Craft Cafe Artisan Chat - Bent Tree Crafts

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Meet Bridgett Howard from Bent Tree Crafts

Please tell us about yourself: 
I worked in the corporate world for my entire career, in the technology industry, and I have a degree in computer science.  Once I had my two sons, I decided to be a stay at home mom to be with them.  I was looking for a fun hobby, and I have always been a crafty person so I decided to take a jewelry making class and I was hooked.  I love making bracelets and that is what I mostly sell in my shop.  I also love photography, taking pictures of the beautiful scenery we have here in Colorado, and of course pictures of my two wonderful sons and husband.

How long have you been in business?
 3.5 years

Please describe your business:
In my shop you will find mostly casual, bohemian style jewelry.  Mostly bracelets because that is what I love making and wearing.  My jewelry is perfect for everyday wear; for moms on the go, like me, that want to add a little bit of fun to their jeans and t-shirts!

♥ Tell us what inspires you:
The colors in Nature.  I am an earthy and simple kind of girl so I love using natural colors and materials with some brightness every now and then.  Bohemian, and beach items also inspire me; I would have been the ultimate hippie if I grew up in the 60s and 70s.  Also, living in Colorado and having 4 seasons makes for great inspiration, especially late spring and fall.

Please share with others, your best marketing techniques:
Social Media has been the best marketing tool for me.  Being an online-based business, using social media sites, really is the key method to get your name out there.  I find that Facebook is one of the best marketing tools I have used so far.
I don’t really have a budget for marketing so taking advantage of free sites on the internet like blogging and sharing things on Facebook and Pinterest are great too!
I also believe having crisp, clear photos that show the details and colors of your items are important.  When purchasing something online, since you can’t pick it up and touch it or try it on, you really need to see the item at different angles and in different lighting.  Words can describe a product, but a good quality, detailed photo can make all the difference.

What do you love most about your business?
 I like the fact that making jewelry is my hobby and I love doing it so it does not feel like work to me, its fun.

Please tell us why have chosen Craft Café as a venue for your business?
First off, I was impressed at the pricing for selling on Craft Café it is very reasonable.   Secondly, I have been even more impressed with the management of Craft Café and how they truly support their sellers and try to help the shops promote their business through social media, and through contests and such.  You just don’t find companies that have such great customer service very often, so when I find one, I like to stick with them.

What advice can you give for crafters/artisans just starting out?
Do something you love that way it does not feel like work.  I have gotten discouraged in the past and almost given up, but I keep going and making jewelry.  It takes a while to get established online, to get your name out there, so don’t give up.  Not everyone will like what you make and that is ok as long as you like what you do and you are happy with it.  Just be confident in yourself and your abilities and that is all you need to be successful.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I don’t plan on trying to make it big as a jewelry designer.  I just do it for fun, and to pay for my hobby.  I would like to participate in a few craft fairs in the next few years.  A few goals I have for myself, in the next 5 years, are to learn more about working with leather and possibly taking some metal working classes.

Lastly, would you like to offer our readers a special or coupon code for your Craft Cafe shop?
Sure!  Use code: CCBLOG during checkout at my Craft Cafe Shop and receive 20% off your purchase!  {Expires 4/30/13}

♥ ***PLEASE NOTE: Craft Cafe is experiencing cart issues at this time. If you would like to order from Bridgett, please message her directly from her shop with your order and she will be happy to send you an invoice. {Don't forget to mention the coupon code}

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We would like to send out a big THANK YOU to Bridgett for all her love and support.

Be sure to visit Bent Tree Crafts soon ♥ ♥ Craft Cafe Shop / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Pinterest / Wanelo

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