My name is Erin and I'm a graduate student studying forest ecology. I have a passion for nature and the outdoors, and am grateful that I can use my education to further the education of the world about important issues such as conservation, climate change, and biodiversity. My other passion is crafting - I spend my summers at a remote research station, where I knit and crochet up a storm - making a new sweater, hat, or pair of socks - and teaching others to do the same. When back at school in the winter, I turn to jewelry-making! My Etsy shop is filled with elegant testaments to the inspiration of nature: http://rockfern.etsy.com.
1. When and why did you start crafting?
Crafty roots run in my family - both of my Grandmothers were avid sewers, as was my Mom. I learned to knit and crochet at the age of seven, and sew possibly earlier than that. Those women are the inspiration for some of my more unique pieces, such as my crocheted and woven bracelets and necklaces: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23228793.
2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?
I love crafting because it allows me to use my hands. I'm a really tactile person, and am constantly touching things (I'm the girl that's wandering through the store touching ALL the fabrics). Crafting give me a creative escape, and forces me to slow down while I'm doing it. I love the feeling of making a beautiful piece and being incredibly proud of creating it with my own two hands!
3. How did you find out about Etsy and why did you start selling there?
I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit; both my parents had own their own businesses. It's been a dream of mine since I was small to do the same.
When I started jewelery making, I would give jewelery to friends as gifts. However, the jewelery quickly started accumulating faster than I could give it away! It also became an expensive hobby. At the same time, a close friend introduced me to the Etsy community, and suggested I open a shop. What a great find - I love Etsy, and all the artistic talent it has to offer! I can spend hours browsing through all of the wonderful handmade and vintage items.
Opening my Etsy shop has fulfilled a bit of my entrepreneurial dream - now only if I could finish school and do this forever!
4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop or you dislike the most about selling online?
I think I miss face-to-face contact. Etsy takes a lot of my time - however it is also a lot of fun - and can be addictive! But above all, I think I would like to meet my customers face-to-face, and get to know the person who will be wearing my art!
5. Do you rely on Etsy to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?
Right now, Etsy helps me to recoup the costs of my crafting habits :) However, I have a small amount of profits tucked away in another bank account that I will use for my fiance and I to go traveling! We'd like to go to West Africa.
6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than Etsy & why?
I haven't tried selling in offline shops, but I am currently preparing a proposal for some nearby boutiques to see if they are willing to carry my jewelry.
7. Where else can you be found online?
I just started a blog! I'm hoping to find more time to update it later in the summer :) There will be giveaways and great discounts on my products, as well as features from other Etsy sellers. Feel free to check it out: http://www.rockferndesigns.blogspot.com
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