Friday 31 August 2012

Tea and a Chat: Aimer le Terre

Hello!  Good to see you, the kettle’s just boiled – what would you like to drink?  
I would love a cup of Earl Grey, please. 

So, tell us a bit about yourself and your business. 
My name is Julianne, I am a self-taught artist who has been creating jewelry from ceramic, porcelain, Polymer clay and glass for over twenty years.  It’s hard for me to believe that I have been creating for so many years, each day of creating I learn something new!  My Etsy shop is Aimer Le Terre Jewelry; my creations at this time are from ceramic and porcelain.  My jewellery designs are inspired by nature, I love to mix earthy colors with unique shapes and textures.  

What inspired you to start your creative business? How did it all begin? 
I actually started creating beads and crosses from polymer clay after losing a baby in my eight month of pregnancy. It was a therapeutic hobby, and one that I took naturally to.  A friend fell in love with my designs and began placing wholesale orders for beads and jewellery components that I made from polymer clay.  Then, one day polymer clay just wasn’t enough…. I have always loved the look and feel of glass, ceramic and porcelain, so I bought some how-to books, watched some YouTube videos and taught myself how to work with those mediums.   There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have my hands in clay, honestly, working with porcelain clay is my favorite!

How has your business changed and developed since it started?
Since starting my business in 1995 things have changed dramatically! Being introduced to FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest and Etsy I have found myself in an online wonderland!  I am a huge believer in social networking, and have created a team on Etsy that focuses on teaching new online sellers how to promote their shops through online sites.  I have two jewellery shops, my first was created in 1995 and is Hippie Chic Jewelz, and this shop hosts all of my polymer clay and glass lamp work creations.  In 2011 I decided to venture into a more “Green” and “earth friendly” shop and created Aimer Le Terre “Love the Earth” jewelry, made from ceramic, porcelain and lead free glazes.  One of the highlights of my artistic career was having my jewellery featured in the February 2012 issue of Tack N Togs magazine, an amazing feeling! 

What are the main ways you promote your business?  Which methods have been the most successful for you?
 I love FaceBook and Pinterest!  In my honest opinion, the best way to promote your artwork is to utilise both sites!   I can also say that blogging is very important as well, and not just featuring your own work, but work of other artists.  I have learned that promoting other artists on my blog and other online accounts is crucial for my business.  By promoting others it offers a whole new audience to your work, it’s a win-win situation.   

What’s your workspace like?  Can we have a sneak peek?  And do you have any workspace organisation tips for the rest of us? 
My workspace is pretty organised!  I would love to share a photo of my workspace with you!  My biggest tip for workspace organisation is to always put your materials away when you leave your work space, even if you are not finished with your project. I have found that if I leave things out on my workspace it’s an invitation for a mess that I won’t want to clean later. By keeping your workspace clear and clean, you can sit down and feel ready to create something spectacular and not have to search for items that have been misplaced or weren’t put away.  

Julianne's workspace

What are the best and worst bits of running your business?
The best part of my business is the many new and wonderful friends I make on a daily basis. I couldn’t ask for a better career, creating jewelry and selling online has led me to some of the best friendships with people all over the world!   The worst part of any business I feel would have to be the current economy, there are good days and then there are days with no sales. 

What other small (or not-so-small) creative businesses do you admire? 
I truly admire small businesses that make soaps and cosmetic related items. I am a girly-girl and I LOVE anything that smells good or enhances your natural beauty!  I tried my hand at making soap, let’s just say that it’s better left to those who know what they are doing!  I had a huge gooey mess with my first few attempts; my thought there is that if at first you don’t succeed, soap making is not for you! (Well, that is true for me!)

What tips can you give to others who run (or hope to run) a small creative business?
Never give up on your dream, there will be tough times in your business but if you persevere and believe in yourself you can make your business a success!  Remember that it takes time and an abundance of hard work, most of that work is social networking and it can be very time consuming but also very worth every minute you put into it!

What are your hopes, plans or ambitions for the future? 
My hope for my future is to be able to support my family through my business earnings. Along with that is also to teach my children my craft and that one day I can pass my business down to them.

Finally, where are the places we can find you online if we want to partake in a little friendly cyber stalking? 

Etsy shop - 40% off coupon code:  lovetheearth

Thanks so much for stopping by – it was so nice to be able to take the time to chat with you!
I really enjoyed my tea with you, thank you so much! 


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me! Your blog is simply wonderful and I enjoy your delightful articles!

Wishing you all the very best!

Aimer Le Terre

Wendy said...

You're more than welcome Julianne - lovely to be able to feature you x