The Artist + Etsy Shop Interview series are Q & A’s with some of my favorite talented artists and designers!  I am hoping these interviews can be both an inspiring and resourceful behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to own and run a creative business using the Etsy platform.  Let’s support and encourage one another and create enthusiasm for what we are passionate about and a sense of camaraderie for the imaginative and artistic community!

Embroidered Bib Necklace // By An Astrid Endeavor

{Embroidered geometric bib necklace in beautiful, bright, + bold colors}

I love the beautiful, colorful, bohemian yet modern pieces that fill Etsy shop, An Astrid Endeavor. Astrid hand embroiders jewelry, brooches, earrings, and ornaments for us to adorn ourselves and our homes with.  Learning more about Astrid and her business was very inspiring– she is a mother, works full time at a children’s hospital, is on her way to becoming a marriage / family therapist,  oh yeah and she makes awesome things for her Etsy shop!  Read on to learn more and I hope it inspires you as well!

Astrid is offering atiliay readers a special from now until the end of this month- receive 15% off all orders over $15!  Just use this code at checkout: ATILIAYDEAL.  Get a head start on holiday shopping, birthday gifts, or treat yourself to something- you deserve it! :)

Astrid of An Astrid Endeavor

{Hi Astrid!}

Zig Zag Geometric Embroidered Bib Necklace // An Astrid Endeavor

{Geometric Zig Zag Embroidered Bib Necklace available here}

Tribal Art Deco Embroidered Necklace // By An Astrid Endeavor{Geometric Art Deco Statement Bib Necklace available here}

An Astrid Endeavor

Unique adornments, made with lots of love.
Shop Owner: Astrid R.
Opened July 26, 2011
195 Sales
Shop // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter// Wanelo

Please tell us the story behind your creations and your Etsy shop!

I have been making jewelry FOREVER- I mean, really. Being creative and making things for fun and to wear has been a part of my lifestyle since childhood. My Grandmother and mom are so creative and exposed me early on to weaving and textiles, embroidery, ceramics, painting, sewing- you name it. I studied jewelry making in High School and apprenticed with a jewelry maker as one of my earliest jobs. All throughout my adult life, and in conjunction with my studies at University, I have continued to make jewelry as a hobby and to sell- working with metals, glass and other mediums. It was really when I started a family and a full time job that I had reevaluated how, when and what I was making. I had limited time and space and machinery constraints so I started to work with embroidery for the flexibility it provided. All it takes is some thread, fabric, embroidery hoop, scissors and my two hands! All of a sudden a whole world opened up as I could now create in the quiet time after my daughter fell asleep at night!

What was the hardest thing about starting your Etsy shop?

Before Etsy I had sold my jewelry at craft fairs and stores off and on. I think the thing hardest thing about starting to sell on Etsy was taking that leap and knowing it wasn’t going to be that hard. I’m not the most savvy computer person, so I always thought it would be too difficult. And guess what? Yes, I have had some problems, but what is so wonderful is that they are problems that can easily be fixed and something that I am always learning from. So taking that first leap with Etsy has actually helped me learn more about computers! I don’t feel like quite the dunce that I used to!

What is the best thing about being an Etsy shop owner?
The best thing is being my own creative force and powerhouse! Second to that is the community Etsy creates. There is such a sense of connection and collaboration; it’s amazing. Being in the company of such like-minded people is wonderful.

Geometric Embroidered Earrings with Silver Ethiopian Spike Beads // By An Astrid Endeavor

{Art Deco Colorblock Earrings with Ethiopian Spiked Beads available here}

How do your customers find out about your products?
Definitely my customers come through Etsy itself, but I have had some great exposure from Pinterest, Wanelo, Twitter, and lovely bloggers, like yourself! (You are too kind!)
Also- my FB page too!

What marketing / advertising method(s) have worked well for you and which have not?

Finding a blog that has the same aesthetic and mindset can be a great way for me to branch out and meet new potential customers- giveaways, and running special sales too!
One of the best ways to utilize the Etsy is community is to join teams, especially small active ones and local too. The SFEtsy team has been a great resource and when we all get together for sales and events it’s amazing how much exposure my shop gets!

Is your Etsy shop your full time job? If so, when did you realize you could do this full time? If not, what is/are your other job(s)?

I still work full time at my job which is doing psycho-social work with children at a hospital. I am also getting my hours to become a Marriage and Family therapist- so my days are pretty busy- which I love. Luckily, creating has always been so therapeutic for me, so making my jewelry is actually what de-stresses me!

What is a typical day like for you?

Busy and jam packed, get my daughter off to school, go to work (10 hour shifts too!) home for some snuggle time and fun with my sweetie-girl, and then I’m attending to my shop in the wee hours of the night. Getting enough sleep is always the challenge!

I like to spend my weekends really connecting with my daughter, playing and creating- but I do work at night on my shop!

Blue Laurel Leaf Embroidered Necklace // By An Astrid Endeavor {Blue Laurel Leaf Necklace available here}

Set of 3 Moon Brooches // By An Astrid Endeavor

{Set of 3 Moon Brooches available here}

Do you do everything from creating your pieces to shipping them yourself? Do you have any help?

I do it all!

If you work without any help, how do you divide your time up between creating new items, marketing and advertising, accounting, and all the other aspects of running a business?

I definitely have my strengths and challenges. Making and creating is the easy part, it’s all the other aspects that can be difficult. However, I feel that I have a pretty good sense of what I can and cannot handle and I am only putting out, what I can reasonably expect of myself and what I would like in return. I think it’s a balance that each person finds for him/herself and it changes as your business changes. I have so much to learn in this department, it’s exciting!

What are a few of your favorite items from your shop?

I really love these new necklaces that I am doing right now that remind me of textile wall hangings. They are super time consuming, but so rewarding as each one is individual and unique. I am never sure exactly how it’s going to turn out until it’s finished!

I am also a huge fan of brooches right now, and these lips make so happy and always bring a smile to everyone face when they see it- it’s kitschy and fun!

Red Embroidered Lip Brooch // By An Astrid Endeavor {Red Lips Brooch available here}

Is there a story behind your creations in the “Love for Ethiopia” section of your shop?  That section definitely caught my eye!

My daughter was adopted from Ethiopia- and I want to keep her connected to her country of birth- that is so rich in history, culture and traditions. By doing so I feel that I’ve inherited a country as well! I added a whole section to my shop of items that celebrate Africa, Ethiopia and adoption as one way to honor her and to provide myself and others with simple and pretty ways they can add a bit of love for Ethiopia in their homes too.

Africa Embroidered Ornament // By An Astrid Endeavor

{Africa Ornament available here}

Tell us 3 fun facts about you :)

1. One fun fact about me is that I love fun facts. No joke. I love learning little tidbits about everything. The best part is being able to recite some random fact about something when least expected.

2. I am always on a quest for the perfect balance of sweet and savory foods. I call it “swavory” and it’s always so exciting when it happens. (I LOVE THIS WORD!)

3. I think there could be world peace if everyone on the planet had to look at pictures or videos or real time interaction with puppies, or kittens or any baby animal first thing in the morning before they did anything else. I mean, come on- right? (Completely agree!)

Thank you Astrid for taking time out of your busy days to share with us your story and creations, both of which are beautiful!

PS: Don’t forget to use ATILIAYDEAL at checkout to get 15% off of orders over $15!

Small Embroidered Geometric Necklace // By An Astrid Endeavor

{Small Geometric Bib Necklace available here}

An Astrid Endeavor

Gemstones Embroidered Brooches // By An Astrid Endeavor

{Embroidered gemstone brooches available here}

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