FuZing the Creative with the Consumer
Featured Artisan KJ Beads

By Handmade FuZion on 7:33 AM

Filed Under:

The Essential Elements by KJBeads

Handcrafted, often one of a kind jewelry
with a focus on handmade glass beads

Where are you located? On the edge. The edge of Chicago that is, in Niles , Illinois

How long have you been creating handmade items? My entire life. I have done cross stitching, rug hooking, crochet, macramé and other assorted crafts as a child. I think maybe my mother had that "idle hands, idle mind" thing going on. Either that, or she was trying desperately to raise five non-criminals and keeping me busy was part of her plan. Before jewelry, I was very into stamp art. I have now been creating jewelry for almost 11 years, however, I do believe my 2 boys will always be my greatest creation.

What type of products do you offer? I make earrings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets. If I can squeeze in some metalsmithing classes, I may add rings to that list. Most items are made using handmade lampwork or handmade venetian glass. You will also find, pearls, semi-precious stones and other beads. Again, as a stay at home mom, I try to make pieces that are affordable, yet unique. Things I would be willing to spend money on and would wear myself.

How did you decide on your company’s name? I was trying to incorporate the use of materials (stones, silver, etc) with the concept of jewelry being the thing that pulls a whole outfit together. After all, life is all about the accessories.

What is your motivation? I started with a hobby and grew into a business. Having something that is completely my own is wonderful. My escape from motherhood/homemaking and stress. Working for that hot tub never hurt either. 11 years and I'm still working on it. Of course, new furniture, car repairs and music lessons may have something to do with that. Truthfully, the materials motivate me. My weaknesses are glass, pottery and jewelry. To be able to use all three in my work is inspiring in itself. Ask my husband and you'll probably get an answer more along the lines of an excuse to feed a bead fetish. It is a compulsion!

What do you enjoy most about creating handmade items? The personal connection with the customer. Knowing people appreciate my work and know I stand behind it. Replacing that one lost earring or making the perfect piece for a prom or wedding is so satisfying. I love seeing that smile when I get it just right for someone. I have really embraced the whole "Buy Handmade" concept. Support independent business people and artists versus the big box giants is very satisfying.

Which items are your best sellers? Earrings are by far the biggest sellers, though you never know what will be the "hot" item from show to show. I do know the unique, handmade glass beads will always be popular.

How do you market your products? I have a mailing list of over 200 people. In an effort to go "green", I am trying to do more on line inviting and announcements. I have been placing more on line ads and cross promoting my shows with my on line ventures. I have a blog that captures my spirit and promotes other handmade artists in addition to my own work also.

What are your favorite features on Handmade Fuzion? I don't know that I have a favorite feature, per sea, but I really appreciate the variety and randomness of front page items. Once I familiarized myself with the navigation of the site, I was much more comfortable. If I could wish for anything it would be the continued improvement of the existing features. I find shoppers to be completely visual beings. I would like the visual aspect of listings and searches to continue to expand

Do you have any advice for other artisans? Never stop asking questions, trying new things and watching/learning. I am completely self taught, thus dependant on the advice of others. I try to pass it on every chance I get. Stick with it and have a positive attitude. The minute you think you know it all, have reached perfection or have nothing left to learn, it's over. Never stop pushing the limits.

0 comments for this post