Friday, April 29, 2011

Featured Artist: akajewellery

look at me!
Our today's featured artist is akajewellery!

Tell us a bit about yourself! 
What is your background?
“Aka jewelry” is a result of two goldsmiths - jewelry designers - Ausra Bankauskaite and Mante Maskoliunaite. We both graduated Vilnius Academy of Arts, Jewelry design faculty in Lithuania, [the country where we originally come from]. Ever since we cannot live without metal. We’ve been working as freelance designers for two years in Lithuania and last year we decided to move to New York City.

What hobbies or interests do you have?
We are young and we enjoy that! Everybody should experience as much as possible in their lives. We, travel, party, hitchhike, read, listen to the music, attend new exhibitions, take new challenges witch are sometimes totally illogical.  I could go on and go on, but we really try to enjoy, because life is short, and we have to take the risk, to discover.

Is there a specific design style that you really like?
We have always admired minimal contemporary art. And strongly agree that less is always more. Maybe it will sound rude, but we don’t try to please our customer by creating what they prefer more.  We think that all jewellery finds its own customer, other wise, if the art would be created according to the trends, the artist wouldn’t be the one who created it.

What drives you?
The creating process has to have some kind of energy source. What gives us that energy?
Finding new ideas and transforming them into jewellery pieces. The process of finding the solution and getting to results is our energy.

What are you passionate about?
As we mentioned before, the sparkle is an idea. The passion is to develop the idea. And the result is our jewellery; which always has something hidden underneath.

Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
We think it might be a combination of creativity and love to construct, what made us to choose this profession because ever since I was little I used to construct, or just take apart everything that I could reach and helping dad to fix something was way much fun than playing with a doll. It is kind of funny, because Mante and me met only in Art Academy, but had pretty much the same point of view in jewelry design.
look at me!
During the studies we both had practice working for other jewelry designers. During the practice we learned actually a lot – how to work fast, save time, do everything perfect and the most important thing – that nothing makes you happier, than creating and working for your self. After graduating Academy we decided to start working together as freelance designers, under “aka jewellery ” name.

What are your goals?
Our plans for the future are very simple. Since we are young jewellery designers, we know how hard it is to find galleries to sell, promote and make exhibitions for your work.  Our goal is to open our own gallery where young artists from around the world wouldn’t be scared to express their selves and show their work to the audience. That their jewellery would find their own customer without any interference from the outside.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
We hope we will reach our goal.

Tell us a bit about your shop!
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
“Aka jewellery” is our way to show who we are and what message we bring to the world.

What difference do you want to make in this field?
Aka jewellery - is also known as jewellery. We picked this name because contemporary jewellery is often left behind the contemporary art and sometimes doesn’t belong among jewellery, because it is different.  The difference what we want to make, is to bring more people to appreciate one of the kind contemporary jewellery. Make it affordable and crate a way of wearing a little piece art every day.

Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
Our ideal customer is the person who is confident and believes in him/her self.  Not afraid to take challenges and express him/her self in many different ways.  They affect us by having hunger for new ideas. So we always have to be ready to surprise.

What do you want to be known for in your business?
For having fresh view and bringing contemporary jewellery to life

What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
  • minimal
  • ideasimplicity
  • design
  • construction

What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
Our customers that believe in our ideas.
look at me!

What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
Our story is just beginning. We started from idea and now trying to realize it. It was hard to do that in Lithuania, because of economical situation, post soviet mindsets, that makes people afraid to experiment, and many other unpleasant factors. So we decided to take a risk and start everything all over in the country that might give us more opportunities.  We moved to New York without anything just with the same idea.  It is really hard to start from the zero, but we are ambitions and are not used to giving up so easily.  We have our passion to what we do and that is our energy source that keeps us going.

What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
To find our jewellery, you have to be not afraid to stand out in the crowd. 

What is your message?
If you are looking for ways to express yourself, “aka jewellery” might be the way to share your massage with the world.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Featured Artist: misskukie

look at me!
Our today's featured artist is misskukie! Let's get to know her better and let yourself be inspired!

Tell us a bit about yourself!
Is there a specific design style that you really like?
I don’t think that women generally stick to just one specific type of jewellery. It probably all depends on the mood and occasion. Besides the choice these days is so overwhelming it would be a shame to stick to just one designer or type of jewellery.
Personally most of the jewellery I now wear is my own, apart from some truly amazing rings I purchased from the new Swarovski collection. The pieces I create are only going to see the light of day if I truly love it and would wear myself. If you don’t believe and admire your own items how can you expect anyone else to? 
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
I create jewellery that will complement and enhance a woman’s features and fashions.
 
look at me!

Tell us about your shop!
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
Colour plays an important part in my design process. Some pieces are an explosion of bold colours, others are subtle with minimal pastel colourings.
Generally there is no applied method of work, the end design just comes to mind as and when. Sometimes I have days where no ideas flow through my head and then there are days where I work non-stop and end up creating 10 new pieces of jewellery! Having said that, not all designs will make it on the website, sometimes it takes reflecting and coming to the conclusion that the design is not good enough or needs changing.

What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
Feminine, Electric, Vogue, Elegant, Sensual

look at me!
What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
When I first started playing around with the idea of making jewellery, the intention was to create pieces only for personal use. Like most of us women, we like to have a wide variety of fashion items, whether it’s clothes, shoes or accessories such as jewellery. For me, I wanted jewellery that reflected not only the occasion but also my mood. Feminine, sexy, elegant, posh, playful, unique, exciting, electric and so on you name it.  
look at me!

What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
I have no formal design education linking me to jewellery or fashion. But I always had creativity in me and this is what it comes down to in the end. You can perfect your techniques, learn and acquire new skills but if you’re not creatively minded you will not be able to come up with your own ideas.
I started playing around with beads at pre-teen age. Various family members around me were creatively engaged and that is how I got a continued taste for myself. My mum used to make brooches with fimo and my aunt travelled to
South Africa to buy semi-precious stone for her jewellery making.
Of course I would like to make a reasonably comfortable living from selling my jewellery, but even if it doesn’t take off, I will still continue creating for my friends and family and myself. I love what I do and hope in time I will be able to reach enough people who like my jewellery too.

look at me!
What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
I would like to think that my range (even though small) caters for a large and versatile target audience. I design and create jewellery that is playful and casual for everyday use, some jewellery you could say is bridal and other is simply electric and sparkly for special occasions or a night out.
If someone was to very much like a design however needs to alter perhaps the colour of the stone etc. I would certainly try and accommodate the customers’ needs as much as possible.
What is your message? When your audience sees your brand, what is the primary message you want the brand to convey?
The idea behind misskukie was to create feminine fine jewellery that doesn’t need to necessarily cost the world. I hope when women wear my pieces they feel beautiful and elegant and unique in the way that no one else will have the exact replica of their jewellery.
There is nothing worse than dressing up and feeling fabulous in what you are wearing only to see someone else wear the exact same thing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finding Happiness and Self-belief



I've noticed that there are so many people who are struggling with themselves. They are discouraged to follow their dreams due to the lack of sales in their shops or are just negative about themselves because other people always tell them that their dreams are just stupid and that they will never make it. Of course they will start to believe those people someday and think “maybe they are right.. my dreams are stupid”, “how I’m actually supposed to make a living of it?” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

We are all surrounded by people who are sceptical or just don’t believe that there is more than a regular life just because they are used to their comfort zones and don’t try to think outside the box (maybe they just had no idea that they could actually do that).

It doesn’t even have to be about your dreams. It could also be a simple situation in that you feel yourself depressed and unmotivated. When something doesn’t run smoothly and you just think “my life sucks”, it is very normal to start thinking negative about yourself or your life.

You know yourself
As for me I’ve always tend to get discouraged by people who actually didn’t understand me or didn’t support my dreams and thoughts. They always made fun of me and didn’t believe in me. But I know myself and I know where my strengths are and my weaknesses; where I need to practice or just where I have to work on. I don’t need people who tell me that I’m stupid, that I will never make it. I can think for myself. Maybe they are right and I don’t achieve everything I wanted but I know that it is more than achieving dreams. It is more important what you are learning on your journey. What experiences do you make or what person you become. Even if you fail you know you’ve tried it and that you became a stronger and experienced person.

Believe in yourself
If having others believing in you and your dreams was a requirement for success, most of us would never accomplish anything. You live your own life and you know what you have to do to achieve your goals! And quit worrying what other people think about you and follow your heart!

Change your attitude
The next thing that is important is your attitude. Because, if you think you are going to fail, you will determine your behaviour that will cause your failure. But if you think positive about your goals and believe in yourself you can actually achieve it.

You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. ~Napoleon Hill

Try to see obstacles as an opportunity
Last week my cam got broken and I thought “oh crap how should I supposed to take pictures for my shop?”. Instead of complaining how I hate everything, I saw it as an opportunity. I’ve borrowed the camera from my mother and I’m so happy with it! I really think I can see a big difference between the old pictures and the new ones. Especially now I can experiment with bunch of new functions!

Moreover, I took wrong buses or trains soo often that I’m ended up in complete strange cities. But instead of crying I was able to discover new places and had great stories to tell!

I believe that everything happens for a reason. So if something doesn’t run smoothly maybe something new or something better is waiting for you!

Small things in life
And don’t forget about the small things in life that can have a big impact on your life. When you wake up and it is a beautiful morning, when you get a lovely comment on your necklace or painting our just a compliment how your hair sits! It can really set the mood for your whole day that nothing can stop you. And you know that you are very happy with what you have. You can actually pursue your dreams, you don’t have to starve and you are sheltered.

So if you need an extra boost, if you feel yourself down and unmotivated, I want to share one of my favourite songs that always keep me on track!


I hope this long article could help you a little bit!
Take care everyone!
~mako

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shop Update

I really missed working with fimo. You can create almost EVERYTHING with it. For me I love roses the most. You can let them look really real and beautiful. (Although it is so much work T_T)
Here is my new necklace and the perfect ring for it!




Available here!
Have a great week everyone and take care!

~mako

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Japanese Garden






I've always wanted to travel to Japan and walk under cherry trees but I had never the chance.. But a small wish came true! I wish I could go for a walk in this garden.. every day =(

Friday, April 8, 2011

Featured Artist: rowan300

Our today's featured artist is Lori alias rowan300! She is one of my favourite artists on etsy! She creates such pretty and creative steampunk items that you have to know her! Let's get started and have fun!

Look at me!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
What is your background?
I'm from California. I just started making jewelry in October. I have a bachelor's degree in marketing and have worked in business and retail all of my adult life. I am currently working full time as a manager at a self storage company until I can afford to make jewelry full time.
What hobbies or interests do you have?
I like to garden, bake, read, go to the beach and play with my dog.

Is there a specific design style that you really like? 
I'm not sure I have a style that can be defined.

What drives you?
I get bored easily, which leads to me usually having several projects going at once. I infuse that energy into my brand by working pretty much non-stop.

What are you passionate about?
Inequality, meanness and closed mindedness makes me angry. I'm not sure how to let that come through in what I do yet.

Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market? 
I started making jewelry because I quit doing any hobbies when my son was born. I had him very young, was a single mother and was working and going to college at the same time I was trying to raise a baby. Now that he is grown I decided I needed something fun to do. I found out I love making jewelry and tinkering and experimenting with metals.

Look at me!
What are your goals?
My plans for the future are to be incredibly successful.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I actually have plans for a bakery as well. I hope to merge a stand alone bakery and mobile bakery into something with a steampunk edge where I can sell my jewelry and other people's work. Sounds crazy but I know I can do it.

Tell us about your shop:
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
I make fun and interesting items that I hope bring as much joy to the people who buy them as I get from creating them.

What difference do you want to make in this field?
In the steampunk jewelry category I notice a lack of imagination and originality. I would like to get people to buy items that are truly handmade and unique rather than the same thing you can get from 50 different sellers.

Look at me!
Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
My ideal customer is someone who has a unique sense of style, aren't interested in wearing the same thing a thousand other people are wearing and have a sense of fun and adventure.

What do you want to be known for in your business?
Creating one of a kind, beautiful, well made items.

What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different? 
I have a wacky sense of style and sense of humor, I think that shows through in what I make, especially the clockwork critters and robots.

What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
I've been through a lot of adversity over the course of my life, as most people have. I've learned not to take things too seriously, to maintain a sense of humor, to remain positive and to never give up. I think I already bring a lot of that to my brand or I would have given up by now.

What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve?
Here's a quote from someone who bought several of my pieces, I think it sums up the answer to this question pretty well;

Look at me!
"Your pieces are truly inspiring and beautiful. I've been looking for good jewelry with mechanical components and I'm very happy with your work. I can't wait to be able to wear them!"

What is your message? 
I want people to be happy. When they look at something I've made I want them to smile. I want them to love it as much as I do. I do get excited when I make a sale but I also get a little sad because I love each item I make so much.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Featured Artist: Visionaria

Our today's featured artist is Visionaria! Let's get to know her better and have fun!

Look at me!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
What is your background?
I am from a small town in Missouri. I was born and raised there. I decided to move to the bigger city area of KC, MO when I went to college and I fell in love with it. I am a self taught jewelry designer. Currently I work for a prescription benefits manager and I do jewelry work on the side.
What hobbies or interests do you have?
I enjoy reading and writing. I am in the process of writing a novel at this moment. The novel has taken me a year and a half so far to write and has a long way to go. I participate in National Novel Writing Month every November and is likely one of my most anticipated events every year. 
Look at me!
Is there a specific design style that you really like?
I prefer simple jewelry, for myself. I make things more intricate and detailed for other people, because I love the way it looks. I just don't think that I can pull the designs off. I love unique and different designs, something that makes people say "Ah!"  
What drives you?
I have lately developed an obsession for wirework. I tend to 'have' to make something. I usually try to make a new piece every day and if I can, make more than that. I enjoy it. It keeps my hands busy and it gives me a creative outlet. 
What are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about equal rights. Equal rights for everyone. I plan on making some things indicative of this passion and donating to the Human Rights Campaign.

Tell us about your shop!
How do you describe what you do and why are you doing what you do?
I make beautiful and affordable wire wrapped jewelry. 
Describe your ideal customer & the world they inhabit.
My ideal customer would be one that loves my designs. I am open to suggestions and changes to a certain design. I would love to have a customer that works with me as much as I work with them.
What do you want to be known for in your business?
I would love to be known for beautiful and afforable designs. Also, I would love to be known for great customer service.
What 5 words best describes your aesthetic
  • unique
  • colorful
  • whimsical
  • modern
  • intricate

What is about your shop that is unique? What makes your shop different?
I am a little bit of a girlie girl. I tend to like things that sparkle. I also like to make myself stand out. This means that I try to make jewelry that stands out. 
What’s your story & why should I buy from you?
I was raised in a small town, I had a pretty ... disfunctional family life, but it wasn't any worse or better than anyone else's, really. Everyone has struggles in life. I have had ups and downs and when it all comes back to the bottom line, I am like everyone else. Trying to make it in this economy.  
Look at me!
What event or need causes them to search for what you offer? Which problem do you solve? 
I don't know if there is a specific reason that people search for what I am making. I try to make sure that my jewelry is one of a kind. I never make two of the same things, which means that usually, when you buy from me, there will be no one else with the same piece. 
What is your message? 
I want customers who buy my pieces to feel special. To feel beautiful in what they wear. I want them to stand out and have pieces of jewelry that strike up a conversation!

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