featured seller :: a.n. original jewelry

Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Well, my name is Ashley, I just turned 25, and I live in the lush greenery in Upstate New York, Saratoga Springs/Lake George area specifically. I went to college at The Fashion Institute of Technology and lived in NYC for 4 years. I'm a huge dog lover, I have a mini dachshund named Vemelope Sweetie Pie Lover Lambchop or just "Mel" for short, and 2 pound puppies, a Rat Terrier Mix named Macy and a Lab/Bird Dog Mix named Marley.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I've been selling on Etsy for about a year and a half at this point. I believe I opened up shop in late January of 2008.

Do you sell on Etsy full time or do you have a day job?
I'm full time :) It's a lot of fun to be able to have Etsy be my job, I also have a website and blog I maintain so I keep myself pretty busy.

What made you decide to open up shop on Etsy?
I poked around on Etsy for a solid 6 months before I opened my shop, and now I wish I would have just opened one up right away! I loved the whole feel of Etsy. I thought there was some really incredible and unique work/artists on Etsy and was very impressed but the cutesy little front pages and Featured Sellers. Once I delved deeper and realized it was SUCH an active community within the Forums and Chat and even The Virtual Labs, I thought to myself, I NEED to get in on this!

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many things, it always catches me off guard. That being said, I'm not easily inspired. I can't tell myself to go take a nature walk to get inspired, it all need to just flow and happen organically. I'm obviously very inspired by nature and flowers and such but I also find myself becoming inspired a lot by music, directly or indirectly, fashion, other amazing Etsy artists etc. Most recently I've been inspired by just random words. I know that makes no sense but I hear a word, and then I start brainstorming things off of that word. It's all very 5th grade idea bubble spider web charts, but it works!

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as clean elegance that doesnt take itself too seriously. It's simplistic, fun and feminine with a little bit of kitch.

What do you like least about your craft?
The chemicals! Yuck! I hate all the horrid chemicals I'm often exposing myself to while soldering or polishing etc. It's all very scary! I don't like to use things that have cancer warning on them daily so I will sometimes go into anxiety mode and try to work around soldering if I can. I need to invest in some more safety masks so I can have fewer nightmares about my toxic soldering binges!

Do you have any advice for other sellers on Etsy or those thinking about pursuing their craft?
Well, first of all I'd say if you thinking about pursuing your craft, go for it, you never know what could happen unless you give it a whirl. With a website like Etsy at the finger tips of the indie design community, there's nobody standing in your way but yourself. If your already on Etsy, duking it out for sales and such I'd first say, heres a big "high five" coming your way from me to you for getting out there and going for it! I'd also say, really be as self critical as possible of your shop. Are your pictures superb? Is your Shop Announcment fun, friendly and to the point? Are your Shop Policies clear and well thought out? Have you paid any attention to your Branding? All these things are so so important! When I look at my shop, I never think "Oh great! Everythings perfect!", I'm always looking at it critically and have a running laundry list of things I need to do to improve on my shop. Never stop evolving, and never "settle". Good is the worst enemy of Excellent! If you accept mediocrity from yourself, you'll never get to that place where you can sincerely sit back and look at your work and say "Wow". Beyond working on your shop, your photos, your item descriptions, I would also really recommend that people be as active as they possibly can on Etsy. Join in on discussions in the Forums, but remember that it's way more effective for your business and general appeal to remain fairly nuetral and friendly on those heated topics that might pop up from time to time, same goes for Chat. The Virtual Labs are a fabulous place to learn and grown as an artist and entreprenuer. I participate in them often, and love them!

Top Five Etsy shops?
Oh jeez, ya know, this is so so hard because my Etsy loves are so numerous! I really love the following five though, in no particular order, but keep in mind, I love so much more than just these shops :)

Lake Illustration: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=80455
Silhouette Blue: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5178427
Aliceapple: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=80455
Jellybeans: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=21665

Top Five Blogs?
Gotta be honest, just getting into the blog thing and don't ever have TOO much time to peruse through some of the awesome finds and ideas on these blogs, but here are 5 blogs that I really dig :)

Modish http://modish.typepad.com/
Ponder and Stitch http://ponderandstitch.blogspot.com/
Brooklyn Weddings http://bklynbrideonline.com/
Design Sponge http://www.designspongeonline.com/
A.N. Original Blog (my blog :) ) http://anoriginaljewelry.blogspot.com/

Five Random facts about yourself?
1. My feet are enourmous, I wear size 11!
2. I have a frost bite scar on my hand from when I was 3, and it's in the shape of a heart.
3. I am a sucker for any and all live music.
4. One of my favorite things in the world is Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears!
5. I have a serious fear of birds due to the fact that I had a Pigeon fly into the side of my head in NYC, almost knocking me out completely! I had a headache for 3 days afterwards, maybe I should have visited the ER?

What is your favorite leisure time activity?
I really love listening to music, hanging with my family whenever I can, spending time outdoors, especially in the summer time in Lake George, I am obsessed with taking photos and really enjoy crawling around on the ground with my dogs :)

What craft would you love to learn?
Hmmm this is a really good question! Ya know, I think I'd be really interested in learning how to screen print! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all things screen printed so I think that's something that I'd have tons of fun doing and would be so useful!

What does the future hold for A N Original?

Not too sure really. I hope the future holds a successful Fall/Holiday season for me on Etsy, as I'm feverishly prepping for one :) I'd love to expand my wholesale accounts and such. I'd also really love to get some of my pieces on some Celebrities to generate a nice little chunk of press. I wish I could say I have huge plans for my business, but really, I prefer to just go with the flow and see how high I can climb on this indie design ladder :)


1 Response to "featured seller :: a.n. original jewelry"

Dallas Shaw said... 14 September 2009 at 14:17

i wonder if i could convince her to make one of the bone necklaces for my pups...

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... to pretty by pistachio, a blog about all things pretty. You can expect a variety of daily features including window shopping, beautiful boutiques, featured seller, weekend deals and monthly giveaways. pretty by pistachio is also a place for me to talk about my handmade jewellery and my upcoming wedding.

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101 things in 1001 days

1. GET MARRIED (Spring 2012)
2. Go to Ibiza with Dean
3. Go on a girls holiday
4. Take a weekend break with my mum
5. Go camping
6. Go to a festival
7. Visit Oxford
8. Visit Bath
9. Visit another UK City
10. Go to Cornwall and have cream tea
11. Sell my jewellery wholesale / sale or return to at least 3 shops (0/3)
12. Reach 100 sales in my etsy shop
13. Reach 250 sales in my etsy shop
14. Open a new online shop
15. Get my jewellery featured in a magazine
16. Send out a press pack to relevant magazines
17. Run at least 3 times a week
18. Run a 10k
19. Run a half marathon
20. Don't drink alcohol for a month, twice a year (0/5)
21. Lose 1 stone
22. Go a month without chocolate/sweets (0/30)
23. Go a month without fizzy drinks (0/30)
24. Learn Yoga
25. Learn Pilates
26. Get a workout DVD
27. Go on a bike ride
28. Do 100 sit-ups a day for a month
29. Play tennis
30. Learn to sew
31. Make an item of clothing
32. Learn how to oxidise silver
33. Learn a new craft
34. Design a website
35. Participate in the 365 project
36. Pay off my Credit Cards
37. Save £1000
38. Buy a new bike
39. Buy a sewing machine
40. Food shop online for a month
41. Buy a new camera
42. Bake a cake / muffins / cookies once a month (0/32)
43. Make breakfast for dinner
44. Make homemade ice-cream
45. Make a casserole
46. Learn how to cook a poached egg
47. Have a date night with Dean at least twice a month (0/64)
48. Treat Dean to dinner at a Goucho restaurant in London
49. Take a photo of Dean and I once a month (0/32)
50. Kiss in the rain
51. Cook a 3 course meal for Dean
52. Go to a football match with Dean
53. Write a love letter
54. Visit a mortgage advisor
55. Play 5 video games with Dean (0/5)
56. Spend the day in bed with Dean
57. Diary the wedding planning process
58. Go to the cinema by myself
59. Have a picnic
60. Give blood
61. Go to a Spa
62. Have a professional massage
63. Have a professional facial
64. Have a pedicure
65. Don’t buy any clothes for 3 months
66. Read 35 new books (0/35)
67. No TV for one week
68. Teach my brother to ride a bike
69. Go to a show in London
70. Have Afternoon Tea at the Ritz
71. Blog every day for a week (0/7)
72. Blog every day for a month (0/30)
73. Meet up with an old school friend
74. Go to the Ice Bar in London
75. Go to a poledancing class
76. Go to a dance class
77. Upgrade to a Flickr Pro account
78. Have a slumber party
79. Offer a monthly giveaway on my blog
80. Go for a walk in the rain
81. Spend a whole Sunday in my pyjamas watching movies
82. Go to a concert at the o2
83. Get another tattoo
84. Get another piercing
85. No takeaway for a month
86. Start a cleaning rota and stick to it for a month
87. Go on a night out with friends and drive
88. Have one bubble bath a week
89. Have a dinner party
90. Go to Ascot
91. Go strawberry picking
92. Become a redhead
93. Perfect the smokey eye look
94. Go Ice Skating at Somerset House
95. Go to 5 gigs (0/5)
96. Build a snowman
97. Play golf with Dean
98. Watch a sunrise
99. Go zorbing
100. Take Dean to Go Ape
101. Inspire 5 people to do the 101 in 1,001 days list (let me know if i've inspired you!) (0/5)