leave it at that even though i could go on all day about this...