Friday Features are all about meeting the talented artists and creators of hand crafted goods to share their stories and bring to light the value and beauty found in handmade.
Tell me about yourself and your shop.
I sell in two stores on Etsy www.valerietyler.etsy.com which is my signature metalwork line. This line has my oxidized and textured sterling silver that I saw, forge, rivet, solder, etc…
www.valeriemiscellanea.etsy.com is my line in which I play with trends and current fashions. It incorporates more brass, vintage materials, and rough raw gemstones.
I run an entirely one woman business, and do everything myself from the jewelry creation, to the packing and shipping, accounting, marketing and branding. I do have a wonderful assistant at art shows though–my husband!
It’s hard to think of anything these days that’s not related to my business, as I’m reveling in this full time artist life. For fun though, I’ll sometimes join my husband at one of his autocross car races (I’ve even driven the car a few times myself), I hike in the national park, read, or tend to an herb garden.
How did you start, and why did you choose your craft? How much experience do you have so far?
It all came about rather naturally. I took one class in college on jewelry-making for a fun elective, then got busy with graduate school and work, but had a renewed interest around 2006-2007. I then did a lot of research, reading, and experimentation with techniques to hone my skills. Sometimes I find not having been “formally” trained in particular practices has helped me be more creative.
What influences your work from your life or city? (or anything else that influences you)
I love the combination of industrial style and natural influences you can find in greater Cleveland. There’s great architecture, beautiful parks, and art that abounds
What do you do when you need a little bit if inspiration?
I surf etsy! LOL. I also collect books on all sorts of cultural designs and art so I’ll go peruse them for shape and pattern ideas.
What is your best achievement?
I was really honored to be a part of the Cain Park Arts Festival this year. I also am thrilled that this year I grew my business enough that I took the leap to doing it full time.
What does handmade mean to you?
This one’s easy—made by your very own hands! In my case it means I’ve done some combination of drawing, cutting, polishing, soldering, riveting, sawing, bezel-setting, oxidizing, antiquing, hammering, wire-wrapping, and so on. Though I will say my favorite thing to do is hit metal with a hammer!
Do you also offer custom made items? Is it something you like to do?
I do have a line of custom initial jewelry in my Miscellanea shop that included monogrammed necklaces and rings.
What plans do you have for the future of you business?
This year I’m expanding the collections available to boutiques and galleries throughout the country.
Any advice for others looking to sell their handmade items?
Keep a healthy balance between the business and creative aspects. Be ready to work, and be sure you love it. To succeed you need to put in a lot (A LOT) of hours.
Many thanks to Valerie and be sure to check out the rest of her shops for more great finds!
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