I am glad that Mary Lynn agreed to do this interview on my blog and she has been generous to offer a giveaway – this beautiful pair of blue earrings for one reader:) But before that, let’s get to know a little more about the shop owner.
What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?
I think defining the name of your shop is something that everyone deliberates over and over and over again and then just when they think they have it…the name is already taken or uncertainty creeps in and they start questioning themselves again!
I believe the goal behind a shop name should be to evoke the essence of what you represent as an artist or to define the type of service you want to provide. To come up with the name of my shop, I started by writing down words that expressed how I felt when designing jewelry. Basically, I wrote down every adjective under the sun for happiness. I then thought about what symbolized happiness to me and I thought of my wedding song: Somewhere over the rainbow by IZ.
“Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
blue birds fly,
and the dreams that you dreamed of,
Dreams really do come true.”
And, that is how the name Bluebird was born. As for Bijou- short and sweet- my husband suggested it- and I like it.
Bluebird [ˈbluːˌbɜːd] A true-blue, authentically genuine, fabled Blue Bird of Happiness
Bijou [bē’zhū’] A small, exquisitely wrought trinket
How old is your shop?
My shop is only 4 months old- it was launched in November 2010.
What inspired you to start your own home business?
I have always loved artisan handcrafted jewelry. When traveling to seaside towns or areas across the country, I love browsing unique artisan shops – particularly the handcrafted jewelry section. Unfortunately, I am like a moth to a flame- somehow I am always drawn to the most expensive item in the store. So, there was more browsing than purchasing!
When I got married, I wanted to buy my bridesmaids some jewelry- again everything I liked was very expensive. I lucked out and I stumbled upon a craft store one day and they were having a trunk show of the most unbelievable gemstones. I was hooked! I took some classes and learned the basics and the rest is history. I am constantly taking classes and learning new techniques.
Eventually, I started making jewelry for family or for friends. When they would wear my jewelry, people would ask them about it and wanted to know where they could buy it. So, my husband encouraged me to open a store on Etsy. My goal was, to create one-of-a-kind artisan jewelry at an affordable price without compromising the quality of ingredients and craftsmanship.
|“I usually sit outside on my deck,
on my sofa, at the table,
or on a chair at the beach!” –MaryLynn
Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft?
Hmmm, this is a hard question for me. I really do not have a designated work station. I usually sit outside on my deck, on my sofa, at the table, or on a chair at the beach!
I prefer to keep my craft simple- meaning only hand held portable tools. I remember I picked up a copy of Wire magazine and thinking, “You can create that… with two pliers!” I find the smaller and more tedious the work the more I love it!
As far as the creative process, I see jewelry as a miniature canvas with gemstones as my paints. I am mesmerized by nature and the beauty of gemstones. I try to mix textures and colors that seem to naturally go together.
What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?
Having confidence in my craft and feeling vulnerable from exposing my art for the world to see and judge. And, I also deal with a small defect called perfectionism!
How did you get over it?
I don’t think you ever get over it! However, having an incredibly supportive husband, family and friends definitely helps. I am also insanely thankful to all the people on Etsy who have sent me a friendly message, hearted me, or circled me- it really makes my day!
Please Name:the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop?
Work wise- I am actually a scientist and try to develop new drugs- most recently I worked on developing new drugs for Malaria. Currently, I am working with a group to develop a medical device to allow HIV positive women in developing countries to breastfeed. One day, I would love to open a small boutique and do science on the side as a consultant!
of Bluebird Bijou
Personally- I love taking classes to learn new techniques to create jewelry. I also love everything outdoors, travel, museums, and am a huge foodie!
Stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without?
This is easy; I have to have in my purse at all times lipstick, tic-tacs, wallet and my droid phone.
Your favorite shops?
There are so many shops that I love on Etsy, but here are a few of my favs:
BijouxOdalisque’s- all of it!
Skydreams- all of it!
Idolly Designs- I love, love, love her Leaf Necklace!
Elementclaystudio- Nesting Scallop Bowls, Copper Blue
Creativethursday- I am a thriving artist
Lighttexture- Steam Light Micro Lamp
Ok- I have to stop this could never end!
Your top 3 favorite picks from your shop?
The first favorite pick is easy, the Just for You Necklace
. I designed this necklace for my mom. In Christmas 2009, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When the time came for her to start treatments, I was unable to travel and both my brother and sister were overseas.
Since we could not be there with my mom, I went searching for a special gift that would help her through this difficult time. But after not finding anything personalized or special enough, I decided to make her a necklace that she could wear everyday to remind her of family and that we were there for her in spirit.
The necklace helped her fight the battle against this disease by giving her the motivation to get up for her treatments and still fix her hair and make-up. As my mom said to me, “I could not wear something so beautiful and special without putting myself together.” She was able to wear the necklace throughout her radiation treatments. It really helped her to focus on family and not what was happening at the time; it was as though we were there with her. It’s funny how a small object can have so much power.
I truly believe in the power of this necklace to give comfort and strength. My mom is now cancer free!
Second favorite pick is the Opal-Essence Earrings
. These earrings remind me of the summer sitting on the beach or looking for shells. It’s just a great feeling I get when I look at them.
Third favorite pick is The Ocean Blue Earrings
. They are simple and elegant. I designed these earrings to go with the necklace I created for my matron of honor in my wedding- they just remind me of her.
What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?
Believe in yourself- follow your dreams- and don’t be so hard on yourself.
Any message to your customers and the people who support you?
Thank you! Thank you for the support and for believing in my art. Everything in life takes a village.
A special thanks to you Rachel at theshopbug :))
To Enter the Giveaway:
Simply visit Bluebird Bijou
at Etsy, then leave a comment here and tell us your most favorite item.
Please leave one comment for each step you do.
1. Be a follower of my blog. (Click on the follow button on the right side bar)
2. Link this post on Facebook.
3. Link this post on Twitter.
4. Blog about this interview & giveaway.
Check back on March 21 to see if you won. If you’re not a blogger, don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you.