Tuesday, December 3, 2013

25 Days Of Christmas Celebration # 8 - Shop Feature With Diana of Charmed Baubles'nBeads

On to Day 8 of our 25 Days Of Christmas Celebration!!! We'd like to welcome another wonderful artist, crafter and lady, Diana of Charmed Baubles'nBeads! She is not only an amazing jeweler, but also an amazing person with a lot of interesting stories to tell. Moreover, she's got such a great storytelling talent, that you will absolutely love reading her interview!

"Don't take things too seriously; not even your Etsy shop!"
Keep reading and find out a tiny bit about her creativeness, her charm and also learn some great advice that any seller should be aware of!

1. Please share a little something about yourself!

Ah, what to share. That I’m the disinherited, only daughter of a fabulously wealthy family? That I practice white magic at midnight to combat the evil that lurks? Or how about the truth? I bet that’s what you want, right?

I’m a woman of 60+ years who has finally begun to acquire a smidgen of wisdom and is learning to let go and just be. Ahhhh, it’s like a lovely, cool breath of fresh air.

Nothing lasts forever, neither the good nor the bad. Hold the good close and when it’s bad, just hang on and act like it’s good.

I love the romantic, the whimsical, the silly, good fun.
Don’t take things too seriously; not even your Etsy shop!!

Parkinson’s bludgeoned it’s way into my life a few years ago and my old pursuits were closed to me. It seems very odd, but I can manage the beading and even the finishing, something I thought I’d have to leave to others. However, there are constraints. More later.

2. Tell us about your shop – what made you open your shop and when did it happen? Also, what items do you sell?

Frankly and bluntly, I needed an outlet for my output. Jewelry making is a therapeutic hobby for me. One day I looked around and said, “Yikes! What am I going to do with all this?” I donated to various charity auctions, gave gifts. But there was still a LOT left. Then someone said “Etsy”. And I said “Really? Me?”

I make and sell jewelry. It’s mostly necklaces and bracelets, but ID and eyeglass lanyards, too. I don’t do many earrings. Somehow I just don’t seem to have a “feel” for them. I do make matching earrings on request and occasionally I am inspired to make a few pair.

I opened my virtual shop doors on April 1, 2012. No foolin’! It was a state tax thing that caused me to choose that date. I believe the official Etsy date is January, but the shelves were empty ‘till April 1.

3. What’s the story behind your creations? What got you to create the items you’re making?

A badly designed commercial necklace started it all. The clasp was nearly impossible to do, even for my nimble fingered daughter-in-law, so I cut the wire!

That was about 200 necklaces ago.

I just love the beads! The colors, the shapes, the textures. I find manipulating the wire, beads and even the tools to be quite forgiving. If I need to just stop and put everything down, I can. Fabric, patterns and the sewing machine are much harder for me to deal with. I’ve given them up completely. I only do the occasional small handwork task.

Jewelry making and beading provide a wonderful creative outlet.

4. Please pick one of your items that you feel is most representative for your shop and tell us what makes it the most special?
"I just love the beads!"

This necklace is what I choose as being representative of my shop.

A. It is multi-layered.

B. It is diverse, eclectic.

C. It “works”. The pendant doesn’t match anything in the necklace, but it brings the whole piece together.

D. While there are a number of disparate parts, it’s really simple and not at all complicated.

That’s Charmed Baubles N Beads. I don’t have one style. Each piece I do depends on the materials I choose. Sometimes I want to experiment with a new technique. Until now, all my jewelry was beads strung on cord or wire.

Lately I find myself tentatively moving into using chain more and doing a little bit of wire work. I love knotting, too. But it’s very, very, labor intensive for me and I can’t do too much. If you see something where I used knots, it is very special, indeed!

5. Please share a little wisdom on time management! How do you organize your time? How does a typical day selling on Etsy look like – time spent on orders, on teams, promoting on social media etc?

Time management. If that means how time manages me, then I can relate ‘cause, I don’t feel like I manage my time at all! When I am able to work I do. When I can’t work, I can piss and moan because I can’t.
I’m afraid I’m one of those people who, when they get into a task, just want to run with it, and other tasks can suffer.

I do have a very loose framework for my time. But I never know how much time I’ll be granted to work before I start “experiencing technical difficulties,” i.e. my “parts” quit working.

My Parkinson’s is hemiplegic. It affects the right side more than the left. Sometimes I end up doing a lot of one handed typing. It's time consuming and tiring. Still, I prefer it to just sitting.

6. Speaking of Etsy teams, what do you look for in them? What makes you choose a particular one?

I haven’t been on any teams for very long and I’m still learning what a team and I can do for each other. I’m just so impressed by SPS Team! It is very active and practical. I feel like some teams just have activities for the sake of activities, but the activities don’t really bear fruit. Not so here!

Also, I really like the people I’ve met on this team. They are very helpful and friendly.

7. What’s the best advice you received when you first began selling? Also, what advice would you give to new sellers – whether it’s about promoting items, shipping, photography, communicating with clients or whatever else you feel that new sellers should be aware of?

My advice is photography, photography, photography!

I know that, as a buyer, if a picture is dark, out of focus, or worst of all, published sideways, I don’t even give it a glance. People kept telling me my photos were “good enough”. “They’re good enough for Etsy.” I didn’t have much choice and published what I had. But I definitely felt people were wrong; so I kept trying to better my pictures. Then, earlier this year I got a handout on photography. Revelations! I began to be able to understand my camera better and to be much more effective in my shots. When I photograph my pieces now, they look more like what I am seeing live.

I learned about white balance and cobbled together a light box. My son has one professional studio light that he rarely uses and I definitely think that helps my pictures, too.

I wish I could say re-shooting almost everything in the shop opened things up and sales skyrocketed. But they didn’t. Sigh. However, I definitely started getting more notice and pieces were getting picked up for treasuries. It was the same jewelry, but more effectively presented.

Our customers have nothing more than the picture we present and a brief description. We need to have those things in tip-top shape. Then everything else can flow from that, namely, communication, prompt, reliable shipping with careful packaging.

8. What are your goals regarding your shop for the near future?

My goals are modest, keeping the shop open, trying to add new things more often. I have finished jewelry. Getting it photographed, writing a description, unfortunately, I’m always behind on these tasks.

I want to explore new areas, whether it’s a technique I want to try or a color combination or a mix of beads. I want to balance learning the new with improving the established. I want to keep my jewelry fresh, current.

Maybe it will keep me fresh and current, too!

There's no doubt about it, Diana is - as i was saying at the beginning - a great crafter and a great person. The SPS Team is grateful to have had the pleasure of interviewing her and we wish her the best of luck!

Visit Diana's shop for more beautiful jewelry:


I'm Andreea and along with my husband we create "paper miracles". We make cardstock boxes of various shapes and sizes, but also other paper goodies such as die cuts, envelopes, table numbers, gift tags, coasters and more! We truly hope that you will enjoy them just as much as we enjoy making them!



  1. Thank you, Andreea for the time and effort you put in to present this interview. I appreciate that you are just as swamped as the rest of us, but then you have these additional tasks! You are obviously one talented lady. We are lucky to have you as our leader!
    SPS Team rocks!

  2. What a great interview! Love learning more about my friend, Diana!