Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Featured Artist - Cheryl K @ Aquari Creations on Etsy

Brandy at The Enchanted Garden asked if she could run a featurette of my shop. Wow! was I thrilled. How thoughtful of her.

Please check it out: Featured Shop: She's That Girl

Knowing how special it made me feel I decided I would like to do the same for my wonderful network of artist friends.

I met Cheryl on Etsy when she added my Vegan manatee soap to one of her Treasuries. How thoughful!

I love to cruise Etsy shops but I am especially drawn to those who include me in Treasuries. I love the beach and Aquari Creations is right up my alley!

Alow me to introduce you to Cheryl at AquariCreations:

1. How did you get started creating your product?

I first learned bead stringing in the spring of 2006 as a project for my church. A bunch of us ladies made “blessings bracelets” from kits to sell at our spring fair. After that I was a goner. But it wasn’t until much later that I discovered Etsy and decided I wanted to make a shop and create jewelry designs with a sea theme. My existing landscape/seascape photography naturally fit in with the idea.
2. What inspires you to create?
Aside from the beauty in nature, other artists inspire me. When I see other photographers or jewelry designers’ success, I try to understand what it is about their pieces that people are attracted to, and what the artist’s thought process might have been in creating an item. For a lot of my jewelry designs, my inspiration hits me out of the blue, mostly when I see specific beads or jewelry-making components. Just the colors or shape of one item will get me thinking for hours What can I do with this and how?
3. What does your artwork say about you?
I think my artwork shows that I am careful with details, that I put a lot of thought into what I create and that I am trying to honor not only my own self, but something outside myself. Hopefully my jewelry also conveys how much I like sparkly stuff!
4. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not creating for your shop?

I read and watch movies a lot, and in good weather I enjoy the beach and favorite shoreline spots. I also spend time with my needy pets. My cat, Pearl, often orders me to come out and play or to put myself down for a nap with her. She’s the boss of me. I’ve just appointed her AquariCreations’ personnel manager. While she doesn’t interfere with my jewelry supplies or designs, she’s really good at being my boss.

5. Share your favorite quote.
“Hold on to your faith, and do not quit a minute before your miracle occurs.” – Jere Skye

6. How do you celebrate your success?
With chocolate, of course!

7. How do you market your products?

I have been marketing my products in an ever-evolving way, slowly establishing my footing as I learn what works and what doesn’t. I think any new Etsy seller soon realizes that relying on Etsy-based techniques alone is limiting. It’s very easy to network on Etsy and get viewers to your shop, but to get people to buy after looking is a challenge. Inevitably I found that I had to find ways to draw people to my shop from the outside. Aside from local advertising, I’ve had my jewelry in two galleries near my home, and I keep expanding my online social networking activities to generate more exposure, credibility and loyalty outside Etsy.

8. What 3 Etsy shops do you admire and why?

There are two that come to mind instantly because they influenced me right when I was new to Etsy. Deborah in southwestern Australia runs Unique Dichroic. She makes dichroic glass pendants and she’s so talented. In a perfect scenario, I’d have a backyard studio in the bush like hers and an equal amount of success. I like to read her blog because she’s so enthusiastic when she pulls something suprisingly beautiful out of her kiln.
The second shop I admired early on is Crazy Lady Glass (formerly Crazy Lady Beads) because Kerry showed me early on the personalized kind of customer service you can get when you’re an Etsy buyer. Her cupcake, ice cream, cake slice and fruit beads are terrific quality and fun!
More recently I came to admire the Help the Gulf Coast Etsy shop because it is an example of how Etsy can be used to bring together sellers and buyers in a professional, goal-oriented way. I noticed right away how the admins ran the shop with integrity and transparency, and the success that they have experienced is a reflection of that.

9. If you win a $1,000 shopping spree, what would you buy?

Wow, lots more of everything I’m already using! I’d also get new freshwater pearls, Venetian and Czech glass beads, unique artisan lampwork glass and porcelain beads (some from other Etsy sellers) and higher grade gemstone beads. I’d also like to get some unique mother-of-pearl and abalone shell beads that I’ve been eyeing. Then there’s Hill Tribe silver and new Swarovski crystal shapes. The list goes on…and on…as always. You wouldn’t believe how much cool stuff is out there waiting to become a sea-themed design.

Where to find Cheryl:


  1. What a fabulous read! My head is spinning, thank you for mentioning my shop so kindly.

  2. Wow... fabulous interview. I have really enjoyed reading this !
    Cheryl, thanks so much for mentioning me in such a kind way...I am truly honored and touched :)
    I wish you great success!

  3. Thanks Kelly for the opportunity to be featured on your blog. You are a dear!
    - Cheryl