Thursday, 11 August 2011

Handmade Blog Feature: Jools to Drool Over by Sandra Mynard

One day while browsing around the "circles" and "Favorites" section of my Etsy dashboard, I came across a item by Jools to Drool over that someone in my circle had favorited. (Circles are little social groups on Etsy and when you are added to one or you add someone to yours you see all the items they like as they favorite them by clicking on the little heart icon in the corner of the item photograph.) 
Her store  transported me into the jewellery box of Marie Antoinette had she been alive today. Beautiful pastel colours abound, with florals,doves,gilt,sparkly crystals and pretty maidens. I immediately contacted her for a feature. This lovely modest lady was surprised! But i think you'll agree her work is beautiful,delicate and full of details that makes you want to explore her work again and again.....

Sandra has also had a piece featured on Polyvore for her new line Sweetie YumYum and is offering the first 25 followers to her blog a free piece of jewellery just email her on : Now for the feature on Jools to Drool over by sandra Mynard.
Black and white Cameo necklace for sale on and featured on Ployvore.
What inspired you to create Jools to drool over and where did the name come from?
The name Jools to Drool Over just came to me.I thought of using Jools as part of the shop name first and the added to drool over as to my thinking it would be memorable.In hindsight if i were choosing a name now it would be  more sedate and have the word vintage as part of it.I was in a hurry just to open up the shop.

Your jewellery's colour palette is very Marie Antoinette! I could see Kirsten Dunst wearing it. What inspired your use of vintage components,florals and your uplifting colour palette?
My first pieces of jewellery were ordinary to say the least.I would fall in love with different gemstones,buy them and them create something.However after a while I realised I needed to find a different direction in style and vintage was where it was at.
I,ve created collage necklaces which include pieces of vintage earrings,brooch, or necklace.Sometimes I take necklaces and broochs apart just to use pieces of them.
My choice of jewellery style came about because of the vintage retro influence that is being used in every area of fashion.I wanted to create something that nobody could copy exactly.Although I guess i,m doing that myself by copying a trend.
The colours I chose are mainly  pastel and girly looking as looking around at styles and fashion, pastel is definately in.The florals too are big and bright right now and there is a lot of choice in the range of vintage jewellery around, expecially floral.
Blue floral  collage necklace from Jools to Drool Over
I especially like the use of birds and maiden series that uses face cabouchons (Leaf Maiden in Flower Garden, Stars in her eyes, Face of Summer Garden.) What inspired those pieces?
Everyone is using birds in jewellery.I,ve used a couple in my designs but i,ve tried to be different in that regard. The idea of using cabouchon faces came to me while trying to do something different.I didn't realise that face broochs were "in" at one time.I don't profess to know anything much about vintage.I,ve learnt alot on Etsy seeing the vintage jewellery brands for sale and what they are worth.I,ve never heard of most of them to be honest!
Bridal necklace

Golden toned Face necklace

Stars in her eyes

Maiden in the summer garden necklace

The rosary necklace chains you make are exquisite.They really compliment the focal pieces.Why do you make them say over using plain chain?
The reason I make rosary chains using pearls , crystals ,some gemstones pastel coloured plastic beads that rather than add bought beaded or metal chain to my jewellery,I wanted an element I make myself just to show I could.

Your now exploring new selling avenues for your jewellery,creating new ranges ( Sweetie YumYum) and looking at craft markets.Could you tell me a little more about that and how it came about?
I am very fortunate that I have a great local craft fair and I,ve started listing on both Madeit a australian homemade everything selling venue as well as starting to list on The Sweetie YumYum line is more simple than Jools to Drool over and consists mainly of earrings and necklaces using up to date resin and lucite flowers.
I,ve also started a blog    and while I wasn't on facebook or twitter i,m starting to try and figure that out.
Burnt Orange lilly Earrings
What for you has been the most fulfilling part of creating your handmade business?
What for you has been the hardest part of creating your handmade business?
Creating a handmade business is the easy part.Selling is another kettle of fish.Just when you think you've excelled yourself with your latest creation you find that no one has looked at it (on etsy you can see how many times a piece has been viewed), or perhaps 3 people looked in the first couple of days.I remind myself that is probably the case for hundreds of etsians ,after all there are a heck of a lot of items on Etsy and jewellery especially is one of the most prolific items sold on there and everywhere else to.Still there is only one way to find out if your item is saleable and that is to jump in and swim!
As you go along if you didn't already have marketing savvy you will pick up how others photograph their items  effectively and how best to describe your item.

I often wish that Etsy provided stats as to what is selling on Etsy trendwise,how many,where it is selling and how people go about selling it.

As to what lights me up.Well it's always uplifting to know that someone admires my jewellery.I also enjoy friendly and uplifting convo's from other Etsians on anything.

I,ve had my share of downtimes when I wonder if i,m on the right track.But someones likes my jewellery enough more than a few.I,ve read about people becoming successful only to after trying various selling venues. My advive would be to never give up.
What tips do have for anyone else wanting to turn their passion/hobby into a handmade business be it on Etsy or another selling avenue?
I,m not sure I,m the best person to ask for advice, but I would say look at every venue where jewellery is sold,what they are selling and how they are selling it.Come up with a name that will typify your style of jewellery.Come up with a style and colour of photography that will identify your brand.

Who are your favorite etsians and why?
This lady's style of jewellery is very different and original
This lady's amazing creations made from recycled sweaters
this lady's felted wool creations

Find Sandra's ranges Jools to Drool over and SweetieYumYum at the following: and
Check out her blog which will also have handmade features on fellow Madeit artisans

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