Welcome back everybody. Thanks for joining me again this week to learn about another Etsy artist.
Meet Jenn, the creative gal behind The Empress Jewel. With a passion for creating beautiful and unique jewelry, your sure to find something to love in her shop, which is overflowing with works of art in a range of different styles.
Read on to discover what inspires her, her day job, the unique way her shop name came about, and who is Spazz and Feist.
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me. I will be listening to music, watching a movie, reading a magazine, or going for a hike and suddenly think of a new design. I think this random creativity leads to my eclectic mix of jewelry that suits every age and style.
Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
Growing up I moved around a lot and have lived in every region of the United States. Out of all the places I've landed, I am now proud to call Portland, Oregon home.
Name something unique to where you live.
The culture and the way of life. People here are open minded, environmentally conscious, and support independently owned businesses with a passion.
Share an interesting fact about yourself.
I have a genetic disorder called Hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis (HHC) is the leading cause of iron overload disease. People with Hemochromatosis absorb extra amounts of iron from their daily diet. Over time, these excesses build up in major organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, joints and pituitary gland. If the extra iron is not removed, these organs can become diseased. Untreated Hemochromatosis can be fatal. I like to tell people about it because it is one of the most common genetic diseases but not well known yet. If you would like more information visit www.hemochromatosis.org.
If you had to describe yourself in a word, what would that word be?
What made you decide to open up shop?
I began making jewelry as a hobby. Then friends and family would see my creations and ask if I could make something for them. Pretty soon I was making custom pieces and having jewelry parties. I started with my own website complete with shopping cart, but when I began studying for my Veterinary Technician license it took up too much time. I found Etsy and loved their mission to promote handmade products so I set up shop. I still have my own website but now it is more of a gallery.
How did you come up with your shop name? Any special significance?
I went through a weird phase in high school when I was interested in tarot cards. One of my favorite cards, and the only one I remember, is the Empress. I loved the meaning behind the card which includes the power of creation.
Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.
The idea that the individual artist puts their heart and soul into their craft resulting in something truly unique. The community the supports each other instead of large-scale manufacturers.
Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
I have a full time job as a Licensed Veterinary Technician at a diagnostic imaging company. My job is to anesthetize and monitor animals (dogs & cats) for MRI and CT. I also assist the radiologists with ultrasounds and care for cats undergoing our Radioiodine Therapy.
Give us a glimpse into what a typical day in your life looks like.
If it is one of the four days I work, then I get up around 6:30am, get ready, feed my cats, and get to work around 8am. Usually I leave work around 6pm unless there is an emergency or it has been a really busy day then it could be later. Because of the long hours on these days I don't typically make jewelry but I fill orders, answer conversations, and hopefully post some new items. On my days off I'll make new pieces and take pictures while watching movies.
Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
I order some of my beads from Ollie & Jo, a fellow Portland, Oregon resident. They sell beautiful gemstones at a reasonable price and I like supporting local independent businesses.
List a few of your most favorite pastimes.
Time spent with my family traveling, watching movies, and camping/hiking.
Read any good books lately?
I enjoy reading non-fiction, especially Buddhist philosophy. The last book I read was The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chandron.
What is your most prized possession?
Being an animal lover I would say my kitties Spazz & Feist. Spazz is my 6 year old gray/white domestic shorthair who was found outside someone's apartment complex. He brought him to the first veterinary hospital I at and was and was going to be taken to the humane society but I took him home instead. Despite his name he actually has a very chill personality and just wants to be loved on. Feist is my 1 year old tabby domestic long hair who I found at a veterinary hospital I was at doing a mobile ultrasound. She is much more like her name, running around, constantly talking to me and oddly enough drools when she gets the attention she seeks.
What are three of your favorite foods?
I love food!!! This is by far the most difficult question...sushi is definitely number one. Give me some fresh sake or unagi and I am a very happy girl. I enjoy a big bleu cheese burger with fries and a local microbrew (IPA). And lastly, ice cream...any kind but preferably Ben & Jerry's Crème Brûlée.
What would you like to learn to do?
I am currently working with stained glass right now. The next creative outlet I would like to learn is lampwork beading or fused glass.
What are you listening to right now?
Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.
Australia. I want to experience the culture and explore the land, especially the Great Barrier Reef.
Thanks for sharing with us Jenn! It was so nice getting to know you better.
Jenn's shop is filled with so many lovely things! Stop by her shop and website to see more.
Time for a Giveaway!
Check out those awesome earrings to the right! What can I do to win those you ask? It's simple. Just leave a comment on this post with your info - name and email address or Etsy username. And since this weekend is Halloween, let's mix it up a bit. If you're dressing up this Halloween, tell us what you (or your kids) are going trick or treating as!
One lucky winner will receive Jenn's beautiful Silver Moon Pendant Earrings.
For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow my blog: 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from The Empress Jewel: 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. Important: Don't forget to include your name and contact info!)
Contest ends Sunday, November 1st at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, November 2nd.