Jacqueline Gikow was born in New Jersey and when she graduated from college at Alfred University in western New York State, she was a fledgling potter and a sculptor. Jacqueline went to graduate school at Arizona State University and after graduating opened a production pottery in Cave Creek Pottery with her husband of two years. They created functional pottery and sold it through craft fairs and to gift shops through a number of sales representatives. She has been an artisan and designer for the majority of her life, moving from pottery to fiber arts to polymer clay and currently to jewelry.
Jacqueline lives in New York City and works on hand crafted jewelry from her home studio. She has a part-time day job selling crafts in a high-end craft gallery called An American Craftsman. It was the inspiration she needed to begin her new adventure as a jewelry designer. The work that the gallery carries is really beautiful and she thought that she could do something like that. She chose jewelry because it was something that she could incorporate into her home, a studio where she crafts lovely jewelry pieces.
How did you choose the name for your Etsy shop?
I chose my Etsy shop name, JacquelineJewelry because it fuses what I do with who I am. One of the things that I do is to make one of a kind jewelry rather than multiples of things. I chose to do that because I became bored with doing production after 10 years of production pottery and swore I would never do that again. I like making diverse looks in my jewelry using a variety of semi-precious stones, glass and other materials. Sometimes I buy focal pieces from other Etsy artists to feature in my work.
What has been your most challenging project? And how did it turn out?
My most challenging piece was an early one. It was an amethyst necklace that is strung on a nylon-coated steel cord and has a large focal amethyst bead flanked by two sterling silver wire beads. I had to string it twice because after the first time I received some beautiful sterling spacer beads, which just needed to be included in the design. It turned out to be one of the most striking pieces of my collection and I am still very proud of it.
In your opinion what is the most important factor to running a successful on-line shop or business?
One of the most important factors to running a successful on-line shop is visibility. There are so many people trying to make a living by exhibiting on the Internet that it is hard to promote one’s work to be as visible as possible. I spend every day doing at least one promotional activity.
What do you like the most about your crafting?
The thing I like most about my craft experience is designing my work. I am constantly thinking about the materials I have and how they will work together. I have found that making a piece is the easiest part of design. I am intuitive in my designing and rarely sketch out a piece, preferring rather to think about the stones or wire or beads that I have and working out in my head what the piece will look like.
Do you have any advice for other small shop or business owners?
I am new at being a shop owner and seller of jewelry on the web, but I do have advice for other small shop owners who are in my position. My advice is to listen to others who have been in business longer than you have and are more successful because they have been through the same experiences that you may be having. I make a point of attending the newbie sessions on Etsy and also trying to get as much feedback on my shop as possible. I attended a virtual critique one evening and got an incredible number of suggestions that I immediately incorporated into my shop.
Be sure to check out the slide show to see a small sampling of what this talented artisan has made with her two crafty hands. Visit her Etsy shop, her website and her blog by clicking on the links provided.
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Until next time I wish you a good day today and every day!
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Cheers my ♥’s
Be sure to check out my past interviewee’s as they are always adding new goodies to their shops.