Jewelry Tuesday – Leah Ybarra

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Please welcome my next Jewelry Designer – Leah Ybarra. I hope you agree that her designs are fabulous too!

What inspired you to start creating jewelry? I took a beading class when I was a teenager and I loved it so much that I started buying more beads and teaching myself new techniques for making jewelry. In the beginning, I just wanted to make jewelry for myself, so it was a fun hobby.

How long have you been making money selling your jewelry designs?
I’ve been selling my jewelry for over five years, but it wasn’t very profitable at first. 🙂 You have to be able to buy in bulk to get good prices on raw materials, so the first couple years I spent way more money on supplies than I earned selling my work.

Is jewelry designing your only business? I also have a part time job.

Do you ever get in a slump in your creativity
? Yes, I think everyone does!

What do you do to get out of it?
I try to catch up on business stuff when I’m in a creative slump. I don’t enjoy the business side of owning my own business, so I try to look at creative slumps as opportunities to get caught up on paperwork and marketing. Usually after a couple days doing all the “job” stuff, I’m ready to get back to creating.

How do you sell your designs? I sell my work online in my etsy shop and also through galleries. I’ve sold my work at craft fairs in the past, but I’m taking a break from doing fairs right now. They can be a lot of work, you have to have a lot of display stuff to haul around, and I’m pretty busy being a mom to my four month old son, so I’m focusing on selling through shops, galleries, and the internet for now.

Do you have a blog? Yes

http://www.michondesign.com/jewelry-blog
/

Do you have a website? Yes

http://www.michondesign.com and http://michon.etsy.com

Where do you advertise other than your website and blog? I don’t do a lot of advertising, but I have gotten customers from social networking sites like myspace, by doing local craft shows, and applying to show my work in galleries.

What are your future plans?
I’d like to find a few more galleries and boutiques to carry my designs and grow my online business. I have lots of ideas for new designs, but right now it’s hard to find time to do everything that I want to since I have a baby, but I am really enjoying being a mom.

What advise would you give other jewelry designers?
Try to find your own voice. There are a lot of people making jewelry out there so it can be hard to stand out in a crowd – if there is something unique about what you do, it really helps you get noticed.

Leah has graciously offered to giveaway this gorgeous one of a kind pair of earrings made from argentium sterling silver, a tarnish-resistant type of sterling silver.

Please leave Leah a comment to win these silver argentium earrings. Winner will be chosen Wednesday at 7:30pm pacific time.