Friday, August 27, 2010

Swan River Stone (giveaway now closed)

Back in 2008, I was the lucky winner of a pair of gold teardrop loop and boro bead earrings from a blog giveaway.
The artisan, Andrea, was a fairly new Etsy seller.  Her shop NyBlaque was just getting off the ground.
I immediately adored the art and the artist.
Andrea's personal attention to her customers, her friendly nature, and her wonderful craftsmanship make her a perfect fit for the competitive jewelry category on Etsy.  She stands out and sparkles!

One year ago, Andrea opened a second jewelry shop, Swan River Stone.  Her she showcases beautiful eco-friendly jewelry made from vintage bits, nature, recycled metal and other lovely pieces.  She has also added a line of beautiful notecards to her shop.

Salvaged Twig and Batik Bead Earrings
I LOVE this new shop. The jewelry has a tribal feel without being cliche. Her peacock feather earrings are fantastic (and she even has a vegan feather option!). I had to show off a couple of my favorite pieces.

Sunset Tan and Blue Peacock Earrings

Andrea was kind enough to sit down and do a little Q&A for us.

You were having respectable success with your first (and still running) Etsy shop, NyBlaque. What made you decide to open a second jewelry shop on Etsy?

After now three years of selling online at Etsy. I have to say it is a two-fold experience. I have and I am STILL learning so much from fellow seller but mostly my customers. I am also still learning and have made mistakes but it is from them that I have learned the value of great customer service , communication and providing a quality product.

I think my Nyblaque shop is gaining the success level as far as sales as I have worked very hard to achieve, but is not without a lot of hard work and constant upgrading and researching.

You have to talk to your customers, engage them to talk to you but don't push them if they are not comfortable..then that is when I think you let your work speak for itself in order to gain their trust in you. But I must say the best compliments I have ever gotten is how much attention and effort I put into making my customers happy as best as I possibly can.

Of course, I can't please everyone and I have learned to accept that esp if I did my very best..but more often than not, I've received private notes and emails telling me privately and sometimes publicly how much they really appreciate the communication and care I have them in my work and service to them.

I opened a second shop because I am wanted to go in different direction now that I more eco conscious about our global eco systems. I know I cannot change the world but this path made me start to put my hands where my mind is and start creating jewelry that was more eco friendly, fair trade and even more organic and animal cruelty free minded with the materials I use. Even my packaging is going greener!From there I wanted to take old yet still good quality things and re purpose them into bags, accessories, home decor, paper goods and maybe when my skills are better, step at a time;-)

My second shop SwanRiverStone, is more that a pretty name it is a personal mantra: to keep the Grace(The Swan) of my humble beginnings both good and bad so that I always stay grounded,stay learning and improving. The Balance(The River) of life being a human being, a woman, a mom, a quiet activist caring about the environment and a businesswoman maintaining the dream of having my own. and the Strength to do it all with the best mental, spiritual and physical mind possible.

You are both a stay-at-home mom and a work-from-home. How do you balance your time between the two busy jobs and promoting your work?

I am BOTH!!I am a SWAHM( Single Work at Home Mom) It's hard enough running a home business being with a spouse or other family member of course..but raising two kids with a 12yr age gap is extremely difficult. For me, in order to make it work I run a STRICT time schedule-whether I want to or not! Until, I can hire additional help again. I only ship Mon-Fridays only- Devote my entire weekends and some holidays to whatever my family want to do. I wouldn't recommend this, but I run on 4hrs of sleep!
My schedule:
6am-7am Breakfast, meditation and exercise.
7-8am-Check/Answer Emails
8:30-Drop packages in mailbox if any.
8:45-12/1pm Time with toddler & teen( this is during summer vacation and holidays) but since my daughter is away at school this year, my son makes sure he gets ALL the attention LOL)

12-2pm Lunch and nap, Email check, Promote and chat;-) Maybe get some work in;-)
2-3-Picture taking--maybe?;-)
3-4 More Toddler/Teen Time
4-10pm Email Check/Dinner/Bath and Bed/Mail Packages/Mom& Daughter Time.
10pm-11pm- Quiet Mind Time for ME.
11-2am Listing, Promote, Blog,Chat, read then Sleep---PHEW

Ok..sometimes the schedule doesn't work that way esp with a now preschooler, but I try to keep it organized as close as possible.

I absolutely ADORE your new line, with the organic shapes and recycled materials. Where do you find inspiration to continually come up with new designs?

Thanks for the compliments! My inspiration have always been on the fly..they are never planned. It cam be from watching a movie like the Eowyn Necklace was inspired by LOTR. Or from rummaging through my grans old sewing box and finding some vintage fabric or broken jewelry I know she would love for me to make something with as she used to when she was alive. Or it could be nature's season changes, people, anything!.

Now for the part you have been waiting for:

What you can win:
Up for grabs we have the beautiful Eowyn Necklace with stonewear pendant on faux suede cord; the fabulous Hypnotize earrings (my favorite), and the lovely ire-wrapped with lampwork bead Cosmic Ring.

TWO winners names will be drawn.
The first winner will get to choose from these 3 gorgeous pieces. The second winner will then have their choice from the 2 remaining pieces.

HOW you can win:

Visit Swan River Stone and leave a comment on THIS blog post telling me which item from Andrea's eco-friendly  shop is your favorite (1 entry, mandatory).

Extra entries:

Become a follower of My Hiding Place In Cyberspace (button on the left sidebar), and leave a comment telling me that you are a follower. (1 entry)

Become a follower of Andrea's blog, Swan River Stone , come back and leave a separate comment here to let me know. (1 entry)

Write a post on your blog or Twitter, come back and leave a link to your blog post or tweet for an extra entry (1 per method)

Make a purchase from Swan River Stone, and leave a comment with a link to your transaction for TWO entries (leave 2 comments)

That is up to SEVEN chances to win!  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry in order for it to count.

This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide, and will close one week from today, Friday September 3rd at 12noon EDT.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giveaway starting Aug 27 HERE

Giveaway starting Aug 27 on my blog
Originally uploaded by digitalmisfit

I will be the lucky host of a jewelry giveaway from Swan River Stone starting this Friday. Here is a sneak peek at the goodies you could win.
Don't forget to come back and put your name into my virtual hat.