Here's my interview with Sonja of Silver River Jewelry
What’s your name and where are you from? My name is Sonja and I am from Ohio
What is your shop name and what does it mean to you? My business name is Silver River Jewelry. This name has my dreams of living by water wrapped up in it lol and also, since I use a LOT of metal, a river of silver seemed appropriate.
What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones? I have narrowed my websites down to Artfire, 1000Markets, Etsy and my own .com
How long have you been crafting? My entire life, as a child I had such a love affair with crayons and I learned to crochet in 2nd grade.
Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share. Hmmm that's a tough one lol. I love to garden and read but don't have time to do much of either, I love being around the water and outdoors.
What do you sell in your shop? Jewelry of course.
Tell us about your crafting space. I have two crafting spaces. My husband bought me a huge 6 foot desk that is in the living room (he says its so he can actually see me on a regular basis lol) which is where I do all of the beading and wire wrapping. I also take up the entire basement wall with my metal smithing and lapidary equipment..
Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations? Yes several here on artfire and also on etsy.
Where do you find inspiration? anywhere and everywhere. Nature and a lot of times I can just sit down and look at all the beads and usually something will inspire me.
Tell me a bit about your creative process. It all starts in my head. I have soo many ideas running around up there lol! I have been known to sketch stuff out on napkins in a restaurant when an idea hits.
Where have you learned to do what you do? mostly self taught except for 1 metal smithing class and the lapidary clubs instruction on cabbing.
What is your favorite item in your shop right now? My new series of rustic wildflower pendants.
Why is it your favorite? (Please provide a link) I love what the flame does to the copper and its a very earth series that ties in to my love of nature. http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=ViewListing&product_id=100410
What is your favorite part of your craft? I love all of it really but turning the torch on and looking at the raw materials with the endless possibilities, that moment is probably my favorite.
What is your least favorite part? Polishing the finished pieces.
How did you get started with your craft? I bought my daughter a beading kit 3 years ago for her birthday. She decided she really didn't like doing it and I picked it up one night out of shear boredom. I made four pairs of earrings and a necklace that night and that was pretty much it for me lol!
If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why? I have two favorites really Artfire and 1000Markets. I really think these two sites are going to be the ones that are hugely successful in the future. I love Artfire for many reasons, the top two being the people I have met and the accessibility and openness of the admin. And its super easy to list and sell. 1000Markets is very different but a lot of the same things apply.
What makes your shop unique? Excellent quality, a wide range of techniques and price points and great customer service.
What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out? Learn your camera inside and out if you are going to sell on the web and take really good pictures. Be patient, it WILL most likely take months or even years to become truly successful, and be prepared to work very hard at many other things besides your crafting if you want to make it work.
Where else can we find you on the web? SilverRiverJewelry.Com, also flickr, facebook, and myspace.