Here is the long awaited part 4 of my series on featured shops on www.etsy.com
Today I have visited the shop of Nancywallisdesigns of Wallis Designs.
Who: Wallis Designs ~ the art of colour ~
Where: I live in Whitby, Ontario, just east of Toronto.
What do you like to make? My main focus is jewellery. I make necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
What are your favourite mediums? I work mostly with sterling silver and copper. I love to use coloured glass beads, crystals and stone.
When did you start and why? This might sound strange but just over a year ago I actually dreamt of making a silver necklace with crystals. I literally could not shake this dream and the image of the necklace. The next day I headed to a local bead store to buy supplies to make one. I was pretty happy with the result. Over the next few months I kept learning and working on new techniques. With the encouragement of friends and family I sold a few pieces.
How long have you been doing this? At the end of April 2008 I launched my own website and opened a shop on Etsy.
How long have you been on Etsy? Since April 25, 2008.
Do you sell your creations anywhere else? Yes, I have my own website www.nancywallisdesigns.com. This summer I also participated in my first craft show. It was a positive first experience and I plan to do more in the future.
What is involved in your creative process?
There are so many things that inspire me and they change on a daily basis but firstly it would be colour – whether it’s the aqua and blues of the ocean, the tangerines and rose pinks in a sunset or the flowers in the garden on a spring day – these are the things that inspire me to design my jewellery.
Of course if I didn’t have these in my life – Hugs, Smiles, A Good Laugh and My Family always supporting me I’d never see the colours around me in such vivid, happy hues.
What is the best thing you love about your art? Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your jewellery being worn by someone else.
What is your all-time favourite piece? I would have to say a necklace that I’ve called “Ocean Blue”. I made my sister a similar one for her birthday last year and it was her reaction to the gift that got me thinking that I could sell my jewellery.
What would be something most people don’t know about you? Most people that I’ve met on Etsy and on-line only know me as a jewellery artist but I am also a certified interior decorator. I became certified at night when my girls were young. It was staying at home with the girls that allowed me to recognize how important my creative side was and pursue something that I really enjoyed. My previous life as a Human Resource Manager was rewarding at the time but clearly lacked the creative component that I thrive on. Running my own business now that my girls are getting older (11 and 13) allows me to still be there for them before and after school and support them in their activities and sports. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for them to understand firsthand what running a business involves.
What is the biggest drawback you have found in selling online? A lot of time is spent listing your items and I had no idea how much time would be involved in photographing product.
What do you do to advertise? I participate in the Etsy forums, blog, regularly update my own website, give my business cards out to friends and most importantly wear my jewellery.
Do you have any suggestions to other artist who may be interested in learning your craft? Jewellery is a very competitive category. I think quality of materials and workmanship can really set you apart from other sellers. Learn jewellery making techniques through courses and tutorials and practice the techniques. Be inspired by other jewellery artists but create your own designs. Look to things other than jewellery to inspire you to design your jewellery.
Do you have suggestions to others who want to sell their crafts online? Well, first and foremost follow your dreams but before you do that you need to do your research. Is your product something that will sell? Can you price it at a point where it will sell and you still make a profit? Spend time on Etsy searching similar items and those that are different as well. Read the forums. There is a lot of helpful information in there. Participate in the forums. You can ask questions before you open shop. There are some wonderful Etsyians that will answer your questions and help. You might feel overwhelmed and physically dizzy after doing this but if you wake up the next day and you still want to try it then go for it. Follow your dreams.
You can find me on-line at:
Come and visit.
Thanks so much Jewelz for having me as your guest.
Here are some links to some of my pieces:
Silver Pearl Earrings
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! I really enjoy seeing all the new creations you come up with for your jewelry. They really are gorgeous!!