Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meet Mud and Mint - Featured WIST seller

You make beautiful jewelry, why did you start making it?

To justify my bead addiction (hehehehe!). i went into my first bead shop when i was 16 and was immediately hooked; the color, the sparkle, polish and texture. to this day when i walk into a bead shop i can’t just look, i always have to touch and feel the beads as well (shop owners must just love me). over the years i would occasionally buy beads, make a few things and then drop it for a while before coming back to it again. then about 4 years ago i started up again and haven‘t stopped since; something changed and i needed that creative outlet in my life. making jewelry has become a very personal thing for me; creating is empowering and i take pride in my work. when i see someone wearing something i made i get very pleased; i have this one thing in my life i can share with others but the sense of satisfaction in a job well done is for me alone.

Are there any special techniques you use that you'd like to share?

i feel like i should have a great answer here but honestly, most of the techniques i use in my jewelry are relatively basic: mostly making simple and wrapped loops and crimping bead wire. i'm completely self taught so it took some practice for me to do these things well; the best tip i could give would be to practice and use inexpensive materials while learning.

How did you end up hearing about Etsy and joining?

google... hooray for google! i joined under my first user name (carisdesigns) in february of 06' but didn't actually start listing anything for another 10 months. then i chose to switch user names and opened my current shop in july 07'.
What's the toughest part of running your own Etsy business? The best?
for me, the toughest part is finding a balance in my life between juggling my full time job, my home life and my craft. currently, my home life gets the short end of the stick (my house is a mess right now!) but luckily, my boyfriend is really supportive so that helps. my boss at work is also incredibly supportive so if i need time off to make jewelry she helps make that happen for me. the best part would have to be having this amazing international venue to share and sell my work and have people love and appreciate it... it is just such a thrill for me.

Like most artists, you've probably made a TON of kick butt art- is there a piece or two that are your favorites? Why?
I don’t really have one favorite piece that I‘ve made. At any given time I’ll have a favorite but at some point after it sells I move on and have a new favorite. There are definitely those few pieces that have the “wow” factor and I’m particularly proud of those. right now, the meadow bracelet is one of my favorites. in fact, the first one turned out so well i've been doing a series of them; same color scheme but one or two variations in each piece. it has been a lot of fun and a good exercise in using color and hue.
also, the garden gate earrings are one of my all time favorites. they are so simple yet very dramatic.

Where else can we find you on the internet- do you have a blog? A website? Forums or other internet groups?

i do have a blog but i have to admit it ends up being neglected when i'm busy...which is quite a bit lately! it is actually my goal for march to start updating it twice a week:
i also have a flickr site (and i love sending pictures to our WIST group on flickr!):

Speaking of locations, do you sell your artwork in stores? Where?
other than online, my work is currently available a few different locations and i'll have at least one more next month:
lazy jane's cafe, located at 1358 williamson street, madison.
the sundance gallery, located in the hilldale mall, madison.
the feather's edge finery, located in truckee, california.
Can you tell me something I (probably) don't know about the city where you live?

i was born and raised in madison and have lived here for most of my life... it's a great town! one odd and slightly morbid fact about madison: otis redding died here after his plane crashed into monona bay... his body was never recovered.

What does "home" mean to you?

home for me is a state of mind... a place where you feel completely comfortable and accepted as yourself. currently, home is a small house i share with my boyfriend of 11 years (we are actually engaged but are REALLY taking our time making it offical!) and our sweet bulldog lola.

Tell me something that I don't know about you!

i'm a terribly picky eater, i hate the sound of styrofoam rubbing against itself and i'm totally awesome at air hockey!:)

How did you come up with your business name & what does it mean?
i named my business after a necklace i made. the name was catchy (unlike my old one) and i liked so it so i made the switch.

Is there something you'd like to learn how to do someday?

i would really like to learn about enameling... or re-learn it i should say. i did a few pieces in high school and my mother found them a few years back; they were just so cool. plus, i love working with color so it would be a natural fit for me. also, i really would like to learn book binding. there are so many talented book binders on etsy and i'm always amazed by the styles and creativity.

What inspires you? =^.^=
I love to play with size, shape, texture and contrast but the biggest inspiration to my work is color. It could be a beautiful painting or a small bit of left over wrapping paper…certain colors and combinations really draw me in and inspire me to create new and interesting things.

I'd love to know what you'd like to "get" out of being a part of WIST! (Community, sales, promotion, etc!). Are we fulfilling that need right now? Is there anything you'd change?

for me, the best part of being a WIST member is the sense of community and camaraderie and our group totally fulfills that need. we have such awesome, talented members and it's great to have people to share the etsy experience with.


Anonymous said...

I'm such an admirer of your work and how fun to get to know you better! :)

Xanthe said...

Great interview!
Cari is so talented
thanx for posting Jen