I am constantly admiring the jewelry and shop of this week's featured Teamie. This artist not only creates beautiful "timeless, modern" jewelry, the presentation of her work is impeccable! And her distinct style makes her work easily recognizable.
Did you guess? Our Tuesday Teamie is Sheri of sheriberyl. Now, let's interview Sherri and get to know her better!
K: Tell us how you got started as a jewelry artist, Sheri.
Sheri: A friend gave me the opportunity to have an accessory and jewelry concession in their store two years ago. At that time I was shopping the world for product and purchasing others work. Little by little I started putting in my earrings and watched them sell! Last year I went to Otis College of Design and took some extension classes in metal smithing. I wanted to learn the tools to realize ideas that I had and do other things. Now I have an entire case line that I have to fill so I have branched out to more categories.
K: What do you enjoy most about your art?
Sheri: It would have to be the actual creative process, working with my hands, sitting with different materials and putting them together realizing an idea. Sometimes I don’t have a clear vision of what I am going to do and see where the process takes me.
K: Your designs are very unique. What inspires your creations?
Sheri: Thank you! A lot has to do with my own personal style. I design for myself and what I would wear and hope others appreciate it as well. I am very much a minimal modernist. I do derive inspiration from other artists, past and present and different eras. My style is very simple and clean so I also look to natural shapes for inspiration. Sometimes it is the material it self that sparks an idea. What can I do with these?
K: You have a very distinct personal style. What tips do you have for others trying to develop their own style?
Sheri: We all have one. We just need to identify it and develop a signature look through presentation and photos. Also keeping things consistent is important in reinforcing that. Visit some of the shops here in our team and you can see what I mean.
K: Your work is beautifully photographed. Any tips for photographing jewelry?
Sheri: I am a graduate of the photography school for dummies. Basically I have learned by trial and error. I wish I had a screen shot of what my shop looked like when I first opened. Here is an example of how my things were “staged” and presented originally. A friend of mine who is an art director said, "it is a nice image but you really don’t see the jewelry, focus on the pieces." That was my Ah Ha moment.
I have a little Canon powershot camera. I take my shots indoors in
natural light using the micro setting on white or tinted paper. I
always try and position the piece in the shot and frame rather than in
the editing phase. I stage the pieces and try to be consistent in how
they are laid out. I take very close up shots from various angles and
depth of field. One of these days I will get around to building a
light box but I am fortunate to have great indoor natural light most of
I use Picmonkey to size and crop the shots and do any
touch ups and fotofuze my grounds. I try and get all my images to look
the same size to have more consistency in my shop. A trick I find is
to hit crop, square, and then center it over the image. That way I
usually get all of my shots to be the same size . One of the best
tips that I learned was to look at images in search for your category
and see what images jump off the page at you. Then ask yourself what
about the image made you look or why you were attracted to it.
K: What is the most important thing you have learned about being an Etsy
Sheri: SEO…….. Hah!, and visual presentation. Internet
selling was something totally new and foreign to me. This is my first
foray into it. I had a lot of prior retail experience so this is just a
different platform where you have to romance and make your product
enticing for someone who can not touch and feel or try it on.
K: From your forum posts, it is evident you are taking a positive approach
to upcoming changes to the Etsy venue. Will you share your thoughts on
Sheri: I am a newcomer to Etsy, joined prior to Baligate, and came along
when the company is shape shifting. My life of late has been all about
change which hasn’t always come easy but I have learned to embrace it.
So here is my perspective. Etsy has 15 million members many of which are buyers that just registered
for the first time to make a purchase. They don’t break out the
statistics into buyer/seller so even if it is 60/40 buyers to sellers
that is a few million buyers in this global economy. A shot in the
proverbial bucket. I didn’t even know of Etsy’s existence until 2
years ago when one of my employees mentioned it to me. Now that I am a
seller not one person in my sphere of friends & colleagues knew
about it either.
I see some of the changes that are potentially in the works as
bringing in more buyers to the site. Esty advertising and getting
the word out is HUGE, having them pay for Google shopping another huge
investment for individual sellers. This all comes at a price. The
Etsy community is as diverse as main street America and the battle
between big box and mom and pop stores. I understand the concerns of
many that the company was built on the backs of handmade and see many
of these potential changes as a tectonic shift, a sell out. Many had
specific reasons for coming to this specific site and I respect that.
When you look at some of the top performing revenue shops on the site
they are suppliers not handmade. I think that there are those that
will continue to seek out unique handmade crafted product. And find
those artisans that supply it. So I am going to wait and see how things
Incorporating wholesale into the platform will give additional
exposure to Etsy and for those who qualify, want to expand and are
able to. I also think that these wholesale buyers will also spill
over to the general site as well.
This has been a great learning experience for me. I couldn’t have done
it so quickly without this platform. Where else would you have all of
these tools and support mechanisms available to help you succeed? Not
to mention the support of the various teams. I think that we all need to
stay calm and see what changes are actually going to be enacted and
then make informed decisions for our business.
K: Thanks Sheri for talking with the team today. It was much enjoyed, and congratulations on this week's well-deserved feature!