Monday, November 11, 2013

Artist Spotlight - Tasha LaRae of Earjeans

Welcome to our latest edition of Artist Spotlight – This is where we give you the chance to tell us about yourself and your business!  If you would like to be considered for this column or if you would like to recommend someone, please let either myself or Zoica know via Etsy convo. 

This week’s artist is Tasha LaRae.  Her shop is called Earjeans.  Here is one of Tasha’s beautiful pieces:
Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

I am a creative person by nature. I love everything about the creative process and often find it difficult to focus on one thing at a time! I'm a professional singer, songwriter, jewelry designer, and Fashion Merchandising student at Bauder College. Since joining Etsy in Oct 2008, I have become an excellent product photographer, social media expert-in-training, and everything in between. :) Earjeans is a handmade jewelry company that focuses on creating pieces that are unique, stylish, and compliment the personality of the wearer, helping them to feel confident and capable of accomplishing anything.

How did you get your start?

I began designing jewelry as a way to earn additional income while traveling the world as a singer/songwriter and my business has grown in ways I never imagined possible.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from personal experiences as well as the people, places, and things I encounter in my world travels. My family also provides a tremendous amount of inspiration as they nurture, support, and continue to encourage my creative spirit.

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

My biggest successful moment so far has been using the skills I've developed over the past 5 years as an Etsy seller to help my favorite boutique in Atlanta develop their e-commerce website and build an online presence that matches how awesome they are in their brick-and-mortar stores. (Their website is in case you want to check them out :)

What challenges do you face selling online?

The main challenges I face online are three key things that I think most online stores face:

a) Finding my online target market. (knowing what sites they hang out on, what interests them, and how to catch and maintain their attention).

b) Connecting with this market in a way that allows me to build a level of trust and respect in my area of interest and expertise (jewelry design) without coming across as an advertisement or an infomercial.

c) Allowing my brand to evolve and grow without losing the "spirit" of why I began creating jewelry in the first place.

Because of these three reasons, I continue to search and research all the information Etsy and other online sources have to teach on these subjects and I discuss them with my Etsy friends and team members consistently.

What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?

My biggest piece of advice is not to allow other people's experiences to become your own. There are plenty of places where you'll read the experiences of unhappy Etsy sellers and/or buyers. As with any business industry, negative, not-so-pleasant things happen but this does not have to be your experience as well. Give yourself the time to explore, experiment, and grow your business in a positive, healthy environment. It deserves a chance to thrive! (Also, don't wait for Etsy to "promote" your business to millions of people. Grab your business cards, flyers, t-shirts, etc. and hit the streets promoting your shop. Let the people who "find" you on Etsy be icing on the cake ;)

Thank you Tasha for sharing your shop and your background with us!

Well that about does it for this edition of our Artist Spotlight.  Don't forget you can recommend yourself or a friend for our next issue.  Just convo me or Zoica.  We'll let you know if you were chosen.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time...
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