Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interview with Inner Muse Jewelry

Meet Tammy of Inner Muse Jewelry:

Who are you?
I'm a wife, mother to two grade school daughters, former bench top scientist, presently a jewelry designer, crocheter and general crafter. Oh, and Mini Golf Pro!

What do you create?
I create jewelry using lampwork focals. I started collecting lampwork beads about 5 years ago and decided to put them to better use than just sitting in little plastic storage boxes. I also create jewelry using bead crochet and other bead weaving techniques and try to incorporate fiber into my designs.

What was the main inspiration for your shop?
The lampwork beads are truly inspiring all by themselves. Each one has a story to tell and I try elucidate that story using accent beads, texture, shape, bead finish and overall theme in each of my jewelry pieces. I'm a textural person, I love the feel and three-dimentionality of bead work!

How did you come about your store name?
After many years of being a molecular biologist in a laboratory, I decided I wanted a change of scenery. I told myself I was letting out my 'inner muse' and so the name was born.

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
My crochet hooks. Especially the tiny ones for the teeny weeny beads!

What is your favorite material to work with?
I love working with about anything that can be used to make jewelry, but I'd have to say, Swarovski crystals really make my day!

What do you enjoy most about making the things you make?
I enjoy the entire creative process: tinkering around with the design elements, choosing a palette, selecting the shapes and finishes of the accent beads, watching the project take shape and then ripping it apart and starting it all over again with a totally fresh perspective :P

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
I'm married to an attorney, I have 2 daughters (6 and 8 years old) and a yellow lab named Princess, who lives up to that lofty name.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
I love the treasuries. Such diverse items and themes and very clever names and descriptions. It's been awhile since I've managed to snag one myself, I better get on it!!

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
I love to look at other jewelry artists and their designs. It's very inspiring and feeds my curiousity about how other designers approach their craft. I also enjoy looking at metalsmiths and their fabulous work. I'm not a metalsmither so I probably do more than window shop when it comes to rings.

Do you have a tip for other Etsy sellers?
I think the general 'vibe' on Etsy right now is that sales are slumping across the board. Some shops are still thriving, but the 'chatter' has been increasingly focused on making sales, marketing, increasing views, etc. I've narrowed my focus on Etsy and I'm switching to a custom order basis for the forseeable future. Basing my sales on custom orders means I don't have materials cost up front. When I receive an order, I place an order for the beads and have money in hand to get the project going. Until the economy picks up, I feel this is where I have to invest my time and energy.

What other interests do you have?
I'm a New York Times Crossword addict. I also enjoy Sudokus and reading books.

Where in Florida do you live?
I live in South Tampa and love it! I moved here in 1996 from Chapel Hill, NC. The public schools are wonderful here and my girls are really happy, so I'm really happy!!

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
I love the Florida Aquarium! Lots of great activities for kids: Pirate ship with sprinklers and fountains and a wonderful exhibit inside. The river otters are just adorable!

If you were a dessert what would it be?
Key Lime Pie...it's a little bit SWEET and little bit TART...just like me =}


  1. great interview! Tammy! a molecular biologist?! I had no idea! :-)

  2. That's right Kelly! I iz a rocket scientist :P

  3. Very nice interview and great idea about going to custom orders. The inventory otherwise can be killer on the pocketbook.