Doing something different than crocheting

I am not sure, why it happened… i am not getting the satisfaction of doing crochet.

I have experienced the same kind of crochet -block sometime before too.

So for a change, I just bought some beads and plain rings. Invaded the jewelry stuff stashed away. The result is a stretch bracelet and a pair of earrings.

Red beads stretch bracelet by BinduDesigns

Bracelet

IMG_6756

How do you like them?

Another subject I am exploring more is the tooth. Yes, you heard me right. I am getting interested in the tooth anatomy. The part time jobs help me to learn more about my interests. After all, life is more fun when I can do things I really love.

 

DesignsbyNatureGems, Interview

While on Etsy, I noticed this beautiful store,DesignsbyNatureGems.  The artist behind this wonderful store is Laura Sultan. She is also from Toronto.

Look at this beautiful work!!

chainmaille

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t resist the temptation to ask a blog interview from her.
So, sit back and enjoy!!

1.What is the story behind your shop? Or tell us why you started the shop on Etsy?

I started working with Etsy to expand my clientele and presence on the internet. With all my work, I want to create beautiful, healing pieces of wearable art. Something that just has meaning as well as a wonderful piece of jewelry. You can see this though my wire crochet, where I integrate gemstones whose properties are symbolic of the name of the piece, or in my gemstone pendants, where I make sure to explain the gemstone’s properties.

2.Tell us about your crafts. Who taught you? Who is the strong force behind your crafting life?

In truth, I taught a lot of it to myself. When living in New Zealand a little over a year ago, I took two classes: one of wire crochet and one of intermediate wire wrapping. From that point, I played with the color, feeling, textures, and properties of gemstones creating my pieces.

As for the strong force behind my crafting life, it was the reaction to me being a high school teacher. Everryday, I could not help someone I cared about. Everyday, I wished I could just do something that was an easy, tangible fix. Working with gemstones gave me that. It made the people I sold my work to happy. It brought smile & beauty into other people’s lives. It allowed me to balance out the negative aspect of my job while also creating joy around me.

3. Tell us about you and your life other than crafting.Please include your real name also.
My name is Laura Sultan. Crafting has become my major art business. I have luckily had it grown quite quickly since I landed in Canada about a year ago from New Zealand. Since then, I have kept a part time job teaching, but in truth, this is my focus and my passion. It is my art.

4.Where can we found you other than Etsy, (online and offline)

Online, you can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, WeHeartIt, Instagram, and Twitter. I am also soon going to be opening new shops on Zibbet.

I live in Toronto, ON. Stores that carry my work are Wise Daughters located in the Junction and the Arts Market located around Queen St. East and Pape intersection. Also, I am often at art shows during the years and you can find me at those shows. Please feel free to sign up for my newsletter by sending me a message via Etsy or emailing me at laura@designsbynaturegems.com

5.. How you market your shop and products?

I mainly market through the social media mentioned above and through my markets. I also sometimes just sit down in a coffee shop making pieces that leads to people asking questions and marketing that way. ;)

6. What else you like to let us know about you and your shop?

I am currently working with a developing artist and allowing her to list some of her work in my shop. (One should always help where they can.) You can see her work at Raven and Kiwi on Etsy.

7. What is your future plans regarding your shop?( You can add any new lines you are thinking about or the new shop you wanted to open…)

I am currently completing a 31 Days of Halloween line in honor of the holiday. For the last month, every piece I have completed and listed in honor of autumn of Halloween primarily through color scheme.

I will also be soon photographing some chainmaille home decor items I have completed, such as wine glass decorations, and chainmaille men’s line.

8. Who is your idol?

As odd as it may sound, I do not have one. There have definitely been people I have looked up to, but no idol.

9. What is the best advice you ever received?

Maintain patience. Sometimes, things take a long time to develop.

10.Do you wish to share any promotion with Bindu Blog readers?

Absolutely. I give a 10% discount on any item once someone follows me or favorite’s my shop. Also, if the person messages me that they are a Bindu Blog reader, I will apply that discount to a second item as well.

If I download one or two pictures from your shop to go with the interview, will that be ok? Absolutely.

Thanks for doing this. Again, apologies on the delay. it took two attempts to complete all these questions. ;) Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Laura

Designs by Nature Gems

laura@designsbynaturegems.com
647-969-4132
www.designsbynaturegems.com

Facebook: DesignsbyNatureGems
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DbNGems
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dbngems/boards/
WeHeartIt: weheartit.com/Designs_by_Nature_Gems

Laura is continuously adding more items to the shop So, check back often. Sure you will find that beautiful item, just for you there.

Malala Yousafzai makes me courageous.

The other day, I was watching the American news. There, Diane Sawyer was doing a story about Malala Yousafzai.

Malala is a very popular figure, and I don’t think she needs an introduction. When she was shot by the Taliban I was upset along with million of others. When she recovered and was able to talk about educating more girls, I was also enraptured with millions of others. Ever since those televised speeches, she has become an inspiration to me.

Malala is not afraid of getting killed for the ideas she stand for. I don’t even have great ideas, and  I still keep them to myself at work. (I hope I’m not the only one afraid of losing the job over ethics and opinions.)

Sometimes, I even try to pass that fear to my daughter too. My daughter is passionate about decreasing bullying due to sexual orientation, gender discrimination, and other things. Sometimes, she wants to wear t-shirts with slogans like “Stop the Stigma”. Me being a mother, gets anxious about her being treated badly by showing off these slogans. I’m scared that she will be bullied or harassed at a public place for wearing that shirt. She tries to convince me that is not going to happen. She thinks that wearing a rainbow bracelet will make her friends understand she don’t have bad opinion about people who have different ideas. Wearing the t-shirt with a slogan will perhaps make someone think about it and change the hatred. May be it can trigger a discussion like Nadiyah’s story did.

Seeing Malala, a young girl, standing up for her cause and having the world open up for her, makes me to look up to her. It makes me have the courage to take charge in my own little world. And it helps me let my daughter stand up for her cause, too.

What about you? Did Malala’s causes make any changes in you? What do you think of her?

 

SEO and the links on Etsy: This is what I know.

I have opened my Etsy shop in 2011. In the last post, I just told you why I started BinduDesigns. Now, I’ll tell you what I know about links and getting pruducts found in relation to Etsy.

First when I heard about SEO, I thought it is only for blogs and websites. Ha, how wrong I was.

Etsy blog posts were saying that sellers needed to optimize their listings to be found on searches. So what do I do to optimize my crochet listings on Etsy?

To answer that, I started reading – on the net of course. I heard about keywords and thought that mine would be “crochet” … right?

Not really, many articles said. If I was targeting for crochet, (me being a single person behind my shop, blog and social media pages) I was not going to get noticed by Google. I was not going to be found on Etsy for crochet.

So, I learned about links. II found that if I add a listing, such as a cap, I can put the link in my blog (here is is the link to view it etc).

Then I heard about linking within. I’m not sure what it was called, but I can tell you what it is.

In my shop, I list a cap. Then I make a scarf with the same type of yarn. Then I make a pair of matching fingerless mittens. Now, like all sellers do, I list all of them on Etsy, thinking that someone somewhere will find it useful. But, I have let that someone know that BinduDesigns has caps, scarves and mittens for them. Now, suppose that that person happened to just look on my cap while searching on Etsy. Maybe he or she is busy , and will think that there are no matching mittens for that cap and will go to another shop. To prevent this from happening, I can say that if you would like to have matching mittens, it is here (with a listing link) and a matching scarf can be found here (with the appropriate link).

Easy, right? So, I gave two links to my other listings. Now suppose someone landed on the mittens page – I can give links to the cap and the scarf, right? The same goes with the scarf listing.

What have you learned about SEO and being found on searches?

 

 

Why I have an Etsy shop?

I am not that much sure, why I started crochet. I started it long time back. Then, there was a time, I didn’t touch my yarn and hook, for years… Then, one winter, I just tried with my yarn again, it became so pleasing.

Many many scarves donated… Then some one said, may be you should try making a cap. It seemed so impossible, making a cap that fits, to me. I bought few crochet magazines and started trying. The first one, I just followed the pattern. It was loose. The next one, not so great. After many many attempts, I got the click. There is a thing called head circumference. You can make caps according to that measurement.

You know the feeling ofEureka!!! Ya, that was my feeling. So, made caps with matching scarf and again gifted them. To my daughter, the co-workers, the neighbour, then the homeless man asking for change,..There goes the list. I was buying yarn, making things and just giving them away. Some said nice words, some just thought I am just crazy…

When I lost my job, and there was no way to  buy more yarn, some one told me ,”you could sell your stuff”. That is when I really started looking on Etsy. It is a big learning curve.

157 items later, i am still learning new things. Then along the way, made few friends and bought some yarn. learned more about social media, learned little bit about blogging and SEO. Am I successfully selling on Etsy? Not really.

Etsy has blog articles about people who quit their day job to be full time sellers on Etsy. May be people are doing that. I don’t personally know one yet. Many people are doing craft shows along with Etsy shop. For them Etsy is a venue to showcase their products. Then many are selling supplies. Some supplies are cheaper than buying directly from a shop nearby .

Looking on my Etsy shop, I can see how much I crocheted. It will help me to keep track of things I made. Sure, my shop will make some people happy to do window shopping too.

Then, thee are some people who actually purchased from me. I assure you, that is the happiest thing of having a shop. Wake up in the morning to see you got an order, to know that I am making some one in the world happy with my craft.

That is why I am having an Etsy shop. Are you happy to see my craft?