It’s hard to resist an expertly made pair of earrings, or a beautiful handmade necklace. There are so many options when it comes to finding just the right jewelry for yourself or someone special. What makes an artist stand out is their attention to detail and choice of quality materials.
Molly of Little Bear’s Mom creates some absolutely stunning jewelry using stones and metals in beautiful colors. With a variety of styles and techniques to choose from, a visit to her shop is like a walk through a candy store. Oh Canada has put Little Bear’s Mom in the spotlight.
Oh Canada: Of all the things that you sell, which item or style is your favorite?
Little Bear’s Mom: My charm bracelets are my favorite to both make, and wear. They're sometimes more time-consuming, but I just love creating a pattern and seeing it come together.
Oh Canada: Where did you learn your skills?
Little Bear’s Mom: Back in the 90's, when beading started to become popular where I grew up, I took a course at a local store. The rest has been trial and error, due to my penchant for experimentation.
Oh Canada: Everyone has different motivations for making their unique wares. What drives you to create?
Little Bear’s Mom: I've always been creative, and I've done both performance and visual arts all my life. When I was a child my grandmas taught me to sew and do other types of handiwork, and my mom (who is an artist) would come up with exciting crafting and art projects for me to do.
Now that I'm an adult, I often have more than one project on the go, and my house is full of all sorts of unfinished odds and ends - I'm very bad on the follow through. I have a number of unfinished baby blankets, and the babies they were intended for are 5, 6, 7 years old now!
Jewelry making is the one thing that I seem to be able to see through effectively, from start to finish, because it doesn't necessarily take that long to make a piece, and it doesn't require a huge amount of space. I find that I need to have some sort of creative outlet to keep me calm and to balance out the more serious side of my life.
Oh Canada: If you could learn to use any new technique or material, what would it be?
Little Bear’s Mom: Now that I've really seen the extent of what can be done with beadweaving, I'm not only impressed, but also intrigued. But I'm not sure if I have the required patience! And I would also love to learn more about pottery.
Oh Canada: Any plans to incorporate a new product into your shop this year?
Little Bear’s Mom: I've recently begun adding some simple pendant necklaces to my shop. I had also hoped to start making anklets this spring, but have not yet gotten around to it.
Oh Canada: What is your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
Little Bear’s Mom: I love that a lot of the aspects of running a business are taken care of for you. Yes, I do know how to code and I've designed simple web sites before, but it's just so much easier to slot my items into an already-existing platform. It's also great to be part of something that has such name recognition and is relatively well established.
Oh Canada: Do you have a number one tip for new sellers?
Little Bear’s Mom: Well, a general tip would be to avail yourself of the advice that Etsy provides. Read the Storque, sign up for the newsletter, read in the forums. Most importantly, use all your tags, take nice clear pictures and use all 5 slots, and take your titles and descriptions seriously.
But my own personal tip? I cannot tell you how many serious grammatical and spelling errors there are in a number of Etsy shops. I don't mean small typos or mistakes here and there. And I do take into account the seller's location just in case their native language isn't English. But otherwise...come on...this is a business venture. I don't mean to sound like a schoolmarm, but please, take the time to read over what you've written, and run it through a spell/grammar check. Mistakes just don't look professional and can really turn a buyer off.
Oh Canada: What is your favorite thing to buy on Etsy?
Little Bear’s Mom: Besides supplies for my jewelry making, I think it's a tie between bath and body products (mainly soap), and toys for my son.
Oh Canada: What is the number one best item (listing) in your shop right now?
Little Bear’s Mom: My absolutely favorite item in my shop right now is this three-strand lavender and silver bracelet.
It took me a few days of planning and deciding on which beads to use, and I'm really pleased with the result. It doesn't have the most hearts-per-item, but it's been featured in more treasuries than anything else in my shop.
You can see all of Molly’s beautiful creations in her shops on Etsy, Artfire and Zibbet. To stay up to date with the latest sales and creations, you can follow Little Bear’s Mom on Twitter and Facebook. For more insight into her inspirations and designs, check out her blog Little Bear’s Mom.
Copyright 2010 Oh Canada and Little Bear's Mom