Tracy of Polished
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Tracy and my Etsy shop is http://polishedtwo.etsy.com. I live, work, and play in beautiful Austin, Texas—the live music capital of the world. I am a woman in my 30s with a supportive husband, a loveable kitty, and a background in business development.
What do you make?
My Etsy shop is chock full of one-of-a-kind pottery shard necklaces, mini pottery shard earrings, and lots of whimsical jewelry designs. I also make magnets, hair accessories, and hand-stamped cards.
What inspires you & what is your creative process? I’m inspired by fashion, color trends, and the endless array of beads available to work with. I’m often inspired by unexpected color combinations that appear when my desk is a hot mess! When I have beads everywhere they tend to mix and mingle in combinations I wouldn’t instinctively consider. I am also inspired by my family’s support, my own needs for a specific piece of jewelry to match something in my closet, or the custom requests I often receive from my customers. They have some great ideas!
Where is your studio and how has it evolved? what is your plan for it in the future? My studio is right next to my living room. It was initially a multi-purpose home office / spare bedroom furnished with desks for both my husband and I–as well as a Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall for our guests. In the evolution of my Etsy shop, I have definitely taken over the entire space! I have Elfa shelving going all the way up the wall with organizer boxes full of beads, counter space overtaken with supplies, and drawers full of padded envelopes. I have been occupying my husband’s desk since last Christmas when I realized that I needed a dedicated station for packing orders and getting everything ready to ship. When guests come to stay with us, I push everything back against the walls and stash stuff in my closet so we can pull the Murphy bed down. In the future I would like to consolidate my bead collection just enough to have additional desk space for my laptop and printer—fitting everything I need in one room. Of course, it would be nice to have room for my husband to be able to office in there too!
What tools & equipment do you use? I use typical jewelry making tools like pliers, crimpers, and scissors. I also rely on my digital camera, computer, printer, mailers, bubble wrap, labels and lots of tape. All of these tools help me get the job done—from crafting the jewelry, to photographing it, adding listings to my Etsy shop, promoting my craft, and packing it up for my customers.
What else do you do? Is this your full time gig?You can find me stocking my Etsy shop with new items nearly every evening, weekend, and holiday–but during the day I work full time in business development. I have found that having a background in marketing and a lifelong love for crafting make a great combination! Even before I got into jewelry design, I closed out my day with one craft or another. I have been making things for as long as I can remember. Having an outlet for my creativity keeps me motivated to be successful—and it just makes me happy.
What do you hope to get out of this, what are your goals? My goals are simply to keep pushing for success on Etsy as long as I love what I do and to share what I learn about making it work. It is an amazing venue that gives artists and crafters a wonderful community to reach out worldwide to potential customers. I recently joined the Etsy Austin team and hope to work with the entire group to develop our strength locally– whether we teach each other our varied crafts, promote each other within our social networks, or just get out of our studios and make new friends.
How do you promote yourself? I promote myself by wearing my jewelry, giving out my business cards, building up my social networks, and making something that my customers come back for. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the process – you have to talk about what you do wherever and whenever you can! It really helps if you buy into the need for shameless self promotion.
Any tips for fellow crafters/artists?The best tip I can give to my fellow crafters/artists: Do what you love. Do what inspires you.