We have an artist that has taken some time off and is now returning with her work for all to enjoy once again. I would like to introduce you to -
Here is our interview with Tara!
Briefly describe what you make?
I am best known for my OOAK vintage pieces that combine found pendants, charms, and Lucite. Other items I create are scrabble, domino, and glass pendants, rings, earrings, and bracelets.
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
Since I have an appraisal certificate in antiques/vintage, I really do enjoy searching for my vintage finds. Creating OOAK necklaces and earrings is truly rewarding. Lately I have reintroduced graphic design to my shop and I am really having fun with that too.
How long have you been creating craft?
I have been creating for a lifetime and selling online/offline for almost 11 years now. The first piece of jewelry I ever made was a friendship pin, very popular in the 80's. I remember that no one showed me how to do it and I severely damaged myself with the safety pins and pliers. From then on I was hooked!
How did you get started?
I've always been crafty and full of endless hyper energy. I constantly needed projects to entertain myself when I was little. No computers, bad T.V., and small New York City apartment = the need to express yourself creatively. I used to make Barbie little soaps from larger bars, and I had rigged up an actual little shower for her in her house.
I started selling when I realized it was getting too hard to leave the house every day and try to cram in a part time job, dogs, kids, errands, and housework. I was doing random craft shows but found it equally as hard to commit to certain times. My husband was extremely supportive and didn't want me to work at all. I felt I needed to occupy myself and since I already had tons of handmade jewelry, the next step was naturally to sell it. Plus, you need to make money to buy new supplies!! LOL
Where does the name of your shop come from?
Honestly, it's not a really meaningful story. About 5 years ago I was looking to buy a domain name. It seems everyone in the universe is also named Tara. I purchased jewelsbytara and thetaracollection. I didn't like it at the time and wanted to make it more specific. Eventually jewelrybytara came up for sale and I grabbed it.
What would you most want people to know about your work?
That I take it extremely seriously and put a lot of effort and time into each piece. I inspect everything before it leaves my workshop and I redo if necessary. I try very hard to label correctly and give out specifics on pieces. I am always keeping my designs fresh and enjoy bringing everyone new pieces. Customer service is a huge thing with me and everyone gets their problems resolved ASAP.
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Searching out answers to questions yourself can actually lead to more knowledge than someone just telling you. I started with absolutely no knowledge of accounting, web design, graphic design, marketing, and selling online. My husband refused to help me when I was setting up my first site and gave me the speech about figuring out everything myself. I was so angry then, but I thank him now for letting me find my own way. I believe that learning by doing is the best way to retain knowledge. Also, DIY (do it yourself), should become your new motto. Everything that you can buy so far as supplies, packaging, etc. Can be made by you for a lot less money. I learned website coding and graphics on my own too.
Great interview - come an take a look at Tara's shop and of course, come on back and leave a comment for Tara!