The featured Moo Crew artist this week is Kristin of Inspired by Oceans. Kristin loves jewelry, and that love has inspired her to create bracelets, necklaces, anklets, earrings, keychains and even cards with nautical themes.
Kristin has recently relocated to Wisconsin from Maine. "I am an elementary school teacher and love being creative in my free time. Although I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, I enjoyed the past 15 years on a small island off the coast of Maine. I have recently taken some time off from teaching and have discovered my love for jewelry making. Being inspired by the ocean has always been in the forefront of all of my designs. In my spare time, I enjoy cruisin’ the backroads on a Harley with my soulmate Jim! I also enjoy spending time with my dog Linekin, who is named after Linekin Bay in East Boothbay, Maine."
Kristin opened her Etsy shop in June and started with roughly 30 pieces. "From there, I have added new pieces of jewelry just about every week. Since I also love to scrapbook in my spare time, I have recently added some handcrafted cards and gifts."
Having spent many years boating, Kristin chose "Inspired by Oceans" as the name of her Etsy shop. "I am still surprised (by) the beautiful colors (of the ocean). I love blue and green hues and it feels natural to create jewelry items with nautical flair. I have always enjoyed nautical things, including home decor, historical pieces, and fish! My mom and sister both decorate their home with nautical decor, so it seemed natural that I would create pieces that I loved."
Kristen's first item was conceived about as far from the ocean as possible! "My sweetheart Jim decided to come from Maine to visit me and we took a road trip to the Mall of America. I discovered an amazing bead store there and saw some silver fish dangles. I decided to do a little shopping and was intrigued by all of the unique pieces and parts that were available. I bought a few of my favorite fish beads and some seahorses and took them home. About a week later, I took out my beads to admire them, and then made my first pair of earrings! It was so rewarding and so much fun that I decided to keep making new pieces. When I realized I couldn't wear them all myself, I decided to start selling them. That is when Jim suggested I put them on ETSY :) And here I am, just a few months later, still creating and having a blast while doing it!"
Kristin finds her supplies in a variety of places. "I enjoy finding unique beads at small shops, ordering pieces online, and sometimes using vintage items. I only produce one of each item, and that makes my jewelry pieces unique! I also love to play around with silver wire, creating bird nests, and unusual shaped head pins. Each piece of jewelry or paper product that I create is unique.
Kristin strives for customer satisfaction and would love to have return customers. "My pieces are unique in that even with paper goods, I hand cut everything except the tiny spirals for my pumpkin cards. I enjoy cutting out shapes freehand and creating fun gifts for all occasions! I also would like everyone to know that all of my pieces are made with love! I cherish each piece that I create and enjoy selling them, so that others can enjoy my passion."
When she isn't creating, Kristin is probably in school! "In my regular life, I am a school teacher. I have always had the creativity to make things, even as a child. I always asked for craft items and enjoyed organizing my room around all of my artsy stuff!" She also enjoys playing with Linekin and relaxing in her spare time. Kristin also has a great sense of adventure, and one of her accomplishments is definitely inspired by oceans--she is a SCUBA diver. "I will try anything at least once!"
I asked Kristin what she thought was the best part of being an artist. "Having that outlet to be creative during any time of the day or night. If I am stressed or just want a little quiet time, I head to my room and make something. Whether I am sorting through beads, looking at crafting magazines, or scrapbooking some photos, I am always having a great time!"
Kristin has recently started selling her jewelry at a small shop called Maiden Wisconsin, a small gift shop in Sparta, WI, featuring local artisans. "The shop is in a restored building with a tin ceiling and antique displays. It is beautiful! I have contacted a few other small shops in the area and hope to also be selling my jewelry there." And of course you can find her on Etsy, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/InspiredbyOceans?ref=pr_shop_more
Thanks to Kristin of Inspired by Oceans for bringing a bit of the sea to the Midwest!