Tag: jewelry

Getting To Know – Iveth Morales of The Angry Weather

The Refuge NecklaceThe Getting To Know series features interviews with makers, artists, designers and small business owners at all different stages of their careers. I’m always interested in how other adventurers in the world of creative entrepreneurship run their businesses, get inspired and how they got started in the first place.

Iveth Morales is the spirited silversmith behind The Angry Weather. Her delicate nature-inspired designs are the perfect way to express your own weather within. Let’s meet Iveth:

Iveth Morales The Angry WeatherHi Iveth! To start with, I’d love to know a little bit about you and your business. 

My name is Iveth Morales and I love to make shiny things. I started making jewellery more than 10 years ago but it wasn’t until 2010 when I launched my first collection and started selling my jewellery online.

How did you get started designing jewelry?

It all started in Mexico: I got very into bead and wire jewellery (I love rocks and minerals). At first it was a hobby then I started selling it to my co-workers. I enjoyed this first approach to jewellery very much but I always felt I needed to make more and with the techniques I knew there was always something missing. Then I move to Canada and enrolled myself in metalsmith classes. With this new knowledge I obtained so much of the creative freedom I was looking for and eventually developed my first collection.

il_fullxfull.410053475_qinmYou grew up in Mexico before moving to Canada. How does culture influence your work? 

Tremendously but maybe not in the most obvious ways. The influence my native country has on me works from the deepness of my heart in the forms of memories, the love for my family and from the land. Many of my pieces are inspired by it, like my Rocks and Mountains collection for instance. I made these pieces thinking on my years living in northern Mexico, where deserts and mountains are part of a landscape that makes me so happy every time I see or think of it.

What’s the story behind the name “The Angry Weather“?

I always find myself mindlessly drawing clouds, little houses, raindrops. When I started in metal construction, the first things I made were weather-related pieces of jewellery and this is when I developed my first collection. The name came naturally afterwards as a way to describe what I was making. As newly arrived to Canada (I was born and raised in Mexico) I was also very impressed with the weather here, the drastic seasonal changes and of course, the snow!

Angry Weather Studio

What do you love about running your own business?

Being able to give wings to my creativity, to do what I love, to being able to fulfill the need of expressing myself through jewellery. Also, I love to have the freedom to do whatever I want on any given day!

What do you find the hardest? 

To remind myself that sometimes I need to catch a breath or have a bite to eat. To put myself a schedule. It’s easy to really neglect your basic needs when you get so into the work you are doing. Also, one of the hardest parts is not having a steady income source.

What’s your best-selling item? Which is your favourite item?

My best selling item is my Lightning bolt stud earrings and of course they’re one of my faves! I have so many favourites to be honest, but if I have to pick one it may be the Refuge necklace. This necklace is one of my most loved pieces and it means so much to me.

Etsy Roadtrip The Angry WeatherYou’re a very active in the Etsy community. Any tips for being a successful Etsy seller?

I think one of the most important things of being part of any community, is to get involved. With Etsy it happens the same way: the more you reach out and connect yourself with other creative folk the more you’ll learn about the business of making your work known and accessible for potential customers. What I consider to be one of the biggest advantages of Etsy is the TEAMS. Etsy teams are such a big part of Etsy’s heart and I’m lucky I discovered it early on my Etsy adventures. I’ve been so lucky as to meet so many amazing people through Teams that have help me grow by giving support, promotion, advice and friendship. So my advice for those new Etsy sellers trying to find their way to their potential customers would be: create a cohesive product that reflects you and to be proud of it; join a team, get involved with your community and enjoy the ride!

Angry Weather Cards

How do you feel about social media? Do you have any tips for balancing the demands of all the different platforms?

Social media is key for me and probably for most artisans, makers, artist, crafters trying to sell their work online. My tips here are quite simple and honestly based on my lack of multitasking skills, so they are not for everyone!

I have a similar mindset for social media as I have when making a piece of jewellery: I strive to give the person on the other side of the screen or the person that buys one of my pieces something that they won’t easily forget, so it’s quality not quantity. I try to make every one of my social media channels relevant, but I can’t put the same attention on all of them without neglecting the creative part of my business, so I focus on giving attention to the one I like the most or the one I’m better at it. I guess it’s all about priorities and focussing on what you do best or on what you enjoy the most.

Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. In my family, a trip, a smile, in a sunny day, in the breeze, in a memory, a story, a feeling, a book, a song and so on. I am easily captivated.

Angry Weather Packaging

Who are 3 makers / artists you admire?

I’m always inspired and amazed by all the creative folk around so picking just three would be hard but let me try. One of my local favourites is Noemiah: I admire Noemie’s creative power to transform herself and her work. Her style is consistently stunning and very recognizable. I admire Bookhou: Arounna is a super woman and one of the most hard working people I know. She has an unstoppable creative power! Sandra Juto is also on my list, I admire how she seamlessly puts together the things she loves/creates so cohesively, her creative endeavors become an inspiring lifestyle.

What does your ideal Saturday look like?

Waking up late, eating blueberry crepes, watching movies with my family and having something delicious for dinner that I didn’t cook! Also, kudos if we managed to stay in PJ’s all day 😉

What is the biggest business lesson you’ve learned so far?

Believe in what you do!

Treat Yourself:

The Angry Weather Shop

Connect With Iveth:

Blog: Mademoiselle Cranky Pants

Facebook: The Angry Weather

Instagram: @theangryweather

Twitter: @TheAngryWeather

Video Credit – making of: The Refuge Necklace – Ricardo Meade from MAL DE OJO

Getting To Know – Viktorija Semjonova of Andsmile Studio

Andsmile Interview - Craft is in my blood

The Getting To Know series features interviews with makers, artists, designers and small business owners at all different stages of their careers. I’m always interested in how other adventurers in the world of creative entrepreneurship run their businesses, get inspired and how they got started in the first place.

Like quirky illustrations? Think Wes Anderson is a genius? In need of some visual inspiration? Then you will love Andsmile! Viktorija Semjonova, the super-talented artist behind the brand, is a must-follow on Instagram and deserves piles of Etsy hearts. Let’s get to know her:

Victorija of Andsmile

Hi Viktorija! To start with, I’d love to know a little bit about you and your business.

My name is Viktorija and I’m the person behind Andsmile. I’m a Latvia-born and London-based illustrator and maker. AndSmile is a quirky brand, specialising in novelty brooches and paper goods (prints & postcards), and also offers custom illustration services.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an illustrator? 

Since I was a small child, all I wanted to do was draw, make stuff and imagine things. But at the age of 14, I was reading a book by one of my favourite authors, E.T.A Hoffmann, and saw the most beautiful illustration. It moved me so deeply that all I could think about was that I wanted to become an illustrator.

Andsmile Brooches

What’s the story behind the name “Andsmile”?

I find it very hard to express myself in words and using my name for a brand was out of question (it’s too complicated and people rarely remember it) so the only idea I had was that I wanted to make people happy, to make them smile when they would see quirky brooches and colourful drawings, so hence the name.

Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations and products?

A lot of my illustrations are based on popular culture – Wes Anderson films, some tv shows, artists and musicians. Also, a big part of my work features my imaginary friends – like Party Fox or Panda with balloons, they all have stories, hobbies, families and their own lives.

Andsmile Watercolour

Do you have a favourite medium to work with?

Watercolour is my absolute favourite! It’s so much fun and a little unpredictable.

Andsmile Frida Brooch

What’s your best-selling item? Do you have a favourite?

My absolute best-selling item is the Frida brooch. She’s travelled all over the world! My favourite item is always the one I am working on, I get very excited about current work.

What does your typical work day look like?

My work day starts with a cup of delicious, gorgeous coffee, while I write down my to do list for the day. Then I pack orders, reply to emails, do a post office run and get busy with commissioned work, wholesale orders, working on new products or whatever else needs to be done that day. Plus some social media squeezed in between (I am not very strict with planning though).

Andsmile Studio

What do you love about running your own business?

The freedom to say no. The opportunity to stay true to yourself and your values.

What do you find the hardest?

Taking time off. There is always another thing which needs tweaking, something else which needs to be done, another email to be answered…

Andsmile Sketchbook

How do you feel about social media? Do you have a preferred platform?

I am an instagram addict, I love this visual platform so much! It’s a perfect place to share and to meet people. I really enjoy using all social media outlets but instagram in particular. Probably because so much of my time is spent working alone in the studio, I enjoy it even more and treasure the opportunity to connect with like minded people!

Your products can be found in online and brick & mortar shops around the world. Do you have any tips for getting started in wholesale?

My main tip would be to make sure your pricing works, that you are getting your fair share and making money and that your fabulous stockists are getting a good percentage for all their hard work.

Andsmile Shrink Plastic

Do you have any secrets to balancing business and life while working from home?

Absolutely not! I really would love to but I find it very hard. However, I am working on improving my life/work balance. This year I am taking at least one day off a week and trying to treat my body to occasional exercise, both of those things boost creativity, help me to think more clearly and be more productive.

What would your perfect day off look like?

Waking up to a cup of coffee and freshly baked cinnamon roll, then take a forest or beach walk/cycle, visit an exhibition/book/stationery shop or have a market stroll, warm food, a nice magazine/book/film and some snuggles with my partner. So pretty much all things nice in one day please!

Andsmile Motivational Prints

If you could give someone just starting out on their creative business journey some advice, what would you say?

I wish I was in a position to give someone advice but I feel that I’m in the very beginning of this creative journey myself! But if I could give advice to myself in the past, I would say – do what you love, believe in yourself and stay positive, keep going no matter what, and (very important) be nice to people!

Treat Yourself To Some Andsmile

Andsmile Shop

Connect With Viktorija

Instagram – @andsmilestudio

Twitter – @andsmilestudio

Facebook – Victorija’s Illustration

Blog – Andsmile Blog

Pinterest – Andsmile Studio