My name is Brenda Scott and I am a single mom of a teenage boy. We live in Victoria, British Columbia Canada where I own Follow My Heart Studio.
How did you get started in your handmade business?I have always been an artist. I started drawing horses even before I started school. I really love color so it was natural for me to progress to painting. The turning point for me was my 365 Days of ACEO project. From August 9, 2009 to August 10, 2010 I created an ACEO painting (2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches) each day for the full year. Every night before midnight I would post the painting on my blog and talk about the day’s creative process. (You can see the full blog at www.365daysofart.blogspot.ca).
Upon completing 365 paintings I discovered that just painting a picture wasn’t satisfying for me. After much thought, I realized that I prefer functional art over purely decorative art. I really liked the idea of creating jewelry from my art because it becomes an extension of your personality. It makes a statement about who you are and what you like.
I chose to create animal and nature jewelry because that’s what I love. I have a hard time finding beautiful and affordable animal jewelry. Most of the jewelry out there is either cheap bottle cap/scrabble tile pendants or super expensive precious metals and gems. The items that I could find that were affordable and of good quality were boring or more suited to my mother than to me. I want the jewelry that I wear to stand out and make a statement.
While my jewelry design is constantly evolving the main focus will remain animal or nature themed.
My hopes and aspirations for my store are to continue to expand on the variety of animals featured in my jewelry and to offer more choices in my product line including hair accessories and necklaces.
Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?No, I have not received any awards or recognition for my jewelry yet.
What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?The three tools that I could not live without are:
1. My computer – I use my computer for everything from designing new pieces, researching new techniques, photo editing for listings. It is also an integral part of my creation process. Each image that I use in my jewelry is scaled to size on my computer before being printed out to be affixed to the back of a glass cabochon.
2. My art supplies
3. My beading supplies
Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened?No, no disasters here. There have been items that didn’t turn out but nothing so drastic that I could call it a disaster.
How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you?The main social media sites that I use are:
How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?Marketing is extremely important for my business because I sell strictly online. I don’t do craft shows so in order for people to know about me I need to advertise and market my business. The most successful advertising I have done to date is a Targeted Ad for my facebook fanpage. In less than a week I went from 250 fans to over 1500 fans. Since this was a Target Ad that means the fans who liked my page did so because they liked the content.
What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?My top seller is the Black Labrador Retriever – it doesn’t matter what type of setting I use (pin, ring, earrings, pendant) my customers love that image. The second most popular image is the crow.
What are your favorite item from another shop on The CraftStar? What do you like about it?I love is this ACEO art card from Canadian Art Beats. I love the colours and the primitive look of the gekko. Plus it’s a gekko! Who doesn’t love geckos?