Shop Talk: OnceAgainSam

1 Nov

One of the great things about Etsy sellers is how generous so many of them are. I first heard of OnceAgainSam through a friend’s blog, Homemade by Jen. OnceAgainSam was doing a giveaway through the blog — the winner’s choice of leather earrings.

I couldn’t decide between three, and I turned to Jaclyn1423’s trusty Facebook fans to help. I was leaning toward to particular pairs, and every suggestion was for one of those two pairs. Peer pressure encouraged me to go with my original favorite pair, and I received them in the mail last week. The shipping time, it’s worth noting, was incredibly quick.

 

My new earrings! Want a pair? Click on the image to see them in the Etsy shop OnceAgainSam. Only $8!

 

I wore the earrings to work today, and I absolutely adore them. They’re bigger than I thought they’d be, which is a good thing , and they’re softer than I thought possible, and they hang from sterling earwire.

I’m certainly bookmarking OnceAgainSam for my Christmas gifts; not only are her designs incredible, but her prices are oh-so reasonable.

She agreed to do a Shop Talk with Snap, Crackle, Pop. So meet Sam (the shop owner’s initials) from Greenville, S.C.

How did you get started making jewelry? I got started making jewelery about two years ago because it seemed like the kind of hobby that doesn’t make a huge mess or take up a lot of space. I’m a professionally trained fine artist, but without a studio to work in at the moment, I had to think about what I could make in the space I had (a 30×48-inch drafting table). I got the idea to make leather jewelry, my focus, when I realized how many leather upholstery samples I had accumulated over the years. I’ve been at the right place at the right time on more than one occasion when interior design libraries no longer wanted these samples, so I rescued them from the trash to give them new life once again.

The texture in your pieces is amazing. What inspires you? The texture of the leather jewelry is gorgeous all on its own. I don’t do anything to the material other than cut it and punch holes for hardware. All I have to do is decide if the leather would look best as a pair of earrings, bracelet, ring. I can’t go wrong because the material itself is amazing.

Tell me about the favorite item in your shop. The items I favor most in my shop are the Once Again Sam signature amoeba flower earrings (Snap Crackle Pop says: Those are the ones I got!). Not only is the shape of the earrings the same as my logo, but there are endless color combinations, and they look fun and chunky but they weigh nothing. I love big jewelry but not the feeling of my earlobes being tugged on.

What are some of your favorite things you’ve ever purchased on Etsy? My favorite Etsy purchase (actually my husband purchased it for me — he’s great at picking up hints!) was a necklace with a silver anatomical heart pendant by Blue Bayer Design NYC. It’s so weird and industrial, totally up my alley. Plus, I don’t know how to cast metal, so it’s magical to buy something handmade from someone with a totally different skill set and access to materials than I do.

Anatomical heart pendant by Blue Bayer Design NYC

You’ve seen some incredible success in such a difficult-to-crack Etsy category: jewelry. What are some tips you can offer to other jewelry sellers (like me!)? It sure was tough to get started on Etsy. Believe me, after the first three months and almost no sales, I wanted to close up shop and pout. But I hung in there, and for some reason my sales started picking up. I tried new materials like needle felting to diversify my offerings. I think my prices are appealing, which has probably helped me move up, and I intend to keep it that way. I love a good find, so I want people to have that same rush when they discover a good find at a reasonable price in my shop. Plus, I’d rather make more frequent “smaller” sales than one “big” sale every now and then. I guess my only advice is to just make things you love. Don’t make what you think will sell because if it doesn’t, you’re stuck with it. Make something you wouldn’t mind NOT selling.

Have you looked through OnceAgainSam? What’s your favorite item in her shop? There are a ton of things I like, including this awesome leather and bling ring.

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One Response to “Shop Talk: OnceAgainSam”

  1. Jen November 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Great Shop Talk!

    As you know, I love EVERYTHING in the OnceAgainSam shop! 🙂

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