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Friday, May 14, 2010

Being an Artist: Etsy Feature Friday - Nat at Skeptis

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Natural History Retro Jewelry Canada EcoRetroBling

First, I apologize for getting this out late (it is probably not Friday anymore for most of you! Second, welcome to the first ever 'Etsy Feature Friday'! This will be a new feature that I will have every week. If you have any Etsy site, feel free to contact me about being featured. Third, since this is Montréal Week, I am featuring a great Montréal jewelry artist for this first feature!

One of the first things I noticed about Nat's shop is the connection between vintage pieces and nature. Nat discusses this connection in her Etsy profile:

Since a very young age my primary interests have been the natural sciences and art. 
They are intimately connected in everything I do.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the shop

question 1

Right now I'm doing this full time as I haven't been able to find a job since being laid-off in December. I've decided to give it a go and work at creating a real small business. I think I was destined to start a small business as I enjoy everything involved from creating with my hands, learning new techniques, materials research and even things like marketing! I love designing and making my own packaging and business cards from scratch - every aspect of being an independent business is an opportunity to learn something new! 
question 2

I work from home in my living room. It's a long story but we don't have a couch and now I don't think there would be space for one anyways! I bought a large craft table second-hand and store my beads in empty egg cartons:). I have tried to avoid buying all the special equipment for storing supplies and storing jewelry and enjoy being creative about the materials around me. I also strive to make my business an eco-friendly one so every aspect of my business is designed to reduce, re-use and recyled, in that order:) 
question 3
I love Etsy and love being a part of it. I used to buy a lot from Ebay until I discovered the amazing stuff being sold on Etsy. There is something about the Etsy community that encourages thinking outside the box and gets the creative juices flowing. It was a wonderful introduction to the business of selling but in a saturated market like jewelry I don't think it can be my sole venue. I'm starting to look into selling in local stores and craft shows but as far as online venues go I have yet to see any site that compares to the quality that is Etsy.

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Here is some more of what Nat had to say:

 ps I absolutely love living in Montreal! My favorite place is the world-class Montreal Botanical Gardens founded in the '30s and in the world's top ten botanical institutions. I must have taken over a thousand pictures there! I recently moved and the fact that I can now get to the MBG in 5 mins by bus had a lot to do with my choice of residence:) 

 I also love Mont-Royal which has a surprising diversity of fauna and flora despite being smack-dab in the middle of downtown. It is especially beautiful in Spring and I have been going every 4 days or so to get the most out of it. In the last few months I have seen bloodroot, trillium, dog tooth violets, pileated woodpeckers, mourning cloak butterflies, and more, all within walking distance of 
a subway station! 

 My hands-down favorite museum is the RedPath located on the McGill campus: it is one the oldest museums in North America and is a veritable cabinet of natural curiosities with everything from dinosaur bones to mummies located in a gorgeous old building built in 1882. Entrance is free with a suggested 
donation of 5$. A must see!

Thank you Nat!