Thursday, September 15, 2011

{Featured Artist} Christine from SariBlue

Welcome to Featured Fridays on Snuggly Monkey! Each Friday we chat with a different Etsy artist and take a peek inside their Etsy world. This week we are talking with Christine from SariBlue.

Christine's jewelry focuses around handcrafted Turkish Evil Eye beads. As her shop description says, "Beautiful, simply designed jewelry to add peace, positivity and a bit of fun to your style!  There’s nothing evil about it." Evil Eye beads (and in turn SariBlue jewelry) is meant to protect the wearer from negative forces. While influenced by traditional Turkish designs, Christine adds her own creativity and modern touches to create truly unique pieces for her shop. 

How did you come up with your shop name?
The story of the name goes back to my introduction to Turkish culture. Sari means blonde or (yellow)  in Turkish, which is what my partner, Big, has called me since we met six years ago.  Blue is not only the most popular color for Evil Eye beads, but also the color of my eyes. So when I decided to start a business, it wasn’t difficult to come up with a very personal name and one that was well suited to the Evil Eye beads legacy as well.  It was the first name I came up with and I really feel it is perfect for the brand and what we do.

How would you describe your work to someone who asked you “What do you sell/make/do?”
I design and make jewelry with gorgeous handcrafted glass beads from Turkey. I get our handcrafted beads directly from artisans in Turkey who have learned the craft of making these historic glass beads through the generations.  We travel to Turkey to hand pick our beads or we have our family and friends work with the craftsmen directly for our collection. The jewelry is then tied together in a unique and modern way with my original designs. 
Our pieces are fun, colorful, very unique, adding a great conversation piece to any wardrobe, but they also add an ancient element of protection to your life by wearing the  Nazar Boncuk (Evil Eye Bead).  
Every piece of SariBlue jewelry has at least one Evil Eye bead to help protect the wearer from the potential negative forces out in the world.  It is believed that the wearer of Evil Eye beads will not only be protected from negative forces but also be brought good fortune so we like to say…There’s nothing evil about it….

How did you get into jewelry making and design?
I have been in love with art and design and culture and jewelry my whole life.  A few years ago when I was introduced to the Turkish culture and Evil Eye philosophy and these gorgeous glass beads I found myself really wanting to try again. It sounds crazy but I swear it was almost like they spoke to me, they kept after me until I finally gave into working with them.  I kept looking at the art and jewelry and craft behind the traditional designs.  Finally I got up enough courage to begin my efforts.   I am really pleased with how my designs have turned out, having used some traditional materials, of course historical mojo and my own modern designs.  I learned on my own by really getting to know the Turkish culture and then adding my own twist to the designs.  I have had a lot of great feedback from my Turkish friends and family that they love the designs and there is nothing exactly like it even in Turkey.  I also have had some very good input from my little muses, Gigi who is 7 and Maggie who is almost 9.  They have amazing insight through their own creative eye and I really use their input. Children have no filter, they know what is beautiful and are not afraid to tell you what is not!! So they are wonderful sounding boards and great partners for many ideas.    

How do you advertise or promote your shop?
I use facebook and advertise with them every so often.  Twitter, blogs, word of mouth.  I am just starting to do juried art shows and plan to do at least one per month.  I also am starting to cross promote with other vendors and small shops in my local area.  So far I have not put my work in any store front.

What is your marketing “philosophy”? 
I have learned in my other business world that consistency and brand recognition is super important.  I use the same avatar everywhere as SariBlue goggle blogs, etsy, facebook, twitter so people start to know me.  It is really important that your colors and logo and tags are consistent. 
The style of our jewelry should be recognizable.  That is my goal even though I am a tiny shop.  I am serious and anyone who sees me and my information should know I am professional and do quality work.  I have very professional labels, return labels, business cards, tags, it all matters.  Every interaction you have matters.  Customers are everywhere and could be anyone.  Today I was chatting with a pregnant woman and her 3 year old daughter at the post.  The little girl, Madeline was so cute she had on sparkly bracelets and was pretending she was the worker and I was her customer.  I chatted up her mum and ended up handing her a business card.  Of course I had on my own bracelet and earrings and was showing Madeline my bracelet and told her I made them….. Every interaction matters, marketing is how you present yourself in every medium. 

How did you set up your shop banner & avatar? 
I did this myself, I visualized what I wanted my shop image to project, the font is important and the colours, the company blurb and tag line was super important.  These things need to come to you, they require a focused vision about your shop and business and if you need help with the graphics be sure you work directly with the person who will listen to your vision not their own.  This is so super important and really needs time taken before you launch your site.

What else do you do to keep your shop looking great?
Don’t be afraid to change your shop.  As I added new items to my shop I realized it looked awful!! What was happening was all the bracelets fell together, all the earrings, all the bells, all the necklaces.  It looked really boring and not very artistic.  SO I rearranged things, moved things by colour.  I also had things by different first pic rather than all the same first image.  Nothing worse than a boring first impression.  Don’t get stuck in the same ole.

As a fan of Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton, I've always enjoyed his final 10 questions that he asks all his guests. So, inspired by the questionaries of Mr. Lipton, Bernard Pivo (Lipton's inspiration) and Marcel Proust here are a few final questions for Christine..
  1. What is your favorite word? Super!!
  2. What is your least favorite word? Sayings that drive me mad: “I don’t care” “But I didn’t do anything” “Whatever” URRGGGHGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. What sound or noise do you love?  Giggling baby so gorgeous, The rain I love the sound of rain so peaceful
  4. What sound or noise do you hate? Alarm clock I never use one, I think TV commercials that use that sound should be banned
  5. If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be? Kangaroo, strong, puts up a good fight, can carry her babies safely around J
  6. Who are your favorite fictional heroes/heroines? Tinker Bell, Wonder Twins (Form of an ….. Ice Berg … Form of a Hurricane)
  7. Who are your favorite heroines/heros in real life? MLKj
  8. What natural gift would you most like to possess? Mind-reader
  9. What would you like to be when you grow up? Do I have to grow up? Rockstar J, maybe a true designer, clothing, shoes, interior…………….
  10. What makes you smile? My girls
Thank you so much Christine for giving us a peek into your shop world today! Be sure to keep in touch with Christine!
Christine has generously offered to sponsor a Giveaway for Snuggly Monkey readers! Check back in Tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 17th) for details on how to enter to win one of Christine's lovely pieces of jewelry! 


Aloha Letterpress said...

Wonderful feature and great to learn more about SariBlue and her work!

BeljaysFeltnArt said...

Great article. Great blog. Thankyou.

headchange said...

What a fantastic feature!

Teresa L Shively said...

Thank You for sharing. I love how you got the name :)

Alta Infante said...

Wow, they're cute, wanna have them too. :)

Danielle V. said...

Your designs are absolutely lovely! You are great at your craft! :)


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