Etsy or bust – the journey begins


Once upon a time I did have an Etsy store, but it didn’t take off. I am kind of glad it didn’t.

It was around my second year in grad school and I was trying to galvanize on my jewelry-making skills. I was happy to a have a few techniques at hand and some bouts of inspiration. I made a few creations that I thought were neat and sort of quirky and could have selling potential. But after a couple months with a small inventory on Etsy, frustration with photography, and very little response, I decided I really couldn’t justify the monthly listing fee, no matter how small. I also had much bigger things on my plate, i.e., my thesis.

Looking back, I realized one of the big problems was that while I started developing a signature style, I wasn’t really designing for anyone, much less myself. In fact, not for myself at all. Would I wear these things? Probably not. In the last few weeks, I took out some of the pieces I created all those years ago and just thought “I could do better than that!”

In any case, even if an order ever did get placed, I would have been ill prepared, because I didn’t have an idea on how to package any of these things! And figuring out the shipping? Ugh, the shipping…

So now we are starting anew.

I sometimes tell my friends that the reason why we get a PhD is because we do become Doctors of Philosophy. Aside from our love of wisdom, we spend a lot of time asking ourselves a lot of soul-searching questions:

Why am I here, in front of the electron microscope at 1 AM? Who the heck thought of this nearly impossible experiment? Why don’t I have a real job like a normal human being?

This, like many of our other skills, can be applied easily to other areas outside our specialized fields:

When would anyone wear something that looks like this? How much packaging do I need to make sure things don’t break? Why don’t I have a real job like a normal human being?

One of the major hurdles I had to overcome was being able to take pride in my own designs. I was proud of being self-taught and creating very original, self-thought-up designs, but after some time I didn’t care for what I made and wanted better ideas. I heard a quote once along the lines of “People are people through other people”, which I have taken to heart, because my own style solidified not by remaining a hermit but rather by opening up and seeing what everyone else was up to. Boy, was I dumb, but I managed to beat my pride down and open up.

At the beginning, I was wondering how creative of a DIY-er I was if I was just copying stuff that others presented in their tutorials and whatnot. In the end, just like with my research, by doing the things that people before me had done, I slowly built up to the new things I could all my own (you may know this as “fake it till you make it”).

So, with that out of the way, here are some of my new creations!


They’re still works-in-progress, mainly because I was running low on chains and findings to complete everything, but here’s a close-up of some of the pieces.

First and foremost, Blumen! (German for “Flowers”, pronounced like it’s spelled.) A pain in the bum to make, but a very pretty pain in the bum, indeed.

Remember my recent obsession with using nail polish for pretty shiny things? It’s taking over!!!

I think Blumen will be a signature piece, meaning I’ll have plenty of opportunities to figure out how to make them more efficiently O_o

Additionally, I was able to give a home to leftover supplies.

Delta. Leftover sequin tubes have their revenge!

Delta. Leftover sequin tubes have their revenge!

Tiger Eye.

Tiger Eye.

It. Is. Happening.


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