Hello again! Thanks for coming by. I hope your Monday has gotten off to a great start. Reading about awesome artisans cheers me up, and I hope it does you too. Another talented Etsian has been inducted into the Hall of Fame!
Meet Pearl, the talented woman behind Maya & Ruhi. Pearl, is a stay-at-home-mom and self-taught jewelry maker. Learn about the passion that has overtaken her dining room table, and get a look at her exclusive designs.
Read on to find out what inspires her, discover the real Maya and Ruhi, and how she finds balance in her life.
Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
I was born in Singapore, and live here now. I lived in England and Dubai for about 10 years, over University and after getting married, but moved back to Singapore about 8 years ago, because my husband and I agreed that Singapore was a good environment to be bringing up kids.
What inspires you?
Anything or everything, really. It just depends whether I am "in the zone" at that moment. If I am receptive, anything can become an inspiration.
A lot of the time, I look through history books on art, jewelry, architecture, cultural movements. My particular favourites are those on the Pre-Raphaelite and Art Nouveau movements, Elizabethan and Baroque jewelry, and the treasures of the Mughals. These amaze me to no end. The ostentatiousness, the artistry, the creativity, the inspirations. I also am an avid magazine "flicker-through-er". I am always bowled over by the gorgeously styled photo shoots of VOGUE.
Share an interesting fact about yourself.
I have 3 pretty large tattoos. One sugar skull on my leg, one Japanese demon on my arm, and the Chinese character for 'love' at the back of my neck.
What made you decide to open up shop and create jewelry?
I started dabbling in making jewelry about 5 years back. My sister is a fashion designer, and has her own boutique, so I put them in her shop on a consignment basis. It was an outlet for my creative energies, and to stay sane while being a stay-at-home-mom.
How did you select the name Maya & Ruhi? Any special significance?
Maya and Ruhi are my daughters. Maya is now 10, and Ruhi is 5. Both are Sanskrit names - my husband is of Indian origin. "Maya" means "illusion", and "Ruhi" means "spirit". They also have Chinese names, as I am of Chinese origin. But I think MAYA & RUHI sounds much more alluring than SHAN & MIN. ;)
Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.
Hands down, my favourite thing about selling handmade is the relationships I develop with my customers when I work on a custom piece. It gets unbelievably fun bouncing ideas off each other, seeing how things inspire other people, and helping them materialise their visions.
Many customers have become good friends over the years, and I have customed many meaningful pieces, including for weddings, and family pieces. By family pieces I mean jewelry sets made entirely of the birthstones of the whole family, intended to be heirlooms. I am just so honoured to be able to do these things for my wonderful customers who have become really good friends.
Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
My day-job is the real Maya and Ruhi. And that's really a 24/7 job. No weekends, no off days. Etsy is my escape! ;) I work mainly after they go to bed. But now that both are in school, I do get the mornings to myself, and get some work done then as well. Timing has been pretty good, 'coz they are getting more and more independent, and I am able to spend more time on my growing business.
Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
I bought this Watching Ring from DillonDesigns, and this Folded Wings Ring from RagTrader. I wear them ALL the time.
Just a few days back, I bought a couple of feather headbands from AFarmersDaughter. I can't wait for them to arrive.
Right now I am thinking of getting some art from MyPinkTurtleStudio. I love Frida Kahlo, and Lulu's interpretations and visions are just out-of-this-world. I am seriously in love...
List a few of your most favorite pastimes.
Watching The Style Network.
Surfing the Net
Playing Junior Monopoly
Hanging out at Borders The Bookstore
What is your most prized possession?
I don't really have one. Possibly the real Maya & Ruhi's few pieces of baby clothing that I have preserved. Other than that, I try not to accumulate stuff. I used to be a serial hoarder, keeping every single thing for any sentiment's sake. Until I met my husband, who taught me the importance of De-cluttering. Just one of the things that I so admire about him. :)
The one other thing...
Yoga is my lifesaver. Since I began doing yoga regularly (again) about 6 months back, my energy levels are up, and I feel more in control of things. In turn, I am finding more balance in my life, setting aside crafting time from being at the computer, and being in-the-moment when I am with the real Maya and Ruhi, instead about worrying about a certain project or completing orders.
Pearl is going to let the winner choose any piece from her shop valued at $32 or less (this includes shipping) *If the piece you choose exceeds $32, just checkout normally, but wait for a revised invoice (for the difference) before paying.
Pearl would like to know the things YOU do to keep your lives in balance!
To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your answer, name, and email address or Etsy username.
For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow mine and Pearl's blogs: 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from Maya & Ruhi: 10 additional entries
(Please include this info, if applicable, with your comment for additional entries. You do not need to leave separate comments for additional entries.)
Contest ends Sunday, June 21st at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, June 22nd.