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A PEEK INTO THE CREATIVE MINDS OF JEWELRY ARTISTS...
Pam Hill of Electric Penguin on Etsy
This week's artist is Pam Hill from Philadelphia, PA. Pam runs the shop calledElectricPenguin. She specializes in handmade eclectic jewelry made of natural and upcycled materials! If you're a woman or a man who loves chunky, funky and definitely not the same old, same old; then ElectricPenguin has the necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for you! That's a quote that I stole from from Pam's shop. I think if you check out her jewelry, you will not only find that it has a look of it's own, but I think you will definitely find pieces that are affordable for all budgets :O) Pam is an awesome person to work with as well...friendly, organized, creative and and conscientious are a few words that come to mind when think about my experiences. You can find out more about each piece of jewelry below by clicking the picture. I have made links to each whether still available or sold as Pam also creates custom work.
How did you get started with your jewelry business? Was it a surplus of jewelry or something that you thought you would want to do right from the beginning?
I didn't plan on selling jewelry! I started making it myself because no one sold what I wanted to wear. I’ve always been the crafty type, as in I can paint/modify/improve that. Drives my family crazy!! So when the necklace I was looking for didn’t exist, I headed off to the craft store, bought some supplies and made it myself. That turned out exactly as I wanted, so I made something else. One necklace led to two, then some simple earrings, stretchy bracelets, how-to websites, jewelry design books, etc., etc., etc. Eventually I was creating more than I could ever wear, so the next logical step was to share my creations with the world. Not making things was no longer an option!
Okay, I must ask...Where did the name Electric Penguin come from?
My husband’s college roommate came up with it while trying to name a band they dreamed of forming. The band never happened, but I loved the name and it stuck in my head. At last I finally found a use for it!
When using ceramic beads/pendants, what it is that you like about them that makes them different from other beads?
The handmade, chunky, natural look of them! No two are exactly alike, and they don't look like standard mass produced supplies. They are SO my style!
Beer beads??? Very cool idea...how did you come up with that one?
It just sort of came to me! I had been racking my brain trying to come up with an item that was totally unique. One day I thought of beer labels as a unusual base element and tried making a few things with them. Beer labels are in ready supply at my house! The Beer Beads turned out best, and became a big hit. Now I make my husband buy beer with cool labels instead of what's on sale!
Are there certain colors that you like to use more than others and if so, why?
Earthy, natural colors mostly - I'm just drawn to them and they go with almost everything. Right now my favorite is peridot green. But I do like a bright pop of color some days too!
When creating jewelry, do you usually have a plan in mind or do you start out with the beads in front of you and then come up with an idea?
I definitely start with a pile of beads spread all over the kitchen counter, then mix and match until something cool starts to take shape. There's always a group of half started ideas sitting on the buffet, just waiting for more inspiration. I really try to create things that aren't the same
old styles you see all over Etsy and Artfire.
What is your favorite part of this business and what is it that you like the least about it?
Favorite is selling, opening new boxes of supplies, and the really nice Etsyians I've met. Least favorite is marketing and the maintenance behind the shop.
I understand that you write for IndieSmiles on a monthly basis, how did you get involved with that and what is it that you write about?
I saw a post in the Etsy forum from the IndieSmiles editors, looking for writers. It sounded like fun so I signed up! I write how-to articles - things like organizing your supplies, vacation mode, and most recently one about proofreading. People seem to find them helpful, so they must not be too bad!