Since I know most of you, like me, agree that you can never have enough jewelry, I'm excited to introduce you to a new artist today, Betsy Ryland! Her shop has only been open a few months but she's really starting to build up her product line and I just love her unique work. Managing her studio and three amazing children keeps Betsy busy but she has a passion for all of it that keeps her going.
Read on to learn more about how she got started, what she listens to while working and the time she drowned a beetle. You can also enter to win a pair of earrings from her shop!
Where are you from - originally and currently live?
I was born and raised in Greenville, SC then left the nest to go to art school. I was married shortly after graduation and moved to St. Thomas U.S.V.I. After 2 1/2 years there, we settled in Richmond, VA, where we live now with our three amazing children.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
My shop has been open for nine months, but I have had an Etsy account since 2007.
Do you sell on Etsy full time or do you have a day job?
Etsy is my only "paying" job. Otherwise I am busy raising my children, managing the house and trying to keep on top of it all...
What, if any, formal training have you had in your craft?
I have a BFA in crafts (with a metal emphasis) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
What made you decide to open up shop on Etsy?
I was talking with a friend about building a website to sell my jewelry. When things started to get complicated, he suggested Etsy. Everything I wanted to do was already done for me. All I needed to do to get started, was provide the content. I have always been good at creating the art... selling/marketing was another story. Etsy is the perfect venue for both and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
What do you like least about your craft?
Polishing/finishing a piece. By that time all decisions have been made, and it turns into work...
Five favorite Etsy shops
Five things you love
non-fiction, Eames Design, warm weather, a good haircut, my children's laughs
Where is the coolest place you have ever been?
Once when we were living in St. Thomas we rented a boat with some friends and headed down island. We stopped at many beautiful places to swim and snorkel. We kept motoring south and reached Norman Island (southwest of Tortola B.V.I.) and right there in the middle of the cove was a old pirate ship looking boat turned bar/restaurant. We pulled our boat along side it and went aboard. The rest of the day was spent drinking and eating and jumping off the boat into crystal clear water. It was an amazing day and one of the coolest places I've ever been.
What is your favorite leisure time activity?
Some of the things I enjoy when I have time for myself are reading, gardening, sitting and talking with a friend (without being interrupted...), running, or perusing my favorite shops for inspiration.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Not so sure it is THE strangest, but I once had a beetle crawl into my ear while I was sleeping. It was the craziest, painful sensation- little prickly beetle legs scratching my eardrum. I ran down the stairs flailing and screaming (not making much sense) to an unsuspecting husband who had no idea what was wrong with me. Thankfully we have a close friend who is an ER Dr. who happened to be home when we called. He told us to shine a light in my ear to draw it out. The beetle came up, looked around, and then went right back in. Next suggestion was to drown him with ear drops. This worked and relief was immediate. Somehow we fished it out and got a good look at him. Needless to say, this type of beetle is now affectionately known as "the ear beetle".
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, with whom would it be?
Any one of my children. I would love to get a glimpse of what they are experiencing. I think that knowledge would be invaluable when plotting my course as a parent.
Share some of your favorite music
Lloyd Cole, Morrissey, Elvis Costello, Lykke Li, KT Tunstall, many more...
What makes you angry?
Health Care in America
What does the future hold for you and your shop?
I am shooting for growth. Personally and professionally I want to push myself to take it all to a higher level. I would like to expand my materials to include different metals and stones, improve my photography skills, beef up marketing and make a lot of cool jewelry that people really want to wear. I would love for my Etsy shop to be a thriving, lucrative business that provides me with the dollars and energy every artist needs.
You can also keep up with Betsy's work by following her on Twitter.
Betsy is offering one lucky winner their choice of any pair of earrings from her shop!
HERE'S HOW TO ENTER:
Please leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite item is from Betsy's shop along with what type of jewelry you wear most or what jewelry trends you'll be looking for this fall.
You can enter once per day and YOU MUST INCLUDE your first name -AND- etsy username or email address with every entry. If you are worried about email spam, you can spell out the 'at' and 'dot' rather than using the standard email format.
Receive additional entries if you follow or subscribe to my blog, twitter about the giveaway and/or blog about the giveaway. Just leave a comment/link letting me know! You only need to mention each one time and do not need to leave separate comments.
You have until Sunday, September 6 at 10 pm (est) to enter and I will announce the winner on Monday morning. Good luck!
Betsy is also offering a special discount to Lillyella readers, take 20% off all orders through September 15 when you mention 'lillyella' in the message box at checkout!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed learning about Betsy and her work!