Monday, December 16, 2013

Featured Artist: Calliopes Attic AND COUPON CODE!

 The CraftStar

The CraftStar Featured Artist

Calliopes Attic on The CraftStar

My Name Is Claudia Bruno:

I live in Boston with my husband Squid and countless animals that I rescue, foster and adopt out through my rescue group:
Calliopes Attic is jewelry supply shop. I only sell American made metals and mix the patinas from scratch- I do not use pre-made patinas from a jar.  Plated items are treated by metal platers the state of Rhode Island.
I have been free-lancing and running my own businesses for 15 years. Steampunk design and supplies "happened" to me in 2010.  I literally fell into it and my life has never been better!
I do have a 24/7 job and that is to be an animal rescuer.  I am afraid we do not punch clocks there. It also does not pay me a salary which is why my online business is so important.  It pays my bills and funds some of the rescue operations.  I love the internet!!!

I have three shops on The CraftStar!




Three Things You Probably Don't Know About Me:

a. I am the daughter of an Italian concert pianist who is close friends with Rupert Everett, the British actor.
b. I am terrified of wasps
c. I am fluent in 3 languages

What was the hardest thing about starting your new business?

Honestly, it was the easiest thing in the world. Going somewhere you hate for a paycheck was MUCH harder.

What's the best thing about being  a small business owner?

The freedom to make money in your pajamas while you bottle-feed an orphaned kitten.

What is a typical day for you?

Well, I serve on two different boards- the animal rescue and a condominium trust.  Aside from packaging orders, running to the post office and replying to customers emails, I also run constantly back and forth to vet offices, local humane societies, do TONS of litterbox scooping, administer medications to elderly cats and kittens, deal with volunteers.  I sit on board meetings for the condo trust, deal with construction crews and city ordinances... oh, yeah! And I hang around chemicals and torches late at night to get the metal ready for the patinas.  I go through three coffee makers a year, by the way...

But there is always time for my husband!

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do
you see yourself going from here?

I pride myself in offering great and unique components because I am a designer myself and know exactly what is hot and what is unique.  I see myself being one of the largest Steampunk and Neo Victorian suppliers. I currently do a lot of business working with designers all over the world.  I hope to grow my inventory and to come up with finishes that are always different and unique.  I would never sell you something I do not use myself!

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?

Yes, my designs were featured in Boston Magazine, and when I was a photographer, my work was used by the Paul Getty Museum Conservation Institute. With my animal rescue group, we were featured on Animal Planet's show Cats 101, Domestic Long Hair episode.

What are three items in your workspace that you could not live without?

Coffee, candy, chaos

What marketing/advertising methods have worked well for you?

Funny, actually the blog (which I never update) has worked for me in the past. Also

The best marketing ploy I ever did- no lie- was to include candy with every order.  I actually have had customers tell me that they would rather shop with me even if a competitor offers the same item because they get a sweet snack in the mail.  It's the little things that matter. I never forget that behind an internet transaction is a real person (with a possible sweet tooth).

I use facebook primarily for business. I post new things daily.

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?

Necklace blanks go like hot cakes!! My favorite designs are the Neo Victorian/Art Nouveau stampings.

What are your  favorite items from other shops on The CraftStar?

I LOVE the Bra-Zing!!!!!!!!!  I had no idea it was Bethan Davies's shop but it makes plenty of sense!  It is so creative and unique.

My buddy Rhonda Green of Steampunk Beadery:

 Steampunk Beadery

Post a Comment