Tell us a little bit about yourself
Collecting sea glass has been a passion of mine since I can remember. Walking the Cape Cod shores looking for that coveted blue piece was exciting and rewarding as a child. It still is. I now take these treasures and create both classic and contemporary jewelry designs with sea glass and sterling silver. Sea glass jewelry has become very popular. After being asked to make jewelry for friends and family I decided to make it a full time thing. Liliana Designs was born out of a love for creating sea glass jewelry. It’s my way of sharing an appreciation of nature’s magical ability to take something discarded and turning it into a thing of beauty!
My sea glass collection is quite extensive. All of the sea glass I use in my jewelry is authentic. My custom designs are created by supporting the customers vision of the perfect jewelry object using their own special sea glass or choosing pieces from my colorful collection.
I live in the vibrant coastal town of Scituate Massachusetts that has interesting maritime and cultural history. The people in this community are friendly and engaging. I work out of my home studio which is right outside Scituate Harbor a little south of Boston and near Cape Cod. On days when the weather cooperates you’ll find me out kayaking along these and nearby shores of New England collecting sea glass and enjoying being out on the ocean.
Why did you start an Etsy shop?
I have been making jewelry for many years and was planning to set up a shopping cart on my website. I remembered an old colleague telling me about ETSY and how she loved buying handmade jewelry there, so I thought I should check it out. I was just beginning to do custom orders and figured I should explore the possibilities on ETSY. I set up my shop as soon as I visited ETSY in 2009. Everything was in place except the products. I didn’t start listing anything for several months. I guess I wasn’t convinced it was worth the effort. I did some research and discovered it was definitely cost effective to have an ETSY shop rather than a shopping cart due to the small numbers of pieces I expected to list. So I got started late in 2009. It has been a wonderful experience! I now post custom orders listed on ETSY for people who are willing to use PayPal and have a few made to order items listed along with one of a kind pieces. It’s been an ongoing journey learning the process of keeping the artist alive while working on improving sales. ETSY seems to have a star role at the moment in maintaining that balance for me.
What does your typical day look like?
I roll out of bed at 6:30 and put the water on for coffee – a critical first step in getting my day started. I make lunches and breakfast and drive the kids to school – My husband works out of a sweet outbuilding he built in the back yard so we usually get to have a tea break later in the day. I check my email and respond to any queries from the evening before and then I check out my Facebook page. I try to post something once a week, but know it would be most effective if I posted once or more a day. If I am not careful I spend a most of the morning on the computer checking out Twitter and looking for different ways to promote my shop. I try to upload photos with lots of key words in the file as a way to get Google search results to find my website, business listings and ETSY shop. I get at least one click a day from me :) I then mail any orders that have been completed and get back to my home studio to work on any pending orders. On days where my plate needs to be filled a little, I experiment with new design ideas. It’s in these moments that I am most inspired. I find myself wanting to always challenge myself and create something new so much of what I do is one-of-a-kind. Even the made to order pieces end up being one of a kind because of the shape, size and color of the sea glass I work with. I try to photograph my work and get it up onto my ETSY shop but truth be told… – that is my biggest challenge. I believe that is where this group comes in for me. I am looking for ways to engage and be engaged in the process of selling on ETSY and to help promote my fellow sea going designers!
What is your favorite item in your shop?
I am delighted at how popular my sea glass stacking rings and the matching sterling silver textured rings have become since I introduced them last year. They are my absolute favorites and number one seller. I have so much fun creating them. The process of making these rings is what excites me. I get to use my torch and my hammer in one sitting! I create the sterling silver bands and spend time hammering and texturing each one. I then choose a select piece of sea glass for the made to order sea glass stacking ring and wrap fine silver bezel wire around the piece. I solder the bezel and sterling silver back plate to cradle the sea glass. I then solder the setting to the ring and do the finish filing, sanding and polishing. I love to see the ring come to life with the glint of shiny polished silver against the rough, pitted, sea tumbled and textured sea glass! What a gorgeous combination.
What would you like the other team members to know about you?
I am a web designer and have a photography background. I do both things professionally but am trying to spend more time on my jewelry. I am motivated but for some reason I haven’t been incredibly efficient on my ETSY shop as I’ve mentioned. I am really excited about the prospects of working with this ETSY team and hope I can contribute to and learn from all of you! I’m really delighted to be welcomed in! I look forward to reading other people’s interviews to get a small glimpse into the lives of my artsy maritime friends!