Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm an English-chick in FL

I have another obsession! Are you surprised?? Really! -you are??

I don't even know how I stumbled across this etsy store! But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! Really I could completly decorate my house with all of her things!!! Its no surprise  that I love her store though as she is also a fellow Brit! yep ladies and gentlemen, she is from across the pond! I am pleased to introduce to you...

Joy Elizabeth Ceramics 

She has been a fellow etsy member for about a year and I have to say her store is by far one of the nicest I have ever seen, but not just because I love polka dots, birds and it looks pretty! The quality of her work is outstanding and it's always packaged so nicely.

Joy tells me she grew up in a rural English village (sigh home!) spending much of her youth in a pair of Wellies, sweeping pathways of an imaginary house with tree branches. She tells me... well let Joy use her own words!

"My creations sort of fit into that make believe, whimsical world and I retreat into it when I get creative. Living so far away from my family means that I will often make things to send them. Often my inspiration to create something for my etsy shop starts with a thought about someone I care about.  Sometimes I sketch out what I am planning to create but once I start working with clay, other ideas will shape and form and what I end up making may not be what I had expected. I am an art teacher by day and love the unreserved style of my student's artwork, which is a constant, energized source of inspiration. I also keep a huge folder that I cram with all sorts of clippings, photographs, cards, sketches, words, pretty much anything that makes me look twice is often something inspiring"


I know if we lived closer all we would do all day long is gossip about  how much we both miss home and the bluebells in May, yes we would probably do this in a pub, but not with beer, a cuppa tea ;-) and fish chips??!

Joy  had some great advice too saying to only make things that you absolutely love, be original, stay true to who you are. Invest in a decent camera, it doesn't have to be too expensive.
       Etsy has some great reviews on cameras.  Explore and make use of the etsy site, it's full of great tips and ideas. Build relationships with other etsy shop owners and be sure to stay connected to etsy's community pages. List new items several times a week if you can, or relist old ones so that you don't get buried. Write a to do list daily to keep focused and keep in touch with your etsy shop.
Treat your customers with kindness and grace... this is SOOOOOO important, how often do we daily go to stores etc... and get treated like we have no business being there, why would we spend our hard earned cash t these places? Etsy really is place for customer care and to feel like we are parting with our money when it's really worth it. Just look as these darling pocket hearts! how can you not LOVE them???

Joy also put me in touch with this awesome website too, when I get a parcel from her it comes wrapped with cute little stickers... check it out here at www.moo.com She totally makes me smile when her wrapped items, hand written thank you's and love come rattling through my post box!

For anyone who is considering running a business of their own, etsy really is a great place to start, especially if you are at all artsy of crafty, what with low overheads and a great selling community it really is perfect. It doesn't have that ebay feel either, it really is a little more up-market and has a community? village feel to it!  And like Joy when you sell something or find your item on the front page of etsy it's an amazing boost of confidence and satisfaction that your hardwork has indeed paid off.
One of my favorite questions to ask is "Who would you most like to meet?"
Joy surprised me with:

Jenny Mendes, she's my hero potter. I'd love to sit with her in her studio over coffee and pick her brain about glazes, surface decoration, and about her most interesting life and fantastic art!
... Jenny if you ever read this, please tell me what Joy is like in person!

Joy really reflected what a lot of us are hopeful for, i.e  giving up all of our other jobs and work as an artist full time. At the moment I she is a full time art teacher, (I want her as me art teacher! I bet everyne goes dizzy over your accent!)

I asked Joy to tell me something personal about herself so in her words ... "I met my husband on a cruise ship and married him 2 months later, my heart rules my decision making that's for sure. Sixteen years later we are still married so fortunately it worked out!" congratulations Joy, it was a true pleasure to get to know you more and I know I will be back for more!

With love xxx


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