Sally: Tell us who you are… what makes your crafty passion tick… I’m Ashley! (*waves*) I’m a 25 yr old NY based Indie Jewelry Designer with a deep love for laughing, music and animals, and a soft spot for frosting of all sorts.
Sally: Who, or what inspires your creations? : Ashley: I’m inspired by pretty much anything. That’s not to say I look around and have a constant stream of creative tunnel vision triggered by every sight, sound and touch but I do not discriminate my inspirational avenues. I never really know what will stir up some inspiration in me, it always happens suddenly and without warning. Funny enough a lot of my “inspiration” comes from joking around about things that I think are fun or quirky, or childhood memories. To be fair, a good amount of my ideas come to me thanks to songs with great lyrical themes :)
Sally: What item do you like to work on the most and why? Ashley: Well, I have developed a fun obsession with quirky tiny stud earrings. I think it’s fun to challenge myself to see how detailed I can get in a tiny scale. It doesn’t always work out in the end but I’ve really come to appreciate the comedic struggle between my brain, my hand and my jewelers saw :) More recently however I’ve taken a keen liking to working on higher end one of a kind items, so stay tuned :)
Sally: What do you do besides working on your passion and shop? Ashley: Hmmm, good question! Not much! Hehehe :) I try to have a life outside of my work but sometimes when it comes right down to it, my drive to grow my business and my brand just outweighs my drive to go see the newest Brad Pitt movie. I love to spend time with my family, in the Summer you can find me basking in the beauty of Lake George and I love to hang with my dogs :) More recently I’ve been a bit better at juggling my personal and professional lives as my very best friend has just gotten engaged and I have had the coveted “Maid of Honor” title bestowed upon me, so I have wedding things to attend to :) We just call them “MOH Things” are here...
Sally: What is something that you don’t do well that you’d like to do better? Ashley: EASY! Bookkeeping! I am THE WORST. Everyone says ‘Yes, yes, be diligent about your books!”. Well, I just can’t seem to subscribe to that school of thought, so instead, I leave all my bookkeeping duties for the very last minute, about 2 weeks before the April tax deadline :) Don’t try this at home kids, I can testify that it is most unpleasant, but alas, I’ll just never learn...
Sally: Do you have favorite Etsy peeps, or an item that you keep coming back to? Ashley: I have a Miniature Dachshund and that has fueled a weird obsession with all things “Wiener Dog” so I’m constantly doing searches on Etsy for cool little “Doxie” trinkets, art prints and whatever else I can manage to find!
Sally: What’s your fav thing about Etsy? Ashley: My favorite thing about Etsy... I love that you get back what you put in! Etsy is a tool for success! If your willing to really buckle down and try to make a real go at a legit indie business, chances are you will be able to build one here. Etsy is fabulous, it gives you all these great tools and tips and tricks, etc. BUT, that’s not to say just because your on Etsy you will be an overnight success. You really have to work hard, day and night, night and day...not only at your craft but at your branding, your packaging, your advertising, your networking...it’s all interwoven in an Etsy success story. I tell people all the time, you CAN make a living on Etsy BUT you have to commit yourself to it just as you would having your own B&M Shop. There really aren’t any shortcuts, it’s blood, sweat and tears all the way.
Sally: One tip you could give, about life, about Etsy, about the weather… Ashley: Well I guess I kinda answered this question in the previous question but here’s another tip... ALWAYS REMEMBER that your interactions on Etsy (and in life) don’t only represent you as a living breathing human but also your brand, your work, and your livelihood. Just look at what Jon and Kate Gosselin shenanigans did to the TLC/Jon & Kate Plus 8 Brand! They essentially set fire to their future brand security and watched it burn to the ground because they forgot that their “brand” and their “selves” are interwoven no matter where they are whether they like it or not. You really never know who might be behind that user name on Etsy, so always be respectful, be kind and most of all be professional. Etsy is a pretty casual place but you can’t treat it like a “Yard Sale” and expect it to be successful. And of course, that goes for everywhere you go in life, always remember that if your a business owner you are representing something bigger than yourself. In my case, I’m not only representing myself as “Ashley” but also my brand, Etsy, young women entrepreneurs and the entire handmade movement as a whole. I know that’s a whole lot to represent, and maybe I’m only representing bits and pieces of those things, but that doesn’t make it any less important.