Saturday, June 18, 2011

**** The Eclectic Element Feature Review****

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi everyone! My name is Kayla and I'm 21 years young. I live with my parents, a younger sister, and a dog named Jake (a.k.a Booger) in the tired state of Illinois {I say tired because it's tired to me and I can't wait to get out!}. I'm a very eclectic person {hence the name}-I like to pole dance for fitness. I'm a certified Reiki Master. I'm a book worshiper; you name it, I read it. Chocoholic extraordinaire. Nature lover, outdoors woman, and tree hugger {quite literally!}. Despite all that, I'm not your typical 21 year old. I can't go to college, get a job, or move out on my own. Unfortunately, this is not my choice-I suffer from chronic Lyme Disease, and I've been sick for close to 7+ years now.
Hello Booger
 Unlike most people in my position, I don't consider it a bad thing. Of course I would very much like to be healthy and able to do things, but without the Lyme, I wouldn't be talking to you about my business and my jewelry right now. The whole reason I started The Eclectic Element was to keep myself busy when I was confined to bed for 10 months back in 2009, and it's grown beyond what I could have ever comprehended. I've met so many wonderful people and got to do so many incredible things; I've just gained so much, that I'm too thankful to be sad about what could be :)
2. When did you first start making/selling on etsy?
I've always been a crafty and artistic person as far back as I can remember, but I started creating my jewelry a few years after I got sick-I'd say sometime in or around 2005. One of my high school teachers, who was also chronically ill, brought me to one of her support groups and the craft of the month was beading :) From there, I was helplessly hooked. It was a little later that I started actually selling my creations; I believe I opened both of my Etsy shops back in 2009 a few months apart, but it wasn't until later that I really started getting into selling seriously.
3. Do you have a favourite creation or favourite find if vintage?
I'll do you one better-I'll give you my favourite creation AND my favourite vintage find! I've created many things through the past 5+ years, but I always find myself eyeing this particular bracelet every now and again:
As for vintage, it's a shame that I can't pick more than one, but I think one that's in my top 10 would have to be these earrings I purchased recently:
4. How/where do you find your materials to work with?
I'm a "poor college student" in essence, so money is pretty scarce for me and since I can't get a job, it's even more so non-existent, but I have my ways ;) A few of my favorites are thrift/vintage shops like the Goodwill and Salvation Army. Estate and garage sales. Flea markets. Even some kind souls over the years have sent me different things from extras in their jewelry box, to beads and charms from their collections and shops...Like I said, if there's a way to get supplies very inexpensively, I find it. Oh, I also like to win things a lot, so I've accumulated several things that way, too!

5. What do you like/dislike about selling online?
I like selling online because it reaches a MUCH wider audience then if I were to just set up in a brick and mortar storefront. Granted, craft fairs and consignment shops are great for a business, but with the WWW, you can reach people from all around the world with the same likes and style as yourself and what you create. As for what I don't like, I'd have to say shipping. I hate having to figure out how much shipping is going to be for a particular item, especially if it's an international order >.<

6. Any tips for new artisans just starting up shop?
Social media it up! Seriously, if there was only ONE thing I could share with you all, it's social media as a promotion tool is a powerful, powerful thing! I can't tell you how much it has transformed my life, not just my business. Facebook, Twitter, Etsy's chat and forums, features {like this one}, giveaways if you can, etc; invest time in it, and you'll see!
7. How can people contact you?
Here is every which way you can contact/reach me, and feel free to do all of them!!/TheEclecticE
Because of my illness, I haven't been able to make anything for my handmade shop, so it's stayed empty for awhile now, however if you see something you like from this feature, or sold listings, I'm always open for custom work :D

8. Anything else you might like to add
Do what you love and love what you do. Ultimately, that's all that really matters; just follow your passion and things will fall into place :)
9. If you were to describe yourself as a piece of furniture, what would you be?
Interesting question...I think I'd have to be an armoire, just because I love that word xD

At the moment I am not in a position to offer a giveaway but would love to give your readers a 20% discount off their next purchase from my shop. Use the code KRISHENKA at checkout.

I would like to offer a special thank you to Kayla for her optimism in life and her courage in coping with  Lyme's Disease, if you don't know about you can find an explanation here on 

I wish you Kayla  as I am sure everyone who reads this article all the very best. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
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