Friday, October 2, 2009

Featured Friday: jennyhoople

Tell us who you are
My name is Jenny Hoople, I'm located in Beloit Wisconsin. I'm a member of TeamWIST (the local Wisconsin team) on Etsy. I grew up on a farm, graduated from college with a bachelor of arts in fine arts and a minor in Geology.

Other than creating things for etsy, what do you do?
I also work part-time in a library and on an organic farm. I'm busy right now trying to keep on top of canning season and still take care of my bunny and fish AND make jewelry! I also love painting, knitting and many other crafts which I'm not selling on Etsy, yet...
What first made you want to become an artist? When I was little, my Aunt would draw little pictures when we were all sitting around my grandma's table and I decided then and there that I was going to be good at art if it killed me. My mom always had us occupied with some little craft project so I gained a lot of experience making things early on.

Describe your creative process and the materials you use.
I choose knotted silk because I like its history, it's more romantic! I choose "natural" materials (stone, bone, wood, shell, silk) because even when altered by human hands and arranged and strung by them, the beauty of the processes that formed them breaks through and dazzles me. I write "natural" with quotes because I believe, philosophically, that everything humans make is natural, but there is a real aesthetic difference between a glass bead and a quartz bead and I don't know what other word to use. Also, I do use dyed materials because it's not so different, philosophically, than using machine cut gemstone beads and I love color! My favorite material is the grey job's tears seeds because I grow them right here in my own backyard! When I start out to make a piece, more often than not, the materials themselves inspire me as I start putting them out next to each other and arranging them.

What handmade possession to you prize the most?
I most prize a baby quilt that my grandmother quilted for me. On one side is a giant green and pink puff-the-magic-dragon and on the back is a sweet little fabric with bunnies and puppies and kitties that I remember making up games with during nap-time as a little one. I hold this quilt in such high esteem, that I broke down and gave it to my little brother who also remembers it as HIS baby blanket. We have promised to give it to the first one of us who has a baby.

Top 5 websites you visit besides etsy? (to edit my website with google sites),, and Got them all up on my bookmarks toolbar!

Any advice you have for new etsy users.
Read the Sellers Handbook in the Storque. Join a team. Search the forums. Get on twitter and facebook!

What are your favorite features of etsy, and what new features would you like to see?
I love that people can heart each other and see other people's hearts. I love all the community support there is on here, that's really the best part! I'd like it if items were more search-able. Maybe if there were more categories to shop by, and different ways to combine them. As a shopper, I'd find that very useful.

How do you promote your shop/work?
I promote on twitter, facebook, at work, through my mom, in the Etsy forums, by getting featured on blogs. Basically, by being friendly and nice and interesting. People want to know what I'm all about and I tell them. (For the first time ever talking too much about myself has proved beneficial!)

In ten years, where would you like to be?
I'd like to be right where I am, but with more sales! Still working my part-time jobs because I like them, but actually making money on jewelry instead of watching the little boxes pile up waiting to be loved. I'd like to be in more than the one gallery I'm in now. My pictures are good, but pictures really don't do my work justice. It's so much more beautiful in person!!

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