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This week's featured shop is bijouxdesignsforyou. Based out of Toronto, they are a mother / daughter creative team that crafts both handmade accessories and quilted items. If you can't get enough of their beautiful items in their etsy shop, you can also find them on blogger and twitter!
Tell us who you are
My name is April and together with my mom, Glenda we are Bijoux Designs For You. Our love (addiction) for beads also led us to open a second shop just for supplies, Rouge River Beads. We are located just outside of Toronto, Ontario Canada. Just in its beginning stages, we are part of the Busy Moms of Etsy team!
Other than creating things for etsy, what do you do?
In addition to our shops I am also a mommy to a beautiful almost 8 month little boy. That pretty much keeps me busy and I’m just trying to enjoy every moment since he is changing so fast! My own mother is also a fantastic cook and baker. I wish I lived closer so I could take more advantage of her homemade cookies!
What first made you want to become an artist?
I inherited the “fever” from my mother who has been creating something my entire life. Her original passion was for sewing and for many years she owned a fabric/quilting shop. Due to a move she had to close the shop but continued with the craft show circuit. She taught me how to sew and I helped her at the shows when I was younger. I gradually graduated from helper (aka bagger) to creator (making what she told me to) to designer and partner! A few years ago I took her to a jewelry making class for her birthday and we were both immediately hooked. The rest, as they say, is history!
Describe your creative process and the materials you use:
My mom likes to lay everything out first and then put a piece together. I am more of a build as I go type. It can be a certain bead or charm that inspires us or some days I wake up and decide I need a new piece of jewelry for myself!
What handmade possession to you prize the most?
Actually my most treasured handmade possession is the quilt that my mom made for me for my 16th birthday! She spent many hours on it and it is something I will treasure forever!
Top 5 websites you visit besides etsy?
Toronto Craft Alert Blog
and a fifth…does craftcult count?
Any advice you have for new etsy users:
Not to expect instant success. We thought in the beginning that we just needed to set up a shop and list our products and the sales would come. This was our first online selling venture and boy have we learned a lot since then! Promote your shop like crazy, learn how to take good pictures, ask for advice and most of all be patient!
What are your favorite features of etsy, and what new features would you like to see?
I love the Time Machine feature…actually I’m addicted to it! I would love to be able to link my shop directly to my twitter, blog, etc. That’s definitely a feature that I would love to see.
How do you promote your shop/work?
I am in charge of the promotional end of things and sometimes I think I need an assistant! I twitter, have two blogs, belong to several social ning sites, have a flickr and do project wonderful advertising. Blogging is by far my favorite as it gives me another source for creative outlet. You can visit my blogs at http://bijouxdesignsforyou.blogspot.com and http://rougeriverbeads.blogspot.com.
In ten years, where would you like to be?
In ten years we would like to have our own shop selling handmade gifts and beading supplies with an area to do classes/birthday parties and have guest artists. It’s a big goal but with a lot of hard work I believe its definitely attainable!
*if you would like your shop featured, please convo capow on etsy.