Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Acorn Alley Designs

Our ongoing Friday Spotlight features our members of TeamBPAL. Let's meet Kirsten of Acorn Alley Designs!

Tell us a little about the items in your shop. What do you make?
I make delicate wire-wrapped jewelry, using gemstones, freshwater pearls and sterling silver or gold-filled wire. My designs are simple and feminine, not at all frilly, and I take the utmost care to ensure they are well constructed.

What is your creative process?
My creative process typically involves staring into my boxes of stones, mentally putting together combinations. I often have several projects going at once, plus many lists and drawings of ideas that I may never get around to making.

Which Etsy Teams do you belong to?
The Naturalist Society, El Paso Etsy, and Team BPAL, of course!

Tanzanite and Aquamarine Necklace - Spring Meadow

When you are not creating things, what do you do?
My day job is as the industrial hygienist for an oil refining company. I am responsible for ensuring that the employees who work at our refineries are not overexposed to chemicals, noise and radiation. I like my field because I can use both my scientific knowledge and creativity in solving problems.

Tell us two random, interesting things about you.
1) I am a big time hippie Deadhead. I saw the Grateful Dead thirty-some times when I was in college.
2) I used to be an EMT and am not grossed out by body fluids. But the smell of ketchup makes me nauseous.

What has been your proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
Back in November, I won a non-team treasury challenge and my work was featured in over a hundred treasuries (and several front pages). It was certainly the most exciting weekend I’ve had since I’ve been on Etsy.

Pink Amethyst Marquis and Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings - Rose Petals

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
I’ve only had my handmade shop open for 6 months, so my advice is more from the buyer’s perspective. Make sure your policies are clear and adhere to them (especially in regards to shipping times and returns). Absolutely have good pictures that accurately depict the item you are selling. And don’t be afraid to communicate! I love to get a convo telling me that my order is appreciated and letting me know when to expect my item. If you ship through some means other than Paypal, and you have a tracking number for my package, share it with me.

What handmade possession do you cherish?
The three things I would grab in a fire are a Charley Kinney haunted house painting, the leather medicine bag I made for myself (filled with all sorts of secret and special things) and a clay horse sculpture my mother made as a child.

If you could have any item on Etsy regardless of price, what would it be?
I recently lost my favorite kitty – RIP, Manny – and I would love it if someone could capture his likeness in watercolor for me to remember him by: Custom Cat Portrait

What other skill or talent do you wish you could possess, if you had not taken this creative path?
I would love to be able to capture the essence of a perfume in words, like Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, or Katie Puckrik. Sadly, my scent vocabulary is lacking.

Where else can we find you on the web?

That's all for this time! See you in two weeks. :)

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