Monday, May 20, 2013

Featured Artist: Happy Everything

Hi Carol! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us about yourself!
My name is Carol Smith and I am the owner of Happy Everything. I live in a little town in northeastern Oklahoma about 17 miles from the Kansas line. You might have heard of it, Bartlesville, OK home of Frank Phillips, founder of what is now Conoco-Phillips. I live in the country on 30 acres with my very understanding husband Gary. We have five grandchildren Ethan 10, Benjamin 7, Oliver 6, Max 3, and Harper 2 (the only girl, for now). My wonderful daughter is expecting her fourth child in October. Her boys, Ethan, Ben and Max all want a baby sister, Max says "Because I always want to be your baby boy!" We also have three pasture ornaments Buck, Bo and Bud (quarter horses that we no longer ride because we don't make the time to), two Angus calves (What's for Dinner and Hamburger), two dump cats Ki Ki and Calico (cats that someone dumped at our house) and Ki Ki's three baby kittens she just had, two chocolate labs, Jake and Millie. Oh, I forgot to mention the neighbor's dogs who think they live here, Bella, Lily, Jack and Elsie!

How did you get started in your handmade business?
I have been doing something with my hands for all my life. My grandmother taught me to crochet, my Mama taught me to knit, school taught me to sew, I taught myself to needlepoint and cross stitch, and I have been playing with beads and jewelry making for 30 years. My handmade business started when my daughter suggested I try selling my earrings at a local downtown gift shop on consignment. Scared to death, because I am quite shy, I went to the owner and asked if she would be interested in selling some of my handmade holiday earrings in her shop. She was quite thrilled and now we have quite a profitable relationship! I opened a shop on another site first in June 2011. Then, happily I discovered TheCraftstar, so many warm, friendly, encouraging people.  I love being part of TheCraftStar family!

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
My hope for my shop is just to be able to create new designs that will excite people and earrings everyone enjoys wearing. I really just want to stay in the middle of the road and have the freedom to do the things I enjoy doing when I am not making earrings.

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?
I have experienced some major accomplishments with my consignment earrings, I have quite a following at the shop, people are always calling the shop to see if I have brought new earrings. That is truly a wonderful feeling. I did acquire a wholesale account through QVC called the Quacker Factory. It was just going to be 20 to 25 earrings per design, then it turned into, "Can you make 50 pair of this design and when can we expect delivery, a couple of weeks?" It was too much, I found myself eating and sleeping at my work desk!

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without?
The three tools I cannot work without are my needle nose and round nose pliers, my wire cutters, and my box. What is my box you ask? My box is where I lay my tools when I am working because I have such a small work area, there is no room to lay my tools except my box!

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened? 
I can't say if I have ever had a craft disaster. I am sure I have over the years, I just don't remember. Thank goodness for early onset dementia! I have had several frustrating design experiences. I was trying to wire wrap Swarovski crystals to a teardrop connector I hammered flat. I would get almost to the end of the project, and my wire would break. Ugh! I went through almost half a coil of sterling silver filled wire, and decided to lay it down for a while. That was 3 months ago!

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
No. I do have a Facebook page that I never pay attention to: Bethan, the CEO of TheCraftStar, emailed me once and asked if I had a Twitter account, I answered and said "No", then she emailed me and said "Come on, get with the times!" I guess it's just something I am not very interested in.

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
I don't do any marketing, guess I should. Supposedly, that's why I got a Facebook page, but I never really understood how the stupid thing works! I need to call someone's teenager and have them show me how to use Facebook and all that other stuff.

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
All of my earrings are my favorite! This week though, my favorite earrings are the painted bird garden cameo with lucite flowers!

What are your 2 favorite items from other shops on TheCraftStar, with links? What do you like about them?
My two favorite shops are Island Girl Expressions and her gorgeous Seeds of Change Necklace and DLC Glass Studio and this awesome multi-colored bowl.

Thank you for taking the time to join us today Carol. We appreciate you putting aside a bit of your day to tell everyone about you, your company, and your favorite site items. 

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