Monday, October 13, 2014

Artist Showcase - Meredith Dada

Welcome to another edition of Artist Showcase.  This week the spotlight is on Meredith Dada.  Meredith is a bead artist.  Here is one of Meredith's lovely items:

 
Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business

My name is Meredith Dada and I’m a bead artist. I live in Highlands Ranch Colorado, a suburb of Denver with my husband, my six year old son, two dogs and a cat. I have created a lovely studio space in our home, and as soon as my son gets on the school bus I get to work.! I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love every day and be a stay at home mom. I’m a one woman show; I do all of the designing, creating, photographing, and shipping for my business. I sculpt pieces out of clay or upcycle found objects, then I hand-paint my designs and finally cover the piece with beads. When I’m not beading away in the studio I love to go on hikes with my family and enjoy this gorgeous state we live in!


How did you get your start?

I come from a family full of artists. I’ve always been exposed to different forms of art, and I found it difficult to focus on just one media. My Grandmother was a crafter and when I was little we would make beaded ornaments for Christmas, or beaded dresses for my Barbie dolls. When she passed away several years ago I was given her bead collection. I started to make ornaments and three dimensional pieces with her beads. I felt like I finally combined all of my favorite things, sculpting, painting, mosaic, and beads into one process. When my son was born I knew I would be staying home with him, but I also wanted to create a business for myself that could grow with him. Once he started sleeping through the night, I started a collection of beaded pieces and opened my Etsy shop. It’s been 6 years now and my business has slowly grown into a full time operation.

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

Nature is very inspirational for me. I love to take pictures of the flowers or watch the birds during our family hikes. My customers are also a huge source of inspiration for me. When I started making birds I really didn’t anticipate how popular they would become. I find that so many people have special connections to specific birds and I am always happy to accept custom requests for new birds that I’ve never made before. I love the challenge of researching and creating new birds from different parts of the world.


What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

When I started this little business when my son was a baby I wasn’t sure if I would be successful enough to make it my full time job. When he was little keeping up with him was my full time focus and the beadwork was something I did on the side usually during nap time or after everyone went to bed. As he became more independent I put more time into my business. I felt a huge sense of success when my son started school full time and I realized my business was right on schedule with him, it grew with him just as I planned from the start.

 
What challenges do you face selling online?

I think the biggest challenge with selling online is the fact that your customer is not looking at your product in person. They can’t pick it up, examine it, and feel it, so it is up to you to sell it with a photo and description only. Good customer service is so important to me and again your online customer is not there in person and communication can be challenging especially when you are working with people all around the world.
 
 
What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?

Do your research, and have a plan. Before you even list products in your shop make sure your shop policies are clearly written out for your customer. Make sure you are pricing your items correctly, take into account the time it takes to create, photograph, and list your items. Research shipping costs and have those supplies ready to go. Have a solid business plan, and give yourself goals so your business has a direction in place. Learn how to photograph your items! It is so important to take good quality photos. This is something I am still working on to this day; I’m always learning new things and tweaking my photos. As I said before your customer can’t pick up your items. The photo has to catch their attention and give them an accurate, detailed description of the piece they are going to buy. Lastly, selling on Etsy is a lot of work and can be a slow, challenging processes so make sure that what you are creating or selling in your Etsy shop is something you are passionate about! When you love what you do, your customer will pick up on that.
 
 
Thank you Meredith for sharing your story and your lovely designs with us.  If you would like to see more of Meredith, check out her Facebook page.
 
Next week we'll choose another artist to feature.  If you would like to be considered, please send Zoica or myself a link via Etsy convo.
 
Until next time...
 
Thanks for stopping by,
 
 
 
 
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