Today's featured indie boutique is Estancia Designs, a line of handmade beaded jewelry featuring top quality artisan crafted original lampwork glass, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver, and precious and semi-precious stones. We caught up with the designer behind these beautiful creations to find out more about her work.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work. I am a wife and mother of two awesome kids who left the corporate world several years ago to stay home with my first born child. I have never looked back. I have always loved to make things with my hands. I learned to crochet and knit at a young age and taught myself how to cross stitch. I took a cake decorating class and the first cake I made was my sister's wedding cake! Yes, I tend to have the "go big or go home" attitude.
Most of my designs are one-of-a kind but I'm starting to introduce limited edition items as well. I am finding that my audience is diverse in that many like the idea of having the only one, while others just want a piece no matter how many there may be floating around. Currently my favorite metal to work with is sterling silver, however I do use gold-filled wire and components as well. I'm also very much into semi-precious gemstones and freshwater pearls right now as I find them versatile, classy, and staples for any woman's jewelry box.
How did you get started as a designer? I get a lot of self-satisfaction from making things, pretty things. And I love jewelry. I am a hands-on learner and like to figure things out on my own, so for the most part I am self-taught. However, I tend to master a craft and then get bored with it and move on. That being said, it was a natural progression to creating jewelry. I have no fear of becoming bored with creating jewelry because of the many mediums available to work with and endless techniques to master, from wirewrapping a bead all the way down to the fine art of photographing a finished piece for publication. I can feed my desire to learn something new such as working with PMC (precious metal clay) to make components, master it and move on to something else, say making lampwork glass beads. I look forward to a long career making jewelry.
What inspires your work? Inspiration comes from many places. Places I've been, experiences I've had, pretty sunsets or sunrises, my kids, patterns in rugs, colors in fabric, fashion magazines and shows. I don't try to force creativity, I let it come to me. I may go into my studio and stand and look at all of my supplies and think ... I got nothin' ... then I'll walk away for a while, days even, and I will come back and look at exactly the same things and suddenly be flooded with ideas to the point where my head hurts.
Who are your favorite designers? Hands down, John Hardy. His work is absolutely stunning. I am really completely in awe of his work.
What are your top fashion & beauty must-haves? I'm not much of a make-up girl anymore. I used to be when I worked outside the home, and before kids came along but now on a daily basis I just wear a little brown eye-liner and a nice colored lip gloss. If I'm going out at night or to an interview or show I will wear a tinted moisturizer and a little blush as well. As for fashion, I'm a blue jeans kind of girl by day and black pants at night. Black and white are staples in my wardrobe. They go with anything and you don't have to think about it. I must have twenty different pairs of black shoes/sandals/boots in my closet alone. As for jewelry, well, you know where that comes from.
Any advice you would give to aspiring designers? Jewelry is a hard business to build, for most of us you don't just make your first few items, put them out there or on the internet and the sales come flying in. It's a lot of hard work, but very rewarding when you see those sales start to come in and the happiness your pieces create in the people who purchase them. When I sell a piece I still get the exact same feeling I did when I sold my very first piece several years ago ... elation, excitement, rush of adrenaline, and I hold my breath a little until I get the customer's feedback, and then I let it out. Give world-class customer service to ensure repeat business. Utilize all the free advertising you can when you're starting out; don't put all your eggs in one basket; use your mouth ... talk talk talk about your product where ever you go and whatever you do WEAR your product everywhere. Read fashion magazines and watch fashion shows, pay attention to the upcoming fashions and try to let them inspire your creations.
If designing and creating are your dream then don't give up. Keep learning, about your craft, about how to promote your craft, and ALWAYS think outside the box. I feel limits and parameters are strictly for budgets, otherwise don't set parameters or limits on your creativity in designing, creating or promoting and you might be surprised at the end result.
Where can people find your work? On my website, http://www.estanciadesigns.com or at Etsy, http://www.estanciadesigns.etsy.com.
We love all of the amazing independent designers out there and we wanted to find out more about what makes these creative types tick. If you do too, check out more of our Indie Designer Interviews.