For many Canadian women, the accessories used to accent an outfit are almost as important as the clothes themselves. A pair of duster earrings or a statement necklace can turn a little black dress into a show-stopping ensemble.
The jewellery designs of Joanniel Creations are both unique and classy, and their handmade style makes them so versatile. You can wear these pieces every day and still stand out in a crowd every time. The Oh Canada Team has put designer Joannie Leclerc in the spotlight.
Oh Canada: Of all the things that you sell, which item or style is your favorite?
Joanniel: I love making earrings- all sorts of different kinds of them. My favorite kinds are the long ones with lots of dangles on them, like the 'Eclectic' or the 'Leyla' earrings. I think they are the most fun to create. I try to make them as unique as possible. They are the kinds of earrings I love to wear. The 'Leyla' ones are completely my style. In fact, my best friend saw them and said, "That's exactly what I would buy for you if you hadn't made them yourself".
Oh Canada: Where did you learn your skills?
Joanniel: I am actually a self taught jewellery maker. I lost an earring about 5 years ago while at the movies with my boyfriend. I decided to buy the material to try to replicate them but wasn't really able to. I enjoyed trying to make those earrings so much that I decided to try to make more jewellery. I looked online and found some helpful videos, but mostly I would just look at a piece of jewellery and try to make it myself through trial and error. I started bringing my jewellery to family gatherings and would sell lots of it. I guess that's when I knew this was something I should take seriously as a business venture. I made my first pair of earrings with some pliers and other old tools I found in a small tool kit. They are really old but I still use them to this day. When I find something I like I just stick with it. I probably should buy some new ones, but I like using my trusty old, rusty tools. Go figure!
Oh Canada: Everyone has different motivations for making their unique wares. What drives you to create?
Joanniel: For as long as I can remember I have been an artist. I would not be able to live a happy and fulfilling life if I wasn't being creative in some form. Whether it be painting, drawing, writing poetry, singing, cooking, making jewellery, or taking photos. Everything I do has a creative aspect. I don't know that I can put into words what drives me to create. I just do. It's as much a part of me as my limbs. I don't see it as being an external thing, but as a part of who I am. Creating something out of nothing just makes me happy and gives me an incredible sense of pride.
Oh Canada: If you could learn to use any new technique or material, what would it be?
Joanniel: I would love to learn to make polymer clay beads and silver metal clay jewellery. I would also love to learn to hammer, weld and be able to drill holes in just about anything. I think that would come in very handy. Maybe at some point I will try to take a class or get some books, but for now I already have too much on my plate. As soon as I get the time I will learn to use silver metal clay. That's at the top of my list.
Oh Canada: Any plans to incorporate a new product into your shop this year?
Joanniel: I have so many ideas. It's time I'm short on. I was thinking of merging jewellery and painting by creating canvas art that can also be used as a jewellery hanger. Maybe 8 x 10 canvases that can be hung on the wall or rested on top of a dresser. But that's still in the works. I don't know if I will introduce that this year.
Oh Canada: What is your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
Joanniel: My favorite thing about selling on Etsy is the fact that I can have my own online shop without having all of the usual costs associated with that. I love that I can advertise my shop anywhere as my own online store. I also love that when you start selling on Etsy you automatically have thousands of potential buyers just waiting to discover you. Even if you have no existent customer base, Etsy does and that's a huge help.
Oh Canada: Do you have a number one tip for new sellers?
Joanniel: The most important thing you can do when you are a new Etsy seller is to focus on your own shop. Don't try to compare yourself to other shops. Each person will develop their own customer base in time. The best thing to do is to always improve on yourself, your shop, your photos, and have a great presentation. By presentation I mean your shop announcement, your policies, and your profile. Make sure to fill them out, be clear, be professional, and be inviting and welcoming to potential clients. Go to Etsy critique sessions and keep asking yourself what you can do to better your shop.
Oh Canada: What is your favorite thing to buy on Etsy?
Joanniel: Soap, soap, and more soap. I'm actually expecting a shipment in the coming days. I am going to start making my own melt and pour soap soon. This will be more cost effective for my family. But I will still buy some on Etsy. I know it! I'm addicted.
Oh Canada: What is the number one best item in your shop right now?
Joanniel: I think my 'Petal' earrings are my best item right now. They are very original and they have gotten lots of hearts since I first listed them about two weeks ago.
You can see more of Joannie’s amazing jewellery creations, and her fine art paintings, in her Etsy shop, Joanniel Creations. She also has a selection of handmade pieces on Zibbet. To stay up to date on her inspirations, sales and more, check out her blog, Joanniel Creations, or follow her on Twitter.
To see even more incredible creations by Canadian artists, include the tag “OhCanadaTeam” in your searches on Etsy.com.
Copyright 2010 Oh Canada Team