Craft Cafe Artisan Interview - Rhea's Renderings
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Meet LeAnne Ritter from Rhea's Renderings
♥ Please tell us about yourself:
I am a single mom to two beautiful black cats and one sweet little three-legged crazy ginger cat, all are rescues. I have been making jewelry for myself since I was a teenager. About 10 years ago I finally decided I needed a source of money for my serious bead habit, so I started selling my jewelry to friends and relatives. A few years ago I started selling online and I’m happy that I am still doing what I love. Unfortunately, I do have a full time job to pay the bills, but I still have time to make jewelry when I want. Other interests include going to the Monterey Jazz Festival every year for the past 15 years or so. I do some sewing as well, but jewelry is my first love.
♥ How long have you been in business?
I guess if you consider that the first earrings I made were for myself when I was a teenager, we’re looking at about 40 years now. (Yikes!) But I really didn’t start selling jewelry until about 15 years ago.
♥ Please describe your business:
I handcraft jewelry of all types. Creating special custom orders for my client is my favorite thing to do. I usually make my jewelry out of semiprecious gemstones and sterling silver, using wire wrapping when I can, and adding lots of Swarovski crystal for the bling factor. I also have branched out into some non-precious metal pieces to try to keep prices down so I can have a variety of pieces that fit every budget.
♥ Tell us what inspires you:
I am inspired by beautiful colors of nature and try to follow what’s trending, although I’m not always able to make myself do pieces that I don’t think are particularly lovely or would be something that you would want to wear after the season is over. What inspires me most is to find a unique focal bead or pendant and start from that point, designing something specific to that focal point.
♥ Please share with others, your best marketing techniques:
What has been most successful for me in the past is “up selling”, by offering matching bracelets or earrings with a necklace, or suggesting something that might look great with a particular piece.
♥ What do you love most about your business?
I love creating something new and fresh, I’m not very interested in copying another artist’s design but I do get inspiration for my own pieces from something that’s already been created sometimes. Taking an old or broken piece of jewelry that a customer wants to be re-created into something new is one of my favorite things to do.
♥ Please tell us why have chosen Craft Café as a venue for your business?
I’ve been so impressed by the Facebook group for Craft Café, all the artisans are so willing to help each other out and the Craft Café staff are always available and respond immediately to problems or questions. You don’t find that at all online sites these days. Plus I like that it’s new and fresh and has unlimited possibilities for success.
♥ What advice can you give for crafters/artisans just starting out?
Stay focused on your vision of your business. It usually starts out slow for most people, depending on how unique and in demand your product is. I have long periods of time in between sales, but it’s better when I take the time to really market myself and get online and get active in blogs and such to get your name and your shop name out there.
♥ Where do you see your business in 5 years?
As long as I am working my full time job, it’s hard for me to spend the necessary marketing time to really amp up my online sales, but I’d like to think that at some point I could do that and really have regular sales from my shop. I would like to continue to do some trunk showings as well, which helps to move inventory in between shop sales.
♥ Lastly, would you like to offer our readers a special or coupon code for your Craft Cafe shop?
Yes, I have added a coupon for 15% off all items in my Craft Cafe Shop that is good through the end of January 2013. Please use code 15percentoff
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We would like to send out a big THANK YOU to LeAnne for all her love and support.
Be sure to visit Rhea's Renderings soon ♥ ♥ Craft Cafe Shop / Facebook / Twitter