Monday, July 21, 2014

The CraftStar Featured Artist: Island Girl Expressions

Welcome to Island Girl Expressions where you will find beautiful handmade jewelry in silver, bronze, copper and steel. Take a look at my personalized keepsake collection called Everlasting Prints. These precious pieces can be fingerprints or footprints of your children, husband and wife, grandparents or any loved one.  I welcome custom orders!

My name is Cheryl Frazee, I'm married to James and we live in Brighton, Colorado.  We have two grown daughters: Tara and Brooke, 4 grandchildren: Brandon, Hunter, Taylan & Ashlyn, and Ashley the Sassy Cat and Wilbur the Pug

How did you get started in your handmade business? 

I began beading with a friend about 8 years ago and really enjoyed it.  When another friend decided to hold a home show for her jewelry, she invited me to show a few pieces.  When I got my first sale, I was so excited!  Shortly after that, I was introduced to metal clay and fell so in love with the medium that I couldn't get enough time making jewelry.  I started having home shows, then moved on to local craft and art shows.  Today, my sales are primarily web-based and past clients. 

What inspires you?  

My inspiration for my Island Girl Expressions shop comes mostly from the Caribbean Islands and Mother Nature. 

Palm Tree and Ocean Necklace Handmade Pendant 

My inspiration for my A Timeless Impression shop comes directly from my clients ... everything I make in this shop is completely personalized using their fingerprints, footprints, handwriting and more.

Handwriting Jewelry Silver Oval 1" x 1/2" with YOUR Handwriting Custom Personalized Keepsake Unique Gift

Where do you see your handmade business in 5 years?  

In 5 years I will be working my jewelry business full time.  Eventually, I would love to have a studio with a storefront and have the ability to teach metal clay jewelry design.

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?  

I had one of my pieces published in a book written Hadar Jacobson, who is a very well known metal clay manufacturer of base metal clays, a designer and teacher.

Silver and Steel - Precious Metal Petals Earrings

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without?  

My kiln, my dremel and my xacto knife!

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster?  

I've had many! Metal clay can sometimes be unpredictable when firing, especially the base metal clays.  I have had numerous pieces not sinter (or fuse) and had them crumble as I pull them from the kiln. 

What other interests or hobbies do you have?  

Just about anything crafty:  I love to scrapbook, make handmade cards, knit, floral design, etc.  I would love to learn lampwork, glass fusing, pottery and soooooo much more! 

Sideways Flower Necklace with Citrine Cubic Zirconia

How much do you social network? 

Not as much as I would like!  I try to post something on FB at least once a week, but I would like to get to the point of daily posts on FB, Google+ and Pinterest.  I have a twitter account, but don't tweet and I seldom use Instagram.   

Floating Crystals Bracelet

What has been your most effective marketing tool?  

I send extra business cards with every order and wrap a sticky note around them that says "Please share. Thanks"  I am getting a lot of referral business from this.

Silver Sun with Yellow and Blue Resin Necklace

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

My Island Girl Expression Shop sells more mixed metal designs than other designs, but all of my pieces are one of a kind, so I don't really have any one item that is a top seller.  A Timeless Impression's #1 seller is either the 1/2" circle fingerprint charm or the 7/8" heart with handwriting.

A Timeless Impression

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

I love glasswork and I love bright colors!  And honestly, I love EVERYTHING in this shop.

Retro Bowl DLC Glass Studio LLC

I have done a little knitting, so I have an appreciation for how much time and work goes into a piece like this.  The items in this shop are absolutely stunning!

Knit Afghan in ZigZag Pattern by The Needle House in Soft White

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