Indie craft gossip had the pleasure of interviewing Alicia Gandhi, our former Craft Gossip Jewelry editor! Alicia is a stay at home mom of 2 & craft addict. She likes to make beaded jewelry, kids hair accessories & tutus. Her indie business is currently based around recycling stained glass into pieces of jewelry! She sells these glass pieces, called ClinkIts as supplies for other jewelry makers to let their creativity loose!
What inspired you to start your business?
I had been beading for quite a while and I was looking for other ways to make jewelry. Inspired by mixed media artists and found object jewelry I had seen in magazines and online I started using scrap metal, old jewelry, polymer clay and various other materials. A friend of mine, who made stained glass wind chimes, gave me tons of her scrap glass to play with. I started making glass rune sets and then started using it in my jewelry. People started to ask me if I would sell the processed glass plain (I call them ClinkIts) for their own art and I said, “Sure!”.
Why do you enjoy this craft more than others?
It’s a bit unique. Although people have been using glass in jewelry for a long time, using rubber stamps and embossing on the glass isn’t that common. I also love cutting the glass and seeing what shapes I wind up with. The color variety and quality of glass I use is excellent.
What has been the most fun or rewarding part of having your own business?
A very talented artist, Lea Everse, used ClinkIts for an article for Expression Magazine in 2003. Her work made the cover and I was thrilled to see the beautiful pieces she made!
What inspires you when you are designing your products?
My mood mostly. I just pick through my ClinkIts pile and see what catches my eye. It may be some small pieces for a bracelet or a large piece for a necklace. Although I try to make jewelry in a variety of colors, I tend to gravitate towards blues, aquas and pinks. When I feel uninspired I just browse flickr, magazies, or clothing catalogs to get my creativity going.
What advice do you have for other crafters who may want to start an indie craft business like yours?
It’s OK to start small. I’m still small! But the important thing is that you have to start somewhere. Some simple starting steps would be, start a blog as your website if you don’t know how to do your own web pages, use Etsy (www.etsy.com), Mintd (www.mintd.com), and other sites to get your product out there, and participate in The Sampler (www.homeofthesampler.com).
Many thanks Alicia! And we are excited to announce that Alicia has donated one of her ClinkIt necklaces and some sample ClinkIts for the Indie Craft Giveaway! So be on the lookout for the February Giveaway coming soon!