Happy Easter everyone! Sorry for the late post – I have been incredibly busy with my full time job so am just now catching up on team member features. Today I am featuring Sara from Arden Jewelry Design — read on to find out more about her
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I have been on Etsy since the summer of 2007.
How long have you lived in NoVa?
I am originally from New York, and moved to the DC area in 2003. My husband and I moved to NoVa in 2006, and we currently reside in Loudoun County.
How did you become a craftaholic?
I can’t imagine a time when I wasn’t making something! My earliest memories are of sitting at my toy kitchen painting with watercolors. I always enjoyed Arts & Crafts in school, and began beading in middle school. I took a summer class in silver smithing shortly after that and loved it. I come from a long line of fiber artists on both sides of my family, so I turned to needlepoint in college and then to knitting after graduation. It was knitting that eventually led me to making jewelry again as I would look at stitch markers (rings that you put on your needle to mark the start of a row or a pattern) and realize I could bling out my knitting by making my own stitch markers. Since returning to jewelry I have taken classes through Arlington County’s Parks & Recreation department and the Corcoran College of Art + Design.
What’s your own favorite item in your shop? Why?
I LOVE my quartz and pearl necklace
and it is one of my best selling pieces at craft shows. I wear mine all the time with everything from jeans to an lbd. I even made a special one with huge, faceted quartz to wear as a bridesmaid in my brother-in-law’s wedding several years ago. It is so versatile and elegant.
What one craft supply can you not live without?
Flat nosed pliers – there are a million different ways that I use them while making any given piece of jewelry. A good pair can make your work so much easier and more comfortable.
What craft would you like to learn next?
I would love to learn how to sew. I can sew enough to mend tears or sew a button, but I would really like to be able to make things or use a sewing machine.
What inspires you to be crafty?
I’m inspired by many things – color trends on the fashion runway, nature, and my travels are the primary sources. That’s why NoVa is a such a great place to be creative; and hour in either direction from my house and I have the mountains or our nation’s capital!
If you could have one thing to help out your store, what would it be?
Something to automatically list things for me on Etsy! Seriously, it is hard being a one woman shop and doing everything from design to production, to creating the listings to social media and marketing. If only jewelry could photograph itself!
Do you have any shop goals you’d like to achieve this year?
My big goal for the year is to get my jewelry into brick and mortar stores. I love Etsy, but there is something about being able to actually touch and feel the jewelry that makes the experience of buying that much more special. My very long term goal is to have my own metalworking studio as I love working with copper and silver but lack studio space.
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve ever made?
It’s not for sale, but I made an etched copper pendant for a class. It was tough in that the acid was too weak, so it took over an hour and several attempts at different/more potent acid to make it happen. That’s a very long time standing over strong chemicals! Once we found the right acid it worked immediately, and the result was beyond anything I expected – proof that good things come to those who wait!