Friday, 18 September 2009

FRIDAY - Friday Finds... RAJewelryDesigns

Friday Finds... RAJewelryDesigns

This is my seventh interview of the amazing not-so-well-known artists of Etsy.

There are quite a few jewelry sellers in the world, and some are far from being unique. Yet on Etsy there are so many people with incredibly innovative ideas that I personally find awe inspiring. Particularly the seller I have interview for today. Her work is simply AMAZING and very artistic, inspired by the beauty of floral designing, and very carefully considered. For anyone looking for the perfect wedding adornments, or gifts to bring beauty into one's life I'd like to introduce you to RuthAnne of RAJewelryDesigns.

(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)

--Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) My name is RuthAnn, I am 64 years of age, live in the Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., area. I am married with one son and one grandson. I worked over 40 years as a legal secretary. In my spare time, I would tinker with making quilts and jewelry. About 4 years ago, I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis which altered my daily life tremendously. No longer being able to work, I turned my interests to the hobbies I had and am now a full time artisan making custom designed jewelry and wedding floral designs. Thanks to the wonderful people who purchase my designs, I keep busy 7 days a week sometimes 12 hours a day making complete bridal party flowers and jewelry. I thank God every day for awakening me to this hidden talent I have had for so long.

-- What is your business about then? I design and create custom made jewelry and silk floral designs. My jewelry is mainly sterling silver and 14k gold filled. I create items from simple necklaces and earrings to elaborate wire wrapped designs. Sometimes when I have a piece of wire and a lovely gemstone or cameo, my mind just goes on and on and next thing, I have created a lovely pendant. My floral designs range from complete wedding packages including cascade and round bridal and attendant bouquets, boutonnieres, cake toppers, pew bows, pomanders (kissing balls), hair accessories and more. I was asked to make a flower girl halo for a friend's daughter's wedding and it all started there. My love for floral designing has been enhanced ever since.

-- How did Etsy come into your life? I started as a buyer on Etsy, purchasing my jewelry supplies, ribbon, flowers, etc. Then one day it hit me, why not sell what I buy. I opened first and a bit later opened

-- Are you working a day job too? No, due to my spinal stenosis, I can no longer be gainfully employed. Etsy has helped me feel like I am still contributing to the income and not a burden on my husband.

-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? I was "artsy" from grade school but never to the extent it is now. I wish I had realized years ago how much I love making things and began full time much sooner.

-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? My illness. If I was still gainfully employed, I probably would not be doing my crafts to the extent that I am.

-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Beautiful, stunning, well made.

-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? We are up at 5 a.m. every day. Get my husband off to work by 6 a.m. and he does not return until 5 p.m. After he is gone, general everyday household chores get done (takes me a bit longer than the average person). Usually by 11 a.m., I am working on my orders or creating something new I may have thought of or saw something that gave me an idea. I work on my orders and crafts until about 4 p.m. when I begin to prepare dinner for the 2 of us (in between there, I have to take a few minutes to pay attention to Patty, our cat). After dinner, I will go back to what I was working on for a few more hours. In the course of an average day, I spend about 8 to 10 hours crafting -- creating or completing orders. Of course, there are days with doctor's appointments, repairmen, etc. which totally messes up my day.

-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? With my jewelry, gemstones of all kinds, sterling silver, gold filled, wire, fancy beading. With my flowers, all silk florals, lovely satin ribbon.

-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? I would love to see my shops grow to the point where I can make a total living just doing the crafting that I love. It would benefit me not only financially but also as part of my therapy. I encourage all my customers (especially weddings) to send me photos so I can see my crafts "at work" and to see how much joy my handiwork has brought to other people.

-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? I like reading and canning foods we have grown in our garden.

-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? Gemstones, wire, beads, silk flowers, ribbon.

-- Any last words? Thank you for contacting me and especially for your interest in RAJewelryDesigns. I think what you are doing is a fantastic thing and wish you well with it. I deeply appreciate your interest in me and my crafts.


SleightGirl said...

You're right! What a great shop! I simply love the one with the green pretty!

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