Monday, August 26, 2013

Featured Artist: Billy Beads

Hi Sara! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Sara Mass and I am the owner of Billy Beads. I currently live in Galloway, NJ with my husband AJ, our 8 year old son Xander, and our crazy cat Crash.

How did you get started in your handmade business?
I started doing jewelry design in the early 90’s when I was introduced to some fabulous bead shops on Newbury Street in Boston.  I went on to take some jewelry design classes at the School of Visual Arts in NYC in the late 90’s.  We moved to the suburbs of New Jersey in 2002, I subsequently changed careers to interior design and my work became my creative outlet, so I took a break for about a decade from jewelry making.  After discovering Pinterest, my passion for jewelry design was reignited and I was encouraged by friends and family to pursue the idea of selling my creations.

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here?
Hmmmm, of course, I hope for success.  I love what I do from 9-5, but if my hobby could become my career, I’d be game for another career change!  I would love to continue to see my imagination come to life and make others happy wearing my designs.

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?
Not yet, but Billy Beads has only been around since November 2012 and the future seems bright!

What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
My bead board, the ridiculously bright bulbs I use and my iPad (can’t live without my Pandora channels!)

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened? 
Not sure it qualifies as a disaster but I have Krazy glued my fingers together…several times.

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?
I am a Facebook addict. I am a recovering Pinterest addict. I don’t pin as much as I used to since most of my spare time is spent making new pieces. I just started on Twitter. I’m just getting comfortable with it. Here is how to find me:

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?
Marketing is really critical for any small company, but sadly, I haven’t had much time to put into it.  My most effective method of marketing has been word of mouth.  Thankfully, I have lived in a lot of different places in my life and I have really supportive friends and family who wear my jewelry and tell everyone they know about it! 

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?
Each item in my shop is one of a kind.  I really hate to make the same thing twice, so I don’t have a top seller.  As for a favorite, it’s so hard to pick…I love them all!  I almost hate to part with them when they sell.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this necklace.

What is your favorite item from other shops on The CraftStar, with a link? What do you like about it?
Hats are one of my obsessions. I have way too many, yet I can always find more that I must have. This one is a must have!! I spend a lot of time outside in the winter for work and I try to look stylish while not freezing my butt off and I think this pretty little number would do the trick.

Thanks for taking the time to join us today Sara. We appreciate you taking time out of our busy schedule so that we could interview you. Happy sales! 

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